Mouth wrinkles and barcode lips: What you need to stop doing now, plus the crucial drink you need to hydrate the skin

Woman with beautiful skin / Aged lips

Women have been given a stark warning

Anna Barry

By Anna Barry

Published: 02/06/2024

- 08:00

The natural ageing process, coupled with a high-sugar diet, smoking and sun exposure, can all contribute to wrinkling around your mouth. However, simple lifestyle changes can reduce the appearance of these lines. GB News spoke to skin experts about the best measures to achieve your beauty goals

The skin around a woman's mouth will often give away her age. Wrinkles begin to set in over time and some develop barcode lips - the vertical lines above or on the mouth that resemble a shopping barcode.

While a wrinkled mouth is totally normal and an inevitable sign of getting older, it's natural to want to reverse the clock. GB News spoke exclusively to two experts about how ladies can minimise the appearance of unsightly lines. Quitting smoking, enjoying a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and maintaining a consistent skin care routine can all work wonders.

Aesthetics practitioner and skincare expert Amish Patel told GB News: "As we age, we begin to lose collagen, the scaffolding that gives our skin a plumped, volumised look. This, combined with lifestyle choices such as a high-sugar diet, smoking and sun exposure, can escalate the ageing process in the skin, with wrinkles forming in high-muscle-movement areas such as around the lip border and within the lips themselves."

The skin care expert from Intrigue Cosmetic Clinic touched on "barcode lips" and why we have them.

Woman looking at lips

'As we age, we begin to lose collagen, the scaffolding that gives our skin a plumped, volumised look'


He said: "Barcode lips, otherwise known as 'smoker lines', are the lines that run vertically above your lips. They result from movement and a loss of collagen and elasticity in the skin.

"Usually, we would expect to see these forming around 40 and above, but depending on the individual's lifestyle choices, they can sometimes form as young as mid-30s."

According to the expert, while the physical signs of ageing are inevitable, women may be able to reduce or even get rid of their mouth wrinkles and barcode lips with a few lifestyle changes.

Amish advised: "Avoiding excess sugar and alcohol, opting for a diet rich in vitamins A, E, and C and antioxidants and wearing a high SPF factor of 50 both on the skin and lips all year around will help prevent further skin damage and drinking plenty of water to keep the skin looking hydrated is essential."

While women can see results on their own, cosmetic treatment is also an option. The expert said: "Dermal lip fillers hydrate and plump the lips, giving them a youthful appearance.

"Dermal filler can sometimes be used in more severe cases, but often, a little 'Baby Botox' injected strategically above the lip area can help soften the development of wrinkles successfully". However, injections are not always necessary.

Some skin clinics - including Intrigue Cosmetic Clinic - can create a "tailored skin care programme that focuses on hydration and increasing skin turnover".

The expert concluded: "Chemical skin peels can also be helpful, depending on the client."

Facial plastic surgeon Dr Joel Kopelman also weighed in on the causes of mouth wrinkles and the lifestyle changes you can make in order to minimise them.

The expert said: "As a plastic surgeon, I can tell you that wrinkles around and on the lips form due to a combination of factors, including ageing, sun exposure, smoking, and repetitive facial movements. As we age, our skin loses collagen and elastin, which are essential for maintaining its elasticity and firmness.

"This natural ageing process, combined with external factors like UV radiation and smoking, leads to the development of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth."

The expert explained that barcode lips are the vertical lines that appear above the upper lip, which look like a shopping barcode. Such lines can appear over time as a result of repetitive muscle movements - like pursing the lips or smoking - and the loss of collagen and elastin.

The expert confirmed that women may start to notice lip wrinkles in their late 30s to early 40s.

Dr Joel explained that the age you start to see these wrinkles can vary depending on genetics, skin type, lifestyle, and environmental exposure.

A free habit women can employ to reduce their wrinkles is to stay hydrated. The doctor advised: "Drinking plenty of water helps maintain skin elasticity and overall health."

He also urged women to quit smoking, as this bad habit greatly contributes to the formation of wrinkles and lead to other health issues. This is because the repetitive motion of pursing the lips can really take its toll over time.

In a similar vein, excessive facial movements can have negative effects on the skin. The expert recommended avoiding repetitive facial expressions that can lead to wrinkle formation.


Woman touching mouth red lipstick

Lifestyle choices such as a high-sugar diet, smoking and sun exposure can accelerate ageing


Women can also revamp their skin care routines in order to see results. The doctor advised: "Incorporate retinoids or retinol into your nightly skin care routine. These vitamin A derivatives can help increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen production."

A good quality moisturiser will also work to hydrate the skin. Go for one that contains hyaluronic acid, as this ingredient will help to plump the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Women should also be applying sunscreen daily, ensuring that it is at least SPF 30. This everyday habit reduces your risk of harmful UV rays that can accelerate ageing.

Cosmetic treatments are also an option for women who are concerned with the appearance of their mouth and the skin surrounding it. Options include Botox, facial fillers, and laser resurfacing.

Dr Joel said: "By combining these professional treatments with a consistent skin care routine and healthy lifestyle choices, women can significantly reduce the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth and improve skin texture."

While the expert recommends a combination of the two, it is very possible to see tangible results with simple lifestyle changes that do not take time or cost any money.

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