Lip wrinkles go by many names. Sometimes referred to as lip lines, lipstick lines, or smoker’s lines, they are those little vertical lines that form on the lips of adults as they age. Unfortunately, they are frustratingly challenging to get rid of but getting rid of them (instead of trying to cover them) can easily take ten years off your appearance!

Lip wrinkles are those that form on both the lips themselves and on the skin above the lip. Those located on the lips appear as a set of fine vertical lines often stretching for one side of the mouth all the way to the other. It is not uncommon for lipstick to settle in these lines, making them appear darker and more profound than they may actually be. Those located above the lip are vertical lines that stretch upwards towards the nose. These are typically deeper and more pronounced than the ones present on the actual lip.

What Causes Lip Wrinkles?

Beginning around age twenty, collagen production in the body starts to slow. As collagen production decreases, the skin becomes thinner and less elastic. The lips, which generally appear puffy and full in youth, also become visible deflated as we age. In addition to reduced collagen, aging skin also produces less oil, leading to chronic dryness. Due to constant exposure to the elements, the lips are particularly prone to dryness.

Another significant cause of lip wrinkles is sun exposure. The skin on your lips is very delicate and, unlike other skin on your face or body, often goes without protection from the sun and other elements.

Lip wrinkles on the upper lip are often the result of smoking. Smoking produces chemicals within the body known to contribute to premature aging. Also, the repetitive motion of “a drag” on a cigarette can contribute to lip wrinkles. Other repetitive facial expressions such as pursing your lips when drinking through a straw may also lead to these wrinkles, also known as dynamic wrinkles.

Dynamic vs. Static Wrinkles

Several different wrinkles form on the face as we age. They are commonly broken into two categories; dynamic wrinkles and static wrinkles. Dynamic wrinkles are those that appear due to repetitive facial muscle use. For example, dynamic wrinkles will appear as a result of smiling, squinting, frowning, or other repetitive facial motions. The other type of wrinkles, static wrinkles, remain while your face is relaxed.

Treating Lip Wrinkles

There are a vast number of treatment options for lip wrinkles. You can do a few things at home to treat the signs of aging on and around your mouth. Creams and serums designed to stimulate the production of collagen are a good place to start. There are also a few products on the market that advertise as “lip plumpers”; however, these are not likely to be significantly beneficial of your lips have thinned and wrinkled over the course of years. Treating lip wrinkles at home is only likely to be minimally effective. To get the results you want and make those stubborn lip wrinkles disappear, you are going to want to seek out professional skincare options such as those provided at Solara Skin & Laser Center in Anchorage, Alaska.  At Solara Skin & Laser Center, we offer skincare options and wrinkle treatments that are not available over the counter but may be the secret weapon in your wrinkle fight.

Derma fillers

Many skincare professionals use injectable fillers to fill in fine lines and wrinkles to provide a fuller-looking lip. A solution containing hyaluronic acid, such as Juvéderm, is injected directly into the lips and surrounding area. These injections (sometimes referred to as lip augmentation) uses fillers to make the lips appear slightly larger. The changes you see are subtle yet effective in minimizing the appearance of lip wrinkles.

Chemical Peel

A chemical peel is a procedure that removes the top layer of the skin, allowing a new, younger-looking layer to take its place. This procedure can help improve the appearance of fine wrinkles, light scarring, and skin blemishes. Chemical peels are particularly well suited for the upper lip. There are different types of peels that vary widely in strength and intensity, so a consultation with your skincare professional at Solara Skin & Laser Center is suggested to help determine the right one for you.


Dermabrasion produces results similar to a light chemical peel. Microdermabrasion is a procedure involving a handheld device that polishes away the top layer of skin using either a stream of crystals or a diamond tip. The device vacuums away the top layer of the skin. You may need a few procedures spread out over a few months to get the results you want with dermabrasion.


Microneedling is a relatively new procedure that is used to help reduce the appearance of fine lines around the mouth. The process involves the use of tiny needles that puncture the skin

repeatedly. It helps to stimulate collagen production, which improves the look of fine lines and wrinkles, creating a more youthful appearance. Microneedling is also used as an effective technique for tightening the skin on the face.

Botox Injections

The lines and wrinkles around the mouth are often caused by repetitive movement. Botox injections are an excellent solution for this type of wrinkle. Injections of Botox in small amounts can significantly reduce the appearance of lip lines and wrinkles by preventing or reducing the movement of the muscles around the mouth.

How Much Do Treatments Cost?

The cost of in-office procedures such as Botox and chemical peels can vary depending on where you live and the type of procedure you are having. Some anti-aging treatments require more frequent treatments than others, which could increase your overall cost to maintain your results. When deciding where to go for treatments, remember that it is essential to look for a licensed, experienced, and well-trained provider. This dramatically reduces the risks of potential side effects associated with improper treatment applications.

Is It Possible to Prevent Lip Wrinkles?

The number one way to reduce your chances of developing lip wrinkles (and many other wrinkles related to sun exposure and aging) is to avoid sun exposure. Wear a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 whenever outside. Also, try incorporating a moisturizer with an SPF into your daily skincare routine. For your lips specifically, there are many lip balms available containing SPF. This is an excellent way to prevent sun damage, add moisture, and protect your lips from the elements, including sun, wind, and cold.

If you are a smoker concerned about developing mouth wrinkles, quitting smoking is your best bet to ward them off. Smoking causes premature signs of aging all over the face, and the lips are no exception. If you are a long-time smoker, that’s ok-It’s not too late. However, the longer you smoke, the more wrinkles you develop, so quitting sooner rather than later is the most beneficial.

If your skin is starting to showing wrinkles-causes around your lips, there are many treatment options available for you. In recent years treatment methods have come a long way, and depending on the treatment you choose, the results can last months or even years. Some of these procedures require several sessions before results can be seen or to maintain lasting results. If you are curious about how the anti-aging treatment offered at Solara Skin & Laser Center may help reduce the visible signs of lip wrinkles, contact us today.