As you age, collagen production slows down. In some cases, it can stop altogether depending on a combination of factors such as lifestyle choices and genetics.
Collagen loss or reduced collagen production is one of the leading causes of shallow and deep facial wrinkles, particularly around the mouth and on the lips. In fact, vertical lines around the lips are one of the most prominent signs of aging.
Fortunately, there are a number of customizable at-home and clinical wrinkle treatment options that can actively reduce and even reverse the look of wrinkles around the mouth.
What Causes Vertical Lines around the Lips?
There are a number of factors that can cause vertical lines around the lips to develop. Some of these are harmful and unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, lack of sleep, consuming too much alcohol, and not washing your face or moisturizing at night. Other factors can include genetic predisposition to premature aging and environmental factors such as seasonal dryness.
Your lips and the area around your mouth have the thinnest skin on your face and therefore are more susceptible to early collagen loss as you get older. Similar to your forehead, the area around the mouth also happens to be the most expressive part of the face. After all, you use your mouth to smile and frown. These constant movements of the lower facial muscles can also cause fine lines and wrinkles to become embedded in the lips and the area around the mouth.
Intrinsic or natural aging processes such as loss of elastin and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) also contribute to the development of vertical lines around the lips and mouth area. Respectively, these are proteins and compounds of amino acids that are responsible for skin elasticity and hydration. Depletion of these substances over time causes the skin to dry out and make you look older than you are.
Smoking, poor nutrition, sun damage, stress, genetics, and dehydration are all extrinsic factors that contribute to and accelerate the aging process on the skin of the face, particularly wrinkles on and around the mouth area.
What Are the Different Types of Vertical Lines around the Lips?
Not all vertical lines that develop on or around the lips look exactly the same, nor do they have the same characteristics. A technical or clinical term for mouth wrinkles and wrinkles around the mouth is perioral wrinkles.
These are the different types of wrinkles that can develop on or around the mouth area.
- Lipstick Lines: Lipstick lines are vertical lines that appear directly on the upper and lower lips. They can even extend to the area right above the upper lip. They’re also known as smokers’ lines as smoking is one of the extrinsic causes of these types of wrinkles around the mouth area. The reason they’re called lipstick lines is because lipstick or lip stain can get inside these lines and accentuate them further.
- Smile Lines: Smile lines are also referred to as laugh lines and nasolabial folds around the mouth. They develop along the sides of the mouth and are attached to the bottom of the nostrils. Smile lines are a result of overusing the muscles in the lower half of the face and are the most noticeable when people laugh or smile. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, they can become increasingly deeper if left untreated over time.
- Marionette Lines: Marionette lines are vertical lines that appear along the lower lip and chin area. They develop as a result of severe collagen loss in the area and can make your face look like you’re constantly frowning, which could make you look unapproachable or like you’re always in a bad mood.
How to Naturally Treat Different Types of Wrinkles around the Mouth
There are a few effective and affordable at home wrinkle treatments you can try to reduce the signs of aging around the mouth. It’s never too late to make these wrinkle treatments a regular part of your at-home skincare routine.
It’s important to note that these remedies may not be 100% effective and their efficacy depends on how deeply embedded the wrinkles are on your face and whether you’re willing to make a few key lifestyle changes to take better care of your skin.
Use Essential and Plant Oils
Essential oils like frankincense, lemon, lavender, and sandalwood all have different properties that can help improve the appearance of your skin and reduce the look of wrinkles around the mouth.
Frankincense increases cell turnover, which also stimulates collagen production. Lemon and lavender essential oils both have anti-oxidant properties that can facilitate skin cell restoration and rejuvenation. Sandalwood essential oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness and skin irritation around the area while also healing and filling creases.
For safety reasons and to prevent further skin damage, all of these oils should be diluted with a carrier oil such as vegetable oil before application. To test for allergies, start by applying a small dab of each oil on a tiny patch of skin like the back of your hand. Let the sample sit there for a few minutes to see how your skin reacts to it. Discontinue use immediately if you notice redness, inflammation, or irritation.
Oils derived from plants such as castor oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil can also be used to remedy wrinkles around the mouth. These oils contain essential fatty acids that can naturally improve skin firmness and elasticity.
Certain nighttime moisturizers are fortified with collagen-producing serums and substances that can help increase skin elasticity and firmness while you sleep. Be sure to ask your dermatologist or aesthetician for recommendations that will work for your skincare needs.
Include More Fresh Veggies and Juices in Your Diet
Healthy food is the best source of various vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are integral to keeping your skin healthy and promoting its natural functions like collagen production. But did you know that rubbing certain fruit juices directly onto your skin can also help reduce the look of laugh lines and wrinkles around the mouth?
Dabbing lemon or pineapple juice directly onto your wrinkles can help tighten the skin in these areas. The acid from these fruits tighten up loose, sagging skin around the mouth and chin area while the antioxidants they contain fight free radicals that target and attack healthy skin cells.
Carrot juice also contains a lot of vitamin C and beta carotene. Whether you drink the juice or dab it directly on your skin, these are antioxidants that prevent skin damage and promote collagen production in the body.
Do Facial Exercises
Holding the same facial expressions for long periods of time—yes, even resting expressions—is one of the main reasons wrinkles become deeply embedded in certain parts of the face. Doing daily facial exercises such as rotating your mouth and jaw around or swiftly moving between a wide smile and closed lips can help reverse and even stave off the effects of aging.
Hydration is a key factor in your overall health. It’s important to drink plenty of water every day to facilitate basic organ functionality. Proper hydration also promotes skin elasticity, firmness, and softness, which can reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
Medical Treatment for Vertical Lines Around the Lips
Sometimes, you can do everything right to look after your skin and it still isn’t enough. Here are some of the top medical treatments for reducing or eliminating vertical lines around the lips.
Microneedling is also referred to as collagen induction therapy or skin needling. It’s the process of inflicting miniscule pinpricks to the surface of the skin that forces the skin cells to repair themselves and promotes natural collagen production in the process.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment
PRP involves extracting a tiny blood sample from a meaty part of the body such as the upper thigh or arm. The blood sample is then placed inside a centrifuge where it’s spun around to separate the platelets from the blood. Those platelets are then injected into the affected area to promote cell migration and collagen production, resulting in naturally smooth and youthful looking skin.
Botox (botulinum toxin type A) is a neuromodulator that can be injected directly into the affected area. It effectively relaxes the facial muscles to prevent the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Facial movements in and around the injection site may be restricted for a number of hours as the effects of the treatment take place.
Injectable dermal fillers such as Restylane and Stylage can effectively treat marionette and smile lines. They contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid and poly-L-lactic acid, which are naturally produced by the body anyway but may be depleted as you get older. These ingredients help plump up the targeted areas and fill in fine lines and wrinkles for a smooth result.
Dermal fillers are a temporary solution and need to be reapplied every couple of months or as recommended by your skincare specialist.
For more information on professional skincare and wrinkle treatments, contact the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic for an appointment. We specialize in treating a variety of skin conditions including fine lines, wrinkles, and marionette lines. We can help take years off the look of your face!