Treat and Prevent Smoker’s Lines with These Best Tips
In this article:
- What Are Smoker’s Lines
- Causes of Smoker’s Lines
- 4 Best Smoker’s Lines Treatments
- Our Top 4 Ways to Prevent Smoker’s Lines
- Our Final Thoughts
Day after day, year after year, our skin slowly loses its ability to retain moisture, fails to produce more collagen and elastin, and becomes more fragile.
As a result, many wrinkles and fine lines start to manifest anywhere on our bodies over time.
Some wrinkles are well-known aging concerns while others are rather unheard of.
Take smoker’s lines, for example, these vertical lines sitting on the upper lip are common among older adults, yet most people have little knowledge of these lip wrinkles.
Despite the namesake, you don’t have to be a smoker to develop smoker’s lines, unfortunately. Also referred to as lipstick lines, lip wrinkles, or upper lip lines, smoker’s lines are definitely a telltale sign of aging skin.
Contrary to smile lines that can form at any stage of life due to premature aging, smoker’s lines are deep skin wrinkles that generally only appear after you’ve reached a very mature age.
What Are Smoker’s Lines?
Lip wrinkles can appear both on the lips and on the skin around the lips.
Smoker’s lines generally refer to the lip lines appearing on the upper lip. Appearance-wise, smoker’s lines are vertical lines stretching from the rim of the lips upwards towards the nose, in an almost radiating manner.
These vertical lip lines usually show up in your forties and they start thin and unnoticeable, but without proper prevention and care, they can deepen dramatically into skin fissures.
Causes of Smoker’s Lines
“Lines around the mouth are formed in much the same way as lines around the eyes or forehead, in that they are mainly caused by muscle movement,” says celebrity dermatologist Dr. Debbie Thomas.
“Each time the muscle in question contracts to form an expression, the skin attached concertinas. This repetitive movement can result in a permanent line that, over time, can become a deeper wrinkle.”
Our skin produces 1% less collagen every year after we hit the 20-year mark.
With less collagen, skin becomes less elastic and lips become flatter with aging. Our lips are also prone to dryness, with aging skin that produces less oil, dehydrated lips at a mature age can easily lead to lip wrinkles and worsen smoker’s lines.
And lastly, smoker’s lines didn’t get their name from nothing. If you are a chimney, the constant motion of puckering your lips to suck on cigarettes can cause dynamic wrinkles, which result in smoker’s lines and other lip wrinkles.
Dr. Thomas also mentioned that some people with more animated facial expressions, protruding mouth movements when they eat and talk, are more prone to smoker’s lines.
4 Best Smoker’s Lines Treatment
Smooth Out Wrinkles with Anti-Aging Ingredients
Non-invasive treatments only work if they are employed regularly.
Even if you are going to seek surgical treatment for smoker’s lines, a daily anti-aging skincare routine can help prevent as well as maintain the surgical result. Make sure you have retinol somewhere in your routine.
This stellar ingredient reduces smoker's lines and lip wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen and stimulating the production of new blood vessels in the skin. It can also even out skin complexion and soften skin texture.
Another antioxidant superstar is vitamin C.
In addition to the health benefits of taking vitamin C supplements, applying topical vitamin C products prompts collagen formation, scavenges free radicals, and boosts cell turnover rate.
Oia’s 10% Vitamin C serum contains both retinol and vitamin C, a powerful combination to rejuvenate your aging skin and smooth out smoker’s lines or other lip wrinkles.
Give Lip Masks and Anti-Wrinkle Patches A Go
Even without skin concerns such as smoker’s lines or lip wrinkles, you can always improve the texture of lips and the skin condition around your mouth with lip masks and anti-wrinkle patches.
Lips are prone to dehydration, take chapped lips as an example. Dehydrated skin is susceptible to wrinkles, and in this case, smoker’s lines.
There are many lip masks on the market claim to hydrate and plump lips with its special ingredients and cooling gel texture.
To reduce the appearance of smoker’s lines and mouth wrinkles, Oia’s Anti-Wrinkle Patches for Eyes & Smile have been proven effective as a smoker’s lines treatment. These silicone pads lock in moisture, increase blood flow, and rejuvenate skin overnight.
Almost all of our long term users have seen major differences after frequent usage.
Consider Surgeries and Injectables
Because smoker’s lines are one of the most stubborn, intrusive skin wrinkles, some skin experts would recommend you to seek surgical options if they are truly a bother.
Thanks to skincare technology advancement, there are numerous ways for you to get rid of smoker’s lines. For moderate lip lines, common injectables can relax the muscle tension and smooth out the lip wrinkles in their early phase. For deeper lip lines, hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers are often used to add volume to the lips.
For people who have an aversion to needles, laser treatments and acid peels can effectively minimize the appearance of smoker’s lines and lip wrinkles. Dr. Thomas recommends milder treatments first rather than a one-off intense treatment.
Though all surgical options might come with side effects, milder treatments are easier to maintain long term.
Practice Facial Yoga
For a more natural, holistic, long-term, and low-cost option to minimize smoker’s lines, facial yoga’s popularity is on the rise. These facial exercises tighten the muscles around your mouth, increase the blood flow under the skin, and relax the tension buildups to achieve a smoother, plumper result. Try the two exercises below daily for an optimal result (courtesy of Beautiful on Raw):
- Wrap the upper lip over the upper teeth and the lower lip over the lower teeth. Place the middle knuckle of your index finger between your lips. Press your lips over the knuckle.Take a deep breath and squeeze the knuckle with both lips. Try to pull the knuckle out, as if you want to break free from the grip. This way you will have to hold your grip tighter. Feel the burn. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- With the forefinger and middle finger of both hands, press on your top lip, two fingers on each side of your mouth, just below your nose. Push up with your fingers. Meanwhile, pull down with your upper lip’s own muscles, covering your upper teeth with your lip. Make sure you feel the burn. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Our Top 4 Ways to Prevent Smoker’s Lines
1. Sunscreen is Your Best Friend
Since sun exposure is our skin’s worst enemy, sunscreen is naturally our best friend.
Practically all signs of skin aging are contributed by the result of UV radiation accumulated since the day we were born. Apply sunscreen daily and reapply when necessary. Don’t skip the application just because you are staying indoor or the sky is cloudy.
UV radiation can penetrate through clouds and windows, and you don’t want to unknowingly worsen those smoker’s lines.
2. Don’t smoke or quit smoking
For those of you who have developed smoker’s lines because of smoking, the solution seems pretty self-explanatory.
Besides the serious health conditions caused by smoking, the heat from smoking dries out skin around the mouth, nicotine constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow, and the chemicals found in cigarettes destroys the skin’s collagen and elastin.
If you are not a smoker, congratulations, you have eliminated one dangerous trigger of smoker’s lines. If you are a heavy smoker, for the sake of your skin health and overall health, quit now!
3. Exfoliate and Moisturize Regularly
One effective way to rejuvenate aging skin is by exfoliating regularly.
Using mild acids can get rid of dead skin cells, deeply cleanses pores, and stimulates cell regeneration. Exfoliating with BHA or AHA a few times a week can bring radiance back to your dull, aging skin.
Because dry lips are such a common skin condition, moisturize your lips heavily as well as the skin around it. Dehydrated skin can lead to lots of issues such as lip lines, lip wrinkles, and smoker’s lines.
4. Pay Attention to the Way Your Mouth Moves
The fact that smoker’s lines and lip wrinkles are also consequences of facial expressions, you might need to watch out the muscle movements that can contribute to those wrinkles.
For example, if you often pucker your lips or protrude your mouth when you eat, lip lines and lip wrinkles will form.
Just like smile lines, we can’t control our facial expressions one hundred percent, but if we are mindful, we might be able to make a difference.
Our Final Thoughts
Smoker’s lines and lip wrinkles are indeed dreading and alarming, but with an extensive prevention plan and effective treatments, they aren’t unbeatable.
From non-invasive anti-wrinkle pads, vitamin C serum to facial exercises and surgeries, you can explore freely but carefully.
However, many dermatologists agree that prevention is the most important step in the battle against smoker’s lines, or any signs of skin aging really. Once those lip wrinkles start to appear, they are likely here to stay.
As long as you follow a healthy lifestyle, eat a balanced diet, stay away from bad habits, moisturize, and wear sunblock daily, your skin will be rewarded. Most importantly, keep a positive mind and do not give up even if the progress is slow and disappointing.
We are all in this together, and we encourage you to keep on trying. We will continue sharing our science-backed, result-driven skin philosophies, and we would like you to contribute your own thoughts and experiences with our ever-growing Oia family.
Oia Skin Team