When talking about anti-age treatments, lips might be the last thing on your mind. Many people focus on facial wrinkles, and sagging skin on the neck, but lips can be the first give-away sign of aging. As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen, which is the key factor of having plumpy pout.

Lips are made of delicate skin with a soft texture, and they should be treated with great care. First, let’s look at some preventive measures you can take to keep your lips smooth and soft.

Prevention

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Cracked, dry lips are not only unappealing, but it can also be a sign that your body is missing something in order to function properly.

  • Dehydration – You already know that your body needs plenty of water, especially in summer months. Being dehydrated can cause some serious health problems since your body is lacking an essential ingredient to function. Falling ill with flu-like symptoms can severely dehydrate your body, but it can also be caused by not consuming enough fluids. This is when the skin on your lips become cracked, dry, and can even bleed.
  • Sun damage – Sun exposure is causing a wide range of skin damage, including lip skin. Prolonged exposure to the UV rays can lead to inflammation of the soft, thin lip skin. Just like you put your sunscreen lotion before going out, you should put some SPF chapstick on your lips too, to protect them from becoming flaky and dry.
  • Smoking – Smoker can be spotted from miles away by his or her deep vertical wrinkles around their upper lips. Besides looking unattractive, smoking reduces blood flow robbing the skin from essential vitamins and minerals, drying it out. It’s also affecting your smile leading to yellow stains on your skin and teeth.

Most common cosmetic problems

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Thinning lips can be inherited problems, or it can form with age. Loss of collagen causes deflation of the lips, resulting in less volume and plumpness. Lip lines, or a smoker’s lines, are thin vertical lines that spread from the upper lip outward. These also come with age, regardless if you’re a smoker or not.

Nasolabial wrinkles are deep lines that run from your nose to the corners of your mouth. These are especially noticeable and can add a lot of years to your face. Marionette lines are spreading from the corners of your lips down to your chin, representing a clear sign of aging skin. Drooping skin can make you look like a sad emoji all the time. The corners of your mouth droop with age causing deep wrinkles giving you that angry look.

1. Lip fillers

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The most natural lip filler is hyaluronic acid which is actually a sugar derivative naturally found in your body. There are two types, temporary and permanent. In general, doctors usually advise patients to try temporary filler, since permanent ones can not be reversed in case you don’t like the look of your lips. With temporary, lips will have a more natural look, but you will need to refill them every six to nine months.

Start with smaller dosages of injections, and then gradually build up the fullness. The fillers that are most commonly used are Restylane, Restylane Silk, and Juvéderm with different variations including Ultra, Ultra Plus, and Volbella. Restylane is often used in older patients to reshape the outer lines and iron out the surrounding wrinkles. Juvéderm is commonly administered to give lips some volume and fullness.

With both filters, you shouldn’t feel any pain except a little prick while injecting it. Always make sure that you are in the safe hands of your plastic surgeon or dermatologist, without exception. If you have more questions and doubts about hyaluronic acid fillers, types of procedures, and the results you can find more information here.

2. Botox

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Botox is a chemical that temporarily numbs your muscles. It’s used as a lip enhancer, injecting it directly into your lips, and also for wrinkles around your mouth. It improves the look of your lip area significantly by minimizing wrinkles above and underneath your mouth and raising your upper lip. It’s also used to correct “gummy” smile when gums of your upper teeth are visible while you smile.

Injecting Botox is not considered a surgical procedure and it can be done in 15 minutes; this is why is often called a “lunchtime procedure” since there is no recovery time involved.  Botox is mostly used to correct wrinkles around your mouth with relaxing your muscles, thus minimizing facial expressions that caused them in the first place. “Botox lip flip” is a procedure when botulin toxin is injected in the middle of your upper lip, at the so-called Cupid’s bow, to numb your muscle causing the upper lip to curl. This also eliminates “gummy” smiles.

3. Plastic surgery

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Without a doubt, the most invasive way of enhancing your lips are surgeries. They are also permanent, so there is no going back once you decide on it. Lip implants are just like any other implants with small incisions at the corners of your mouth. Lip lift means removing the extra skin above your upper lip, making an incision below your nose and pulling skin upward. Besides these, you can inject some extra fat into your lips, or cut out the discolored skin. Before taking this path, which is irreversible, you should consider less aggressive options.

The most important thing is finding a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon that is board-certified and that you feel you can trust. Feeling comfortable to ask any and every question you might have will relieve the stress of the procedure itself.

There are other options available too, like permanent make-up, or various anti-aging lip products. If you take care of your skin properly you might not need any procedures at all. However, if you are still not satisfied with your looks, start the transformation slowly, starting with natural cosmetic products, and then graduating to more permanent procedures. Weigh in all your options carefully before making any rash decisions.