Lip Lines: Here’s What You Can Do!

Lip lines; those fine creases that seem to draw lipstick off the lips and into tiny crevices. We sometimes refer to them as smoker’s lines or lipstick lines. By any name, these vertical wrinkles around the upper and lower lips are a problem. They may cause you to feel uncomfortable wearing color on your lips. They may distract you from the attractive features your face portrays. Sometimes, lip lines cause people to feel less confident than they’d like. Here, we discuss why lip lines develop, how you might slow their progression, and what we could do to correct the appearance of this cosmetic concern.

What Causes Lip Lines

  • Lip lines are not unlike other wrinkles and creases that we get. They are by and large caused by the natural aging process. With age, the skin has less and less collagen to keep it firm. There is also less elastin in the skin, so it becomes thin and loose. Without sufficient collagen and elastin, the skin on and around the lips is even more susceptible to changes caused by other factors. These include:
  • Lip movements. The mouth is a very moveable area. The lips move when we smile, chew, laugh, sing, speak, and pucker for those sweet kisses. Over time, this area doesn’t recover as well from these movements.
  • Sun damage doesn’t just occur when we get a sunburn. Exposure to the UV rays in sunshine accelerates the breakdown of collagen and elastin.
  • Environmental pollutants cause the body to produce free radicals, atoms that steal energy from cells. Free radicals cause oxidative stress, which often shows up in the skin.
  • Volume loss. The lips can deflate with age. Again, this is because there is insufficient collagen to keep the skin plump.

Can Lip Lines be Prevented?

Because lip lines are related to biological aging, and that is not something we can stop, it may not be possible to prevent these wrinkles. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try! To slow the progression of lip lines, we suggest:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Don’t drink through a straw.
  • Wear lip balm with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
  • Gently exfoliate the lips once a week. This can be done with a lip product or by carefully rubbing the lips with sugar.
  • Hydrate the lips daily with lip creams that contain hyaluronic acid.

Treating Lip Lines

If you’re already seeing lip lines or you’d like to postpone their arrival, contact our office for a consultation. There are several options for promoting healthy tissue rejuvenation in the lips and surrounding skin, including:

  • Preventive Botox injections to minimize the intensity of movement around the mouth.
  • Laser resurfacing treatments to strengthen cellular turnover and collagen production.
  • Microneedling treatments to stimulate increased collagen production.
  • Corrective Botox injections can smooth muscle movements that are causing dynamic wrinkles.
  • Dermal filler injections to restore fullness and erase lines.
  • Fat injections. These work like dermal filler injections but achieve longer-lasting results.

We love helping our patients feel amazing. To schedule a consultation in our Seattle or Renton office or arrange a telemedicine appointment, call 206-859-5777.

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