Lip Lines: 13 Best Treatments for Lip Wrinkles
Lipstick lines, smoker’s lines, lip lines, lip wrinkles — there are many names for those pesky, vertical wrinkles that appear above and around your pout. Lip wrinkles are fine lines and creases that form around the mouth, typically resulting from natural aging and various other factors.
Whatever you call them, you’ve probably landed on this page because you’d like to minimize them.
So how exactly do you get lip lines, and how do you prevent them from getting worse? Just like crow’s feet or forehead wrinkles, there’s plenty of false information out there about how to magically achieve younger looking skin overnight.
We’re here to debunk those empty promises. Instead, we’re giving you our best advice on lip line prevention and treatment so you can feel comfortable in your skin for decades to come. Keep reading to learn how to get rid of lip wrinkles.
Have a specific question in mind? Use the links below to jump straight to the answer:
- What are Lip Lines?
- Why Do I Have Lines on My Lips?
- How Can I Tell How Severe Lip Lines Are?
- How to Get Rid of Lip Lines
- How Can I Prevent Lip Lines?
- What Is the Best Product to Get Rid of Lip Lines?
- What is the Best Procedure for Wrinkles Around the Mouth?
- How Long Do Lip Wrinkle Treatments Last?
- What If I Can’t Get Rid of My Lip Lines?
- How Do I Conceal Lip Lines With Makeup?
- Take the First Step to More Youthful Skin
What Are Lip Lines?
Lip lines are small vertical wrinkles that form right above your upper lip. Lip lines look different for everyone, but they typically form on both the lip and the skin above the upper lip.
On your lips, lip lines look like fine vertical lines that extend from one side of the mouth to the other. Above your lip, lip lines look like vertical lines that stretch from the top of the lip to the nose. The lines above your upper lip are usually more apparent than the ones on your lips.
Can You Get Lower Lip Lines?
Lower lip lines are just as common as upper lip wrinkles and occur for the same reasons. While lower lip lines are common, various skin care practices can help minimize their appearance.
Is It Normal to Have Lines on Your Lips?
Yes, lip lines are normal. There’s no need to panic once you notice you’ve started to form lip lines.
This type of wrinkle often seems to sneak up on you because it forms slowly over time. So even if you don’t have any right now or they’re incredibly fine, it’s still a good idea to start preventative measures.
Are Lip Wrinkles the Same as Smile Lines?
While lip wrinkles and smile lines are both common signs of aging, they occur in different areas of the face and are associated with distinct facial expressions.
Lip wrinkles are fine lines and creases that form around the lips. They’re often the result of aging, sun exposure, and repetitive facial movements like pursing the lips. Lip wrinkles can extend from the edges of the lip outwards.
On the other hand, smile lines run from the sides of the nose to the corner of the mouth and deepen when a person smiles. Smile lines are associated with smiling and can become more pronounced over time due to a decrease in skin elasticity and collagen.
Both are aspects of facial aging and addressing them may involve different skincare approaches or cosmetic procedures tailored to each specific concern.
Why Do I Have Lines on My Lips
Mouth wrinkles can form due to various reasons, but it’s useful to be aware of these causes so that you can take the proper steps to prevent them from forming. These are some of the most common causes of lines around your mouth:
As you age, the collagen and elastin in your skin begins to break down. These proteins are what keep your skin looking tight and soft when you’re younger—hence the onslaught of wrinkles as you age.
An additional side effect of celebrating another birthday is a decrease in your skin’s natural oils. These oils keep the upper layer of your skin (known as the epidermis) hydrated and gives you that supple glow everyone craves. As these oils start to diminish, failing to maintain a proper hydration routine can worsen lip lines that could have been prevented by a simple moisturizer.
The natural aging process of the body is inevitable, but preventing lip wrinkles is still possible. There are plenty of easy techniques you can use to prevent the formation of lip lines and even reduce ones that have already formed.
Sun damage is also a significant factor in the formation of wrinkles around your mouth. The harsh UV rays from the sun penetrate your skin and damage the DNA of cells which control healthy cell growth. Increased sun exposure corresponds to larger and deeper wrinkles, making it more difficult for you to get rid of them.
It’s true smoking can contribute to premature wrinkles. When oxygen and other nutrients aren’t delivered to your skin, it starts to break down and crack. Smoking is an entirely preventable habit, and it can come with far worse side effects than increasing the chance of wrinkles.
Are Lip Lines the Same As Smoker’s Lips?
Short answer: yes. Long answer: the term “smoker’s lips” comes from the frequent side effect of a long-term smoking habit where deep, vertical wrinkles form around the mouth. The constant pursing of your lips each time you take a puff increases your likelihood of forming prominent lip lines.
Apart from increasing the chances for lip lines, smoking has also been linked to deeper, more prominent wrinkles around the entire face. The nicotine in cigarettes narrows the blood vessels in the outer layer of your skin, which decreases blood flow.
The biggest effect alcohol has on your skin is dehydration. Alcohol dehydrates you, and dehydration takes all the fluid out of your skin, which can contribute to wrinkles around your mouth. Alcohol consumption can also cause inflammation, which can make your skin look red and puffy.
So, if you want to stop your skin from aging, it may be worth trying to cut back on the amount of alcohol you consume.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to cut alcohol completely out of your life to avoid mouth wrinkles. You just need to watch how much and what you drink.
- Drinking from straws: When you drink out of a straw, you purse your lips, which causes the collagen and elasticity in your lips to break down more quickly. This can cause lip lines and wrinkles.
- Repetitive facial movements: Repeating the same facial movements over and over again, like when talking, eating, smiling, or frowning, can also contribute to the presence of lip wrinkles.
- Drinking out of water bottles: Similarly to drinking from a straw, drinking out of a water bottle requires the same movement of your lips, which can lead to lip lines and wrinkles.
How Can I Tell How Severe Lip Lines Are?
Understanding the severity of your lip lines can help you determine the most suitable treatment option. But how can you tell what end of the spectrum they’re on?
First, you’ll want to look at the depth of wrinkles as a key indicator of severity. Minor lip lines may be shallow, while moderate lines are more noticeable, and severe lines are deeper. The depth of wrinkles affects how pronounced they are in appearance. The more prominent and visible the lines, the higher the severity.
The overall elasticity of the skin around the lips is also crucial. Reduced elasticity contributes to the formation of more pronounced lines. Pinching the skin and observing how quickly it returns to its original state can provide insights into elasticity.
Additionally, assessing how much the lines affect the natural contour and definition of the lips is important. More intense cases of lip lines may contribute to a loss of lip volume and definition.
How to Get Rid of Lip Lines
If you already have deep lines around your mouth, there are many cosmetic lip wrinkle treatments that can help reverse the appearance of these pesky creases. Before deciding to pursue a more aggressive treatment for lip lines, be sure to chat with your doctor about the risks of cosmetic surgery.
1. Use a Lip Serum
Applying a serum–like the Pep Up® Collagen Boost Face & Neck Serum, which is a clinically proven solution for wrinkles and fine lines–to your lip lines is the gentlest way to reduce the visual appearance of fine lines. When combined with a normal skincare routine, it can actually be quite effective for women with mild-to-moderate wrinkles.
Because the skin around both your lips and eyes are similar in their delicacy, you’ll often find serums that are used to hydrate and plump both areas of your face.
When searching for the right wrinkle serum, there are a few key ingredients to keep in mind. Hyaluronic acid may sound intimidating, but it’s actually a major player in maintaining hydrated skin. Collagen-building peptides are also used to boost the creation of collagen in aging cells, giving your skin a plumper, more natural look without ever having to go under a needle.
For the best results, use a wrinkle serum right after cleansing your skin at night. That way, the serum has several hours to sink into your skin and work its magic.
The beauty of serums is that they come in such high concentrations that you only need a few drops to apply an effective coating to the upper lip, so it lasts a fairly long time.
It’s also important to select a formula that works best with your skin, no matter how much your friends or internet bloggers talk up a certain product. Is your face typically oily, dry, acne-prone, or all three? Based on your complexion, choose a serum that will work well with your skin’s natural tendencies—you don’t want to fix one problem by creating another.
2. Lights, Peels, & Lasers: The Trifecta
Are lip line serums not doing it for you? The next step up is to try a combination of laser treatments and facial peels that treat the uppermost layer of your skin. This style of treatment is typically painless and doesn’t involve any sharp needles. The downside? There’s often some recovery time, typically a few days, where you might experience redness or irritation.
Laser treatments use concentrated beams of heat to remove dead skin cells and promote the growth of healthy, new cells below. Depending on the depth of your lip lines, you might need to go back for multiple treatments or opt for a more aggressive, one-time procedure.
hemical peels and dermabrasions scrape away the epidermis and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in the newly revealed cells. These are usually good methods for blurring fine face lines and energizing dull skin, but aren’t typically the best option for deep creases
Microneedling has become an increasingly popular treatment because it utilizes the body’s natural healing processes to banish mouth wrinkles.
If you tend to be needle-phobic, it’s not as intimidating as it might sound. This process is relatively painless and uses tiny needles that are only one millimeter long. A dermaroller tool punctures hundreds of microscopic holes in your skin to kick your body into healing mode, spiking the production of collagen in wrinkled skin.
While some of these treatments are possible to perform at home, it’s highly recommended that you go to a professional to get them done. If you have an active acne breakout or experience eczema, these techniques could inflame your symptoms and are probably not the best lip treatment for you.
3. Try Wrinkle Fillers
If you’ve tried every face peel and laser procedure under the sun and still can’t get your lip lines to go away, it may be time to try wrinkle fillers. This treatment uses a needle to inject hyaluronic-acid based dermal fillers to plump up your skin and smooth out those deep wrinkles. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, hyaluronic-acid based dermal fillers are FDA approved.
This technique works especially well for older women because aging cells are incapable of producing the necessary amount of hyaluronic acid to stave off lip lines. There are many different types of wrinkle fillers, so it’s critical to do extensive research and consult an experienced cosmetic surgeon before opting for this treatment. Learn more about the FDA’s stance on wrinkle fillers.
You’ll see immediate results after most fillers. For most patients, lip fillers will last for about six months before they have to return for another treatment. Fillers can be an extremely effective way of reducing lip lines, but they’re also rather pricey and can look unnatural if done incorrectly.
4. Neuromodulator Injections (AKA Botox)
Similar to wrinkle fillers, neuromodulator injections use a needle to reduce the appearance of lip lines. But unlike fillers, these injections (the most common one being Botox), block nerve signals so the treated muscle can no longer contract. If your muscles can’t move, then wrinkles can’t form.
Apart from paralyzing the muscles to smooth out the visual appearance of lip lines, Botox can help plump up your lips to give you a fuller looking pout. Two birds with one stone!
Not only does Botox help get rid of lip lines, but it’s also effective at preventing the development of future lines and deeper wrinkles. Results typically last between three to six months.
5. Get a “Vampire Facial”
Popularized by reality TV star Kim Kardashian, the “vampire facial” is a wrinkle treatment technique that uses your own plasma to stimulate the natural production of collagen in your cells. Sound spooky? While it’s a safe procedure, it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.
This technique starts with a standard blood draw as if you were donating blood to the Red Cross. It’s then filtered to extract the isolated plasma platelets, and slathered onto your face after an extensive microdermabrasion or microneedling session.
Luckily this treatment doesn’t take long to recover from and many patients report its success at reducing the signs of aging. While it may work better for full-facial results, it can certainly be effective on your stubborn lip lines.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of lip lines permanently, you’ll find that the best solution is to commit to ongoing treatment.
How to Get Rid of Lip Lines Quickly
While all of the abovementioned treatment methods can be very effective in reducing the appearance of lip lines, they can also be costly and time consuming. But fortunately, there are some ways to get rid of, or reduce the appearance of lip lines quickly, such as:
- Exfoliate the area: Dry skin can heighten the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth, which is why it’s important to exfoliate the area. Exfoliating the area removes dry skin and helps your lip look plump and wrinkle-free.
- Moisturize regularly: in order to treat lip lines quickly, you’ll want to moisturize the area regularly. Moisturizing your lips and upper lips can help smooth wrinkles and keep your skin plump. Already using a serum to nourish your skin? Learn the difference between a serum vs. moisturizer for skin health.
- Try filler: Getting wrinkles fillers is one of the quickest ways to get rid of lip lines. Certain fillers, such as collagen fillers and hyaluronic acid fillers, yield immediate results.
How Can I Prevent Lip Lines?
Even if you haven’t noticed wrinkles around your mouth, it’s never too early to start the fight against lip lines. By the time you get to your mid-20s, your collagen production declines by a little more than 1% each year.
This slow deterioration of the skin’s elasticity begins to show around age 30—and even if you have amazing skin now, it doesn’t guarantee it won’t become damaged in the future.
The key is to form healthy habits before the lines become deeply embedded in your skin. So instead of diving head-first into costly cosmetic procedures, try these preventative measures first.
1. Prevent Skin Damage from the Sun
Protecting yourself from harmful UV rays is always a good idea, but it’s especially important if you want to prevent lip lines. The skin around your lips is extra sensitive and pliable, meaning it shows signs of improper care more quickly than other parts of your body.
Pro Tip: Try our Lip Shine SPF 35, a nourishing treatment for plump, soft, and smooth lips formulated with peptides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E antioxidants to hydrate, refine texture, and condition, plus all-mineral SPF 35 to protect the delicate skin on lips.
If you typically wear foundation, start with a makeup that includes SPF, and make sure to reapply your sunscreen of choice every two hours throughout the day to keep your skin protected.
If you’re looking for high-quality sunscreen that will keep your skin protected from harmful UV rays and help prevent sun-damage-induced wrinkles and fine lines, check out mineral sunscreens. Colorescience carries various types of sun protection, from Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Brush-On Shield SPF 50 to Total Protection™ No-Show™ Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50, so you can easily find one that fits your lifestyle and daily routine.
Colorescience products are made with mineral sunscreen ingredients, so they sit on top of your skin and create a physical barrier, providing optimal UV protection without exposing you to any of those pesky chemicals.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
A diet that’s scarce of the nutrients you need can have a negative impact on your health, and that includes your skin’s appearance.
Pro tip: Eat lots of foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as berries, leafy greens, nuts, and whole grains. Antioxidants fight off toxins that break down the structure of your cells; the more antioxidants you consume, the easier it will be for your body to resist the formation of wrinkles.
A healthy diet has numerous other benefits for your skin. If you struggle with acne and excessive oil, eating lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is a great way to get your complexion under control. And for all of you out there with a sweet tooth, fear not—dark chocolate and red wine are rich in antioxidants as well!
3. Perform Facial Exercises
Just like your arms, legs, and abs, your facial muscles are affected by how much or how little you use them. Strong muscles will keep the skin taut across your face and prevent lip lines from forming as your body ages.
Pro tip: Trade the time you spend making duck-lips in the mirror for a healthy regimen of facial exercises. Here are two you can try.
- Close your lips and try lifting one corner of your mouth into a half smile, then try it on the other side.
- Hide your teeth with your lips and open your mouth into a big “O” shape. Try to smile as big as you can without showing your teeth.
Repeat these exercises 10 times daily.
Remember, don’t be afraid to feel silly. Facial exercises can feel strange at first, but just like learning a new yoga pose, your body gets used to the movement over time. Preventing lip lines takes commitment, and you’re going to have to put in a little work to maintain that youthful glow.
4. Exfoliate Your Lips
Think of this preventative measure as if you were planting a garden—do you think flowers would grow better in fresh, moist soil or in old, dry soil?
The same logic works for your skin. If you keep your skin vitalized and flourishing, the more likely you’ll regenerate healthy cells that slow the development of lip lines.
Pro tip: Make an easy DIY sugar scrub that not only clears away dead skin, but tastes delicious too! Combine 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon honey in a small bowl. Gently rub the mixture over your lips and the skin above your mouth for a few minutes. Wash with warm water or lick off the scrub to reveal a supple pout.
Using an exfoliator twice a week will make your mouth softer and encourage new cell growth. Make sure that your skin care routine remains consistent—it usually takes two to three months for your face to fully respond to a new technique.
5. Choose the Right Facial Wash
Apart from the sugar scrub, it’s critical that you’re washing your entire face with a gentle cleanser instead of a soap. Why? Strong soaps can be abrasive on the delicate skin around your lips and wipe away the natural oils in your skin that keep you hydrated.
Pro tip: Avoid any facial cleansers that have a strong scent. If it smells like perfume, it’s likely there are unnatural chemicals in the soap that can dry and damage your skin. Pick a cleanser that is unscented or is infused with natural oils like rose or lavender.
6. Avoid Straws
While this might seem like a silly way to prevent lip lines, it follows the same principle that got these pesky wrinkles nicknamed “smoker’s lips.” Like a cigarette, a straw forces you to purse your lips to draw out liquid from your cup. The repeated motion of puckering your lips etches wrinkles in the skin around your mouth.
Pro tip: Pour drinks into a coffee mug that has a lid with a small opening so you can sip the drink without sucking on a straw.
7. Use Natural Home Remedies
While there isn’t much evidence that home remedies truly prevent lip lines from forming, the natural properties found in food items such as cinnamon and pineapple do have beneficial qualities. These ingredients have been used in homeopathic medicine for centuries, and it’s a cheap way to stave off the aging process.
Pro tip: Try patting fresh pineapple juice over your lip lines and let it set for about 15 minutes before wiping off.
Repeat this a few times a week to boost your skin’s production of collagen and fight those fine lines. Alternatively, mix a healthy pinch of cinnamon powder with a natural oil and rub it into your skin. Cinnamon is known to stimulate blood flow, which then brings increased levels of oxygen and nutrients to the treated area.
In addition to cinnamon and pineapple, some other home remedies you can try out include: lemon juice, aloe vera, oils, and oatmeal. These can be found in most household pantries and can potentially help tighten the skin, remove dead skin cells, and improve the overall appearance of mouth wrinkles.
8. Quit Smoking and Drinking
There’s no denying that drinking and smoking have a big impact on your skin. So, if you're looking for a way to stop your skin from aging, you need to stop drinking and smoking.
If you can’t quit smoking and drinking altogether, try to significantly reduce how often you do.
What Is the Best Product to Get Rid of Lip Lines?
Now that you know how to get rid of lip wrinkles, you need products that will assist you In the pursuit of smoother, more youthful lips and skin. Here are our top recommendations, from clinically proven serums to protective mineral sunscreens:
To protect your skin, try mineral sunscreen to prevent sun damage before it happens:
- Lip Shine SPF 35: This treatment is formulated with peptides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E antioxidants, and has SPF 35 to protect while it nourishes and plumps.
- Total Protection™ No-Show™ Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50: This is a powerful, transparent sunscreen that provides effective sun protection without leaving a trace. It’s designed to be discreet while offering SPF 50 coverage.
- Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Face Shield Flex SPF 50: This product takes protection a step further with a tinted formula. It shields your skin from harmful UV rays with SPF 50 and provides a subtle tint, adding a touch of color to enhance your natural beauty.
- Face Shield SPF 50 + Brush Custom Duo: A duo designed for on-the-go sun protection and a flawless finish.
To address wrinkles, try:
- Pep Up® Collagen Boost Face & Neck Serum: Clinically proven to target wrinkles and fine lines, this serum is your go-to solution for smoother, more youthful-looking skin. Its powerful formula boosts collagen, acting as a lip wrinkle treatment that helps reduce their appearance with consistent use.
Reduce Signs of Aging
To reduce the signs of aging and even skin tone and texture, try our Even Up® Hyperpigmentation Regimen:
- Even Up® Clinical Pigment Perfector® SPF 50: Correct uneven pigmentation and protect against future damage.
- Even Up® Multi-Correction Serum: Refine your skin’s texture, reduce the appearance of brown spots, and promote a more radiant complexion with this powerful serum.
- Even Up® Hyperpigmentation Regimen: Get both of the above, plus our Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Brush-On Shield SPF 50 to achieve smoother, softer, more even skin.
Read more about the Even Up® Hyperpigmentation Regimen in The Journey to More Even-Toned & Radiant Skin.
Other essential bundles that can help you get rid of lip lines include:
- Undo Damage + Smooth Skin: Combat the signs of aging and reveal smoother, healthier-looking skin.
- Hyperpigmentation Serum Essentials: Essential products for targeting hyperpigmentation and achieving a more uniform complexion.
What is the Best Procedure for Wrinkles Around the Mouth?
The best lip line treatment ultimately depends on factors unique to your individual circumstances. Consider the severity of your lip lines — whether they’re minor, moderate, or severe. Maintenance is another crucial aspect; many treatment solutions and procedures may require continued use for optimal results.
You should also factor in your overall skin concerns, budget, and the level of invasiveness you're comfortable with. A consultation with a skin care professional can provide personalized guidance. They’ll help you understand your options and find the most suitable lip line treatment for your needs.
How Long Do Lip Wrinkle Treatments Last?
In general, lip wrinkle treatments aren’t permanent, and the longevity of results varies depending on the specific procedure. Non-invasive treatments may require consistent and prolonged use to maintain results.
On the other hand, fillers can last up to a year or longer. However, individual factors, such as metabolism and lifestyle, can influence how long they last.
For procedures like laser therapy, results may last for several years, but multiple sessions may be needed for optimal outcomes.
It’s important to note that these estimates are generalizations, and the actual duration can vary from person to person. An ongoing commitment to treatments will typically be required to sustain smooth, youthful-looking skin.
How Do I Conceal Lip Lines with Makeup?
If you feel like you’re losing the battle against lip lines but are hesitant about cosmetic procedures, there are plenty of great techniques to hide your wrinkles with makeup.
First, start with a good primer and use a finger to tap some above your upper lip to temporarily fill in the lines. Then, apply a light or medium-coverage foundation—heavy liquid foundation can actually increase the look of wrinkles by settling into the crevices.
Many people like airbrush foundation to blur lip lines, but it’s also a much bigger financial investment than typical makeup products.
Perfect your pout by choosing a lip liner that is just one shade darker than your lipstick. This ensures you won’t end up with a dark ring around your lips if your lipstick wears off during the day. Plus, a good liner will prevent your lipstick from melting off and running into the wrinkles around your mouth.
For the finishing touch, add a swipe of highlighting gel or champagne-colored eyeshadow to the divot between your upper lip and nose. This little basin will naturally catch the light and act as a focal point that draws attention away from stubborn lip lines.
What If I Can’t Get Rid of My Lip Lines?
Unfortunately, completely erasing all signs of age is impossible. But if you’re having a difficult time getting rid of stubborn lip lines, remember that wrinkles just tell the story of the wonderful life you’ve lived. All those smiles, laughs, and looks of awe formed your lip lines–try to relish those memories instead of critiquing yourself in the mirror.
After all, aging is a natural–and beautiful–part of life.
However, if you take preventative measures to keep your skin healthy, you’re already on the right track to maintaining youthful skin well into middle age.
Take the First Step to More Youthful Skin
In your quest to minimize those pesky lip lines, it’s crucial to understand that wrinkles of all types are a normal part of the aging process; you can’t completely eliminate them. However, there are ways to minimize and prevent them by taking good care of your skin.
Colorescience offers a variety of skin perfectors and mineral sunscreens to help you minimize lip lines and maintain a glowing complexion that you feel confident about. Shop now to find all the essentials you need to prevent, treat, and conceal lip lines.