What's the best nonsurgical fix for the vertical age lines above the lip
July 13, 2017 9:01 AM   Subscribe

I'm 52, and all that smoking is starting to catch up with me: I'm starting to see slightly deeper lines above my lip. I would like to fight 1) lipstick bleeding, 2) lines on my lips, and 3) and the worsening of those lines as much as possible. I know products exist that addresss these issues, which, if any, have you found worked for you? (Makeup Alley has conflicting and confusing products/advice.)

No allergies or restrictions, really. I prefer unscented will try anything that isn't coconut or licorice scented.

I assume options include lip primers, short term, and long term solutions but any suggestions about which way to combine them is helpful.

If it matters, face wrinkles are otherwise not really an issue, considering. (One of the few things that aren't!)

Also, I haven't smoked cigarettes in about five years.

(Please don't tell me to embrace this. I embrace plenty about my aging, I do not want to embrace this particular issue.)
posted by Room 641-A to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I've never smoked but I tend to purse my lips when thinking so I was getting some pretty deep lines around the lips. I got some tiny Botox injections and they just went away! I'm not a big Botox girl, maybe once a year in my forehead lines, but I asked my dermatologist about the lip lines and she suggested it.... I was shocked with how well it worked. YMMV.
posted by pearlybob at 10:16 AM on July 13, 2017 [5 favorites]

My default lip liner to prevent lipstick migration is MAC Prep + Prime Lip. When I need extra help, I use a little Nars eyeshadow primer along the lip line. I originally bought it to keep eyeliner from smudging and spreading -- It's invisible and VERY effective. You just need the tiniest bit.
posted by wryly at 10:35 AM on July 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

First thing first, have you been to a dermatologist to discuss options? If the lip lines are really bothersome, I'm sure you could do laser treatments, or use a topical retinol cream to dimish them.
Okay, onto non-prescription options.
To prevent lipstick from migrating/ bleeding into lip lines, a matte, clear "reverse" lip liner is key. This Urban Decay pencil is a lip primer and lip liner in one.
When I do my makeup, the first thing I put on is lip balm, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and then wipe it off before lipstick application. That allows for my lips to drink in moisture every am, and stay hydrated. This Kari Gran lip whip is my all-time favorite. It is thick without being the least bit sticky, and makes my lips so hydrated. I'd really recommend it as the zenith of all lip balms. If you go for the cinnamon version, there's a little bit of plumping as well.
If you want something that offers tempory hydration, and is a bit of frivolus fun these jelly lip masks are good for special occasions.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 10:57 AM on July 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

there's supposed to be an exercise from the 'face yoga' or whatever it's called exercise book and videos on youtube for stopping it, i have it bad - mouth like a cat's arse, horrid - but i am too lazy to persist so can't vouch for it. Basically put fingers in mouth either side then try to shut it hard ten times, something like that
posted by maiamaia at 12:27 PM on July 13, 2017

Look up 'microneedling' -- this is a non-surgical technique that (sort of) replicates what a laser might do. You can do it at home yourself or go pay for someone else to do it for you. From everything I've read about it, the risks are low-to-none and many people find it to be a great tool for treating lines and scars.
posted by Halo in reverse at 1:57 PM on July 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Just wanted to mention that I think I'm still in the DIY stage. Hopefully the doctor or aestestican visit is still a few years away. Also, I realize most of these will be temporary fixes, which is fine.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:06 PM on July 13, 2017

Prep and Prime is the best! Also, Mac now has a number of lipsticks that stay put really well and don't feather at all, even without a primer. I hate the feeling of liquid matte lips, but I love MAC's Liptenstiy line, which is more like a traditional lipstick but with a really good stay-put formula. (It does transfer some but it doesn't bleed).

Some of it is just experimenting with products and technique. I'd google for some videos and also check out the infamous reddit forum SkinCareAddiction. The people there use and review lots of OTC remedies for things like fine lines, acne, etc.
posted by Brittanie at 4:50 PM on July 13, 2017

Microneedling works but it's easy to damage the skin through bent needles or to get an infection from improper sterilization, specially around the mouth/nose area. I would not recommend it to DIY.
posted by clearlydemon at 10:15 PM on July 13, 2017

You want fillers and/ or Botox. Botox especially will prevent this from getting worse (it's better as a preventative than remedial treatment; delaying it is not the ideal usage though I understand the urge). Fillers will redefine your vermilion border (lipline) which helps the feathering, and plump out the wrinkles.

If you are no-needles, vitamin C and retinol (& derivatives like retin-a) are two of the only substances that are clinically proven to have a real effect on wrinkles via collagen stimulation. Use vitamin C in the morning, put sunscreen on, then use the retinol at night. Retinol is available over the counter in lower doses. You can mess around with hyaluronic acid for moisture, coenzyme Q10 and peptides and acid peels (at the spa! Not at home! Acid peels are dangerous if you don't know what you're doing!) and microdermabrasion etc for wrinkles if you want to. But all of the lotions and potions will probably have negligible immediate effects. They're cumulative.

I believe radio frequency facials and possibly co2 laser facials do something for wrinkles and skin laxity but they are hella expensive compared to your other options, and you really need to do multiple treatments. Minimum 3, 6 is better.

I noticed someone recommended skincare addiction. Last time I checked there had been a big mod kerfuffle and the sub had been compromised so tread carefully. Research whatever you read. You could also pop over to makeupaddiction if you want cosmetics recommendations.

Microneedling is shown to stimulate collagen production. Use a stamp with a disposable head or a roller with a disposable head and change it every single time. I'd suggest a stamp for such a small delicate area but iany esthetician. Use lidocaine cream, it hurts like hell, and hyaluronic serum immediately after. No more than every 6 weeks.

Please don't do face stretches unless you want to stretch the skin on your face (ie produce wrinkles).

Feathering can be helped with lipliner and by concealing around your lipline but you probably already know that!
posted by windykites at 1:18 AM on July 14, 2017

Just wanted to mention that I think I'm still in the DIY stage. Hopefully the doctor or aestestican visit is still a few years away.

Fair enough, BUT...I felt the same as you about 5 years ago. I spent WAYYYY too much money with lip liners and creams and retinols and plumping glosses and reading DIY tricks and tips.

I got a flyer from a local cosmetic surgeon (not an esthetician, dentist, cosmetic dentist or other not super-qualified person with a Botox needle and a dream), booked an appointment, and after FIFTEEN MINUTES every single teeny one of my lip lines was gone for years. She used Juvaderm. A little swelling for a day and it was perfect results.

Seriously, those of us who have been there are speaking truth when we tell you to just find a qualified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon and get Botox or Juvaderm or whatever else done.

Every single time you look in the mirror you'll be SO HAPPY you just pulled the trigger on it.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:00 AM on July 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

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