Skin Care

Dimples are cute but we're not so keen on our laughter lines

Laughter lines (AKA nasolabial folds) are creases that run down from our nose to the sides of our mouths. When we're younger, we only see them when we smile. They become a permanent fixture during our thirties. And their appearance depends on the shape of our face. With age, these wrinkles around the mouth deepen, becoming increasingly apparent. In other words, they're expression lines that gradually appear and then dig in their heels when our skin loses its elasticity. Our cheek skin begins to stretch and head south. Women get the worst deal, as our skin is thinner - men have thicker skin that's designed to grow beards! And sun-seekers may find that their laughter lines are even deeper.

Well, you could stop smiling all together! Not even a hint... Happily there are other ways in which we can limit the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth. Firstly, we need to moisturise both morning and night. Skin that's well hydrated stays younger for longer, keeping signs of ageing at bay. Secondly, we need to protect our skin from UV rays by applying sunscreens if we're planning to spend hours in the sun, or day creams that contain an SPF if we're heading outdoors for shorter periods of time. If you're a smoker, you should consider ditching your ciggies, as smoking rapidly ages skin.

There are three ways we can reduce or zap laughter lines:

- hyaluronic acid fillers: this pain-free process involves injecting hyaluronic acid into the nasolabial folds. The results are instant, natural-looking and can last for up to two years.

- nowadays there are loads of anti-ageing treatments that are packed with hyaluronic acid and active ingredients designed to firm up sagging skin. They plump up our skin from the inside, smoothing away wrinkles in the process.

- regular facial work outs will tone up your muscles and help your skin to retain its elasticity. You can, for example, use your thumbs and index fingers to quickly, but lightly, pinch your nasolabial folds, working up from your mouth towards your nostrils. Do this for a couple of minutes at a time.