How to Prevent, Minimize, and Treat Wrinkles Around Your Mouth
Lots of people worry about their appearance—even more so as they age. While some people start to see signs of aging earlier than others, everyone eventually has some degree of wrinkles around their mouths, eyes, and eyebrows.
Wrinkles around the mouth sometimes referred to as smile or laugh lines are nothing to be ashamed of. They are evidence of a life filled with smiles and laughter. However, age, genetics, smoking habits, and sun exposure all play their part in how soon you’ll start to see lines around your mouth, known as perioral wrinkles.
Unfortunately, women are more likely to show wrinkles. Once you start to see fine lines and wrinkles, the only solution is working to minimize their appearance before they can get worse.
With the help of a good dermatologist, the right products, and, in some cases, cosmetic surgery, you can work towards preventing, minimizing, and treating wrinkles around your mouth.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein found in your skin, hair, and nails. If you follow any influencers on social media, chances are you’ve noticed at least once of them touting a collagen smoothie. Collagen promotes a youthful, firm, and glowing complexion.
As we age, collagen production slows to a near halt. By age 40, your body is making less than half the collagen it did 20 years ago.
The best course of action is prevention
Dermatologists might recommend using a retinoid, serums, deep moisturizers, and other collagen enhancing creamsto prevent wrinkles. Retinoids improve cell turn over—something else slows down as we age—and boost collagen, but they can also be very harsh on the skin and increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
Wear sunscreen every day regardless of the weather
Believe it or not, you are exposed to the sun’s damaging UV rays even in cloudy weather. Sun exposure is one of the primary causes of premature aging. It breaks down your skin’s natural collagen and decreases skin elasticity. Wearing sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every day—no matter how brief your time spent outside—will protect your facial skin from harmful UV rays and limit the breakdown of collagen.
You might be over-expressing
You may have noticed that Kim Kardashian never smiles in her photos. It’s not because she’s a mean person, nor because she has nothing to smile about. Instead, she’s committed to a lifetime of maintaining a relaxed face to avoid fine lines.
The most expressive people are the most likely to develop wrinkles around the mouth. If you take a look in the mirror and practice smiling, laughing, frowning, or squinting, you’ll notice the exact points where your face creases.
If you’ve started to notice lines in these common points, you might be over-expressing. You can take the route of Kim Kardashian, or you can consider some of your other options.
Try facial exercises
If the muscles in your face are well exercised and toned, they’re less likely to show fine lines and wrinkles. Muscle tone can make up for lost collagen. Your dermatologist can suggest the best facial exercises for your problem areas and show you how to perform them.
Your dermatologist may offer in-office procedures
Your dermatologist or local medical spa will likely have a menu full of in-office procedures. These procedures can include the ever-popular Botox and fillers as well as various physical and chemical exfoliation methods.
Chemical peel options range from mild at-home masks to clinical-grade. As the name suggests, clinical-grade chemical peels are only available through professional services. Chemical peels, like in-office procedures, work to remove the upper level of your skin and invigorate your lower levels for a youthful appearance.
For instant, albeit temporary results, micro-needling is a good option. This procedure is exactly what it sounds like. Small needles are used to penetrate your skin’s upper layer to stimulate collagen production and tighten skin. Microinfusions are a similar option that drive microdroplets of fillers and neuromodulators into your skin for an instant smoothing effect.
Dermabrasion and resurfacing lasers work to remove the upper layers of dead skin and minimize the appearance of perioral wrinkles. Unlike micro-needling and microinfusions, dermabrasion and resurfacing layers have a period of recovery before you fully realize your results.
Recovery is not to be understated. If your goal is to leave your appointment looking better than when you went in, micro-needling and microinfusions are likely your best options. If you’re a little more patient and can handle the shock of dry, chapped, and red skin, dermabrasion and resurfacing lasers are a possibility for you.
All of the above methods are temporary fixes for your skin woes. Each of these quick fixes will require regular visits to maintain a wrinkle-free result.
You could consider more invasive procedures from a plastic surgeon
If prevention hasn’t worked to your satisfaction or you don’t want to keep up with regular office visits, a facelift is the most invasive option for coping with wrinkles around the mouth. As such, it also has the longest recovery time and carries the risk of scars.
There are non-surgical facelift options available, but these require regular maintenance to achieve a lasting effect, as well.
You could also consider fat transfer. Like a facelift, you will need to visit a plastic surgeon to find out if this option is right for you. Fat transfer, also known as micro liposuction, is the process of removing unwanted fat from your buttocks, stomach, or legs, placing it in a centrifuge, and having it carefully injected into the wrinkles around your mouth.
Wrinkles around the mouth fall into three categories:
- Nasolabial lines, AKA smile lines – Smile lines run from the corners of your nose to the corners of your mouth.
- Marionette lines, AKA frown lines – These are vertical wrinkles around the corners of your mouth that can give the appearance of a frown. The downturned expression can leave you looking angry, overly serious, or sad, even when you’re not.
- Vertical lip lines, AKA smokers’ lines – These lines are caused by regular lip motions and are largely unavoidable. However, smokers and heavy straw drinkers are likely to see these lines earlier than others due to frequent lip pursing. Regular waxing can also contribute to vertical lip lines.
A regular skin care regimen is key to reducing and preventing lines around your mouth
The skincare market can be overwhelming, to say the least. Plenty of products promise far more than they can possibly deliver. Your dermatologist will likely have a long list of over-the-counter and prescription products for you to try.
If you’d rather go the do-it-yourself route or you’re the type to research products on your own, you’re sure to find a wealth of knowledge and product recommendations on the many internet skincare communities, beauty magazines, and YouTube gurus.
Focus on products with clinically proven results.
When choosing skin care products, it’s a safe bet to go with your dermatologist’s recommendation. They will have a variety of clinically-tested products with proven results. Some dermatologists may even sell their own line of branded skincare products.
When you opt for clinically tested products, you can rest assured that it has been thoughtfully engineered and tested to meet a laundry list of skin concerns. A good anti-aging product works to maintain your skin’s natural collagen production and prevent premature collagen breakdown.
Many products will include active ingredients such as retinol, Vitamin C, Lactic Acid, and Glycolic Acid, among others. These active ingredients work to chemically exfoliate the upper epidermis of your skin, but also increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so it’s doubly important to utilize a daily sunscreen. Regular use of these topical creams can minimize the appearance of existing wrinkles around the mouth while preventing new ones from forming.
Chemical exfoliation firms, lifts, and tightens sagging skin to achieve a contoured and sculpted look. It’s never too early to incorporate an active ingredient into your skincare regimen. Many are also a powerful remedy for old acne scars, skin texture issues, and stretch marks.
How do I discover the right products for me?
A cursory browse of Sephora, the internet, or your local drug store will likely leave you overwhelmed with the plethora of options—and they certainly don’t come cheap. Rather than tirelessly trying every available option, it’s important to search for clinically proven products with good reviews.
Your dermatologist or esthetician is always going to be your best resource for finding recommendations best suited to your skin’s unique needs.
Products don’t have to cost a fortune
As you browse the skincare market, you’re sure to see a wide range of prices. You don’t have to pay a fortune to get the results you want. While not all products are created equally, the most expensive products are not always the most effective. As far as cost-effective anti-aging wrinkle products, we recommend checking out XYZ Smart Collagen.