The Ultimate Action Plan for Combatting Lip Wrinkles
Starting to notice small, fine lines forming on your lips? Lip wrinkles—also known as lip lines, lipstick lines, or smoker’s lines—are vertical lines and creases that form on the lips. Even though they are quite small, these lines can make you look much older than you truly are. What’s more, they’re not just limited to the skin on the lip, but often appear around the mouth as well.
So, what causes these lip wrinkles to form, and can anything be done about them? To find out, we tapped ethnic skin expert, founder of Kwan Dermatology, and Skincare.com consultant Dr. William Kwan. We have everything you need to know about lip wrinkles, including what causes them and how to reduce their appearance.
What Causes Lip Wrinkles?
According to Dr. Kwan, fine lines on and around your lips can arise from an array of factors. Here are a few of the common causes of lip wrinkles:
Lip Wrinkles Cause #1: Smoking
Smoking can negatively impact your organs, and your skin—being as it’s your body’s largest organ—is no exception. Dr. Kwan notes that wrinkles, especially those scattered along your lips, is one of the most common skin side effects of smoking. Other side effects include dull skin, decreased circulation, and sagging skin.
Lip Wrinkles Cause #2: Sun Damage
If you need another reason to put on broad-spectrum sunscreen every time you leave the house, here’s one: Dr. Kwan notes that sun damage can lead to lip lines. Harmful UV rays can cause premature signs of skin aging to crop up on your skin, including that of your lips. One way to help protect your lips, is to reach for a lip balm or conditioner that’s formulated with sunscreen.
Lip Wrinkles Cause #3: Repeated Movements
This one may be a given, but Dr. Kwan stated that the more you move your mouth, the higher risk of forming lip wrinkles.
Lip Wrinkles Cause #4: Age
One of the biggest causes of lip wrinkles is also unavoidable: natural aging. Our skin can only look young for so long until fine lines and wrinkles start to appear naturally, and your lips are not exempt. “With age, we lose lip volume which contributes to these wrinkles,” Dr. Kwan says.
How to Address Lip Wrinkles
It’s time to do something about those stubborn lip wrinkles. Read on for 9 helpful tips for addressing lip wrinkles.
Tip #1: Hydrate with Hyaluronic Acid
Dr. Kwan recommends keeping your lips and the skin around them hydrated with hyaluronic acid to help keep lip wrinkles at bay. And finding this ingredient in products is pretty simple—just take a stroll down your local drugstore beauty aisle to find a ton of creams and lip products formulated with hyaluronic acid. One of our favorites is the CeraVe Healing Lip Balm, which works to soothe and protect your lips from dryness.
Tip #2: Wear Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen
We can’t stress the importance of sunscreen enough! Make sure you’re using a sunscreen with broad spectrum SPF 15 or more to help keep your skin protected from harmful UV rays, and don’t forget to reapply at least every two hours and take other sun protection measures. For the skin around your lips, reach for La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60. It has an oil-free formula that keeps your skin protected from sun rays while leaving a dry, grease-free finish that won’t clog your pores. For your lip skin, reach for a lip balm or conditioner formulated with sunscreen and apply liberally.
Tip #3: Exfoliate Your Lips
Research shows that exfoliation can actually help brighten the appearance of skin and help in the production of new surface skin cells, giving off a more youthful appearance. Try exfoliating at least twice a week with a gentle lip exfoliator, like the L’Oreal Paris Pure-Sugar Scrubs. The formulas—take your pick of three!—can be used on both facial and lip skin to remove dead cells from skin’s surface and soften skin.
Tip #4: Be Delicate To Your Skin
Your skin can go through a lot of wear and tear, so make sure you’re giving it the TLC it deserves often. When washing your face, make sure you’re not intensely scrubbing or rubbing. Scrub lightly, and don’t forget to use gentle cleansers to avoid stripping your skin of moisture.
Tip #5: Moisturize After Cleansing
Moisturizing is key to softer, younger-looking skin. To give your skin some anti-aging power, reach for a moisturizer that’s formulated for mature skin, like the L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Anti Wrinkle Firming Day Cream. This facial moisturizer is fortified with anti-aging ingredients like Pro-Retinol A and Stimuplex and can help to increase cell turnover, reduce wrinkles, and firm skin. And for some extra sun protection, this cream is also formulated with broad-spectrum SPF 25.
Tip #6: Get Some Rest
Your sleep patterns can actually have a major impact on your skin. Research shows that poor sleep quality can actually lead to signs of premature aging, so make sure you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep per night.
Tip #7: Sleep On Your Back
Not only does the amount of time you sleep affect your skin, but how you sleep is another key aspect in avoiding the creation of fine lines and wrinkles from cropping up prematurely. Sleeping on your side repeatedly can create wrinkles on the side of your face, including the area surrounding your lips. Sleeping on your back can help avoid premature wrinkling, so do your best to adjust your sleeping position.
Tip #8: Use Concealer
We’ll be real with you, results from your skin care routine can take time. If you’re having trouble reducing the look of your lip wrinkles, mask them in a pinch with makeup or concealer. Simply dab some concealer around the area and set it with translucent powder to give your lips a younger appearance.
Tip #9: Seek Professional Options
Not getting the results you’re looking for? Dr. Kwan recommends heading to your skin care provider. He or she can discuss some other options that may interest you.