Non-surgical Procedures, Skin care

Upper Lip Wrinkles: Causes and Treatments

Upper lip lines occur due to;

  • Skin ageing from loss of collagen and elastin.
  • Creasing of the skin from the contraction of muscles surrounding the mouth.
  • Environmental factors, particularly UV exposure. Smoking can also accelerate the formation of lip lines, but upper lip lines do occur in 

Non-surgical cosmetic procedures like dermal fillers, anti-wrinkle injections and laser treatments can be used to treat these wrinkles. In addition to injectable fillers and laser treatment, a consistent skincare routine and lifestyle changes can help with lip lines.

What causes wrinkles above the lips?

Fine vertical lines can occur for a number of reasons, including environmental or lifestyle factors.


The skin is made of protein building blocks, such as collagen and elastin, designed to keep your skin firm and plump. As we age, these proteins naturally break down alongside a reduction of our skin’s natural oils, resulting in thinning of your skin and volume loss. This can make the overall appearance of your lips smaller as the vermillion border of your lips is flattened and less defined.

Repetitive movement

Repetitive daily facial movements, such as talking, eating, smiling, pouting and frowning, significantly contribute to the presence of lines above your lips. Over time, these expressions can deepen lines when you contract the muscle surrounding the mouth (Orbicularis oris).

Orbicularis Oris Muscle Around the Mouth

Pursing your lips together when smoking is not the only damage that adds lines to your upper lip. Nicotine in cigarettes has adverse effects, which deprives the skin of antioxidants, oxygen and nutrients.

Sun exposure

Sun damage is synonymous with ageing and is an undeniable factor in how vertical upper lip lines form. UV rays penetrate the upper lip skin cell structure and can affect dermal cell growth and DNA. Sun damage is also cumulative, so the more exposure there is, the more defined your vertical lines are.

Alcohol consumption

Skin cells thrive on hydration. The main side effect of drinking alcohol is dehydration and your skin is the first place of evidence of this. Alcohol can also cause inflammation which accelerates ageing and can make you look red and puffy. 

Drinking from straws or bottles

Pursing your lips together when drinking from straws also affects the skin. This causes them to create lip lines and wrinkles more easily. 


What are treatments for wrinkles above lips?

The treatment for lip lines will depend on your specific concerns and situation. Seeking advice from a qualified practitioner should be the first step when choosing a treatment. 

Treatments for lip wrinkles include:

  • Dermal filler injections
  • Anti-wrinkle treatment
  • Laser resurfacing

Dermal fillers

Dermal fillers provide some immediate results and help to diminish lines developed above your lip. It also increases the volume in the face, which provides a youthful appearance. Dermal filler can be administered using a blunt cannula or a needle. At the Victorian Cosmetic Institute, we prefer to use blunt cannulas.

Anti-wrinkle injections

Anti wrinkle injections treat upper lip lines by reducing the ability of movement of the muscle surrounding your entire lips. Using injectable treatments to target the muscles results in the relaxation of the muscles and can smooth out the appearance of lip lines.

This blocks the nerve signals that contract upon movement and aims to minimise future development of wrinkles.

Laser resurfacing 

Skin resurfacing is a highly effective treatment for above lip lines. Lasers remove dead skin cells, help stimulate new collagen, improves skin texture and creates a tightening effect. The recommended treatment for upper lip line removal is the Erbium Laser.

Erbium Laser Treatment Machine

How can I reduce my lip lines naturally?

Using preventative practices can minimise lip lines over time.

We suggest you introduce a combination of methods to help reduce their appearance.

Minimise straw usage

Drinking from straws and directly from the top of bottles requires you to purse your lips together around a smaller object. These actions will set in lip lines and can be avoided by drinking from objects with wider openings such as a glass or cup.

Avoid smoking 

Smoking has terrible side effects for your skin, especially around your mouth. The suction muscle movement caused by inhalation and the nicotine, restricts the flow of oxygen and other vital nutrients around your mouth. Quitting smoking can significantly reduce lip wrinkle development.

Use sunscreen

Protecting your skin is crucial in combating the signs of ageing. A daily commitment to applying sun protection will provide a barrier between your skin and the sun’s ultraviolet rays. We recommend opting for a sunscreen with at least SPF30, but SPF 50+ is better. Find a formula that works well for your skin. Consider looking at the different options available to find one that suits your skin type.

Keep your lip area hydrated 

Using moisturising creams and balms to lock in hydration will counteract the natural moisture loss we experience as we age. Using lip treatments like lip balms and lip hydrators can help moisturise the lip area and reduce the development of wrinkles. Try to find one with hydrating ingredients like Shea Butter or Vitamin E, for long lasting moisture.

Skincare to use after your upper lip wrinkle treatment

After your upper lips have been treated, we suggest following a targeted skincare routine to maintain skin that is nourished and hydrated.


Retinol, or Vitamin A, is a topical solution to target ageing concerns. Some benefits of retinol include:

  • Minimising the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
  • Encourages the production of collagen in the skin
  • Can treat concerns relating to acne scarring
  • Exfoliates the skin, by promoting faster cell turnover, to improve skin tone and texture

We recommend the Biopelle Retriderm Vitamin A Serum as it’s a fast-acting, protein-rich 0.5% retinol serum for overall skin rejuvenation. Due to the low concentration, it is ideal for those who are building up their tolerance to Vitamin A.


Serums are targeted treatments that penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. Serums are used after cleansing and toning and can help promote healthy skin. When trying to find a  face serum for your skin type and concern, it is recommended to:

  • Focus on one skin concern at a time
  • Patch test the product before using
  • Slowly introduce it into your routine, especially if it contains active ingredients like Vitamin C or Retinol

We recommend the PRESCRIBEDsolutions Urbane Renewal Triple Action Antioxidant Serum as it enhances skin radiance, protects and repairs the skin. It is a suitable addition to any skincare routine and can be used twice a day.


Moisturisers provide the top layers of your skin with the necessary hydration. Using a moisturiser twice a day is ideal for reducing visible dehydration. When trying to find the most suitable moisturiser for your skin, focus on:

  • Finding one that targets your concerns
  • The right formula for your skin type
  • Whether you need one for day and night

We recommend the Aspect Dr Resveratrol Moisturising Cream as it helps stimulate collagen, and repairs and hydrates the skin. This moisturiser is especially ideal for those with mature skin, as it helps fight the signs of ageing and restores skin firmness.


Applying sunscreen daily creates a strong defence against wrinkles and fine lines developing. We recommend that you choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Some things to consider when using sunscreen:

  • Is the formula right for me and my skin type?
  • Does it feel comfortable on the skin?
  • Am I reapplying when necessary?

Unsure of which skincare products to use? You can book a skin consultation with our Skin Therapists, who can advise which products will suit your skin type.

Where can I remove upper lip wrinkles in Melbourne?

Since 2005, Dr Gavin Chan and his team of highly trained and experienced Cosmetic Doctors and Nurses at the Victorian Cosmetic Institute have helped many patients remove upper lip lines. 

At your consultation, the Cosmetic Doctor or Nurse will assess your face, understand the specifics of your concerns and recommend suitable treatment options. We pride ourselves on providing thorough consultations so that we can appropriately assess you and your suitability for any treatment.

Call our friendly customer service team to book a consultation today on 1300 863 824, or to make your appointment you can book online.