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There are many wonderful things about aging, but some people may want to combat the look of lip wrinkles that tend to occur with age and natural collagen loss. Of course, no one's lips are completely smooth (we are all born with natural creasing on our thin lip skin!), but the creases can get more pronounced and numerous over time.
What causes lip wrinkles?
Like neck wrinkles or smile lines, lip wrinkles can crop up as you age and you skin loses plumpness. "Lips get their shape in part from collagen, and as we age, we produce less of it,” explains Gretchen Frieling, M.D., a dermatopathologist in Wellesley, Massachusetts. “UV damage, genetics and lifestyle factors such as smoking can also be culprits.” These can contribute to the formation of wrinkles, including vertical lines and lines above lips on the upper lip area, and for some, creases all around the mouth.
What are the best treatments for lip wrinkles?
There are several methods to help minimize and get rid of lip wrinkles, including home remedies, quick fixes, dermatologist procedures and more:
1. Exfoliate to smooth lip skin.
Exfoliating skin removes the outer layer of dry, dead skin to promote cell turnover, can make lips instantly look and feel smoother and plumper. Buff your lips daily with a clean toothbrush, a damp washcloth or a lip scrub to remove flakes and boost circulation. (You can also make a DIY lip scrub by combining a small amount of coconut or olive oil with sugar.)
2. Apply wrinkle-reducing lip products.
After exfoliating your lips, coat them in a thick layer of a hydrating efficacious lip balm or a serum with anti-aging benefits to lock in moisture plus fill lines and boost fullness with treatment ingredients. “Look for hyaluronic acid, peptides and fatty acids like ceramides,” Dr. Frieling advises. Smooth on the product morning, evening and throughout the day as needed for maximum benefits.
In GH Beauty Lab testing, Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment reduced testers' lip lines after four weeks of use, thanks to the effects of line-smoothing hyaluronic acid and nourishing grapeseed and jojoba oil. Or try an anti-aging cream developed for lips, like GH Beauty Lab test winner VENeffect Anti-Aging Lip Treatment. After four weeks, consumer testers experienced noticeable lip plumping in Lab assessments.
3. Try an immediate lip-plumping fix.
To get fast lip wrinkle-smoothing results, choose a lip plumper made with ingredients that moisturize to even out fine lines and minimize their appearance, like tinted lip balms, lip oils or moisturizing lipsticks. Lip color products that reflect light (think lip glosses or shine finish lipsticks) also help diffuse the look of lip wrinkles. Another makeup artist trick: Apply a dab of highlighter on your Cupid’s bow or on the center of lips over your lip color to catch the light, creating a soft-focus, pillowy effect.
4. Invest in lip filler.
If you have deeper or more numerous lip wrinkles, visit a dermatologist, who can recommend treatment options with both fast-acting and long-lasting effects. One of the most common is injectable lip fillers, which plump lips and smooth lines on and around the mouth. A dermatologist can inject fillers of hyaluronic acid (a substance that occurs naturally in the body), such as Restylane or Juvéderm, to help restore structure and shape as well as fullness, Dr. Frieling says. (The cost: $500 or more, depending on location; results last about six months to one year.)
5. Consider an in-office dermatology treatment.
Resurfacing lasers, which stimulate collagen formation, and injectable neurotoxins like Botox can also help diminish lines around lips.
How to prevent lip wrinkles
Lip lines are a naturally part of the anatomy, so there is no way to stop them from forming entirely. That said, you can help prevent wrinkles around the lips by avoiding smoking and protecting the fragile skin on and around the lips from UV damage. In addition to daily application of a broad spectrum face sunscreen that contains SPF 30 or higher around the lips, avoid sunburned lips and premature signs of aging by applying a SPF 30+ lip balm, especially when outdoors.
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