You shouldn't let concerns about wrinkles around the mouth prevent you from enjoying the moments of happiness and humor that often result in belly laughs. Yes, we know that smiles and laughter stretch the skin around your upper lip, which causes wrinkles over time, but that doesn't mean you should stop yourself from living your life with unapologetic joy. Still, there are a few dermatologist-approved ways you can help ease those lines and prevent them from deepening if that's the desired result you want.
With that in mind, we reached out to expert dermatologists to get their input on how to prevent and get rid of wrinkles around the mouth, and to learn about the serums and creams they recommend.
Meet the Expert
- Dr. Jennifer Herrmann, MD, FAAD, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon as well as a lecturer with more than 20 peer-reviewed studies and book chapters.
- Nancy Samolitis, MD, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist with specialized training in cosmetic dermatology. She is co-founder of Facile dermatology + boutique.
- Tanuj Nakra, MD, FACS, is a cosmetic facial surgeon. Nakra is the co-founder of Avya Skincare.
Prevention Is Key
Jennifer Herrmann, MD, FAAD, offered us several tips. First, she explains, is preventative care. “Because the lips and surrounding skin are delicate, adopting a skincare regimen with an anti-aging topical product early is key. I prefer serums with growth factors that help target collagen and elastin synthesis to smooth and prevent fine lines. DNAEGF's serum is very light and immediately absorbs into the skin, so it can be used under other moisturizers or sunscreen.”
Never Forget Sunscreen
“Use of daily sunscreen is key,” Nancy Samolitis MD, FAAD, tells MyDomaine. “These wrinkles are primarily caused by changes in the skin, such as the breakdown of collagen and elastic tissue that we know are secondary to chronic sun exposure." Make sure to use a sunscreen that's at least SPF 30 and contains one mineral component, like zinc or titanium. In addition, add in a lip sunscreen to enhance your protection. "I like Colorescience tinted mineral lip gloss for this,” Samolitis says.
Try a Night Cream
Avya Skincare’s Tanuj Nakra, MD, FACS, was able to provide us with advice for reducing those pesky wrinkles around the mouth. “Quality night creams can produce deep dermal hydration that thickens the skin and effectively reduces skin wrinkles. For example, the AVYA Night Cream is designed to maximize overnight hydration. Also, topical vitamin C serums can be effective for mouth wrinkles, as vitamin C has numerous benefits including boosting skin collagen production.”
Consider In-Office Procedures
Herrmann also mentioned the benefits of fillers, saying, “As we age, the proportions of our lip skin change and lips themselves thin. Judicious amounts of soft tissue filler can be injected into the upper lip skin to help give the area more structure.”
Microneedling: To ensure lines are even and smooth, a different procedure could work for you. “For early vertical lines, treatments that use microneedling with radiofrequency heat can help stimulate collagen synthesis and smooth fine lines,” Herrmann says. “Microneedling alone is mildly helpful, but by adding heat delivered at the needle tips, more remodeling occurs, better tightening the skin. These treatments have little downtime, and results are most pronounced after a series of treatments.”
Microinfusions: Our friends at Byrdie have found that microinfusions can be a good solution as well and we asked Samolitis about the details. She explained, “This is a great option for a temporary effect with no downtime. Microinfusions use tiny needles to drive microdroplets of neuromodulators and fillers. This can give an immediate smoothing effect, usually on someone who has very early, minimal wrinkles.”
Chemical peel: The gold standard of treatments for around the mouth wrinkles, according to Samolitis, is the chemical peel. “A type of chemical peel called phenol can tighten even the deepest of lines."
Dermabrasion: Dermabrasion is basically mechanical sanding of the skin with a specialized tool. "Like phenol peels, this procedure is less popular than it used to be due to long recovery time and the possibility of depigmentation. It should only be done in the most experienced hands and is often done at the same time as surgical procedures (like a face-lift), in order to take advantage of having deeper anesthesia, a long recovery, and more dramatic results," Samolitis says.
Resurfacing lasers: Another more aggressive treatment comes from resurfacing lasers. “Lasers treatments can be modified greatly to treat deep for severe sun damage if needed. This procedure will produce results more quickly, but will involve longer recovery time," Samolitis explains. "Skin may be red, crusted, and raw for up to two weeks. It should be performed in conjunction with full face treatments to avoid a demarcation line.”
Fat transfer: Nakra also mentions that certain fat transfer techniques have their own advantages. “Microliposuction from the abdomen is the source of the fat cells that are centrifuged and then carefully and artistically injected into the face. Recent advances in nanofat technology are ideal for the mouth region in that the groups of fat cells are broken to the cellular level, allowing for ultra-fine injections right under the deep mouth wrinkle crevices.”
Products to Help and Prevent Wrinkles Around The Mouth
Hillebrand GG, Liang Z, Yan X, Yoshii T. New Wrinkles on Wrinkling: An 8‐year Longitudinal Study on the Progression of Expression Lines into Persistent Wrinkles. Br J Dermatol. 2010;162:1233-1241. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.09709.x