'I'm a doctor - slow down the ageing process and prevent wrinkles around your mouth with 6 tips'

'I'm a doctor - slow down the ageing process and prevent wrinkles around your mouth with 6 tips'

Exercise can have anti-ageing results

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 17/02/2024

- 13:00

Updated: 19/02/2024

- 10:42

'Barcode lips' is the term used to describe wrinkles that appear on or around the lips over time

Wrinkles are an unavoidable part of ageing, but what can be controlled is how quickly they appear or how prominent they are.

Speaking exclusively to GB News, a doctor shared how to reduce the signs of wrinkles around the lips.

Barcode lips are a natural sign of ageing and factors such as UV rays from the sun speed up how quickly this appears, Dr Wafaa El Mouhebb explained.

Some prevention and reparative techniques can help reduce the effects of this.

Middle aged woman touching lips

Wrinkles around the mouth can be described as barcode lips


How to treat barcode lips

SPF protection

Dr Wafaa said: "Prevention is always better than cure. By using a broad spectrum SPF30+ daily, you can prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin, which is accelerated by sun exposure.

"If you already have wrinkles or fine lines around the mouth, regular use of lip balms with SPF30+ can help prevent further damage from the sun’s damaging UV rays."


The expert explained: "Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives, which can help stimulate collagen production and improve the texture of the skin. Creams or serums containing retinoids will gently exfoliate dead skin cells that clog pores and make wrinkles look more apparent. This will help cell turnover, to reveal brighter and smoother-looking skin over time.

"As well as this, retinoids have antioxidant properties that can neutralise damaging free radicals, protecting skin from further damage and preventing wrinkles from deepening."

Chemical peels

She added: "Chemical peels can slow down the ageing process, prevent wrinkles and stimulate the production of collagen for firmer skin.

"They work by using acids to remove the top layer of dead skin cells to exfoliate and allow for better penetration of skin care products. Lighter peels may address superficial lines, while medium-depth peels can tackle deeper wrinkles.

"A dermatologist can assess your skin and recommend the most appropriate peel for your needs. I recommend our patients ‘The Perfect Peel’, which contains ingredients such as kojic acid, glutathione and retinoic which help encourage cell turnover and reduce the visibility of fine lines."

Laser treatment

The doctor said: "The heat generated through laser resurfacing can stimulate collagen production deep within the dermis, the layer below the skin’s epidermis. Collagen is the essential protein that gives skin its plumpness and elasticity, creating a smoother and more youthful appearance.

"Beyond this, laser resurfacing can improve the overall texture and tone of the upper lip area. It can fade hyperpigmentation caused by sun exposure, smooth out rough patches, and minimise the appearance of enlarged pores."

Derma fillers

"Getting rid of your lip lines, rather than trying to cover them up, can easily take 10 years off your face. Dermal fillers allow you to add volume and plumpness back to the area, reducing the appearance of upper lip lines. Barcode lips can create shadows that make them appear deeper than they actually are.

"By filling in the lines, dermal fillers can minimise these shadows and smooth out wrinkles, making them less noticeable. Hyaluronic acid fillers are most commonly used due to their compatibility with lip tissue. While not permanent, dermal fillers typically last between six to 18 months before needing re-treatment."


The expert stated: "Microneedling is a procedure that utilises fine needles to create microwounds or channels in the skin.

"These controlled, minute injuries in the skin trigger the production of tiny blood vessels or capillaries, collagen, and elastin. When the procedure involves radiofrequency waves, which is a type of energy, it is called Radiofrequency Microneedling.

"In this case, the needles release radiofrequency into the channels, causing additional stimulation. This treatment can target fine lines and wrinkles around the lip area, proving more powerful than simple medical microneedling. After the procedure, the skin around the lips can become thicker and smoother, giving a youthful yet natural appearance."

Middle aged woman pointing to lips

There are some ways to prevent or reduce the signs of ageing


What causes barcode lips?

The doctor said: "Barcode lips are often a natural consequence of ageing, due to the loss of collagen. As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen gives our skin structural integrity to keep it looking youthful, smooth, and firm.

"Our body's collagen production decreases by one per cent every year from the age of 21 onwards. During the first five years of menopause, collagen loss accelerates to 30 per cent, and continues to decrease by two per cent every year afterwards.

"Without enough collagen, our skin cannot maintain its elasticity so begins to show signs of ageing such as wrinkles and fine lines.

"Exposure to UV radiation from the sun can further accelerate this ageing process by breaking down collagen and causing damage to skin structure.

"The circular muscle around the lips, known as the orbicularis oris, can also contribute to the formation of barcode lips when it is overactive. This muscle is involved in various facial expressions such as smiling or pouting, and is more active when engaging in habits such as smoking or drinking through a straw. The mechanical stress from repetitively pursing the lips contributes to the development of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth.

"Finally, dehydration can cause the skin to become more susceptible to barcode lips. When the skin is dehydrated, it is less likely to bounce back and resist creasing. If you already have some fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth, dehydrated skin can also cause existing barcode lips to look more pronounced, as the skin lacks proper hydration to appear plump."

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