As the name suggests, these lines are produced from our expressions. They result from years of any facial movements such as smiling, laughing and frowning, as well as the sub-conscious tension in our facial muscles when we react to stress. When our muscles contract, they create folds, and so lines on the skin above them. These constant, daily muscle movements will only make the lines deepen over time, and the longer the muscles remain tensed, the deeper the expression lines become.

If there is additional photo-damage with loss of collagen and elastin in the dermis, the skin is lax and the expression lines will be more obvious during the expressions.

The most common expression lines are:

  1. Crow’s feet, or laugh lines, at the outsides of the eyes corner. These are produced by the underlying circular eye muscles called orbicularis oculi.

  1. Forehead horizontal lines. These are produced by the upward movement of the forehead muscle called frontalis. This happens when one is frowning due to stress or trying to appear alert with raised eyebrows and upper eyelids.
  2. Glabellar frown lines. These happen when one is frowning with disapproval or puzzle, pulling the eyebrows together to the middle. The lines appear as 2 or 3 vertical lines in between the eyebrows, sometimes so deep that they look like a knife cut.
  3. Fine vertical lines radiating out from the lips. These are due habits involving frequent pursing of the lips such as smoking.

An example of how forehead lines are reduced by Botox:

There are quite a few ways to improve these expression lines. There are the injectables such as Fillers or Botox. Fillers work by simply filling in the space but they are more ideal for resting, rather than dynamic lines here. Botox hits the problems right there by semi-paralysing the muscles, thereby not allowing as much expressions as before. With time the muscles also learn to relax more with less frequent injections. Some may just not like the idea but so far Botox is extremely popular for this purpose. One may worry about the lack of facial expression but this is usually mild and does not interfere with social interactions.

Surgical face-lift will help too but even this most extreme remedy is only good for around 5 to 7 years before wrinkles and deep expression lines reappear. It also carries the same risks as any major surgery. Nowadays, it is mostly replaced with Laser Facial Tightening, of which the most promising and thrilling one is Fractional CO2 Laser.

We shall have more details on Fillers, Botox, and different laser treatments under the section of Aesthetic Treatments.

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