The vertical lines that form above the lips and around the mouth are a common aesthetic concern, yet this area can be easy to miss when applying products such as sunscreen and anti-aging creams. Here are some of the reasons why lip lines form in the first place and what you can do to help smooth away their appearance and restore a more even and youthful-looking complexion.
What Causes Lip Lines?
Like other types of lines and wrinkles, lip lines can be caused by both genetic and environmental factors. As part of the natural aging process, the amount of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid in the skin begins to decline, leading to the appearance of lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. Additionally, everyday habits such as smoking, drinking through a straw and spending time in the sun without sunscreen can contribute to these signs of aging.
Are Lip Lines Preventable?
You can help to prevent the look and feel of deeply set lip lines by making healthy lifestyle decisions like not smoking and using sunscreen everyday. Smoking and unprotected exposure to UV rays can greatly accelerate the aging process, leading to more defined lip lines, crow’s feet and other lines and wrinkles. In fact, research shows that the sun’s UV rays account for 80 percent of the visible signs of aging (Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology). Even if you are applying a daily sunscreen, be sure that you don’t skip the area above your lips and around your mouth to help minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Thus, avoiding these common environmental stressors can help to prevent the appearance of lip lines, although the effects of the skin’s natural aging process still play a role in their formation. In addition, years of dynamic wrinkles used to make various facial expressions can eventually lead to static, or permanent, wrinkles. These are especially common around the mouth and eyes, where facial movements typically occur.
Anti-Aging Ingredients to Help Smooth the Appearance of Lip Lines
While some causes of lip lines aren’t entirely preventable, there are some notable anti-aging ingredients that can help to significantly reduce their appearance. These include:
- Hyaluronic acid: This is a naturally-occurring substance that helps to bind water to the skin, resulting in the plumped, smooth appearance characteristic of youthful skin. As we age, the amount of hyaluronic acid in our skin declines, which can result in the formation of lip lines, other wrinkles and sagging skin.
Many injectable dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid to help temporarily smooth away the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles for this reason. You can also find topical skincare products such as skinbetter science Intensive Treatment LINES that contain this ingredient. LINES utilizes revolutionary InterFuse® technology to help deliver five types of hyaluronic acid of different molecular weights deeper and faster where the skin needs it most.
- Neuro-calming peptides: These ingredients work similarly to injectable neurotoxins to help relax the appearance of dynamic lines and wrinkles. Skinbetter science products like Intensive Treatment LINES and Daily Treatment Cream FACE contain neuro-calming peptides for an instant smoothing effect.
- Retinoids: These are common anti-aging ingredients used to minimize the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles. The AlphaRet® formula contains an innovative combination of a retinoid and an alpha hydroxy acid for a smoothing effect on the appearance of lines with minimal to no irritation*.
The Bottom Line
Lip lines are somewhat preventable, although the natural effects of aging and repeated facial movements cannot be avoided entirely. Use the most effective blend of anti-aging ingredients in your regular skincare routine to help minimize the appearance of lip lines and other signs of aging for a smoother, more radiant complexion.
*Individual results may vary.