Lip lines, lipstick lines, smoker’s lines — whatever you want to call them, they’re these little vertical lines that emerge around the lip area with skin damage or age.
If you have a lot of them, that might just mean you’ve puckered up a lot in your life, which seems like a reason to celebrate, TBH! 💋
But for some, these little lines can be an annoyance. If you want yours gone stat, here’s what to do.
Hate your lip lines? 👄 Even though, much like Bruno Mars, we think you’re amazing just the way you are, we won’t be tight-lipped about treatments. Here are some potential ways to minimize their appearance.
The beauty market is pretty much swimming in creams, serums, and topicals of all kinds designed to stimulate collagen production and diminish signs of aging.
Since a lot of these products can be pretty effective, this is a solid place to start — especially since it’s a noninvasive approach. Ingredients like the following may be especially effective at boosting moisture, reducing wrinkles, and improving skin health:
- Retinol helps prevent and may even reverse fine lines and wrinkles.
- Collagen, particularly hydrolyzed collagen, may help reduce fine lines and deep wrinkles around the mouth and eyes.
- Vitamin C helps brighten the skin and diminish signs of aging and UV exposure.
- Vitamin E can help prevent free radicals from damaging your skin and even skin tone.
- Hyaluronic acid can plump up your skin by helping it retain moisture.
- Niacinamide aids in skin barrier function, prevents moisture loss, and reduces the appearance of fine lines.
- Salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant, helping slough off dead skin and revealing healthier, fresher skin underneath.
If all these ingredients are making your head spin, connect with a dermatologist. They can help you create a skin care regimen that’s right for your needs. And psst: There are a *lot* more ingredients out there to consider.
And keep in mind that since wrinkles and fine lines will be way more apparent on dry skin, for some, simply hydrating the skin with an intensive moisturizer can do wonders.
Collagen’s one of the most in-demand supplements out there right now and can be found in smoothies, eats, and even coffee everywhere.
In a 2015 study using skin cell samples, researchers concluded that taking collagen peptide supplements could reduce the appearance of wrinkles and boost skin hydration. After 4 weeks, skin cell samples had more collagen and were healthier.
While more research needs to be done to understand the effectiveness of collagen supplementation, so far, it seems to be pretty safe and promising.
A lot of healthcare pros offer injectable fillers designed to fill in fine lines and wrinkles. And as you surely already know — thanks in part to Kylie Jenner and Instagram feeds everywhere — they can create a fuller looking lip.
Solutions that have hyaluronic acid, a liquid produced naturally by the eyes and joints, are typically injected for lip lines. These include:
- Restylane/Restylane Kysse
Volbella is the latest on the market and is made specifically to target lip lines.
Dermal filler effects typically last between 3 months to 2 years. Keep in mind that they come with a risk of potential side effects like bruising, redness or discoloration, and rashes.
A chemical peel is a skin care treatment that can be performed by a derm or certified aesthetician. Although these days, there are also at-home offerings, too. A chemical peel involves removing the top layer of your skin to reveal a new, less-damaged layer underneath. This can help diminish the signs of fine lines, light scarring, and blemished skin.
There are many diff kinds of peels that vary in strength and intensity. Talk with a derm about which kind could be right for you.
Laser skin resurfacing (LSR) is another technique done by dermatologists that involves removing the skin’s top layers to reveal unblemished, less-wrinkled skin underneath. Lasers also can tighten the skin.
A small 2018 study found that 100 percent of participants who underwent LSR were satisfied with the results. They observed results like better skin clarity, texture, and reduced signs of photoaging.
Dermabrasion is basically a chemical peel, light. It doesn’t use chemicals to remove the skin’s layers, though — dermabrasion removes the skin’s layers manually.
It’s usually a medical procedure done by a derm under sedation and involves a rotating brush to peel off the top layer of skin.
Microdermabrasion, meanwhile, is a gentler procedure that can be performed by aestheticians and involves using a small, handheld device that peels away at the top layer of skin with super fine crystals or a diamond tip. The device basically sucks up the skin’s top layer. It doesn’t offer as intense exfoliation as dermabrasion, but it might lessen the appearance of very mild fine lines.
Microneedling is a pretty new procedure that involves using a roller with tiny needles that puncture the skin over and over. Sound miserable? It’s not nearly as painful as it sounds — the needles are super fine, and at worst, feel like sandpaper scraping your skin.
It may help stimulate collagen production, tighten skin, and diminish the appearance of lines. Some people try it at home with a dermaroller, but it’s prob a safer bet to go to a pro.
If you want to feel like a main character in Twilight, a platelet-rich plasma procedure may be what you need. The Kim K popularized “vampire facial” procedure uses your own blood to stimulate collagen production.
Basically, a medical professional will use your platelets, aka tiny blood cells that aid in healing, and inject them in your face with a microneedling device.
TBH, you might want to have a high pain tolerance for this one, because Kim said she regrets getting this procedure because of the ouch-factor.
Since lip lines are often caused by repetitive motion — whether smooching, sucking through a straw, or smoking — Botox might help reduce them.
Botox relaxes the muscles that lead to the formation of these lines, which can significantly diminish the appearance of existing ones as well as prevent new ones from forming. Since it freezes the muscles, though, it can make the face look a little stiff, inexpressive, or unnatural.
Due to the potential risks involved in Botox, always go to a certified medical expert.
Botox is approved by the FDA to last 3 to 4 months at best before you’ll need to be reinjected.
Lip lines show up both on the lips themselves and on the skin, especially of the upper lip. Hate to break it to you and your MAC Ruby Woo, but It’s pretty common for a thick coat of lipstick to settle into these lines, which can make them more noticeable than usual.
Above the lip, the lines usually stretch up toward the nose tip. These little guys are usually deeper and more evident than the ones on the actual lips. When you purse or pucker your lips, any faint lines you have might look super apparent.
Our bods tend to make less collagen, an essential skin protein, with age. But according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, collagen production dips most swiftly because of excess sun exposure, smoking, alcohol, and lack of exercise and sleep.
Over time, these tightly wound fibers can become damaged and less elastic, resulting in weaker and potentially sagging, wrinkled skin. So your lips, which are often puffy with collagen when you’re younger, can become a little deflated over time. (Boo, hiss. 😠 )
Skin also tends to produce less oil with age, which can lead to chronic dryness. Ever felt like you had to reapply chapstick 24/7 on a cold winter day? The lips tend to be especially prone to dryness, since they’re constantly exposed to the elements.
Ultimately, though, exposure to the sun’s UV rays is the primary cause of premature aging (aka photoaging). A lot of people forget to slather SPF on their lips, though, which is maybe why lip lines are such a common complaint.
Smoking cigs, as you’ve prob already been told 1,000 times, also speeds up the skin’s aging process. Smoking causes the body to produce more free radicals, which takes a toll on your physical health as well as appearance. It’s also possible the muscles involved in taking a drag could contribute to the formation of lip wrinkles.
Preventing lip lines is even easier than treating them. After all, prevention is the best medicine and all that. Here’s what you can try to do:
- Protect yourself from the sun. To help protect your skin, wear sunscreen every time you go out — even when it’s cloudy. Slather the SPF directly on your lips or wear a chapstick with at least SPF 30. And yes, hats that shade your face FTW!
- Wear moisturizer. Keeping your skin healthy and hydrated can go a long way in preventing wrinkle and fine line formation. A well-rounded skin care routine in general will def do wonders for your face, but hydration in particular is key.
- Kick your cig habit. Your body, your choice — so no judgment here. But quitting smoking can go a long way in protecting your overall health and can seriously reduce signs of aging on your face and bod.
If you’re not loving your lip lines, there are pretty effective treatment methods out there to try. Skin care ingredients like retinol, facial treatments like laser resurfacing, and injections like Botox or dermal fillers can help.
Injectables like Botox and Juvederm can cause side effects like bruising and irritation, so always consult with a derm about your goals and expectations before taking the plunge.