How to get rid of lip wrinkles

How to get rid of lip wrinkles

Lip wrinkles, sometimes referred to as barcode lines or smoker lips, are the small vertical fine lines around the lips that we may get as we get older. The mouth area in general is prone to signs of aging including wrinkles above the lips. Why do we get them? How can we reduce fine lines around the lips? Can we get rid of lip wrinkles naturally? Let’s answer your burning questions.



Why do I suddenly have fine lines around my mouth?


Collagen loss

Fine lines around the lips and lip wrinkles appear for the same reason most wrinkles do: collagen loss[1].

Collagen as well as Elastin are two proteins responsible for skin firmness, tightness and elasticity. They are stored in the your skin’s middle layer, called the Dermis, accounting for about 90% of your skin’s thickness[2]. Collagen provides rigidity and strength to the skin while elastin allows the skin to be flexible and bounce back to its original shape.  In other words, the combination of the two is what keeps our skin from sagging and wrinkles from forming, including around the lips. Between the ages of 20 and 30, however, our natural production of these essential proteins starts declining fast: we lose about 1% of collagen every year. That’s when you could start noticing lip lines.


Everyday life

Besides collagen loss, there are some lifestyle choices that could contribute to the appearance of lip wrinkles such as excessive alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, repetitive movements like “duck face” or sipping drinks through straws, smoking (that’s why they are also called smoker’s lips), genetics, and of course, damage from sun exposure.[3]


Can stress cause lip wrinkles?

Stress too can be a factor causing wrinkles in the mouth area. When we feel stressed, our body’s cortisol levels increase. Cortisol, which is a steroid hormone, is known to break down collagen, which speeds up the aging process.[4]



How to get rid of lip wrinkles

You may be wondering how to reduce fine lines around lips, how to get rid of upper lip wrinkles or whether there are any effective upper lip wrinkles home remedies. We’re here to tell you that although lip wrinkles and fine lines are a natural occurrence that comes with intrinsic aging – the inevitable process that comes from within – there are things you can do to reduce and also prevent fine lines on lips.


What are the best treatments for lip wrinkles?


Hyaluronic acid fillers

Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally produced by our body. It is what helps us attract and retain water, helping your skin stay hydrated, which contributes to firmness and plumpness. Synthetic hyaluronic acid is used in cosmetic products for the same reason[5]. When it comes to lip wrinkles and how to get rid of fine lines around lips, hyaluronic acid fillers can be an effective solution.

If you don’t mind needles, hyaluronic acid dermal fillers can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth area[6], including smoker’s lines and smile lines. As a bonus, they are also effective for achieving fuller lips and redefining borders around the lips. They should of course be performed by experienced professionals.

Results from hyaluronic acid injections in the lip area may be seen immediately after treatment[7] but require repeat treatments when the effects fade. It is important to note that hyaluronic acid fillers may not be appropriate for people with a history of blood-clothes, smokers, diabetes patients, people on immunosuppressive medication, pregnant or nursing women as well as during an active oral When it comes to side effects, such injections may cause temporary redness or purplish tone in the injected sites, swelling of the lips, mild bruising and bleeding around the injection sites and temporary bumps or lumps. Pain or swelling usually goes away within the first or second day after treatment.[8]


Fat transfer injections

There are different surgeries that can also help with getting rid of lip wrinkles and fine lines. These include things like fat transfer injections, where fat from other parts of the body are injected into the lips to plump them[9]. It is a minimally invasive procedure and yields natural-looking results but some side effects can occur including bleeding, fat embolism, fluid buildup or scarring.  It is also important to note that fat injections help with wrinkles on the lips but  may be less effective in reducing wrinkles above the lips[10].


Radio frequency therapy

If needles and surgeries are not your cup of tea and you are looking to get rid of lip wrinkles more naturally, you should consider radio frequency (RF) therapy.  Radio frequency therapy works using energy waves – known as radio waves– to help boost the skin’s natural production of collagen and elastin, two proteins responsible for firming and tightening the skin, and which we lose as we age. When it comes to the lip area, RF can be performed in the clinic by a professional.

If you’re interested in trying Radio frequency therapy at home, the technology is also available in a compact device such as the NEWA RF wrinkle reduction device. While it isn’t for the lip area, NEWA has been clinically proven to reduce signs of aging on the cheeks and jawline.



It is pain-free, requires no down time and is one of the most validated treatments for wrinkles today. In fact, radio frequency’s effect on skin has been well documented over the past 20 years.According to a clinical study submitted to the FDA with individuals who used NEWA over a period of three months (3 times a week for the first 4 weeks and twice a week for the remaining 8 weeks), the NEWA RF results are clear: 100% of participants showed improvement in overall wrinkle appearance. In addition, 84% showed improvement in skin firmness and 75.6% showed an increase in skin collagen content. In fact, NEWA’s RF wrinkle reduction device was also proven to generate 3.8% collagen production in the skin over 12 weeks. That’s almost four years of natural collagen loss. There’s no doubt RF is an effective way to get rid of lip wrinkles at home.The most common side effects of RF therapy is slight redness that fades quickly after treatment.


Lip Creams

There are topical lip products that can help with lip and upper lip wrinkles. The best creams for fine lines around the lips include hyaluronic acid in their ingredient list. It is essential to help retain moisture in the mouth area for more plumpness in the mouth area. There are many different products on the market from creams to lip serums or balms that contain hyaluronic acid. This allows you to choose the right formula for you. If you are looking to reduce the visibility of fine lines around the lips in the short term, perhaps for an event, or date night, using a lip plumping gloss can be a quick fix but will have no long term results and is not a treatment.

Topical products have almost no side effects besides allergic reactions that can potentially occur. They do however require application throughout the day and results are very mild compared to other solutions.



Dermabrasion is a procedure performed in clinic during which a skin professional scrapes off a layer of the skin in order to encourage cell renewal and healing. It can help remove fine lines around the lips. The procedure is performed after the lip area has been numbed, using a high-speed instrument with a diamond wheel or wire brush to scrape away the top layers of skin and reveal the smooth layers underneath[11].

While it is quite effective and deemed safe for smoothing the skin, it is important to note the downtime with this procedure is significant: it takes at least two weeks to heal, your skin will be red and raw and may ooze. With dermabrasion, following the post-procedure care instructions is critical for results to show and the skin to heal properly[12]. You’ll be asked to apply certain products and stay away from the sun among many other rules.



How can you prevent lip wrinkles?


Sun protection

You know this already but the sun is the skin’s number one enemy and has a big part in the appearance of wrinkles on our skin, including on the lips and upper lip area. Sunscreen with a high SPF should already be a part of your skincare routine, but make sure you don’t neglect your lips: they burn quite easily and we tend to forget to apply sunscreen on them. Besides your regular sunscreen, you can also purchase a lip-specific SPF in a lip balm formula and apply throughout the day, going over the edge of the lips as well. This is a small thing you can do to prevent smoker’s lines and other lip wrinkles.


Limit caffeine and alcohol

We all love our morning coffee, and perhaps one a day does no harm. But if you are a coffee fanatic, you may want to look into limiting your consumption: caffeine tends to reduce the hydration levels in the skin, and when hydration levels go down, wrinkles and fine lines are more likely to appear[13]. Alcohol too has the same effect if it is excessively consumed, that’s why we can get hangover headaches after a wild drinking night[14]. This affects our skin as well.


Get RF treatments

As mentioned above, radiofrequency therapy, which uses energy waves to stimulate collagen production in the skin, is a great treatment for wrinkles around the lips. These are performed in clinic by a professional with a lip-adapted attachment. New collagen formation starts 4 to 6 weeks after each treatment. This means that after a month, you’re going to just start seeing the effects of the very first cycle you did. That’s why RF treatments for the lips can be a great prevention tool for fine lines and wrinkles around your mouth.



More FAQs


Can ‘smokers lips’ go away on its own?

The answer is no. Lip wrinkles and fine lines don’t just go away naturally. Following prevention and treatment steps detailed above will help get rid of them or at least reduce them.


How do you get rid of fine lines around your mouth naturally?

The most ‘natural’ way to treat these lines is Radio frequency therapy since it helps stimulate your skin’s natural production of collagen. In other words, it just gives your skin a boost so it can plump and firm itself!


At what age should I start prevention for lip wrinkles?

It’s never too early! But natural collagen production starts to slow down between 20 and 30 years old, so that would be a good time to take prevention steps.




Lip wrinkles and fine lines can appear as our skin’s natural production of Collagen and Elastin declines with age. This may happen as early as in your twenties. While “smoker’s lips” and “barcode lines” won’t just go away on their own, there are things you can do to get rid of them including injections, creams and at home radiofrequency therapy. Even if you aren’t experiencing lip wrinkles yet, there are little things you can do to prevent them!



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