Fine lines around the mouth and lip wrinkles are another charming side effect of smoking – along with the damage to your heart and lungs, the eye-watering cost, and the smell. The toxins in smoke degrade collagen in the skin, which then leads to more lines and wrinkles, particularly around the mouth.
MFMB spoke to top aesthetic doctors to find out the best treatments to tackle smokers’ lip lines.
1. Hyaluronic Acid Filler
Aesthetic physician Dr Vincent Wong recommends a dermal filler as his top choice treatment to correct fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth caused by smoking. “For deeper smoker’s lines, Perfectha Fine Lines is a versatile product that can help fill up the wrinkles without excessive swelling, lumpy results, or the risk of looking “overdone” in this delicate region,” he says.
Dr Kathryn Taylor-Barnes, from the Real You clinics in Surrey, agrees, adding, “Cautious injecting to enhance the contour of the lip is what I aim for, without trying to change the lip shape into something too different and unnatural.”
2. Skin Needling
Microneedling or dermarolling treatment is designed to stimulate collagen production, and combined with powerful skincare ingredients or other non-surgical technologies can have fantastic results on the delicate area around the mouth.
“I would start with a Mesopeel, which involves micro-needling followed by the application of a peel,” explains Dr Rabia Malik, an aesthetic practitioner who founded the SkinW1 clinic near Harley Street and runs clinics at west London members’ club Grace Belgravia. Dr Wong recommends combining micro needling with radio frequency for deeper collagen synthesis.
3. Skin Peels
Acid peels may sound scary, but gone are the days of peels leaving you looking like raw meat. Alpha-hydroxy acids (such as glyolic, lactic and citric) have countless skincare benefits, and the formulations of skin peels are designed to leave you looking brighter and revitalised, not like a Halloween mask.
“Skin peels will help to resurface the skin, which is what is required for improving smokers’ lines, as well as stimulating collagen production to help ‘fill’ those vertical lines,” says Dr Malik. “I would progressively increase intensity with a course of skin peels.”
4. Ramp up the AHAs
Even outside the professional treatment room, alpha-hydroxy acids are important in a good daily skincare routine, helping to lift the dull, dead layer of cells from the skin’s surface and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. “The use of salicylic acid or glycolic acid cleansers daily, with a topical vitamin C can dramatically improve fine lines around the mouth,” says Dr Tijion Esho, founder of Le Beau Ideal clinics. “It’s an easy regime and prompts general skin health.”
5. Topical Products
In addition to a great daily skincare routine, there are some specialist lip products you can add in. “My favourite is ZO Medical’s LipRebuild,” says skincare expert and top facialist Debbie Costello. “It’s packed full of antioxidants, and it’s extremely hydrating.” Another option is Skinceuticals’ AOX Lip Complex, which contains antioxidants vitamin E and silymarin.