Everyone likes to pucker up from time to time, but that pursing motion-along with aging, collagen and elastin loss-can cause those tiny vertical lines to develop across the top of your upper lip. Not only do these lines make you look older, but they also cause your lipstick to bleed beyond your lips. However, you can keep these fine lines at bay or diminish them if they've started to appear. Here's how:
Stop smoking: The continual pursing of your lips, along with the cellular damage smoking causes, will break down the collagen that keeps your lips looking soft and supple.
Moisturize and exfoliate: The sun and other environmental elements will cause your lips to dry out, so be sure to use a lip balm regularly that includes ingredients like honey or hyaluronic acid. You'll also want to slough away dry skin with a gentle lip exfoliator once a week.
Go for nudes: If you like a glossy finish to your lips, choose nude shades that complement your skin tone, since darker tones are more apt to emphasize the lines. Play up your eye makeup, instead.
Resurface the skin: You can target those tiny lines with fractional lasers, dermabrasion or chemical peels in various strengths, depending on how pronounced your lines have become. Pigmentation changes may be an issue for the sensitive skin around your lips after a laser or peel treatment, so be sure to discuss this with your dermatologist.
Fill in lines: Fillers injected into the lips must be done with the utmost care to avoid overly filled or “duck” lips. Be sure to seek out a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who has extensive experience in filling lips so that you can smooth the lines and achieve a natural look for your lips. Your physician may also suggest a small injection of a neurotoxin such as Botox, or Dysport to lessen the muscle movement that can cause the lines to form.