How to Soften Nasolabial Folds: Microneedling, Retinol, and More

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Nasolabial folds are lines that are found on the sides of your mouth. They run from right under your nose to the outer corners of your mouth. Since people tend to dislike any type of lines or wrinkles in their skin, you can imagine how important it is to many people to get rid of these lines. Fortunately, if you have nasolabial folds, there are now several different treatment plans for how to soften nasolabial folds, including microneedling, retinol, led light therapy, and more.

In this article, we will look at the different causes of nasolabial folds, how to soften them, and how to prevent them from occurring in the future.
Some people call nasolabial folds “laugh lines,” but they are certainly nothing to laugh about.
The main causes of these folds include sun damage, sudden weight loss, smoking, and age, the latter being due to the loss of collagen and elastin as we age.
While most people have some type of lines or folds around their mouth as they get older, some are much worse than others. You can still do something about it, however, and all of these methods work great in softening these folds so that you can once again smile with confidence.

How to Treat Nasolabial Folds

How to Soften Nasolabial Folds: Microneedling, Retinol, and More

Microneedling (Collagen Induction Therapy)

Microneedling is a great non-surgical option to soften nasolabial folds. The way it works is simple; using a microneedling device such as a dermapen, the doctor makes numerous small punctures around where the folds are located. Afterwards, collagen is automatically produced by the body in order to correct and heal the punctures. This is a natural reaction that the body has to those punctures.
As a result, the area underneath the folds is plumped up and produces a much more youthful appearance. You get smoother skin that reduces the appearance of your folds so that they look much better.


Retinol is simply vitamin A, but don’t let the simplicity of this treatment make you think that it isn’t effective against nasolabial folds. In fact, retinol treatments are extremely effective in reducing the appearance of the folds, and they can also work on fine lines, dark spots, and numerous other imperfections in the skin.
All you have to do is find a good retinol cream and apply it to the area around your mouth, making sure that you never put it on the lips. After a while, you’ll see a noticeable difference in this area of the face.

One word of caution: make sure that you start slowly so that no irritations occur.

Red LED Light Therapy

Red LED light therapy works wonders on nasolabial folds because it stimulates the production of collagen and cellular activity in the skin.

In addition to boosting collagen and cellular activity, the red light also reduces inflammation and redness, accelerates wound healing, and treats sun damage.

LED therapy is simple, painless, and extremely efficient. While you can work with a professional who works in a spa or a doctor’s office, you can also buy a LED light device that offers this treatment.
At-home light devices are pretty affordable, easy to use, and effective. They might not be as powerful as the professional ones, but you can use them frequently for fast results.

Microdermabrasion For Nasolabial Folds

You can think of microdermabrasion as a deep form of exfoliation. It is usually performed by a professional clinician at a spa or even a dermatologist’s office, but it can also be performed at home using microdermabrasion home kits.

It involves using a spray of fine crystals, a diamond- or crystal-tipped wand, to remove the top layer of the skin. When they’re done, you get skin that is smooth and soft.

Microdermabrasion also helps get rid of lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and much more. The removal of the skin results in the newer and better-looking skin underneath being pushed to the forefront so that your skin looks refreshed and gorgeous.

Chemical Peeling to Soften Nasolabial Folds

Chemical peels start with a mixture of different materials that are applied to the skin and targets the upper layer of the dermis. Just as with microdermabrasion, a professional chemical peel removes the first layer of skin so that the nasolabial folds are much smoother in appearance.

Since this procedure targets the first layer of skin only, you don’t get long-term results with the treatment but they are effective nonetheless. Also, if you’re going to go this route, make sure that you choose professional peels and not the over-the-counter products.

Topical Anti-Aging Serums

There are actually many different types of serums, and the way they work is very simple. They boost natural collagen and elastin so that your nasolabial folds are much smoother and show fewer lines.

Most of these serums contain powerful ingredients such as vitamin C, peptides, and hydroxyl acids, which are extremely effective in reducing the appearance of these folds.

Vitamin C helps boost collagen production and makes the skin look brighter as well. Many of these serums are also plant-based, making them an all-natural way to make your nasolabial folds disappear.

These amazing serums for marionette lines are also great for softening nasolabial folds.

Injectable Fillers

Fillers injected into the skin are used right at the source, underneath the nasolabial folds. They work because they add volume to the skin to smooth it out, and the best part is that the results usually last 6 to 12 months. Each patient’s results will be different, but 6 to 12 months is an average number.
Each treatment is a little different because each patient is different, but most of these fillers contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid (HA), poly-l-lactic acid, and calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA).

According to most patients, the injections are relatively painless.

Skin Tightening or Skin Resurfacing

This method can be done in several ways, including a fractional laser, fractional radio-frequency device, or even an ultrasound.

What it does is simple: it damages tiny areas of the skin underneath the top layer of the skin. With the damage comes the body’s natural response, which is the creation of collagen so that the damage can be repaired. As a result, your skin gets tighter and firmer.

But there is one downside. As a general rule, skin resurfacing doesn’t work for people with very deep nasolabial folds, as it produces better results when the folds are not that severe.


While surgery isn’t people’s first choice when they suffer from nasolabial folds, some people choose this option when they aren’t happy with the results from other treatments.

The surgeries include cheek lifts and full facelifts, and the reason why they aren’t most people’s first choice is that they are invasive and they are usually not covered by insurance. And as with other types of surgery, these procedures include long recovery times and can be painful.

Nevertheless, surgery to soften  nasolabial folds is still not that uncommon, and it usually produces great results.

How Do You Prevent Nasolabial Folds?

Since everyone, including children, essentially has nasolabial folds when they smile, it is impossible to prevent them entirely; however, this doesn’t mean that you can’t reduce their severity by following a few simple rules, most of which are just common sense.

Some of the things you can do to make sure that your nasolabial folds don’t get worse include wearing sunscreen every day, regularly exfoliating the skin, moisturizing the nasolabial fold area, and not smoking.

Another thing to consider is the way you sleep, if you’re a side sleeper, you may be applying constant pressure on one side, which can lead to pronounced folds. In this case, switching to a silk pillowcase can really help.

Certain creams and exercises can also help improve the look of the folds and cause them to be less noticeable, but there is no scientific proof that these methods do anything but improve the look of the nasolabial folds. They don’t get rid of them entirely.

Everyone has these folds when they smile, so if you want yours to look less pronounced, the smartest thing you can do is follow the simple methods mentioned above.

Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.