We’re in an era where many people are obsessed with fighting the signs of ageing – yet lips are often left out of the conversation.
But their loss of volume loss and lines around the mouth are some of the earliest and most prominent signs of declining youth.
Dr Rekha Tailor, a top non-surgical cosmetic specialist based in Surrey, has shared the eight everyday actions which can cause your mouth to wrinkle and age, after noticing an increase in patients looking to tackle the issue.
And while some aren’t easily avoidable, they could definitely be done less to maintain a plumper set of lips for longer.
Despite being the preferred way for many women to consume their drinks to avoid lipstick smudging, the repetitive motion of sipping through a straw requires the lips to pucker up (stock photo)
Made popular by Instagram and selfie-lovers, pouting comes as second nature for today’s social-media savvy society.
Yet repeated bouts of pouting will, over time, have a detrimental effect on the smoothness of the skin around the lips and should be avoided, according to Dr Tailor.
Sipping through a straw
Despite being the preferred way for many women to consume their drinks to avoid lipstick rubbing off on their glass, the repetitive motion of sipping through a straw requires the lips to pucker up.
And if this is done continuously over a period of time, it can contribute to wrinkles.
‘Regularly drinking out of straws breaks down the natural collagen in the lips,’ suggests Dr Tailor.
She says: ‘Swap the straw for a normal glass and you’re not only being kinder to the environment but your lips too.’
One tip for avoiding your lipstick transferring onto your drinking vessel is to wet the area you’re placing your mouth (yes, licking it is the easiest way, but make sure you’re subtle about it).
Our lips are a direct reflection of the health of our tissue cells, according to the aesthetic practitioner. When these cells are healthy, our lips are plump and youthful.
However, when we become dehydrated our lips get flaky, dry, wrinkled and then become cracked and more prone to infections.
That’s why it’s important to keep them hydrated.
‘An easy way to prevent this is to ensure you’re properly hydrated – drink plenty of water,’ suggests Dr Rekha Tailor. ‘Skinade drinks once a day can help significantly.’
This product, used by Victoria Beckham, stimulates your body to produce more collagen.
Repeated bouts of pouting will, over time, have a detrimental effect on the smoothness of the skin around the lips, according to Dr Tailor (stock photo)
Sun exposure is one of the most frequent triggers of cold sore lesions which in turn result in scarring and damage to the lips – making them seem older than they are.
In order to prevent this, Dr Rekha Tailor says: ‘Wearing a lip-balm with high factor sun-screen not only helps to keep lips moisturised but also protects them from deadly UV rays.’
Sun exposure is one of the most frequent triggers of cold sore lesions which in turn result in scarring and damage to lips – making them seem older than they necessarily are (stock photo)
Smoking produces free radicals in the body which contribute to premature ageing.
It’s also likely that the repetitive motion of taking a drag from a cigarette contributes to the wrinkles around the edge of the lips that creates the effect of the lips ‘bleeding’.
‘Giving up smoking all together is the ideal solution,’ suggests Dr Rekha Tailor.
‘But if you can’t do that then swapping cigarettes for nicotine patches will not only help reduce the impact on the lips but benefit your health in the long term.’
Many people bite or chew their lips – sometimes out of boredom, other times because of nerves or habit.
It’s important to try and stop yourself doing this because you could potentially develop scar tissue that can lead to abnormal cellular growth.
It’s likely that the repetitive motion of taking a drag from a cigarette contributes to the wrinkles around the edge of the lips that creates the effect of the lips ‘bleeding’ (stock photo)
As you repetitively use your facial muscles to smile you’ll gradually stat to notice lines appearing at the sides of the lips.
Dr Rekha says: ‘Of course you can’t, and wouldn’t want to, stop smiling, but a Hydrafacial is a great non-surgical option that can help reduce the appearance of lines significantly.
‘It involves a suction type device which works in six stages to focus on different areas of the skin – from pigmentation, sun damage, fine lines, exfoliation, cleanser.’
Similar to sipping through a straw, whistling for prolonged periods requires repeated puckering of the lips which contributes to creased skin around them.
Qualified medical practitioner for over 28 years, Dr Rekha Tailor is the medical director and founder of Health & Aesthetics in Surrey.