Forehead wrinkles and laugh lines get lots of attention but there is another area of the face that shows signs of aging. Your lips. Many people don’t consider the vertical lip lines which appear above the lips as a major issue until they become deeply entrenched.
These lines are also called smokers’ lines because smokers tend to have particularly deep fissures. This is because they constantly purse their lips to inhale and because of the overall effect of smoking on the skin. Although smokers aren’t the only ones who get lip lines, they are likely to develop them at an earlier age. Lip lines usually show up in your forties as a normal part of the aging process and are common in both men and women. They can show up earlier due to excessive sun exposure or constant pursing of the lips.
As we age, the skin loses elasticity and tone and its volume decreases. The area above the lips therefore gets wrinkled and looks sunken. The lips themselves also seem to get thinner with age. Luckily, smokers’ lines can be treated with a combination of behavior changes and medical treatments.
Change your habits
Since lip lines develop because of constantly pursing the lips, changing your expressions can prevent the lines from forming or becoming deeper. You need to avoid puckering your lips. If you usually drink from a straw or soda bottle, you can switch to a glass or a bottle with a wider mouth. Of course, if you’re a smoker, stopping or cutting back would be helpful.
The skin around your mouth is quite sensitive and the sun’s UV rays can cause significant damage. Make sure you use and SPF 30 or 45 sunscreen to help keep your skin protected. You should also apply a moisturizer to help maintain your skin’s water levels and protect against external elements like dirt.
Strong muscles also help to maintain smooth skin so if your muscles are weak, wrinkles and fine lines may begin to appear. Work some facial exercises into your routine to tighten the muscles.
Injections and skin resurfacing
If you need more intensive treatment, have no fear. There are a range of anti-wrinkle injections, skin resurfacing treatments and lip fillers available to reduce the appearance of lip lines. The most common anti-wrinkle injectable is Botox. These solutions are injected directly into the muscle and they stop the nerves from sending messages to it. The muscle therefore does not contact when you make an expression. Instead, it relaxes and the skin above it no longer wrinkles. When used above the lip, those repeated muscle movements which cause lip lines will no longer occur.
Skin rejuvenation or skin resurfacing peels include light-based treatments (like laser) and peels. These also help to restore smoother skin. They require some preparation and after care so you may have to observe some precautions like staying out of the sun. These treatments remove dead skin cells and help to stimulate the turnover of new cells. The skin is rejuvenated at the layer where collagen and elastin are produced and this reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Results are normally excellent but the treatments do take several months to work.
Another way to reduce smokers’ lines is to have injectable fillers placed along the upper lip line. Dermal fillers, as they are called, are solutions which mimic a substance your body makes naturally. Fillers are temporary but they can bring significant improvement to your lips and the skin around them. They help to return the lips to their original shape and volume but you can opt for a slightly more enhanced look if you wish. You should choose a qualified and experienced aesthetic physician to help you choose the right product and shape for your facial features. You don’t want to overdo it and then have your lips looking unnatural. Lip fillers have shown a good success rate over the years.