A Guide To Age-Proofing Your Lips
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Consider Semi-Permanent Treatments
“Laser treatments are hugely popular now for those looking to anti-age their mouth. The procedure that works best is named ‘ablative laser’ which works by promoting new collagen and skin formation for a fuller, smoother-looking mouth. The good news is it only takes one to two treatments for long-lasting results up to six months. The bad news is that is has significant downtime, but it does provide your entire mouth area with a fresh starting point. Another semi-permanent treatment that’s popular is lip tattooing. This is more for those that want help with their lip colour, but it can work to define the Cupid’s bow and the border of your lips, too. It’s also great for anyone who is fed up with lipstick migrating, no matter what formulas they try. But what lip tattooing won’t do is reverse lip lines or wrinkling.” – Dr Maryam Zamani, facial plastic surgeon
Know All Your Options
“It is possible to treat and potentially reverse the signs of ageing around your mouth. The best way to shape and define lips is with dermal fillers. Essentially, this is where hyaluronic acid is gently injected to restore the lips to their younger, more rejuvenated form. Treating the contour of the lips this way not only defines their shape but gives a subtle boost of volume and strengthens the entire lip border. Another option is keyhole lip filler. This is the creation of full, heart-shaped lips, whereby a tiny ‘keyhole’ of space is left showing in the centre when the lips are relaxed. It’s very feminine and can complement big eyes and enhanced cheekbones. Finally, I recommend micro needling. It’s an effective method where multiple small needles are used to make tiny punctures into the skin, inducing trauma and then the healing process. This boosts collagen and elastin levels for fuller, smoother lips.” – Dr Bibi Ghalaie, aesthetic expert at Doctor Bibi Clinic
Never Neglect The Basics
“Botox, filler and laser treatments are all great ways to smooth and define your mouth. However, some basic lifestyle changes are just as important when it comes to treating wrinkles around the lip and mouth area. For starters, if you smoke, you should quit immediately. Nicotine causes blood vessels to narrow and, in turn, this means less oxygen flow and reduced elasticity. On top of that, don’t forget SPF on your lips. People often neglect applying a high factor here but it’s absolutely paramount to preventing ageing – especially as our entire lip area is incredibly thin.” – Dr Maryam
Hydration Is Key
“The best and most effective way to rejuvenate ageing lips is to re-hydrate them and improve the support around the lips. This is best achieved with hyaluronic acid dermal filler – as mentioned above. Fillers can be used to restore fullness in lips that have lost volume. This will return a pout to lips that have lost their outward projection, to create a border for lips where the contour has broken down with age. This will also improve crepiness of the pink of the lips and, in turn, address down turning lip corners which can contribute to a sad, aged appearance. The diversity of fillers available on the market now means that these anti-ageing techniques can be achieved with great subtlety or can be carried out such that the result is super dramatic, according to the wishes of the patient and the style of the injector. Of course, the best anti-ageing strategy is prevention, so avoidance of smoking and regular alcohol, and using SPF on the lips are paramount in any good anti-ageing strategy.” – Dr Bibi
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
“This may sound strange, but good dental hygiene is incredibly important for boosting the appearance of your lips. Why? Because our teeth essentially support and hold up our mouth, so if they aren’t in best condition, it will show on your lips. Other helpful tactics include boosting your levels of vitamin C, D and protein – all of which help to increase collagen production. Finally, if topical remedies are more your thing, try a potent (at least 10%) vitamin C serum on the skin around your lips. Dab a little around the lips in the day time and you’ll see an improved appearance in skin tone, elasticity and hydration. I swear by Medik8 Super C Ferulic formula.” – Dr Bibi
Use A Good Retinol
“More invasive treatments are the answer to eradicating lines around the lips, but skincare still has its place. If you want something less intense, it’s worth trying a strong topical vitamin A in the form of retinol or retinaldehyde. With consistent nightly use, this can help soften superficial lines and reduce – and even prevent – the appearance of wrinkles, while promoting collagen production. I recommend Medik8’s Crystal Retinal range or Alumier’s retinol. If you combine these products with chemical peels, you can also yield some impressive results on lip ‘barcode’ lines.” – Dr Bibi
Looking For A Non-Invasive Alternative?
Try These Make-Up Tips For Fuller-Looking Lips...
Start With A Good Exfoliator
“So-called hacks, like using chillies and ice aren’t useful in my opinion. Instead, try exfoliating and then follow up with either a specific lip mask or thick treatment. By exfoliating and scrubbing the dead skin off the lips you leave them soft and plump, giving a naturally fuller and more defined appearance.” – Kenneth Soh, make-up artist
Use A Darker Liner
“Always start with lip liner when it comes to enhancing your mouth. The key is to be subtle and try using one that’s a shade or two darker than your usual product. It allows you to manipulate the dimensions of your lips, creating an illusion of fullness, without looking too theatrical. Avoid over lining the entire lip in one go and concentrate instead on areas that need the most definition, like the Cupid’s bow. Use a light hand as you apply it.” – Joy Adenuga, pro make-up artist
“Try to leave the inner corners unlined and use your finger to gently blur the product, as this will create a much softer illusion. You could also try using a flesh-coloured pencil just above the upper lip for further definition.” – Kenneth
Apply A Highlighter
“When you’ve subtly lined your lips and applied your lipstick, finish by patting on a soft highlighter. Use your fingers and push a small amount into areas of the lips that naturally catch the light –like the Cupid’s bow. It sounds simple, but your lips will instantly look fuller due to a trick of the light.” – Joy
“Glosses are ideal for adding natural plumpness, but they can wear off quite quickly. Instead, place your gloss strategically, using a dab in the middle of your lipstick to give your mouth extra shine and dimension – it works every time.” – Kenneth
Fake A Temporary Boost
“For a temporary boost and instant volume, try lip plumpers that are full of ingredients like spearmint and peptides. I use Buxom’s Pretty Plumping Lip Glosses on all my clients – they're glossy, without being sticky, and give visibly fuller lips that last for a good couple of hours.” – Joy
Always Use Your Fingers
“When it comes to applying actual lipstick, use your ring finger. Not only does this give a soft blend, but it’s also a more flattering and effective way of applying lipstick. It allows you to physically push colour in for a pouty effect that’s very feminine – try smudging it slightly out of your natural lip line for extra benefits, too. If you decide to apply directly from the bullet, purse the lips together several times to naturally distribute the colour to a maximum surface area. Then, take a finger and wipe downwards on the Cupid’s bow to take away any excess. Use this finger to take away any smudging around the corners, too, where the lipstick may have spread.” – Kenneth
Finally, Avoid Bold Shades
“It’s best to avoid strong or bright lip colours if you’re concerned about thinning. There’s nothing more flattering than a nude lip that’s slightly more pigmented than your own natural lip shade. Steer clear of super matte or liquid lipsticks as well – they don't help when it comes to plumping.” – Kenneth
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