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Can Retin-A Help Marionette Lines?

Aging has various effects on the body, especially the skin which sags and begins to fold and wrinkle. Of all the symptoms aging has on the skin, Marionette Lines are the most dreaded. Unlike crow’s feet and general face wrinkles, marionette lines affect the emotions projected. One can easily assume you are sad or angry. They are lines that run from the sides of the mouth downwards to the chin area giving you a sad dissatisfied impression. As a result, treating marionette lines is one of the challenging practices that dermatologists face.

There are various ways to go about reversing marionette lines ranging from fillers and Botox to face lifts and use of cream. If you do not prefer incisions, the best way to go about it is using topical creams like Retin-A. There are various other options in the market and while finding them should be effortless, it is important to carefully review each offer. This will not only help you find top quality products, but also ensures you are safe. The big question is can Retin-A help marionette lines?

Before answering this, it is important that we break down the causes of marionettes as well how Retin-A works.

What causes marionette lines?

As aforementioned, marionette lines run from the sides of the mouth downwards to the chin. They can be described as grooves or furrows that run from the mouth to the jaw line. Marionette lines are caused when the Depressor Anguli Oris muscle becomes toned causing it to pull down the sides of the mouth.

Others believe that having a skinnier face increases the risk of toning your surface muscles and thus associate it with a higher likelihood of having marionette lines. However, these grooves will show up in due time as they are an inevitable result of aging. You can only delay them for so long, but they eventually show up when you start losing the fat in your face as you grow older.

How does Retin-A work?

Retin-A, also known by its generic name tretinoin topical comes by various brand names including Altinac, Tretin-X, Emollient Topical, Renova, Atralin, Refissa, Retin-A, Avita, Tretinoin and Tretinoin Microsphere among others. It is basically a form of vitamin used to help rejuvenate skin properties through self-renewal.

There are two different brands of Retin-A available in the market; one brand is used to treat acne while the other is provided to reduce wrinkle appearances. When looking for Retin-A for marionette lines, pick the second brand intended for wrinkles and mottled skin. Retin-A acts like collagen by increasing the skins elasticity and preventing it from sagging. It is mostly used in creams offered to reduce appearance of face wrinkles.

Retin-A is applied on the skin as a cream and precaution should be taken to avoid contact with eyes, nose or lips. It should also not be used on wounds and eczema.

Can Retin-A help marionette lines?

Marionette lines are usually difficult to deal with even for beauticians and require a lot of effort for any significant change to be noted. Most creams provided for reducing face wrinkles act on surface muscles and cannot effectively penetrate deep tissue. Retin-A acts by improving the skin’s elasticity and allowing it to renew itself by shedding off the dead cells. It certainly achieves some level of restoration and will reduce any surface wrinkles.

However, Retin-A alone cannot adequately eliminate marionette lines since the condition is caused by Depressor Anguli Oris muscles that lie within the deep folds. Nonetheless, there are various testimonials that show much promise on the use of Retin-A and the science offers some backing to how it works. With improved elasticity, the skin will be able to withstand any pulling from the Depressor Anguli Oris muscles and stop marionette lines from getting defined.

The Process:

Using Retin-A for marionette lines is a simple process that only requires precautions. Like most procedures, it involves cleaning and drying the skin before you start applying the cream. The steps include the following;

  • Cleaning and drying

It is recommendable to let the skin dry for 20-30 minutes before applying Retin-A. Make sure you wash your hands before and after applying. The cream works well on dry skin and prevents irritations.

  • Application

Retin-A should be applied on the skin only and not taken by mouth. Users should follow the doctor’s prescriptions. Do not use Retin-A if you are allergic to tretinoin or if you are pregnant or nursing. Once applied, the cream should be left to dry for at least one hour before you wash it away. Only light layers of Retin-A should be used to avoid piling.

  • Post-application

Remember to wear some sunscreen to avoid sunburns as the cream does have its own burning sensation. Avoid direct sunlight and use the cream only as prescribed by your doctor.

Retin-A may take several weeks to start showing its effects so users are advised to be patient. Unlike surgeries and incisions like Botox and fillers, Retin-A relies on the skin’s natural rejuvenation which does not happen overnight. Some dermatologists recommend a combination of Retin-A (topical cream) and face exercises to tighten face skin. Although this has some benefits, it is advisable to use Retin-A with reasonable expectations as there is no single topical cream that can eliminate all marionette lines. Even the intrusive procedures do not guarantee 100% elimination of marionette lines unless you consider a full plastic surgery.


Retin-A can help the skin renew its properties and tighten a little bit. When applied regularly as prescribed, the cream will continue to improve your skin’s elasticity and reduce appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It can also be used to target marionette lines and fade the groves so they are not quite defined. It also moisturizes the skin making it look fuller and concealing the lines.

However, applying Retin-A requires various precautions as it increases skin sensitivity and is also harsh to the eyes, nose and lips. What’s more, it will not remove all your marionette lines. As a best practice, dermatologists and cosmetologists alike recommend combining Retin-A with other procedures to maximize its benefits. Dermabrasions, fillers and Botox treatments are better alternatives if you are open to incisions and injections. They are more effective, but even these procedures will still leave you with some lines.

Don’t hesitate to post your thoughts below, I’ll be glad to hear them, also if you have any questions please use the contact us page above to send me an email with your questions

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Can Retin-A Help Marionette Lines?


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