Let’s face it, lip lines are unavoidable signs of aging that appear front and center on your face. You may have religiously avoided the sun or never smoked a day in your life, but perioral lines or vertical lip lines, are often the first signs of aging that can appear as early as your 20s. Chances are you aren’t going to stop talking, eating, puckering your lips or doing any of the everyday mouth movements that accelerate the development of these lines. But, with some simple lifestyle modifications and noninvasive treatment options, you can reduce their appearance for a more youthful and rejuvenated look.
What Causes Lip Lines
While lip wrinkles can happen to anyone, repeated movement, sun exposure, smoking and genetics may exacerbate the problem. “Lip lines, or perioral rhytids, are caused by a combination of sun exposure and inherent aging factors. Smoking can also accelerate the aging process, both due to oxidative stress and repetitive pursing movements of the lips,” says Studio City, CA, dermatologist Gene Rubinstein, MD. Increased muscle activity through daily speech and facial expression also result in the repetitive folding and creasing of your skin.
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How To Prevent Them
Although the loss of collagen and elastic fibers around your mouth happens normally as you age, there are things you can do to prevent further damage. “Lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation, sun avoidance, regular sunscreen application and avoiding drinking through straws will greatly help in the prevention of perioral lines,” says Houston dermatologist Paul M. Friedman, MD.
How You Can Fix It
At-home treatment options include topical treatments, creams and serums that target the area to increase collagen production and smooth out the area. “Look for products containing growth factors, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid to help prevent the formation of new lines and reverse existing wrinkles,” recommends Dr. Rubinstein.
How a Doctor Can Fix It
When at-home treatments don’t work, noninvasive procedures such as injectable fillers and laser treatments may be your answer to finally eliminate and prevent these troublesome little lines. “There are many excellent, noninvasive treatment options for improving lip lines,” says Dr. Friedman. “Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers such as Restylane Silk or Belotero work best to fill lip lines; low doses of a neurotoxin like Botox will reduce muscle activity around your mouth, preventing new lines from forming; and nonablative fractional resurfacing using a laser like Fraxel DUAL will help stimulate collagen.” As you explore various treatment options, make sure to seek out a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon before undergoing any procedure.