How Facial Muscles Contribute to the Formation of Wrinkles

Facial muscles are found within the skin’s outermost (superficial fascia) and innermost (subcutaneous tissue) layers. They are responsible for opening orifices such as the mouth, nostrils, and eye ducts and making facial expressions. 

Interestingly, as these facial muscles work to fulfill their role, they also contribute to the formation of wrinkles. How? Keep reading.

Photo by Danie Franco on Unsplash
  • Through Repeated Facial Expressions

Who knew making facial expressions slowly contributes to wrinkling? The repetitive contraction of facial muscles can cause wrinkles. You see, facial muscles are directly found on the skin. While this placement offers freedom of movement when making facial expressions, it also contributes to wrinkles.

Facial skin contracts when displaying expressions such as joy, surprise, fear, anger, disgust, sadness, and more. When you repeatedly use these facial expressions, they weaken the facial muscles over time and contribute to fine lines and wrinkles. 

Here is a simple example: consider those fine lines you get on your forehead when you furrow your brow. They result from pulling your skin toward your brow, usually when you feel sad, worried, or confused. At first, they appear as fine lines that clear as the emotion passes. However, with time and constant pulling, the muscles weaken and form wrinkles. 

Overusing certain facial muscles can cause wrinkles because every muscle has an opposing counterpart. For example, when you constantly use your muscles to smile, you rarely use the frowning muscles, thus weakening them. With time, you may notice laugh lines around your eyes and mouth. 

  • Through Gravitational Pull

Gravity affects facial muscles to form wrinkles. How? As you grow old, your muscles gradually become weak and slide downwards. Hooded eyebrows, for example, develop when facial muscles responsible for holding the eyebrows lose tone and sag, covering the eyelid. Or, consider sagging jowls caused by sagging skin in the lower face. 

3 Ways to Strengthen Facial Muscles to Reduce Formation of Wrinkles

No one, regardless of their age, enjoys looking at their wrinkled face. And since typical facial expressions and gravitation pull can cause wrinkles, it would be wise to find ways to manage them. We recommend the following options:

1. Face Exercises

It is crucial that you choose the right facial exercises, as excess muscle activity will only increase wrinkles. Exercises that pull your face inward, like clenching your teeth, are responsible for weakening the muscles that pull your face upward. Therefore, opt for face exercises that strengthen your upward facial expressions, like faking a laugh. This simple facial expression slightly raises the eyebrows and strengthens the muscles located around the ears. 

You can also spend your day in a relaxed position, where your face is free of facial expressions. For starters, you can try mewing, a technique that strengthens facial muscles and improves your face’s symmetry. Even though there is no scientific proof of mewing results, thousands of people around the globe swear it works. 

2. Botox Injection Therapy

Remember how repeated contraction of facial muscles causes wrinkles? Botox blocks the chemical signals that cause the facial muscles to contract. This helps the affected muscles relax, thus reducing wrinkles. Botox injection therapy only takes 10 minutes and lasts an average of 3 to 4 months. 

3. Facelift

A cosmetic facelift also helps tighten weak and loose facial muscles. The procedure involves pulling on the connective tissue and underlying facial muscle. 


Facial muscle contractions contribute to the formation of wrinkles. Conveying emotions using facial expressions slowly causes wrinkling, but you can prevent this through facial exercises that strengthen your outward facial muscles. If exercises are not your thing, you can opt for a quick Botox injection or a facelift.  




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