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If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Wrinkles form when skin loses collagen and elasticity. While this is a normal part of aging, it’s common for people to want to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Here’s what causes wrinkles around the mouth and some tips to get rid of them.
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What causes wrinkles around the mouth?
One of the common places wrinkles develop is the area around the mouth. This is partly because skin on the lips and mouth area is usually thinner than other parts of the face (except around the eyes). This makes it more likely wrinkles will crop up sooner.
Fine lines and wrinkles also appear around the mouth because of how often we make expressions and move muscles in that area. Talking and making facial expressions moves skin around creating folds. When we’re young, skin bounces back to a smooth surface. But as we age, skin loses its elasticity and fine lines start to form. Eventually, those slowly deepen into wrinkles (Pascali, 2018).
Risk factors for wrinkles
Wrinkles are a natural part of aging, and there are factors that you can’t change to prevent them. Examples of these are your genetics, age, and skin type. Other things we may not have as much control over include facial expressions and air pollution.
But there are risk factors for wrinkles you can change or work to prevent including (Wong, 2021):
- Damage from sun exposure
- Poor nutrition
- Air pollution
- Repeated pressure on the face, like sleeping with your face buried in a pillow
How to get rid of wrinkles: 12 wrinkle removing options
Types of mouth wrinkles
The wrinkles that form around the mouth and lips are called perioral wrinkles. Here are the different types that can develop (Vardimon, 2020):
- Smile lines: Also called laugh lines, these wrinkles appear along the sides of your mouth (the nasolabial folds). These lines tend to be more noticeable when you laugh and smile, and may deepen over time.
- Marionette lines: These are wrinkles that run vertically from the sides of your mouth to the chin. The ligaments and muscles around the mouth can weaken with age, which can lead to the cheeks sagging and the wrinkle forming.
- Lipstick lines: These are small vertical lines that appear around the lips. With age, these may develop into deeper lines. Lipstick lines are also called smoker’s lines due to the frequent puckering of lips around a cigarette.
Home remedies for wrinkles around your mouth
Following a good skincare routine can help improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines around your mouth. Keep in mind that home remedies may slow down fine lines, but won’t be able to get rid of them completely.
Some research suggests topical retinoids are the most effective skincare product for slowing down signs of aging. They work by stimulating cell regeneration and protecting collagen production (Zasada, 2019).
This natural substance is found in the fluid of joints and your eyes. Hyaluronic acid is added to skincare products because it helps skin retain moisture and appear plumper. One study showed that hyaluronic acid improved skin hydration, collagen production, face volume, and elastin production (Bukhari, 2018).
The difference between face serum and moisturizer￼
Skincare products with antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E may help protect your skin from oxidative stress and free radical damage. This may prevent skin cell damage and support collagen in your skin (Ganceviciene, 2012).
Cosmetic treatments for mouth wrinkles
To treat deeper wrinkles, you have the option to meet with a dermatologist or esthetician about cosmetic procedures.
Typically, you’ll need multiple treatments to see results. And you’ll likely need follow-up visits to maintain the look of your skin. Here are seven cosmetic treatments that may help your skincare concerns.
1. Chemical peels
During a chemical peel, an acidic solution is used to remove the top layer of skin on your face. This reveals newer, smoother-looking skin underneath, improving its overall appearance (Samargandy, 2022).
2. Microdermabrasion and dermabrasion
These two cosmetic procedures are used to erase wrinkles by removing layers of skin. Both may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth. Microdermabrasion is minimally invasive and focuses on removing the top layer of dead skin cells.
Dermabrasion is a more aggressive technique used to reach deeper layers of skin. Microdermabrasion is typically performed in a medical spa, while dermabrasion is often considered a surgical procedure (Alkhawam, 2009).
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Also called collagen induction therapy, microneedling involves using small needles that prick the skin to stimulate collagen production. Microneedling for skin helps improve its appearance by stimulating healing, cell growth, and collagen production (Zduńska, 2018).
Dermal fillers are used to plump up skin and fill in lines. Fillers temporarily restore the volume skin loses over time by filling in the space under the skin. A few examples of dermal fillers include Juvederm, Aquamid, Sculptra, Perlane, and Bellafill (Sturm, 2011).
If you haven’t heard of Botox before, it’s an injection of a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin that relaxes face muscles and prevents them from moving. This treatment is more often used for other types of facial wrinkles like crow’s feet, but may still help with wrinkles around the mouth (Satriyasa, 2019).
6. Laser resurfacing treatment
The most invasive type of cosmetic procedure for managing wrinkles is a facelift. A cosmetic surgeon may recommend a facelift if you haven’t responded well to other treatments. A facelift is a surgical procedure that tightens up sagging skin and uses fat to sculpt the look of your skin (Kim, 2015).
How to prevent wrinkles around the mouth
You can’t completely prevent wrinkles from forming––it’s just an inevitable part of the natural aging process. Still, there are some habits or lifestyle changes you can make that may help slow down their development.
Premature aging: what is it, symptoms, and how to prevent it
Here are some ways to prevent wrinkles around the mouth and keep skin looking smooth for longer (Wong, 2021):
- Sunscreen and sun protection: Spending less time in the sun during the middle of the day, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunscreen with at least SPF 30 may prevent premature wrinkles.
- Quit smoking: Cigarette smoking increases free radicals and oxidative stress in the body. Avoiding smoking and secondhand smoke can help reduce the risk of mouth wrinkles.
- Eat a balanced diet: Nutrition plays an important role in skin health. Try to eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fatty acids.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
- Limit facial expressions: Not all can be limited because laughing and smiling are beneficial for quality of life. Still, avoiding some expressions (like frowning or pursing your lips) may limit wrinkles around the mouth.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Large swings in weight could lead to sagging skin around your face, neck, and other parts of the body. Maintaining a healthy weight and staying hydrated help with elasticity and keep skin tight.
- Manage stress levels: Practice self-care and do what you can to limit the amount of stress in your life. Stress reduction techniques that can help include meditation, exercise, deep breathing, and therapy.
- Don’t use straws too often: This might sound random, but drinking out of a straw causes you to frequently purse and pucker your lips. The facial movements from repeatedly using straws could increase your chances of wrinkles around the mouth. Plus, unless you’re using sustainable products, straws are pretty bad for the environment.
How to reverse aging: 9 ways to reduce premature skin aging
Mouth wrinkles are a normal part of the aging process. Still, if you’re hoping to reduce their appearance or prevent premature wrinkles, there are steps you can take. Try to live a healthy lifestyle and follow a good skincare routine. Talk with a dermatologist if you have questions about skincare, wrinkles, or cosmetic procedures.
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