Lip Care Mistakes That Can Age You

We often obsess over skincare routines and anti-aging treatments for our faces, but a lot of us tend to forget that our lips can also get thin, wrinkly, and dry with age. But we're here to spill the lip care secrets that will keep you looking like the ageless goddess you truly are.


Nobody wants the volume and lusciousness of their lips to fade away, but the truth is that may happen inevitably. However, with a couple of tips and tricks, you can ensure that your lips remain youthful for longer. From exfoliation and hydration to protection from the harsh weather elements, we've got the inside scoop on how to keep your pout looking young and fabulous. And the best part? Taking care of your lips doesn't have to be a tedious chore — it can become a fun and indulgent self-care ritual that leaves you feeling pampered and confident. Now pucker up, buttercup — it's time to give those smackers the attention and TLC that they deserve!

Not using sunscreen on your lips

Thanks to the beauty industry and social media, it's safe to say that all of us know just how important it is to protect our skin from the sun. However, lips often get neglected when we apply our daily SPF products, even though the sun affects them the same way.


The sun's harmful ultraviolet rays can penetrate the delicate skin on your lips causing collagen and elastin breakdown, a decrease in moisture levels, and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Over time, this damage can result in thinning of the lip tissue and loss of volume, leading to a less youthful appearance.

Luckily, there are many lip balms with SPF in them, and applying a product like that daily will help slow down the aging process of your lips. "They're a great option if your concern is UV-induced photoaging or addressing fine lines and wrinkles of the lips," cosmetic chemist AJ Addae tells Byrdie.

Licking your lips and /or biting them

Licking your lips and biting them may provide temporary relief or be a subconscious habit, but in the long run, these actions can actually accelerate the aging process of your lips. Even though you can feel momentary moisturization once you lick your lips, the truth is that the saliva evaporates quickly, leaving them even drier than before. If you lick your lips regularly, you end up stripping your lips of the natural oils that help keep them hydrated, which then results in chapping and cracking. Similarly, if you are biting your lips or picking at them, you cause irritation and damage to their protective barrier, making them more susceptible to dryness and premature aging.


If you struggle with either of these habits, making sure you break them will help keep your lips soft and supple. The best way to go about that is to ensure your lips are always moisturized — so next time you find yourself licking or biting your lisp, slather on a layer of your favorite lip balm.

Exfoliating your lips too often (or not often enough)

Let's dive into lip exfoliation and how it can impact the appearance of your lips. Here's the deal: Exfoliating your lips is like giving them a rejuvenating spa treatment. But just like with anything in life, balance is key. Exfoliating them too often or not enough can take a toll on your lips.


Over-exfoliating can strip away the natural oils that keep your lips soft, and that can lead to cracks and wrinkles. On the flip side, neglecting to exfoliate your lips can also be a lip-damaging mistake. Dead skin cells tend to accumulate, making your lips look dull, flaky, and tired. And because of those dead cells that are still on your lips, it becomes harder for your lip balms and moisturizers to penetrate and work their magic.

So, the secret is finding the sweet spot in lip exfoliation. Aim for a gentle scrub once or twice a week to get rid of the dead skin and reveal that fresh, radiant layer underneath. You can use homemade scrubs with sugar or coffee grounds or opt for lip exfoliating products available on the market. Remember, the name of the game is balance and consistency — exfoliate when needed, and hydrate like there's no tomorrow.


Wearing mattifying lip products regularly

Even though mattifying lipsticks look super cool and edgy, wearing them on a regular basis is definitely not good for your lips. Since they are drier in nature, mattifying lip products can often draw moisture right out of your lips causing cracks and wrinkles, giving your lips an aged appearance. By now, it's clear that dryness is the enemy of youthful lips, so you want to avoid it at all costs.


Now, don't get us wrong — we're not saying you have to bid farewell to all things matte. You can still rock that velvety finish; just make sure it's not every day. It's all about finding that balance and giving your lips the love and hydration they need. Before applying a matte lip product, make sure to prep your lips with a moisturizing balm or primer. This creates a barrier that helps retain moisture and protects your lips from the drying effects of those matte formulas.

Not removing your lip products properly

We all love a good long-lasting lip product that stays put all night. However, neglecting to remove your lip products properly can have some aging consequences for your lips. Now, we all know how important it is to remove your makeup before bed, but a lot of times, we focus on our eyes and skin and don't remove our lip products properly. Unfortunately, leaving your lip products on overnight can do more harm than you might think.


Apart from the fact that lipstick can clog the skin on and around your lips (especially if you overline), causing irritation and even breakouts around your lip area, it can also dehydrate your lips overnight. We already established that dry lips are more prone to wrinkles, fine lines, and a dull appearance, which is why removing your lip products properly before bed and putting on a moisturizing lip product is crucial for the health and oh-so-youthful appearance of your lips.

Using expired lip products

Just like skincare products, makeup also has its expiry date, after which you should throw it out. Sometimes, makeup can even go bad before its expiry date, which is why it's important to examine it regularly. So next time you're going through your makeup stash and find a lipstick you completely forgot about, think twice before you apply it.


Using expired lip products can lead to some unwanted aging effects on your lips, as over time, the ingredients can degrade, become less effective, and even harbor nasty bacteria. Not to mention that an expired lip product can irritate your lips, give you an allergic reaction, or even lead to an infection. And since the product is expired, chances are it also won't provide the same result in terms of color payoff due to the change in its consistency. Knowing this, it's clear that it's best to say goodbye to any lip product that is past its shelf life.

Alcohol and smoking can negatively affect your lips

It's no secret that alcohol and smoking affect our overall health, and that also includes our lips. "Alcohol is actually one of the worst, most aggressive compounds to destroy your skin," nutritionist Jairo Rodriguez tells Vogue. "I always joke with my patients, 'If you want to get older, go ahead and drink!'" The reason why alcohol affects our skin and our lips so negatively is because it dehydrates our body, and the lack of moisture causes dryness and wrinkles.


Smoking also affects the appearance of your lip so much that the term 'smoker's lips' is used to describe the wrinkles and changes of color that can occur from it. Per Healthline, nicotine is known to cause blood vessels to shrink, meaning that less blood gets to the skin, which in return doesn't get enough oxygen and nutrients. Smoking affects your lips the same way, meaning that those who smoke can expect their lips to age much quicker.

While limiting both of these habits is the best way to prevent the aging of your lips, proper lip care can help slow it down. This means regular exfoliation and ensuring you use very hydrating lip products that will help restore the moisture that drinking and smoking are taking away from your lips.


Being a mouth breather

The way you breathe probably isn't the first thing you think about when it comes to the aging of your lips. However, breathing does play a significant role in our overall health as well as the appearance of our skin and wrinkles. If you find yourself breathing through your mouth instead of your nose a lot, you are actually causing your body to age quicker.


As Ask The Dentist explains, nose breathing is crucial for the production of a compound called nitric oxide, which is vital for oxygenating your blood. The more oxygen your blood has and the more flexible and supple your blood vessels are, the healthier your skin will look. This also applies to your lips, which will stay plump and wrinkle-free if they get all they need from the inside.

Unfortunately, breathing through your mouth doesn't have that effect, which is why it actually ages your skin, amongst other negative effects like cavities, gum disease, sleep apnea, and fatigue. If you're worried that you're a mouth breather, the first thing you need to ensure is that you can actually correctly breathe through your nose. If not, visiting a healthcare professional who can examine your nasal airways is best. If you can breathe fully through your nose, you can give mouth tape a shot — however, keep in mind that all the evidence of mouth tape being beneficial to better sleep is anecdotal.


Not drinking enough water

We all know that water is the MVP of life, and a lack of hydration causes way bigger problems than the aging of your skin. However, if you are constantly dehydrated, you will also notice that your lips are dry, cracked, and the wrinkles on them become more prominent.


Our lips need hydration to stay plump and healthy, which is why drinking water regularly is crucial to prevent premature aging. After all, water is the key that unlocks the fountain of youth. While the amount of water you should drink daily varies based on numerous factors, a general rule is that anywhere between six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day is a great start (via University of Missouri System).

If you drink water regularly, you'll notice other benefits besides just plump and wrinkle-free lips. More energy, better digestion, and overall radiant skin are just some improvements you'll notice.

Using Vaseline on dry lips

Vaseline is a classic remedy for dry lips, but the truth is that it's definitely not the best option for ensuring your lips become soft and hydrated. In fact, using Vaseline (or any petroleum jelly-based product) improperly can actually cause your lips to become drier and age quicker.


Vaseline works by creating a barrier that locks in moisture, but if your lips are dry, there isn't anything to lock in. Since it is an occlusive, Vaseline works great for slugging, and you can definitely use it as a last step in your lip care routine. However, you have to apply a hydrating lip product to your lips underneath it.

Now, don't get us wrong — we don't want you to think Vaseline can never be used for lips on their own. If your lips are in a healthy state, you can use Vaseline to protect them from cold weather and potential environmental irritants. However, if you are expecting it to additionally hydrate your lips, that won't happen. Instead, opt for lip balms or treatments that are specifically formulated to nourish, hydrate, and protect. Ingredients like shea butter, hyaluronic acid, or natural oils are always a good choice for your lips, and combining those with Vaseline on top overnight will give you the best results.


Not protecting your lips in cold weather

Winters affect our lips, too, which is why it's crucial to give your lips some extra love during colder months. Neglecting to protect your lips during frosty days can lead to them aging quicker, but luckily, that is something that is easily prevented. When those chilly winds blow and the air lacks humidity, our skin tends to suffer, and our lips end up becoming dry and chapped very quickly. Because of the loss of moisture, your lips' natural barrier weakens, allowing environmental aggressors to cause collagen breakdown resulting in pesky fine lines and wrinkles.


Luckily, there are simple ways to shield your lips from the cold. The most important thing is to ensure you hydrate yourself inside and out. Carrying around a nourishing lip balm that you can reapply as needed will help you ensure that your lips won't become chapped. Look for ingredients like shea butter, beeswax, or vitamin E to help your lips stay plump and healthy. If the weather is windy, using a scarf to cover up your lips and protect them is always a good choice. And lastly, during colder months, ensure you step up your nighttime lip routine — make sure to exfoliate any dry patches and use ultra-nourishing lip products that will make your lips super soft by the morning.

Using plumping lip products regularly

Plumping lip products are an easy and efficient way to get more luscious and voluminous lips without having to get cosmetic injectables. However, the truth is that overusing lip plumpers can actually accelerate the aging process of your lips.


Plumping lip products often contain ingredients like menthol, cinnamon, chili, or other mild irritants that cause tingling and create a temporary plumping effect. However, having these ingredients on your lips regularly can cause plenty of inflammation and irritation, which disturbs the natural barrier of your lips. This can result in collagen degradation, breakdown of elastin fibers, and — you've guessed it — the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Now, are we saying you must avoid plumping lip products? Not really. But you should save them for special occasions and avoid using them every day. Apart from that, make sure that every time you do use a plumping lip product, you give your lips some extra love during your nighttime skincare routine. And if you want to achieve a naturally more plump lip, opt for lip products that contain hyaluronic acid, which will help your lips look more nourished and radiant.


A hormonal imbalance can negatively impact lips

A hormonal imbalance can also play a role in causing your lips to age quickly. Hormones influence us in many ways, and a hormonal imbalance often affects our skin, too. One of the key hormones at play is estrogen (via Refreshed Aesthetic Surgery & Skincare). Estrogen helps maintain the plumpness and elasticity of our skin, including our lips. Estrogen levels naturally decline as we age, causing our lips to lose volume and moisture. This reduction in estrogen can lead to thinning lips, increased dryness, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Apart from an estrogen deficiency, low testosterone levels can also cause lip wrinkles (via Carolina HealthSpan Institute).


Additionally, hormonal imbalances, such as those associated with menopause or certain medical conditions, can cause collagen and elastin production fluctuations. Collagen and elastin are essential for providing elasticity and plumpness to our lips. Our lips can become thin when their production lowers, resulting in a more aged appearance.

Now, while we can't stop the aging process, we can rebalance our hormones. The best thing you can do is consult with a healthcare professional to address any underlying hormonal imbalances. They can guide you on potential treatments or lifestyle adjustments to help restore balance, and with that, you will also notice a positive change in the appearance of your lips.