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What causes lipstick lines and how can they be treated?

Obvious lipstick lines can make us feel self-conscious about our appearance and can make us worry that we look older than our years. It doesn’t have to be this way and you don’t have to worry about ‘trout pout’ if you’re having them treated.

Treating lipstick lines is an art. If it’s done well, it can give you back your self-confidence and make your skin appear youthful and fresh.


What causes these lipstick lines?

There are three key muscles which lead to the upper lip. They are the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi, the levator labii superioris, and the zygomaticus minor.

These muscles control movement in the area above the upper lip. They raise the lips and move the lips sideways and are connected to the nose. In fact, they help wiggle the nose. When someone’s skin becomes less resilient, fine lines start to develop in the areas where these muscles have contracted.


There are four main underlying causes of lipstick lines:


Ageing – As we get older, we are more prone to develop these lines above our top lip. The amount of collagen in our skin decreases, our skin becomes less resilient, and fine lines develop into deeper, more noticeable wrinkles. By the age of 50, some people have lost around half the collagen in their skin.


Facial expressions – Some expressions involve the pursing of lips. If we do these regularly, subconsciously or consciously, that increases our chances of having lipstick lines on our top lips. This is the reason these lines are called lipstick lines – after the pursing movement women carry out when they apply lipstick.


Lifestyle choices – Our diet and health regime can have an important impact on our skin. Not drinking enough water or having a diet which lacks in vitamins and minerals can both make our skin look dull and can mean wrinkles develop more quickly. One of the biggest risks to the skin is smoking as the lips purse regularly throughout the day, which then encourages the development of these lines, which are also sometimes referred to as ‘smoker’s lines’.


Environmental stress – Our skin can also be affected by our environment. Failing to protect our skin from the sun’s UV rays is one of the main causes of skin ageing.


How can they be treated?

You don’t need to have the area around your lips augmented to soften lipstick lines.

There are specially-formulated, thin fillers which smooth them out.

These treatments include:


  • Perfectha Complement by Sinclair, which is also formulated to treat superficial lines. It is long-lasting and its effects fade uniformly.
  • Fynesse by Restylane, which is a soft-gel filler which is used to treat superficial lines and wrinkles including lipstick lines. The results are instant from the first treatment and last between a year and 15 months.


These fine fillers are created from hyaluronic acid, a clear substance which is naturally produced by the body.

Its function is to retain water and keep the body hydrated. So, having more hyaluronic acid in our skin hydrates it and plumps it up. Lipstick line treatments use fine needles to inject these thin fillers into the lines themselves. The hyaluronic acid plumps up the skin at the bottom of the lines and raises them, smoothing out the superficial lines.

So, there’s no need to treat the whole area to get the results you’d like and treating the lines themselves in this way ensures a really natural look.

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