Smile lines are inevitable, but often unwanted. There are a lot of women and men out there looking for a way to get rid of smile lines (nasolabial folds) without surgery. At MFI in San Francisco, we see people of all ages with this concern, many of whom have tried all kinds of supposed solutions before finally coming to us for filler.

Some of our patients have seen (or even had) bad smile lines filler done elsewhere. If you want to skip ineffective smile lines treatments and avoid nasolabial fold filler gone wrong, this page is for you.

Nasolabial Folds Filler Before and After 

At MFI in San Francisco, smile lines are one of the top concerns we treat, and our patients couldn’t be happier. Take a look at some of the results our Injectors have created with nasolabial fold filler. 

The IssueThe MFI Solution
Smile lines, nasolabial folds, “parentheses” from the nostrils around the corners of the mouthMidface Rejuvenation

Can You Fix Nasolabial Folds Without Filler? 

The internet will tell you that you can “fix nasolabial folds naturally,” which presumably means without surgery. There are also filler alternatives that are less invasive than surgery, but invasive nonetheless. Here are a few of the top recommendations for getting rid of nasolabial folds without filler: 

  • Facial exercises 
  • Adhesive patches 
  • Creams and serums  
  • Microneedling 
  • Thread lifts 

These “solutions” range in price from free to several thousand dollars. As far as effectiveness goes, none of them has a track record of consistent, reliable results. Understanding what causes smile lines can help you understand which treatments actually work, and which don’t. 

What Causes Nasolabial Folds? 

It’s important to understand that everyone has nasolabial folds. It’s impossible to smile without creasing the skin in this area. But when the creases deepen and remain prominent on your face even when you’re not smiling—those are the nasolabial folds we’re talking about. 

Repeated Facial Expressions (Smiling, Laughing) 

It’s inevitable that any repeated fold will create a crease in the skin. So after years of smiling and laughing, you’ll develop deepened creases, sometimes called “parentheses,” that frame the corners of your mouth. Over time, they get deeper, causing more shadowing and becoming more visible. No cream, serum, patch, or face yoga can stop this process. 

Thinning Skin and Volume Loss 

Older skin is less resilient due to the loss of collagen and fat—the substances that give skin its firmness and ability to “bounce back.” This is why smile lines begin to “set in” or stay put when we get a little older. This is also why some beauty gurus or practitioners recommend treatments like microneedling, which claim to stimulate collagen production. Although not predictable or proven, microneedling could help improve the appearance of smile lines at the surface level. But since the real cause is much deeper, microneedling can’t really fix nasolabial folds. The same goes for creams, serums, and patches. 

Volume Loss in Other Areas 

While volume loss and the skin quality in the area of your smile lines may contribute to deepening lines, the real culprit is volume loss in the midface and cheeks. Fat and bone create the structure in the middle of your face that lifts the cheeks and gives them their youthful contours. As these break down over time, the lack of support causes the midface to sink and droop. Nasolabial folds deepen, and the sagging tissue above them casts a more prominent shadow. 

The Best Treatment for Nasolabial Folds/Smile Lines: Filler 

At MFI, our Injectors understand that treating smile lines is about more than filling them in. Our signature treatment approach for this common issue is our Midface Rejuvenation Package, which creates real, lasting improvements by layering filler over the course of two or more appointments. Here’s how we do it: 

Lift With Support and Structure 

Adding volume to the midface and cheeks using fillers like JUVÉDERM VOLUMA® and RADIESSE® creates subtle lift above the nasolabial folds, which helps smooth and brighten the area. With that structure in place, we can conservatively add filler in the area of the smile lines. 

Smooth and Refine  

Without restoring volume to the midface, injecting filler directly into the nasolabial folds can actually make smile lines look worse. After creating support in the midface, we conservatively layer fillers from the Restylane® product family to the smile lines to soften them and create an even, shadow-free surface that reflects light.  

Learn More About Dermal Fillers

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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We’d Love To See You 

If you are interested in learning more about fixing smile lines without surgery, request a consultation online and ask for Midface Rejuvenation. Or you can call us at (415) 445-9513 to schedule your appointment with one of our highly trained specialists. If you’ll be visiting us from outside the area, our Fly in for Your Procedure page was created just for you to help make planning your trip as smooth as possible.

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