If you’ve been following along with our special blog series, you may recall that we’ve been taking a more in-depth look at the skin’s aging journey, and in particular, how aging impacts the facial muscles.
Rounding out our series, today’s blog is all about expression lines, which are one of the most commonly cited cosmetic concerns as the skin matures.
Facial Muscle Focus: Expression Lines
Compared to other parts of the body, the face is one of the most structurally complex, with over 24 different individual muscles on each side. Working together, these muscles are responsible for simple functions like chewing or speaking. They are also what we rely on for conveying all manner of human emotions through facial expressions.
How this relates to skin health is that, over time, repetitive facial expressions cause the skin attached to the muscles to stretch and lose its ability to bounce back. When this happens fine lines or wrinkles are formed, which are sometimes referred to as expression lines.
What are the most common expression lines and what causes them?
- Crow’s Feet – Appearing at the corners of the eyes and radiating out to the temples, crow’s feet are caused by expressions that involve the eyes, such as smiling or squinting.
- Smile Lines – Also known as laugh lines or nasolabial folds, smile lines are lines located on both sides of the face, framing the upper lip. As the names imply, they are caused by expressions that lift the corners of the mouth, such as smiling or laughing.
- Forehead Lines – Forehead lines are the horizontal creases that form between the hairline and brow area. These come from movements that lift the brows, but can also appear more exaggerated in the forehead where skin tends to be thinner and has less volume from collagen.
- The Elevens – Sometimes called worry lines, the elevens are small vertical lines that appear between the brows on one or both sides. They can be explained by facial expressions that contract the muscles, such as frowning or squinting.
- Bunny Lines – Bunny lines are related to the muscles found at the bridge of the nose, between the eyes. Following years of repeated contraction for expressions like squinting or crinkling the nose, this area can develop one or more small horizontal creases.
- Lip Lines – Appearing as vertical marks in the skin around the lips, lip lines can be attributed to a number of everyday facial movements, such as puckering the lips. They may also be worsened by habits like smoking or sipping out of a straw, which put additional strain on the muscle fibers over time.
What can you do about expression lines?
Given that they are formed progressively over time, expression lines can be difficult to reverse, but you can do a lot to prevent them, or minimize their appearance, by following good skincare and health habits.
For topical treatment, ingredients like peptides and hyaluronic acid, as well as oil-based products, can be beneficial for plumping the skin and replenishing lost moisture. There are also many advanced modalities that can be used to target expression lines by stimulating the tissue and encouraging rejuvenation at the cellular level.
Microcurrent is a great way to work on and reduce fine lines as it targets muscles in the face! The MyoLift™ QT is a great at home beginner option as well as the MyoLift™ Mini. If you are looking for quicker and better results, try a professional microcurrent treatment by using our provider map to find someone in your area!