What are smoker’s wrinkles? How do you get rid of them?

23 November 2023
A woman who smokes cigarettes who is prone to smoker's wrinkles. En Source: VistaCreate

Contrary to what their name suggests, smoker’s wrinkles do not only appear on the faces of cigarette smokers. Where do they come from? What contributes to their formation and how do you get rid of smoker’s wrinkles?

What are smoker’s wrinkles? What do they look like?

The vertical wrinkles above the mouth, which give the face a decidedly older appearance, are what are known as smoker’s wrinkles. These wrinkles are also known as a barcode. Although they can appear on anyone’s skin, it is cigarette smokers who are most at risk of developing them.

Smoker’s wrinkles are one of the many types of facial wrinkles – that is, wrinkles that are perpetuated due to specific facial expressions. Their formation is encouraged by the natural ageing process of the skin, as well as many other external factors, such as a poor diet or lack of sun protection.

How and why do smoker’s wrinkles form?

Several factors contribute to the process of formation and deepening of smoker’s wrinkles:

  • Facial expressions – especially those that accompany smoking or drinking through a straw. The lips then arrange themselves in a specific way and a dense network of vertical wrinkles forms around them.
  • Natural skin ageing processes – as we age, collagen fibres are lost, so the skin gradually loses its density, elasticity and suppleness.
  • Dietary and skincare mistakes – the use of inappropriate cosmetics and a poorly varied diet are issues that have a major impact on the condition of the skin.
  • Cigarette smoking – the name smoker’s wrinkles is no accident. Smoking cigarettes makes your skin drier and more prone to forming furrows. When you smoke, your lips form a characteristic pout – the more often you reach for another cigarette, the more often you adopt a similar expression, and this promotes the perpetuation of these wrinkles.

Wrinkles above the lips are a common affliction of people who smoke, drink through a straw or play wind instruments. However, their formation is also greatly influenced by the general condition of the skin and the natural ageing process.

How to eliminate wrinkles near the lips?

Do you notice slightly defined or quite pronounced smoker’s wrinkles and want to get rid of them? There are several proven ways to do this. Both preventive measures and professional treatments are important to help eliminate even the deepest furrows above the lips.

Home remedies for smoker’s wrinkles

Take a closer look at your wrinkles before you test them. Assess how visible and deep they are. Keep in mind that home remedies for smoker’s wrinkles will be effective as a preventative measure and also when the wrinkles are barely outlined. What are these methods?

  • Hydration and a well-balanced diet – there is a reason why it is said that you are what you eat and drink. The products you consume have a significant impact on your mood and health, but also on the appearance of your skin. In order to slow down the ageing process, cut out processed products from your diet and avoid excess sugar and fat. Reach for vegetables, whole grains and fruit. Drink up to two litres of water a day.
  • Using the right cosmetics – especially those with anti-ageing properties, but not only. Everyone’s skin is different and therefore skin care must be tailored to individual needs. To delay the skin ageing process, reach for cosmetics with collagen, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. Remember to moisturise your skin and protect it from the sun.
  • Carry out facial massage and facial gymnastics – these activities will improve the elasticity of the skin and ensure that any facial wrinkles do not set in as quickly. Massage can be done by hand or with a popular roller. But don’t do it dry! Instead, use a cream with a firming effect. Also remember to do some facial gymnastics to strengthen the lip ring muscle. How do you practise? Pronounce the vowels out loud: A, E, I, O, U. Making weird faces in front of the mirror is also a great exercise, as is moving your tongue over your teeth while your mouth remains closed.
  • Avoiding overexposure to UV radiation and the use of sun protection – the accelerated skin ageing process is influenced, above all, by UVA radiation, which has an intense effect on the skin all year round and regardless of the weather. The effect of UVA exposure is a loss of skin firmness, accelerated loss of collagen fibres and dry skin. To minimise the effects of UVA rays on the skin, use cosmetics with a filter.
  • Quitting smoking – easier said than done, but really worth a try.

Home remedies for wrinkles above the lips make a huge difference if you implement them at an early stage – before smoker’s wrinkles become very prominent. Once deeper wrinkles are visible on your skin around the mouth, you can still eliminate them – but you need to turn to professional solutions.

Treatments for smoker’s wrinkles

  • Botox – or botulinum toxin treatment. It is one of the most popular treatments for wrinkles of all types. It involves injecting botulinum toxin under the skin. The effect is to smooth out wrinkles and improve skin tone.
  • Hyaluronic acid wrinkle filling – another effective and popular method for smoker’s wrinkles. The procedure involves injecting hyaluronic acid into a selected area of the skin. The effect is to fill in the wrinkles and reduce their visibility.
  • Radiofrequency – is a modern skin tightening technique that uses radio waves. The treatment results in increased production of collagen, which is one of the main building blocks of the skin and its loss is one of the most important causes of wrinkles.

As you can see, there are quite a few ways to avoid smoker’s wrinkles or to reduce existing wrinkles above the lips. If it actually bothers you a lot to see the wrinkles you have, you can use the methods you have learned about to minimise them.

Karol Popko

Karol Popko is an experienced author whose pen has been shining in the lifestyle world for many years. With his copywriting practice and insight into trends, he not only shares practical tips, but also opens up a deeper understanding of these topics to his readers. According to Karol, beauty can be found everywhere, and life is worth celebrating with passion and style.


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