More Smiles, Fewer Laugh Lines: The Best Ways to Treat Nasolabial Folds Without Surgery

Photo of a woman with her nasolabial fold area highlighted. Text: Smile lines? How to Reduce Nasolabial Folds

“Laugh lines” also known as nasolabial folds (NLF), can appear as early as your 20s. These lines, creases, and folds can make you appear tired, sad, or angry, and that’s no laughing matter when it comes to looking fresh, approachable, and your absolute best. If your nasolabial folds are keeping you from looking and feeling your best, we’re here for you! Treating the nasolabial folds is one of the top reasons Bay Area men and women visit our San Francisco office.

At Mabrie Facial Institute, we’ve helped thousands of patients rejuvenate their appearance by correcting their nasolabial folds with dermal filler. Whether your nasolabial folds are just noticeable or deep, our Injectors can help. Drawn from our many years of experience, here is everything you need to know when planning your treatment.

Real Patients, Real Results

Below are two of our patients who received dermal filler treatments to address their nasolabial folds and signs of aging in the midface.

Before photo
After photo
nasolabial folds before treatment
nasolabial folds after treatment

What Are the Nasolabial Folds?

Diagram showing the nasolabial folds on a woman
The nasolabial folds are the bottom edge of the cheek.

Unsure if NLF correction is the right treatment for you? Let’s start first by identifying the nasolabial folds on your face. The image below can help when examining your face. The area highlighted in blue is your cheek. The white outline at the bottom of the cheek is the nasolabial fold. And while it’s natural for our eyes to zoom in and notice the crease itself, the nasolabial fold is actually the bottom of your cheeks. This whole area lies within the Midface Zone.

Here’s the bottom line on the bottom of your cheeks: When the Midface “sinks,” the unsupported cheeks skin slides down and forward, creating the nasolabial fold. Read on for 2 other reasons you may have NLF.

What Causes Your Nasolabial Folds? 

The 2 main causes of age-related nasolabial folds are midface volume loss and muscle movement:

Volume Loss

Losing volume in the midface causes cheek skin to droop downward, creating a crease from the nose to the lips. Midface volume loss occurs with age and can increase over time.

before photo
After photo
gif depicting how NLFs develop due to volume loss and sagging skin
As midface deflates and cheek sags, the nasolabial fold deepens

Muscle Movement

You may be snarling and not even know it! When your snarl muscles are engaged, the nasolabial folds become visibly pronounced.

A diagram depicting involuntary muscle tension making NLF more pronounced.
A glimpse at the snarl muscles
gif of Kimberly, PA-C snarling
Snarling accentuates the NLF

How To Treat Nasolabial Folds With Midface Rejuvenation

Because the fold results from a loss of support in the midface, we need to restore that underlying structure. That’s what our Midface Rejuvenation package is all about! Midface and cheekbone volume loss causes not just nasolabial folds, but also hollows/shadows under the eyes (dark circles) and sagging cheeks. The right amount and type of filler to the midface and cheekbones restores the underlying structure to the middle third of the face, rejuvenating multiple areas and lifting and smoothing the NLF. This multi-tasking package is a game-changer for so many of our patients!

nasolabial folds before treatment
nasolabial folds after treatment
nasolabial folds treatment areas
Treatment Areas

This is a patient who had midface rejuvenation.  Nasolabial folds are diminished with the added benefits of decreasing under-eye bags and making the cheekbones pop. 

Dr. Mabrie explains how Midface Rejuvenation produces multi-faceted results.

Why Filler to the Folds Alone Is NOT Enough

A common misconception is that you correct NLF simply by adding filler directly beneath the fold. This is how we used to do things, but we’ve learned a better way. Although single area treatment improves the folds, it does little to help patients look younger. We can dramatically improve results by applying our Midface Rejuvenation approach. The support in the midface brightens and refreshes the under-eye area, restores youthful contours to the cheeks, and smooths the NLF. Midface Rejuvenation is the difference between good and awesome results!

In the following video, Dr. Mabrie and Kimberly Rolley, PA-C talk about a particular patient’s treatment journey over approximately 6 years, and how she’s a great example of the evolution of NLF treatment, and why the best results don’t always come from treating the folds themselves.

Reducing Nasolabial Folds With BOTOX

You may be snarling and not even know it! Some people have more prominent NLF due to a facial muscle causing tension in the area. This muscle, responsible for elevating your lip or sneering, can be overactive. This tightness causes a deepening of the crease along the bottom of the cheek. 

before reducing nasolabial folds with botox
after reducing nasolabial folds with botox
A diagram depicting involuntary muscle tension making NLF more pronounced.
Involuntary muscle tension making NLF more pronounced.

OK, What’s the Solution? 

Believe it or not, when the fold is caused by a tight muscle, the answer is BOTOX. Our Bay Area patients with a snarl or resting “not-so-nice” face can get two quick, easy BOTOX injections (one on each side of the nose) to relax this muscle and soften their snarl and their nasolabial folds. 

Choosing the Best Nasolabial Treatment for You 

Choosing the best treatment for your nasolabial folds can vary based on your facial anatomy, the severity of your nasolabial folds (is it a crease or a deep fold?), age, etc. The best treatment option is the one that is created for your specific needs.  

The best way to determine the most effective approach to treating your nasolabial folds is to choose an experienced Injector to guide you through the non surgical options.  

How Can I Take My Results to the Next Level? 

Midface Rejuvenation is an excellent choice to correct nasolabial folds with the added benefit of also correcting under-eye bags, dark circles, and hollowness. Adding Upper Face BOTOX or Lower Face Rejuvenation can help take your results to the next level. Be sure to check out these treatment packages that can complement your nasolabial fold treatment. 

How do I Schedule My Nasolabial Fold Treatment? 

We invite you to call us at (415) 445-9513 or request a consultation online for an in-person evaluation with one of our highly trained injectors. Online consultations are also available by request. Let us know what works best for you!  

In the meantime, check out our photo gallery and the amazing results we achieve with BOTOX and fillers. People visit us from Daly City, San Mateo, Palo Alto, Mountain View, and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as other parts of the state and the country. 

Meet Your Injectors

Our team is made up of experienced medical professionals with a shared passion for facial rejuvenation and contouring with injectables. Hand-picked and trained by Dr. Mabrie, they work with you to create a treatment experience that exceeds your expectations. 

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