Fine lines around the mouth are part of the natural aging process. They are normal and not harmful to your health. However, many people find them displeasing, especially as they become more severe, creating deep folds and wrinkles.
While you can’t completely prevent lip lines from developing, there are ways to minimise their appearance.
Different Types of Wrinkles Around the Mouth?
Cosmetic and aesthetic doctors often refer to mouth wrinkles as perioral wrinkles. This general term describes lines that develop around the lip area.
1 – Smile Lines (Nasolabial Lines)
Nasolabial folds are the lines extending from either side of your nose toward the corners of your mouth. Since they are most prominent when you’re smiling or laughing, nasolabial folds are often called laugh lines or smile lines.
While everyone has nasolabial folds, they tend to become more visible as we age, as skin becomes thinner or sags. These lines are emphasised by the sagging of the muscular tissue of your lower cheeks. These laugh lines are generally more prominent in women, especially as they age.
2 – Marionette Lines
Marionette lines are creases that extend from the corners of your mouth to your chin. The name comes from marionette string puppets, which have pronounced vertical lines in the same place.
3 – Vertical Lip Lines
Commonly referred to as lipstick lines or smokers lines. These fine lines are usually situated in the lower and upper lip areas. They run from the lips to just beneath the nose and around the mouth. They add years to the face and also cause lips to appear thinner, robbing them of their youthful look.
Why Do Deep Lines Around the Mouth Appear?
The appearance of wrinkles around the mouth results from many factors, including bone structure, the amount of fat and collagen (an important protein in skin and connective tissue) in your face and your skin type.
As we age, we produce less collagen. A decrease in collagen production means a decrease in skin elasticity and a loss in facial volume. Our skin starts to droop, fold, crease and develop marionette lines, laugh lines and other mouth wrinkles.
Everyone experiences this aging process to some degree or another. However, certain people develop deeper wrinkles and lines for reasons they have little to no control over, such as genetics.
What Causes Wrinkles & Fine Lines Around The Mouth?
You can’t escape the natural aging process. As you get older, your skin loses collagen at a rate of one percent per year. It’s unavoidable. This is what is known as intrinsic aging.
Extrinsic aging also contributes to dry, aging skin. Factors include sun exposure, smoking, eating an unhealthy diet, consuming alcohol in excess, poor sleep habits, and environmental factors.
Below is a list of some of the causes of wrinkles and fine lines around the mouth.
All facial expressions will eventually lead to fine lines and wrinkles.
When you are younger, the creases that appear on your face when you make expressions are temporary. The elastin in your skin is stronger and bounces back to its original shape.
As we age, however, our skin loses its elasticity, and the fibres weaken over time from the constant bending and moving of your facial muscles.
This, combined with fat loss, results in looser, sagging skin, causing fine lines and wrinkles.
Some people are more likely to develop wrinkles around the mouth simply because of genetics. If your parents or grandparents had smile lines, lip wrinkles and marionette lines, you might also develop them.
Your genetics means you may develop mouth wrinkles despite taking preventative measures. However, despite this genetic predisposition, cosmetic treatment is still possible.
The biggest culprit of vertical lip lines is smoking. They are, after all, referred to as “smokers’ lines.” The repetitive motion of taking a drag from a cigarette, combined with the chemicals in cigarettes, can accelerate the development of fine lines around the lip area. Smoking breaks down collagen and dries out the skin deepening skin wrinkles and leaving your lips with a pinched and puckered appearance.
Sun Exposure & Sun Damage
Sun exposure accelerates the aging process, depleting your skin’s collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Since the lip area often goes unprotected, it is at an even greater risk of UV exposure than the rest of your face. UVA rays, in particular, expose this fragile area to damaging free radicals, which actively break down and weaken healthy skin cells. This speeds up the aging process, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles around the lips.
Sleeping on your face (the side or face down) can cause compression fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re a side or belly sleeper, your skin is likely pressed into a folded or squished position at some point during the night. Over time, this can form significant wrinkles in areas like the nasolabial folds. Long-term creasing of the skin while you sleep causes collagen breakdown, similar to how certain movements in your facial muscles lead to expression wrinkles.
How To Prevent Mouth Wrinkles?
1. Quit smoking as it breaks down collagen.
2. Protect yourself from sun damage. Wear shades and apply sunscreen when you go out.
3. Do not sleep on your side or belly for long periods. Try to sleep on your back or at least
change sides frequently.
4. Use skin care products that boost your collagen production.
5. Hydrate and moisturise your skin daily.
8. Choose a healthy lifestyle and diet.
Cosmetic Treatment Options for Mouth Wrinkles
The field of aesthetic medicine is changing rapidly, and new treatments pop up regularly.
Here at Dr T Aestetics Cosmetic Clinic in Melbourne, we provide the latest TGA-approved treatments for facial rejuvenation.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to aesthetic medicine. However, that is why we offer numerous options to provide you with the natural-looking results and the younger looking skin you desire for wrinkles around the mouth.
1 – Dermal Fillers – Dermal fillers are hyaluronic acid injections that plump up wrinkles and smooth lines on your face
2 – Anti-Wrinkle Injections – You’ve probably heard of anti-wrinkle injectables being used to treat forehead wrinkles or crow’s feet, but what about for lines and wrinkles around the lips?
The technical term, lip flip is a cosmetic procedure in which anti-wrinkle injectables are injected into the upper lip area, the cupid’s bow (the centre of your top lip) and corners of the mouth. This placement stops the muscle movement, which allows the lip to relax and ‘flip’ upwards, creating the appearance of a fuller upper lip.
A lip flip is a more subtle approach than lip filler, enhancing the natural shape of your top lip without adding any additional volume. This treatment is often done simultaneously as a lip enhancement treatment.
3 – Skin Needling For Mouth Wrinkles – This process makes tiny punctures in the skin around the mouth. These punctures stimulate collagen production, which heals the skin and softens the look of wrinkles.
4 – Ultherapy – This is a non-surgical, non-invasive procedure that utilises ultrasound energy. The treatment stimulates natural collagen production in the skin to tone and tighten loose skin. Best of all, your body will continue to produce collagen for 3 to 4 months after the initial Ultherapy treatment.
5 – Laser resurfacing for wrinkles around the mouth – Laser resurfacing treatments remove the damaged outer layers of skin to reveal smoother, healthier skin underneath. It also promotes collagen production under the skin.
What Cosmetic Treatment for Fine Lines Around The Mouth Is Right for Me?
Scanning the headlines can be confusing when choosing the right treatment to improve the fine lines around the mouth. Because there is so much information available, you might find yourself asking:
Where do I even start? What treatments are safe? Which treatments are right for me?
These are all valid questions. The good news is you’ve come to the right place.
The first step is to book a no-obligation consultation with me at Dr T Aesthetics. I begin the process by assessing your main concerns.
I get to know you and discuss your desired outcomes, ultimate experience, and concerns so we get it right the first time. We discuss timelines, expectations, best treatments, and payment plans.
Most importantly, I will explain why they are the best options and go over the results you can expect to feel comfortable and confident you are making the right decision.
To find out which treatment is best for you, begin by booking your comprehensive no-obligation consultation with me today.