Marionette Lines: How to Get Rid of Them

As you age, your skin loses its elasticity and plump.


Marionette lines tend to run from the nostril and down towards the corners of your mouth. They can even continue all the way to your chin line and can give the appearance of aging and sagging in the lower half of your face.

We all love to laugh and smile, but the side effects of happiness leave permanent lines, particularly for those who already experience loss of volume of fat, soft tissue, and structural proteins such as collagen and elastin and are prone to wrinkles.

What Causes Marionette Lines?

The common causes of marionette lines are repetitive facial expressions, laughter, and smiling are amongst the worst culprits. As you age, your skin loses its elasticity and plump, healthy volume, which can cause your skin to appear saggy.

Smoking depletes your skin of oxygen which means that your skin slowly suffocates and loses its structural integrity. Hydration also plays an integral part in maintaining healthy skin. It's well documented that not drinking enough water is also a cause of wrinkles, creases, folds, and lines.

How To Get Rid of Marionette Lines

Unfortunately, marionette lines are part of your natural aging process and gravity. Nothing will remove these lines permanently unless you have surgery, but various injections and fillers can help you press pause on the appearance of these wrinkles.


If you want to choose the permanent but most invasive route to combat significant wrinkles, your surgeon will recommend a partial or full rhytidectomy. This facelift will involve your plastic surgeon making incisions to remove and transfer fat and lifted upwards to help tighten and smooth your face. A facelift is classed as major surgery and recommended as a last resort and when other wrinkle treatments no longer work. The procedure is significant and results in lengthy downtime of a couple of weeks.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are injectables that can temporarily reduce or eliminate marionette lines. The marionette lines filler plumps your skin with hyaluronic acid and boosts collagen and elastin production to help smooth wrinkles and fine lines. You'll see the hyaluronic acid dermal filler results immediately. It is recommended that you build the fillers up slowly so that you maintain a natural appearance.

Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing is an effective treatment for marionette lines. The laser skin resurfacing treatment targets the outer layers of your skin while the lasers simultaneously heat the lower layers in the dermis, which promotes collagen production. By increasing the production of collagen, the skin becomes smoother and firmer. The laser treatment does carry the risk of scarring and some hyperpigmentation. The results are long-lasting, but they are not permanent. You may wish to repeat the process every few months or so.

Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is designed to remove the epidermis or outer layer of your skin and parts of the dermis, the middle layer. A chemical solution is applied to the skin in this treatment, making it blister and peel off. The new skin will be smoother, have fewer age spots and wrinkles than before. The generation of new skin cells encourages elastin and collagen. To maintain satisfactory results, you will want to repeat this every month.


Microneedling is a procedure that involves puncturing microscopic holes into the epidermis or the first layer of your skin. This forces your body into 'defense mode,' which starts the healing process at a cellular level where elastin and collagen are produced. Microneedling encourages the skin to naturally produce new skin cells and collagen to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

The 'microtrauma' is tiny puncture wounds made on the skin's surface called the stratum corneum. In response to the microtrauma, your body will quickly start sending healing proteins to the surface of your skin to make new collagen and elastin. You may need to repeat this procedure regularly.


Botulinum toxin type A or Botox injections are top-rated solutions for facial wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. The injection works by relaxing the facial muscles where it has been injected. Your skin will become smoother with a much-reduced appearance in wrinkles. Botox is minimally invasive, but you may experience minor bruising and irritation at the injection site. You will need to maintain the injections every three to four months. Botox is a great preventative measure, so it's best to start early.


Retinoids are synthetic vitamin A derivatives used for wrinkles, acne, and photoaging. You can buy directly over the counter or get stronger versions with a prescription. They may help your marionette lines by getting deep into the epidermis and stimulating collagen. Retinoids should not be applied to your mouth because they can cause sensitivity, but you can apply them to your marionette lines with care.  If you are pregnant, you are not recommended to use retinol products.

Overall Wellness

There are preventative measures that you can take each day to prevent marionette lines. Try and practice a balanced healthy diet by eating lots of anti-inflammatory colorful fruits and vegetables, unprocessed grains, and fish. Try and maintain your weight and if you are on a diet, work with a dietitian to lose the weight slowly and maintain the loss. It's essential to have a twice-daily skincare routine and ensure that your skin is clean and well moisturized. Overexposure to the sun is also known to cause the onset of wrinkles, so make sure that you wear UVA and UVB sunscreen during the day.