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Does Using a Straw Cause Lip Wrinkles? Here's What a Dermatologist Says

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Many factors contribute to wrinkles in our skin. Intrinsic factors such as our genetics play a significant role in how we age. As we age, our skin naturally undergoes changes. Over time, proteins in our skin, such as collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin, decrease, which will lead to the formation of wrinkles.

The development of wrinkles can also be due to lifestyle factors, such as ongoing sun exposure, smoking, poor diet or nutrition and repetitive facial expressions. 

 Just like with other facial wrinkles, repetitive facial expressions can play a role in the development of lip lines. Wrinkles around the mouth are commonly referred to as “lip lines” or “smoker's lips.” Regular movements such as puckering your lips, sipping through a straw, or smoking (hence where the term smoker’s lips come from) can lead to the repeated creasing of the skin around the mouth. As the collagen and elastin proteins decrease, our skin has difficulty snapping back into place. For these reasons, over time, these creases can become more pronounced and develop into noticeable lines. 

While we cannot change our genetics when it comes to wrinkles and aging, there are things that we can do to help prevent or minimize the formation of lip lines: 

  1. Diet: Stay hydrated, limit alcohol and caffeine intake and include nutrient-rich food in your diet. Eat lots of berries, broccoli, spinach and healthy fat like avocado.
  2. Sun protection: Use sunscreen and lip balm with at least SPF 30 and a wide brim hat to shield your face from UV radiation.
  3. Avoid smoking: Staying away from smoking is the key to slowing wrinkle development and keeping healthy overall. 
  4. Limit repetitive movements: Minimize repetitive facial expressions, such as excessive lip puckering or straw use.
  5. Skincare: Products containing ingredients like retinoids may help improve the appearance of lip lines and skin texture.
  6. Procedures: Treatments like Botox injections, chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing, microneedling and fillers may be considered.  

If you are concerned about lip wrinkles, speak to a dermatologist who can help you develop a care plan best suited for your skin needs. 

Schedule an appointment and learn more about Dr. Jessica Chu.

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