How to Get Rid of Nasolabial Folds Without Fillers – Useful Options

Medically Reviewed
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aurora Kalmanson on
Written by Fillers Editorial Team, plastic surgery specialists.

Nasolabial folds, the prominent lines extending from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth, become more pronounced with age or due to lifestyle factors. While fillers are a common solution, a growing interest in non-invasive options has surfaced.

Techniques ranging from targeted facial exercises to conscientious skincare can minimize the appearance of these lines. This article delves into the natural and non-surgical methods to reduce nasolabial folds, offering routines and tips for those seeking alternative ways to achieve smoother, more youthful skin.

Natural and Non-Invasive Treatments for Nasolabial Folds

Even without opting for fillers, one can still achieve noticeable improvements in the appearance of nasolabial folds. A combination of disciplined facial exercises, revised skincare routines, and lifestyle adjustments can make a substantial difference.

Facial Exercises

Cheek Lifter Exercise: This exercise aims to target and strengthen the midface muscles, offering a natural lift to the cheeks and reducing the depth of nasolabial folds. Begin by opening your mouth to form an ‘O’ and fold your upper lip over your teeth. Then, smile to engage your cheek muscles, place your fingers lightly on the upper part of your cheeks, and release. Repeat by lifting the cheeks up and down for about ten cycles. It’s recommended to perform this exercise daily for the best results. With continued practice, you can expect to see a gradual firming of the cheeks and a softening of the folds.

Happy Cheeks Sculpting Exercise: Designed to target the muscles that contour your cheeks, the ‘Happy Cheeks Sculpting’ can contribute to a more defined cheek structure and reduce the nasolabial fold. Start by smiling without exposing your teeth and purse your lips. Use your fingers to gently lift the corners of your mouth and hold the position for around 20 seconds. By replicating this routine regularly, you can work toward sculpting your cheek area and possibly decreasing the prominence of laugh lines.

Lip Corner Lift Exercise: The ‘Lip Corner Lift’ directly addresses the muscles around the mouth, which can have an impact on the visibility of nasolabial folds. For this exercise, keep your mouth slightly open and use your index fingers to draw the corners of your mouth towards the ceiling. You’ll want to hold this for a couple of seconds before releasing. Aiming for a series of 25 to 50 repetitions each session can help in improving muscle tone and lift the corners of your mouth. This consistent movement can assist in diminishing the shadowed appearance that nasolabial folds can cast.

Topical Treatments

Vitamin C Serum: Vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant that defends against environmental damage while promoting collagen regeneration. Applying a high-quality Vitamin C serum daily can significantly bolster skin’s firmness and elasticity, thus mitigating the depth of nasolabial folds. It’s essential to select a serum with a stable form of Vitamin C and to store it away from direct sunlight to retain its effectiveness. Over time, consistent use of Vitamin C serum can brighten the complexion, even out skin tone, and contribute to a reduction of fine lines by boosting the skin’s natural healing process.

Retinoids and Retinol Creams: Retinoids, deriving from Vitamin A, are considered gold-standard ingredients in skincare for their profound ability to accelerate cell turnover and stimulate collagen production. Retinol creams, a milder form of retinoids available over-the-counter, can significantly reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds over time. It is advisable to incorporate retinol progressively into a nightly routine, allowing the skin to build tolerance. Due to increased sensitivity to sunlight, it’s critical to use a high-SPF sunscreen during the day while using retinol products to protect the skin from UV damage.

Peptide-Rich Creams and Serums: Peptides are short chains of amino acids that serve as building blocks for proteins such as collagen and elastin. Topical application of peptide-rich creams and serums can signal the skin to repair itself, resulting in a firmer, more supple complexion. The continuous application can deliver improvements in skin texture and a diminishment in the appearance of nasolabial folds. These products should be used as part of a comprehensive skincare routine for optimal results in treating and preventing deeper facial lines.

Lifestyle Changes

Sun Protection and SPF: One of the crucial steps in fighting nasolabial folds is protecting the skin from UV rays. Prolonged sun exposure degrades collagen and accelerates the aging process. Implementing a broad-spectrum SPF into the daily regimen is a non-negotiable defense strategy. While sunscreen guards the skin against harmful rays, wearing protective clothing and seeking shade during peak sunlight hours can further stave off premature aging of the skin, thus preserving its youthful integrity for the long haul.

Hydration and Moisturization: Maintaining a high level of skin hydration and appropriate moisturization is crucial for reducing the appearance of nasolabial folds. Well-hydrated skin appears plumper, making lines and folds less noticeable. Using a nourishing moisturizer that suits your skin type can help lock in moisture and maintain the skin’s natural barrier. Internal hydration is equally important; thus, drinking enough amount of water daily is recommended to keep the skin dewy and resilient from the inside out. Products with hyaluronic acid can also augment the skin’s hydration levels, providing both immediate and lasting smoothing effects.

Healthy Diet Rich in Antioxidants: A diet abundant in antioxidants can play a significant role in skin health and the appearance of nasolabial folds. Antioxidants combat free radicals, which are unstable molecules that cause oxidative stress leading to premature aging. Consuming fruits and vegetables, rich in vitamins C, E, and A, contributes to collagen synthesis and skin resilience. Foods like berries, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds not only support skin health but also overall wellbeing. Emphasizing a balanced diet with antioxidant powerhouses not only fortifies the skin’s structure but also enhances its natural glow and helps to smooth out folds and fine lines.

Quitting Smoking: Smoking is notorious for accelerating the skin’s aging process, intensifying the formation of nasolabial folds. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, impairing blood flow to the skin, which depletes oxygen and crucial nutrients. Further, the repetitive facial motions made while smoking can deepen these folds. Giving up is beneficial as it stops the progression of skin damage and supports the body’s capacity to repair and regenerate collagen. Quitting smoking can noticeably improve skin tone, texture, and can lead to a significant reduction in the depth of wrinkles and folds over time.

Facial Massage Techniques

Lymphatic Drainage Massage: Lymphatic drainage massage is a technique designed to remove toxins and reduce puffiness by stimulating the lymphatic system. This gentle form of massage can help soothe nasolabial folds by improving circulation, which can in turn enhance the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the skin. Regular sessions can promote the drainage of stagnant fluids and aid in the reduction of swelling around the nasolabial area. For an increased effect, many use tools like jade rollers or gua sha stones to enhance the massage’s benefits, yielding a more contoured and refreshed facial appearance.

Acupressure Points for Nasolabial Folds: Acupressure, an ancient healing technique, involves applying pressure to specific points on the face to improve skin condition. By targeting acupressure points associated with facial aesthetics, one can invigorate circulation, stimulate muscle activity, and promote collagen production. Focusing on areas near the nasolabial folds can potentially reduce the depth and prominence of these lines. Integrating acupressure into a daily skincare routine not only helps in maintaining skin vitality but also adds a calming and relaxing element to one’s self-care practices.

Professional Treatments for Nasolabial Folds (Non-Filler)

While fillers are a go-to solution, a variety of professional, non-filler treatments offer significant improvements in nasolabial fold appearance, providing alternative options for those seeking less invasive methods.


How Microneedling Works: Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, involves using fine needles to create tiny punctures in the top layer of the skin. This controlled skin injury triggers the body’s natural wound healing processes, resulting in cell turnover and increased collagen and elastin production. By promoting the rebuilding of the skin’s structural integrity, microneedling can effectively minimize surface scarring, enhance skin texture, and lead to a smoother facial appearance. The treatment’s efficacy is fortified through its ability to allow deeper penetration of topical treatments, thereby enhancing their overall impact on the skin.

Benefits for Nasolabial Folds: Specifically for nasolabial folds, microneedling can be quite beneficial. The boost in collagen production helps to plump up the skin from within, reducing the shadow effect that creates the appearance of deep folds. Moreover, the improvement in skin elasticity and firmness can lead to a visible softening of these folds, enabling a more youthful complexion. With consistent treatments, clients may notice their nasolabial area becoming more refined and less pronounced, contributing to a rejuvenated facial profile.

Treatment Protocol and Frequency: An effective microneedling treatment plan typically involves a series of sessions, with each session being spaced a few weeks apart. The exact number of treatments and the interval between them vary depending on individual skin types and the desired outcome but generally range from 3 to 6 sessions. Following this initial series, maintenance treatments every 4 to 6 months can help to sustain the results. It’s important to follow a pre- and post-treatment care routine as advised by the professional to facilitate optimal healing and maximize the benefits of the treatment.

Radiofrequency Treatments

Mechanism of Action: Radiofrequency (RF) treatments work by using energy waves to heat the deep layer of your skin known as the dermis. This heat stimulates the production of collagen. The treatment’s goal is to tighten loose skin and improve its contour. RF treatments are often reviewed for their ability to deliver skin tightening without surgery or downtime. Such non-invasive procedures are increasingly popular among individuals looking to address signs of aging such as sagging skin and prominent nasolabial folds effectively.

Effectiveness for Nasolabial Folds: Radiofrequency treatments are proficient in addressing nasolabial folds by tightening the skin and promoting deeper collagen synthesis. This treatment shines in its capability to firm up the skin without direct interaction with the epidermis, translating to minimal downtime. Clients often observe a reduction in the nasolabial fold depth as the skin regains a portion of its youthful elasticity and a smoother appearance emerges over time. The non-invasiveness of RF allows for repeated sessions, which intensifies the skin’s rejuvenating process, contributing to more durable results and progressive diminishment of fold severity.

Treatment Sessions and Results: The regimen for radiofrequency treatments typically includes multiple sessions, commonly spaced one to four weeks apart. The total number of sessions required varies based on individual skin conditions and the extent of the nasolabial folds. Most clients begin to see tangible results after a few sessions, with the skin appearing gradually firmer and more contoured. For enduring results, maintenance treatments every several months can help sustain the skin’s renewed texture and minimize the reappearance of nasolabial folds.

Laser Resurfacing

Types of Lasers Used: Laser resurfacing techniques employ a range of lasers, each suitable for different skin types and concerns. Ablative lasers, like CO2 and Erbium YAG lasers, remove the outer layers of skin and induce collagen remodeling, which can greatly smooth nasolabial folds. Non-ablative lasers, such as pulsed-dye and fractional lasers, heat underlying skin tissue without harming the surface, also promoting collagen production. The choice between ablative and non-ablative approaches depends on the skin’s condition, the desired recovery time, and the individual’s specific rejuvenation goals.

Procedure Overview: Laser resurfacing procedures typically involve directing focused beams of light to remove damaged surface skin cells and stimulate collagen production beneath the skin. The treatment can be precise and is adapted to address specific concerns like nasolabial folds. It requires skillful execution by a trained professional, often performed under local anesthesia or sedation to ensure comfort. Post-procedure, the skin undergoes a rapid healing process, as collagen synthesis continues over the following months, resulting in a smoother and tighter facial appearance.

Recovery and Downtime: Recovery following laser resurfacing varies widely, depending on the laser used and the intensity of the treatment. Ablative laser treatments may require several weeks of healing due to the removal of skin layers, while non-ablative lasers offer a quicker recovery, often a few days to a week of mild redness and swelling. The intensity and length of downtime should be considered when choosing the type of laser resurfacing treatment. Sticking to aftercare instructions is crucial to support the skin’s healing, avoid complications, and optimize the resurfacing results.

Chemical Peels

Superficial and Medium-Depth Peels: Superficial chemical peels, often containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), lightly exfoliate the topmost layer of the skin, enhancing texture and brightness with minimal downtime. Medium-depth peels penetrate further, addressing issues such as pronounced nasolabial folds. These typically use trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and can result in more significant improvements to skin firmness and depth of lines. Both types of peels stimulate collagen production to varying degrees, aiding in the rejuvenation process that blunts the severity of facial creases. A session lasts from 10 to 30 minutes, sometimes requiring a series of treatments for optimum results.

Benefits for Nasolabial Folds: Chemical peels can be particularly advantageous for nasolabial folds, as they encourage the shedding of old skin and accelerate new cell turnover. These effects can soften the creases’ appearance, leading to a smoother smile area. As the new skin emerges, nasolabial folds often appear less deep, contributing to a more youthful look. Chemical peels can also even out pigmentation, enhancing overall skin radiance which can distract from the visibility of facial lines.

Peel Strength and Treatment Frequency: The strength of a chemical peel and the frequency of treatments depend on individual skin concerns and tolerance. Superficial peels can be administered as often as every two to five weeks, while medium peels are typically spaced out every three to six months due to the deeper exfoliation and longer recovery period. The precise treatment plan should be adapted by a skincare professional to match the client’s goals and ensure safety and effectiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to see results from nasolabial fold treatments?

Results can vary, but some individuals may see improvements as soon as after one session, while others may require several treatments over a few months to notice significant changes.

Are non-filler treatments for nasolabial folds permanent?

No, non-filler treatments for nasolabial folds typically offer temporary results; maintenance sessions are usually necessary to sustain improvements.

Can nasolabial folds be prevented?

While prevention to some extent is possible with good skincare habits and a healthy lifestyle, factors such as genetics and natural aging often play a significant role in the development of nasolabial folds.

What is the best non-filler treatment for deep nasolabial folds?

The best treatment can vary depending on individual skin types and conditions, but professional treatments like laser resurfacing or radiofrequency are often effective for deeper nasolabial folds.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with non-filler nasolabial fold treatments?

Risks and side effects can include redness, swelling, and irritation, but are typically mild and temporary. Always consult with a professional beforehand to discuss potential risks.

How much do non-filler nasolabial fold treatments cost?

Costs vary widely based on the type of treatment, the number of sessions needed, and the provider's location and expertise.

Can I treat nasolabial folds at home, or do I need professional treatments?

While home treatments like facial exercises and topical creams can help, professional treatments often provide more significant and faster results.

What age should I start treating nasolabial folds?

Treatment can begin whenever nasolabial folds become a cosmetic concern, but preventive measures are recommended to start in the late 20s to early 30s.


Addressing nasolabial folds effectively involves a complex approach, including symptomatic treatments and preventative measures. With non-filler treatments ranging from professional procedures such as laser resurfacing and microneedling to at-home practices like skincare routines and healthy lifestyle choices, individuals have various options to explore. Outcomes depend on the treatment modality, patient commitment, and genetic predisposition. Consulting with a skincare expert is crucial for adapting an intervention that aligns with personal expectations and achieving sustainable, long-term enhancement of facial aesthetics.

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Hong, G. W., Song, S., Park, S. Y., Lee, S. B., Wan, J., Hu, K. S., & Yi, K. H. (2024). Why Do Nasolabial Folds Appear? Exploring the Anatomical Perspectives and the Role of Thread-Based Interventions.

Dr. Aurora Kalmanson

Always Consult a Medical Specialist

The information provided in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as personalized medical advice. It's crucial to understand that while we are medical professionals, the insights and advice we provide are based on general research and studies. They are not tailored to individual health needs or conditions. Thus, it is essential to consult directly with a healthcare provider who can offer personalized medical advice relevant to your specific situation.