What’s in a Smile?


Smiling when we are pleased or happy is the most natural thing in the world, with well documented benefits..

Smiling can: relieve stress by reducing your heart rate. When you smile you release Endorphin –  natural pain killers and Seratonin, a chemical that is responsible for maintaining mood balance. These together make us feel good. Smiling is also a natural drug. It’s contagious, it can lighten moods and draw people to you and it also makes us attractive to more people.

Of course laughter and squinting is not the best medicine for the skin around the eyes.

Repeated muscle movement from smiling, laughing and squinting creases the skin. This is why most women, and men, notice the first signs of ageing appear in this area – hardly surprising when you have been smiling since you were 2 months old! Add the effects of the sun and you have a recipe for the perfect wrinkle!

One women was reported recently as never having smiled in the last 40 years to preserve her face, and we are told that the Russians just don’t smile very often. Apparently their culture dictates that you only smile to show affection, therefore you only smile at those you know. This would surely reduce wrinkles, but may leave you at odds with our own culture, which encourages smiling to demonstrate friendliness, openness, caring, compassion, pleasure.. and the list goes on!

Recent research (US Association for Psychological Science) published in the Telegraph deduced that Botox treatment makes you happier because it prevents you from frowning when you are unhappy. This apparently reduces the intensity of the feeling as it isn’t fed back to your brain as an action. I can’t comment on this other than to say that I have noticed that you have less to frown about if you are happy with your appearance in the first place!

So, smiling may be an amazingly powerful way to communicate, a stress buster and a natural painkiller but what do you do about the side effects of a smile?

Well yes, there are consequences but they don’t have to be permanent today. There are several treatments and preventions that you can take if you are a victim of a happy disposition:

Crows Feet

If lines are beginning to establish early, make sure that you use plenty of sun cream every time you go out – the sun shines all year round and can damage even on the coldest days

Moisturiser is vital but if you find the lines still too obvious we can look at Dermapen treatment to regenerate the collagen that has broken down. Another option is Botox which effectively presses the facial ageing pause button.

Lips and Mouth

Whilst the first signs may be crinkly eyes, the mouth and lip area usually follows close behind for the broadest smilers amongst you sorry but it is true!


Lip density begins to decrease from about the age of 30 and about the same time as your top lip elongates, which is why so many of us find they have downward wrinkles even though we smile more than purse our lips! These, and the creases by the side of our mouths and nose can be treated with BotoxDermapen and also Dermal Fillers. Dermal fillers are a clear gel which contain a clinically refined non-animal Hyaluronic acid. This acid is a naturally occurring substance in our body which helps to hydrate and add volume to our skin – this also naturally decreases with age.

So with all the benefits associated with smiling, why would you limit it now you know that you can continue beaming happily AND still have youthful radiant skin? Of course you may need a bit of help from us at Somerset Cosmetic Clinic and  as ever you can contact us for a free, no obligation consultation to see what help you may need to keep your face smiling confidently!

Dr Ed

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