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Do you know the rings on a tree stump can tell the age of a tree as well as its life history? Similarly, those facial lines and wrinkles can spill the beans on our age and lifestyle! One of those tell-tale signs is your smoker lines.

Smoker lines-What Are They? 

Smoker lines, lipstick lines, upper lip wrinkles, lip lines, or barcode lines. These polyonymous lines are mini vertical wrinkles that sit on top of your upper lip. Moreover, these ageing lines become deeper and prominent as you age further. These wrinkles appearing around your mouth and lips can also take away your confidence.

Women mainly find these lipstick lines to be quite annoying. It is the way that lipstick settles and later ‘bleeds’ into these fissures. Thus, ruining your entire look and affecting your self-esteem.

When do lip lines usually start to show up on the face?

The appearance of these wrinkles on upper lips depends on your age, lifestyle, habits, and many other factors. However, these ageing signs usually appear in your 40s. As you advance in age, these lip lines become more noticeable and deeper.

 Many people find these irritating because they cannot be concealed with makeup. Hence, smoker lines can potentially affect your personal and professional life since you do not appear confident. 

What Causes Smoker’s Lip Lines To Form?

    • Your Smoking or Vaping Habit

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of smoker’s lines. In the U.S. alone, 42.1 million people smoke a cigarette.[1] Regular smoking speeds up the collagen break down, narrows your blood vessels and reduces the oxygen supply to different body tissues. Therefore, this habit makes you age faster and contributes to the formation of smoker’s lines.

When Another way smoking ages you is through repeating a particular facial expression. When you smoke, you have to pucker your lips to suck on the cigarette. Interestingly enough, more female smokers have these lines since male smokers tend to purse rather than pout. Hence, smoking is a devastating habit and ranks as the number one cause of smoker’s lip lines. 

    • Your Repeated Facial Expressions

You do not have to be a smoker to get a smoker lines. In fact, upper lip wrinkles can affect you whether you smoke or not. Hence, we can conclude this expression is one of the few expressions predominantly in females.

Whenever you use a facial muscle, a groove forms under the skin surface. When you are young, the skin bounces back. However, over time its elasticity to jump back can result in a permanent line, thus becoming a deeper wrinkle.

Do you repeatedly pout in your selfies? You may have a particular way of talking or eating? Do you use too many straws? Well, you could develop smoker lines without ever having puffed on a cigarette.

Moreover, people who have very animated or expressive face tend to develop more lines and wrinkles. Hence given the name ‘dynamic’ wrinkles.

    • You Go Out Too Much In the Sun And Without A Sunscreen

Though there is nothing wrong with going outdoors, however, you must wear an SPF too. The sun causes major visible skin ageing, and your skin’s collagen is sensitive to the sun’s UV rays. Similarly, your unprotected lips may develop those pesky upper lip lines.
So whether it is a beach party or running any outdoor errands, or it is your job under the sun, make sure you and your lips are protected.

    •  Smoker Lines Are Probably In Your Genes

If your parents develop wrinkles or smokers lines earlier, your chances of developing them are quite higher. Genetic factors play a role in how your body changes over a period of time. It is better to avoid the same expressions that your parents make to avoid those vertical lip lines in the first place!

    • Dehydration Can Also Lead To Vertical Lip Lines

Not drinking enough water to stay hydrated and fresh? Your lips are one of the first places on your face showing your hydration levels. Dry, chapped, flakey lips with smoker lines bring your entire personality down.

    • You Have A Poor Diet

You are what you eat! A less nutritious diet, high sodium foods, too much caffeine and a habit of chewing gum can lead to the formation of smoker lines. You may not even notice them immediately, but you can safely blame your poor dietary habits for the damage once you do.

    • Stress

Stress causes changes to your skin’s resilience and elasticity. As your skin loses its youthful bounce, you can see the formation of wrinkles on your face and on your lips. Therefore, stress may also lead to repeated frowning and other similar expressions.

    • Incorrect Sleeping Positions:

 The way you sleep may actually result in the formation of smoker lines. No matter how soft your pillow is, it puts additional pressure on your face. Moreover, with time, this can etch lines into your cheeks, chin or forehead. The pattern of these lines depends on how you rest your face on the pillow.

    • Yo-yo Dieting:

 According to experts, yo-yo dieting (losing and gaining back a large amount of weight) can damage the skin. This is due to the repeated stretching of the skin when you gain or lose weight, which affects the skin’s elasticity.[4] Hence, your skin starts to sag over time, and this adds years to your face. 

How To Get Rid Of Lip Lines Quickly?

Though caused by many internal and external factors, smoker lines can be treated easily into fuller-looking youthful lips. Many ways can help to diffuse your upper lip wrinkles without any surgery. Let’s take a look at some of the treatment options to get rid of lip lines around your mouth:

Botox Can Relax Your Lip Lines

Botox relaxes your muscles, and so, it can relax those mouth muscles that were build up because you use them so often. As a result, botox injections soften and blur the embarrassing lip lines.

Don’t worry, Botox does not affect your mouth’s normal functioning, and you can; speak normally, smile, blow a kiss, whistle and use a straw (again!)  

smoker line before and after

Lip Fillers Can Fill In Those Wrinkles in Your Upper Lips

Dermal fillers are another great option to smooth out those unwanted lip lines for men and women alike. These hyaluronic acid fillers provide hydration and build volume to define the upper lip using a very fine needle. However, only an experienced doctor can do this procedure using the right type and right amount of filler to achieve natural looking results. 

Therefore, you can also rely on lip fillers to achieve get back your lost confidence and youth.

One Battle-Two Weapons

Since your mouth is a dynamic facial feature, it is quite challenging to treat any aesthetic concerns. Hence, the best treatment for Smoker lines can be a combination of Botox and dermal fillers. These upper lip wrinkles occur because of a variety of issues such as:

  • Frequent movement of lip muscles
  • Diminishing collagen and elasticity due to age and sun exposure
  • Genes and lifestyle

My solution is to do a few milder treatments that build up an accumulative effect rather than opting for a super-strong one-off treatment.

Therefore, a blend of aesthetic treatments can give you an accumulative effect and get the desired natural-looking. Where botox effectively relaxes the overused muscles, a hyaluronic acid filler can fill in the lines and prevent lip collapse.

Patients like this treatment because:

  • Effective and subtle results
  • You get better looking and fuller lips 
  • A minimal recovery time 
  • Your upper lip area becomes smooth and crease free

Hence, you must seek a skilled practitioner’s services because your mouth is an unpredictable area for such injections.

Non Surgical smoker line treatment 

Other Options For Your Smoker Lines

    • Natural Collagen Production Through Lasers

Lasers are also helpful in smoothening your upper lip area and promotes collagen production too. However, it has its downside as well.

Laser treatments tend to be quite aggressive, and your sensitive upper lip area is quite resistant to collagen production. Therefore, this procedure has its own risk factors.  

    • Using Chemical peels To Buff Away The Lines

Another popular anti-ageing treatment for such pesky lines can be chemical peels. These chemical peels remove the top layer to reveal much smoother and radiant skin. However, sustainable results require you to get these peels in regular intervals.

    • Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion to exfoliate the upper lip skin

Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion are possible options for smoker lines. However, dermabrasion is the stronger of the two that uses a large brush to remove the outer layer and works deep inside your skin. Hence, it leaves your skin quite soft and smooth, and visibly reduces lip lines too. 

    • Microneedle Those Ageing Lines Away!

Microneedle is a quite impressive procedure that helps to induce natural collagen production. Very fine needles are used in this treatment to prick your skin.The result is smoother skin that has healed small wounds made during the procedure.

Like other skin renewal treatments, micro-needling also requires multiple sessions. Another downside is that it is not quite suitable for very sensitive skin, so it may not cater to a wider audience.

    • Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy For Smoker Lines

PRP is a very effective solution for minimizing the signs of ageing, renewing the skin, and removing the fine lines without undergoing surgery. It is also hailed as one of the anti-ageing solutions. 

Moreover, it is less risky than techniques that use artificial products. Though Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy may deliver youthful looking skin, however, you may need to come back for another session.

    • Polydioxanone (PDO) threads

 This makes use of a fine needle with special dissolvable threads made of Polydioxanone (PDO) to be injected into the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production.

    • Retinol creams

 These creams thicken deeper skin layers and thin out the superficial layers to relax smoker lines and make them look smoother. For long term results, use retinol creams that contain collagen-boosting ingredients.

An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure

Smoker’s lip lines are annoying, aesthetically unpleasant and treatable! You can also prevent them from using simple preventive measures such as:

  • Wearing an SPF outdoors,
  • Quit smoking,
  • Reducing those frequent facial expressions
  • Aleeping more and sleeping right
  • Eating healthy
  • Keeping your hydration levels up!

Moreover, treatment of these lip lines is easy, if done by the right person.  A combination of Botox and dermal fillers can yield better results. You also do not have to endure typical surgery complications and still get back your lost confidence. It is that simple.

Visit Cosmedocs

Your confidence depends on the decision that you take for yourself right now! We welcome you at Cosmedocs, to seek smoker lines treatment delivered by our medically trained team.

We have an aesthetic eye and know how much your look means to you. So visit us for an in-clinic consultation or a virtual one and get the most effective treatment for those lip wrinkles now.


  1. Smoking & Tobacco Use. Available at:
    http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/. Accessed November 27, 2015.
  2. Lees, M. (2012). Skin Care: Beyond the Basics, page 463.
  3. Perry, A., et al (1997). Are You Considering Cosmetic Surgery?, page 7.
  1. April Huggins says

    I have deep smokers lines and I see no before and after pictures with deep smokers lines I need to know the price of getting them filled and how long it will last

    1. Rukhma Sikandar says

      Hi! Smoker lines are very common among people who casually smoke, drink from straws or simply pucker their lips habitually. The price of correcting them using fillers is usually determined upon a friendly consultation. Moreover, the longevity of this treatment generally last anywhere between 3 to 6 months depending on the amount of product used. Hope this helps. Cheers!

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