Image Courtesy: @byrdiebeauty
In our pursuit of preserving our youthful skin, we direct much of our attention toward eliminating the wrinkles around our eyes, canvassing our forehead, and grazing the space between our brows. But what about the ones that appear toward the bottom half of the face? The ones running along from the outer corners of the mouth to the outer corners of the chin. Yeah. The ones that leave us spiralling in front of the mirror with a perpetual droopy-looking pout gracing our faces not-so-subtly.
What are these lines, why do they appear, and how do you treat them? Are they even treatable? Let's investigate.
01. What are these wrinkles anyway?
Image Courtesy: @tightskincare
Before we elaborate, we must reiterate that facial wrinkles are absolutely natural. You're beautiful regardless, and you don't have to 'treat' them to feel beautiful. However, if you do wish to do so, here’s how.
These wrinkles are called Marionette Lines. A heavy name for a heavy smattering of wrinkles.
Not able to picture them? Visualise a marionette puppet, and notice the lines running from the edges of the puppet's mouth to the chin. That's how you open their jaws up and down to mimic talking. Makes sense?
These lines are seen in middle-aged and older women, but they can also surface in your ‘20s and ‘30s. They can run straight down or curve outwards and often cast a shadow between the cheek and chin. This plays into the illusion of a droopy jowl.
But do they just appear out of the blue? Are there definite reasons that explain this scowl-inducing development of lines around the mouth? Yes.
One reason is that it's genetic. If you've noticed that your mum has similar-looking indentations around her mouth, you're probably grappling with the same situation RN.
Another is gravity. Ugh. Gravity! It pulls our formerly-firm faces downward and inward. When you're younger, collagen, elastin, and skin volume counters the effects of gravity on the face.
And the situation is further exacerbated by age. As we age, our skin starts to sag. This happens because of the degradation of soft tissue, fat, collagen (offers structural support to the skin), and elastin (offers elasticity) over time. Your jawline becomes thinner, and your bones lose structure and volume. And this depletion results in folds, creases, and, eventually, wrinkles. Other factors like stress, poor diet plans, lack of sleep, poor hydration, improper skincare, long-term exposure to sunlight, smoking and tanning are also responsible.
Smoking, because, well, you're pursing your lips too much. Yup. That's another habit you must get rid of ASAP. It doesn't help that the skin around your mouth is thinner than usual. This renders it susceptible to wrinkling.
02. Are these lines treatable?
Treatment varies depending on the severity of Marionette Lines. We've put together a few solutions that can reduce the appearance of Marionette Lines.
You must incorporate retinol and Retin-A into your skincare routine as topical treatments. These formulas stimulate collagen production, smoothen wrinkles, exfoliate the skin, promote the growth of cells, and restore the skin's elasticity. Our favourite retinol-infused serum is the Pond's Age Miracle Double Action Serum. And rightfully so. Infused with the richness of vitamin B3 and retinol-C technology, this formula reduces the appearance of wrinkles and lines, evens out your skin tone, and repels dryness. Such a versatile product, no? Work it into your nighttime regimen ASAP.
- Chemical peels
These slough off the outermost layer and parts of the middle layer of your skin through chemical exfoliation to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, spots, and other signs of ageing, revealing smoother skin and new, healthy cells. The results depend on the amount of acid used. Some are administered by dermatologists, and some are intended for at-home application. The deeper the lines, the deeper the peel required to remove cells from the outermost as well as the lower layers of the skin.
Lasers aren't as invasive as surgery. They remove the topmost layers of your skin to reveal new, healthy skin. And some types stimulate the production of collagen under the skin. But they can leave behind scarring and trigger hyperpigmentation. Laser resurfacing provides lasting results. But the treatment isn't permanent like surgery, so you will have to undergo recurring procedures.
This treatment punctures the skin with little holes to stimulate collagen production and soften the appearance of wrinkles.
This is for women with very deep Marionette Lines. It's an invasive surgery, and it tightens your face by removing excess skin and firming loose facial muscles. This one's more permanent, and it offers long-lasting treatment compared to the rest of the options.
Image Courtesy: @byrdiebeauty