Want Fewer Wrinkles? Stop Smiling! (Are They Kidding?)


They say laughter is the best medicine, but if you hope to have fewer wrinkles, you may need to plan on having a humorless life.

USA Today had an interesting article recently. The headline surely grabbed some attention:

What would happen if you didn’t smile?

What an odd question. Why would anyone contemplate not smiling.

Well, from various dental commercials I’ve seen over the years, someone might choose to avoid smiling if their teeth aren’t attractive (or aren’t present at all).

But in this case, the answer to the headline explained it well:

Choosing not to smile could prevent wrinkles. No joke.

The article quoted a dermatologist who said someone who chose not to smile would have less of a sign of crow’s feet.

Two years ago, Time explained the bigger sign of a lot of smiling would be “nasolabial folds,” commonly referred to as those big parentheses lines of skin arcing down from the sides of your nose to the corners of your mouth.

But in either case, it isn’t the fault of smiling: it’s that as you age, your skin loses elasticity that would otherwise push skin back into place after a smile or a frown or even talking causes folds in your facial muscles.

When you’re younger, things pull back into place. As you get older, the skin isn’t as able to snap back where it was, causing more permanent creases that we see as wrinkles.

I’m not sure how someone could actually manage never to smile. And I think if someone did, it would be a case of going a ridiculously-long way to make a point.

I tend to agree with Mercola’s take on it in its article on wrinkle prevention:

If you develop deep smile lines in old age, consider yourself lucky. It’s a visible sign that you’ve been blessed with a life full of smiles.

I think it would definitely beat the alternative.

Do you smile often? Do you ever worry about wrinkles from ‘too much’ smiling, or is there even such a thing?

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.