I think of all the lines that may appear on the face, lip lines can be the most noticeable and aggravating. I always remember as a child being fascinated by my grandmother’s mouth as her lipstick would “bleed” in tiny rivers down the deep lip lines she had. Had she known about facial exercises for lips and wrinkles, it might have been a different story! Although she seemed ancient to me at the time, the truth was she was probably only around 50.
Compared to women, men seem to suffer much less from these aggravating wrinkles. This is probably because they have much thicker skin round the mouth as it is bolstered up with hair follicles.
There is no doubt in my mind that smoking makes lip lines significantly worse. I have two friends who continue to smoke in their 50s, and both of them have extremely deep lip wrinkles. Therefore, if you are a woman who smokes and you want to use facial exercises for lips, to see results it is imperative to stop smoking! I do not say this light-heartedly, as I was a smoker myself for more than 20 years. I finally managed to stop at the age of 34 (I started when I was 11) and it took three years of trying before I managed to quit. At that time I did not have any concerns about the aging aspect of my face, but within a very short time, I was amazed at the improvement to my skin. For anyone who is struggling to stop smoking I wholeheartedly recommend Allen Carr’s “Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” (See link at the end of this article).
In spite of my years of smoking, I have found the area around my mouth has responded very well to facial exercise, and I have only a few very fine lines around the mouth.
I recommend the following two facial exercises for lips to reduce annoying lip lines and wrinkles.
Deborah Crowley’s excellent FlexEffect Facial Training has several effective exercises to strengthen the orbicularis oris, which is the muscle that circles the entire mouth.
The lip press is very simple but powerful. Wrap your lips over your teeth, and bite down. Move your mouth from side-to-side, as you press your lips together as though blotting. While you should not bite hard enough to cause pain, you should exert enough pressure to almost cause mild discomfort. Temporary results can be seen instantly, and after a week a two, you should see a permanent reduction in the severity of your lip lines.
This exercise has the additional advantage that is “hands-off” and can be performed anywhere. Like other hands-off exercises, I often do it when driving.
The lip curl is a great exercise from Louise Annette’s “Ageless If We Dare” book.
To do the lip curl, place the three middle fingers of your dominant hand just above your top lip. The middle finger should be resting in the grove from your nose, and the other fingers can be placed at any point on either side. Press down firmly, and against the resistance of your fingers, try to curl your upper lip outward in a fish-like pout, aiming to touch it to the tip of your nose.
For those who wish to give up smoking which will reduce lip lines more than anything else you can do: