Smoking is a highly addictive habit, that carries many well documented health dangers. As well as the premature deaths and varied issues that come with smoking, it can also make your face look older, your skin more dry and less radiant, and it can cause or enhance wrinkles. Smoker’s lips are another problem that is caused by smoking, and it is something that you want to avoid. If you have given up smoking and want to try to improve your lifestyle and appearance, read on and find out how to get rid of smoker’s lips.
What are smoker’s lips?
There are several tell tale signs that give away whether or not one is a smoker.
One is wrinkles around the mouth, a form of wrinkles that cover the lips and the skin surrounding them. These wrinkles are caused by the action of repeatedly drawing on a cigarette; the kind of sucking motion that draws smoke into the mouth, and as we age and the collagen in the skin decreases, these wrinkles become deeper and deeper set.
Another factor of smoker’s lips is darkening of the lips, which is caused over the years by the tar in the cigarettes, and by the lips reacting to the heat of the tip by producing more Melanin.
What causes smoker’s lips?
Smoking ages the skin all over the face, because of the harmful chemicals in the smoke. The lips are such a sensitive part that it is impossible to avoid them becoming damaged, especially if one is a lifelong smoker.
The tar in cigarettes is a big factor, as is the fact that the toxins in cigarettes – these make the skin lose its Elastin and Collagen even faster than normal, everyday ageing.
Wrinkles are formed by repeated, constant movements of the muscles, so the drawing together of the lips when sucking in cigarette smoke can easily compound wrinkles.
How to get rid of smoker’s lips
Getting rid of wrinkles once they are deeply engraved in your skin is a tricky business, and one that can only really be fully resolved with surgery.
If you are not a fan of needles, or cannot afford surgical procedures, you can also help resolve your lip wrinkle using creams; you will need to look for one that contains AHA and Alpha Hydroxy Acids – these will exfoliate and improve the circulation as well as moisturising the skin. These creams are solely for wrinkles however, and shouldn’t be applied to the lips themselves.
To lighten the darkening of the lips caused by smoking, you can try applying lemon or lime juice, as these astringent fruits can lighten skin – but they will take a while before you notice any significant difference.
If you want faster results you can speak to a dermatologist, who will recommend you products and procedures that can help – solutions may include Hydroquinone creams. Hydroquinone inhibits Melanin production and can make the skin lighter – but these creams should only be used under the guidance of a professional.
A few simple tricks you can try at home to reduce the appearance of your smoker’s lips include:
- Keeping hydrated. Drinking lots of water will flush toxins out of your body, and keep your skin fresh.
- Breathing exercise will help get more oxygen into your blood and your body, which will help your circulation and the appearance of your skin.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only will this help your overall health, but a good diet is essential for good skin.
- Taking supplements of Vitamin C and E will help to speed up the renewal of tissue, meaning that your lips can shed the darkened skin and grow fresh, healthy skin instead.
- Exfoliate your lips. Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to your lips, leave it for around 10 minutes then gently scrub your lips with a soft toothbrush. There are also a great amount of lip scrubs you can buy; just take care to use them gently so you don’t damage the skin on your lips.
- The humble strawberry is a great lightener, which can be applied to any part of your skin to lighten it. Plus, it’s a yummy treat, and a good way of getting one of your 5 a day!
- Apply Almond oil and Vitamin E oil to your lips. Both these oils are natural lighteners, and have the added bonus of being very good and nourishing for the skin.
How to hide smoker’s lips
If you cannot wait for any of the above treatments to work and you need to cover your darkened lips quickly, then make up is your answer.
Apply a little concealer, and a smudge of your favourite lipstick, and you can pretend that your lips haven’t changed colour at all – at least until the lipstick rubs off!
Make up can’t do an awful lot about the wrinkles, but you can reduce their appearance with some careful blending.
The best way to get rid of smoker’s lips is to have never smoked at all, of course. By smoking, you increase your chances of wrinkles around the lips by a whopping 50%!
Even if the damage is already done, the best thing you can do is to quit smoking right away – it’s hard, but it is worth it – your health and your skin will thank you.
Once you have ditched the cigs, you can get on with improving the look of your smoker’s lips – whether that is by going down the surgery route, or using some simple home remedies.