One of the most common concerns for clients is the appearance over time of vertical lip lines, commonly referred to as “smokers lines” or “lipstick lines”.  These stubborn wrinkles are caused by a variety of factors, including age, genetics, repetitive lifestyle habits, and in some cases, smoking.

Vertical lip lines, or wrinkles around the lips are not always caused by smoking, despite its common reference as smokers lines.  They are mostly caused by repetitive regular lip movements, and in some individuals are hard to avoid and can be caused by drinking through straws or smoking where repetitive pursing of the lips occur.  These lines are noticeable when lipstick “bleeds” into these fine lines, which earns these wrinkles their other common name “lipstick lines”.

Prevention of smokers lines

As with all wrinkles, preventing the initial formation or deeper etching of these lines is the first line of defence.

  • Use sunscreen regularly to protect collagen breakdown
  • As easy as it may sound to some and as hard as it is for many; stop smoking, if you do smoke. Even occasional smoking greatly increases the chances of formation of these so-called smokers lines!
  • Frequent use of straws or drinking from a water bottle nozzle causes the firm pursing of the lips that can lead to these lines! Drink from a glass, or from regular bottles of water instead of sports topped bottles.

Treatment of smokers lines

Once these vertical lip lines develop, treatment usually requires a soft approach so the area still looks natural, but without the lines.