Marionette Lines: Read All You Need to Know Here

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Marionette lines, just like nasolabial folds, are one of the skin conditions that can affect your appearance. They are not completely unattractive but somehow, they can make you look older than you are. And this is a cause of concern to some people.

Marionette lines or laugh lines, as they are commonly called, are not harmful. Moreover, they are not a sign that something is wrong somewhere.

They are a natural phenomenon that comes with aging. However, regardless of how natural they are, no one certainly wants them there.

Ahead, this article details everything you need to know about marionette lines, their causes, and ways to reduce their appearance.

What Are Marionette Lines?

Marionette lines or melomental folds are creases that form on the sides of the mouth. These lines or wrinkles run from the side of the lower lip to the chin. Marionette lines are named after the marionette string-puppets which have split jaws.

The jaws make it easy for puppeteers to open and close their mouths to give the illusion of talking puppets. These creases are one of the common signs of aging. These lines have varying depths that can make one look unintentionally angry or sad.

As earlier mentioned, these lines are nothing more than wrinkles. If unattended, they may get worse with time.

Why Do You Have Marionette Lines?

Asides from being a natural part of the face, other reasons why you have marionette lines include:


Genetics affect physical characteristics that include marionette lines. If a parent or grandparent has/had these signs of aging, you’re likely to get them too.

In addition, these lines are tied to the genes, preventative measures may not be able to stop the formation of these lines. Even if inherited, the treatment options can help reduce their appearance.

Rapid weight loss

Losing facial volume makes the skin less taut, thin, and saggy. This makes it easy for the creases to develop. This weight loss may be characteristic of aging, an illness, or hormonal imbalance.

Exposure to sunlight

Too frequent exposure to sunlight can lead to collagen loss. Moreover, UV rays damage the skin cells that are supposed to keep your skin plump and smooth. Consequently, your skin loses elasticity, wrinkles begin to form, and then you have marionette lines on your face.


Lifestyle habits like smoking also contribute to the early onset of these creases. The chemicals in cigarettes leave long-lasting damage to the skin. The creases and folds that form due to smoking are always permanent.

Does Everyone Have Marionette Lines?

Everyone gets marionette lines by their 40s. These lines may appear sooner in some people in their 20s or 30s. This is because, around this time, the signs of aging begin to manifest.

Certain factors like genetics, sun exposure, and lifestyle habits like smoking may result in the early onset of these lines. In addition, rapid facial volume loss also leads to the development of laugh lines on the face.

Are Marionette Lines the Same as Nasolabial Folds?

Marionette lines and nasolabial folds are different laugh lines that form on different parts of the face.

Nasolabial folds form on the upper part of the mouth area. The folds run from the sides of your cheeks to the top of your upper lips, making them look separate from each other.

Marionette lines, on the other hand, are wrinkles or lines that run from your lower lip to your chin.

Additionally, while everyone has nasolabial folds even in their youth, marionette lines are always a sign of aging skin. They also form when you lose facial fat excessively.

How to Treat Marionette Lines


Botox works by relaxing the muscles underneath your skin and smoothening out wrinkled areas. It gives long-lasting results but you’ll need to have a Botox injection every 3-4 months for better results.


Microneedling uses microneedles to induce small injuries on your skin. These injuries, in turn, trigger your skin to begin the healing process and collagen production. As a result, it fills up the deep laugh line with collagen.

Chemical peels

Chemical peels use an exfoliating effect to remove layers of dead skin cells to reveal vibrant, youthful skin. Consequently, it helps to remove wrinkled skin, thereby removing the laugh lines as well.

However, the exfoliating effect of peels goes beyond the outer layer of skin to the middle layer. It is a sensitive procedure and should not be carried out without a doctor’s counsel.

Dermal fillers

Dermal fillers are non-invasive procedures. Fillers are injections that contain actives like hyaluronic acid, which plumps the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Additionally, the fillers stimulate collagen production and help to treat mild cases of marionette lines.

Laser resurfacing

Laser resurfacing uses laser lights to increase collagen production thereby replacing old, worn-out, wrinkled cells with new cells. Moreover, the resurfacing process requires little recovery time as the incisions are only on the top layer of your skin.

Can Facial Exercises Remove Marionette Lines?

No, they cannot. Facial exercises are not permanent treatment options for laugh lines like marionette lines. More so, they can only help to reduce the appearance of these lines. These exercises relax tight facial muscles that cause these lines.

These exercises are temporary, quick fixes for mild marionette lines. They take just a few minutes of your daily routine.

Some of these exercises include holding up your mouth in a pout facing the ceiling for some seconds, then pulling out your lower lip to meet the upper lip, and holding still for some seconds.

The results are seen in repeating these exercises a few more times and making a daily routine of them.

Can You Prevent Marionette Lines From Forming?

No method has proven effective for the prevention of marionette lines since they occur naturally. However, there are simple things you can do to reduce their prominence on your face. A change in certain lifestyle habits can help you with these laugh lines.

Quit smoking

Cigarettes contain chemicals that trigger premature aging and damage skin cells. These compounds promote collagen breakdown and make the skin thinner and saggy. Quitting this lifestyle early enough can halt the formation of marionette lines.

Develop a good sleeping posture

Sleeping face down or on your side encourages gravity on your skin. This gravity pull can make your face develop facial wrinkles earlier than normal. Create a habit of sleeping with your face up and avoid putting the lower half of your face on the pillow.

Shield your skin

Always wear sunscreen. Prolonged and too frequent exposure to ultraviolet radiation breaks down collagen and makes the skin lose elasticity. If you’ll be outdoors when ultraviolet radiation is at its peak, wear a hat and broad-spectrum sunscreen.

In addition, use skincare products that contain antioxidants like vitamins A, C & E to protect your skin from the formation of free radicals. Other ingredients like peptides and hyaluronic acid can also help preserve and increase collagen production.


Can you hide marionette lines with makeup?

Yes, you can. The right primer, foundation, and concealer can help mask the appearance of wrinkles and marionette lines by filling the depths and making the wrinkles look smaller. Makeup cannot treat laugh lines, it only hides their appearance momentarily.

Is there any non-surgical treatment for marionette lines?

Dermal fillers, botox, microneedling, chemical peels, hyaluronic acid, and retinol are non-surgical treatment options to help you reduce the appearance of marionette lines. These procedures are mostly non-invasive and require little to no recovery time.

Does smiling help marionette lines?

Smiling cannot get marionette lines to go away. On the contrary, the muscle movement that controls smiling can be the reason why those lines form on the lower part of your face. Facial exercises can help improve the appearance of these lines.

How long do marionette fillers last?

The effect of getting marionette fillers lasts up to eighteen months. Some patients confirm that the fillers lasted up to two years. How long fillers last also depends on how quickly it dissolves in your body.


Marionette lines are one of the natural facial features that appear as people age. These wrinkles around the lower part of the face make aging more pronounced. Apart from aging, other factors like genetics can lead to the appearance of marionette lines on your face.

As harmless as they seem, some people find it difficult to embrace them. The aged and disturbing look they give the face makes these lines a cause of concern to some people.

If you’d rather not have them so pronounced, you can try any of the available treatment options with a doctor’s guide.

Thanks for reading.

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