Let’s face it – our mouths say a lot about us; our hygiene, our disposition, and yes, even our age. We can keep our lips from revealing our age by addressing dryness, lines, wrinkles, and thinning of the lips. Here are some tips and treatments for softer, fuller, more youthful lips:
Dryness – Skin loses moisture as we age. The lips do not have an epidermal layer, which is where oil is produced. Therefore, the lips are more prone to chapping and dryness than the rest of our skin. Restoring moisture to the lips is essential in helping the lips look and feel smooth and full.
Tips and treatments : Exfoliate the lips, using either your toothbrush and warm water or a lip-specific physical exfoliant. This will remove the flakes of skin, revealing baby soft, smooth lips. Your lip treatments will penetrate better and your lip color will go on smoother. Follow with a humectant-based lip treatment. Dry wax and petroleum based lip balms do not add moisture to the skin, so go for the gooey lip treatments. In the daytime, be certain your lip treatment and/or lip color contains a sunscreen. UV exposure not only damages the skin, but contributes to dryness.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles – Aging, expressing and eating all contribute to the lovely vertical lines above the lip. Since all of those factors are part of life, it may seem like we cannot do much to fight back. Actually, there are a few things you can do to slow down the etching of lines.
Tips and Treatments: Apply sunscreen regularly, not only to fight dryness, but to battle fine lines and wrinkles. You may also apply a collagen boosting treatment around your mouth. Products containing hyaluronic acid to retain moisture and “plump” fine lines are also beneficial.
For more dramatic results, there are a few options. Although new lines are continually being created, you can reduce the appearance of lines around the mouth with IPL (photofacial) and/or microdermabrasion. IPL stimulates collagen production, smoothing out the lines over time. To see major results, most individuals require a series of treatments. Injectable fillers like Juvederm â provide instant results.
Fullness – Thinning of the lips is part of the natural aging process. The breakdown of collagen and loss of fat cells thins out the lips.
Tips and Treatments: You can fake fullness in the lips using a lip pencil. Do not line lips corner to corner – it doesn’t look natural. Instead, trace just above the bow of the upper lip and round out the bottom center of the lower lip. Fill in the lips with lipstick or gloss. For a “pouty” lip, apply a gloss that is one shade lighter than your lipstick to the center of both your top and bottom lips.
A subtle way to increase fullness is by using a lip plumper. SkinMedica makes a great lip plumping system using NouriCel-MD â and collagen-filling spheres to enhance the fullness and smooth the surface of the lips.
For instant gratification and more natural, visible, results ; fillers such as Juvederm â can be injected into the lips to restore fullness, and above the lip to define the borders of the mouth. The results can last up to one year.
Sources: WebMD features from “Good Housekeeping” Magazine. Kimberly A. Daly