Lips are often left out of the skin care conversation. Yet it's volume loss and lines around the mouth that are some of the earliest signs of aging. A number of key changes occur in lips with age. A number of factors are responsible for those changes. As we age, our collagen thins due to multiple factors including sun damage, free radical damage from environmental pollution and smoking, a diet with excessive sugar, stress, and hormone depletion. The skin on and around our lips is thin, so it's particularly susceptible to damage. At the same time, our facial muscles move often, and the area is prone to sun exposure. Lines can also be worse due to muscular movement in those who smoke and purse when they speak. And most concerning, some women develop pre-cancers on the lip called actinic cheilitis.
If your current lip care routine involves just a swipe of lip balm whenever they're feeling chapped, there's definitely more you could be doing to make your lips look younger, fresher, and plumper. Here you can find a Skin Care Guide for Lips.
Anti-Aging Lip Serums and Balms
These new, souped-up lip balms deliver anti-aging ingredients and hydration right where you need it most. They can contain a derivative of retinol, the powerhouse ingredient known for increasing collagen production and fading dark spots and also collagen itself. Collagen stimulation gives a more natural look than injections.
But perhaps the easiest anti-aging lip hack is just to remember that the skin around your mouth should be treated the same way as your other skin. If you're patting on a nightly serum, apply it there too. If you're smearing on sunscreen, get close to your lip line and use a ChapStick or lipstick with at least an SPF 30. Just as you would treat skin in other areas, the skin around the mouth should be protected every morning with sunscreen and topical antioxidants to prevent damage from daily UV light. In the evening, try repairing treatments with retinol, growth factors, and peptides."
For quick—and free—results, there is some evidence that simply massaging your lips and the area around them can give noticeable results. Massaging your lips can give you a temporary plump from swelling, and will boost circulation and lymphatic drainage, but won't lead to a dramatic difference in lip lines. For longer-term effects, the derm recommends another tactic: You're better off using a vibration device or microneedling roller at home, as there are clinical studies that show benefits with collagen stimulation and skin health."
Lasers and Peels
A quick zap of a laser or an in-office chemical peel can help treat fine lines and pigmentation around the lips that don't seem to go away with topical treatments. The reason the lines develop is because muscles around the mouth constrict folding the overlying skin. In the office, lasers and peels can help improve skin tone and texture, and minimize the appearance of lines. Microneedling with or without radiofrequency, which creates tiny injuries to the skin around the lips and, therefore, stimulates collagen and elastic production. There's less downtime than a laser or peel, and they're not melanin or pigment sensitive. Talk to your dermatologist about the treatments they offer and which one is right for your lips.
With age, the border of the lip, the so-called white roll, loses its definition. It is common for lipstick to bleed from the red part of your lip onto your skin because you lost structure at the border. This is best treated with a filler to restore volume and structure around the mouth. Overtreating the lip border can give you duck lips, but subtle treatments go a long way to define the lip from the skin surrounding the mouth."
Hyaluronic acid injections can make the lips more defined—and, therefore, a little younger looking—without dramatically changing the size. If you're more concerned about lines and wrinkles, a few drops of Botox can also help soften and relax the muscles around your mouth. Microbotox injections are a popular treatment to create a 'glass skin' look around the lips and face. There's a small caveat though: You won't be able to purse your lips as strongly and you may not be able to drink from a straw for a few months. So if you can't quit your daily iced coffees, peels or lasers might be your better wrinkle-fighting option.
Mediluxe Team Recommendation
Natural Collagen Lip Balm: Lip Care & Plumper