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Avoid trout pout
Thin isn't in when it comes to lips, but the irony is that an overly done "trout pout" ends up advertising your age - and insecurities - rather than looking youthful.
Women may notice signs of aging around the mouth as early as their thirties (especially if they smoke or worship the sun), but the real changes occur a decade later, largely due to a loss of collagen and elastin.
"The lip border becomes blurred and less distinct, then fine lines begin to form at the lip margin," says Toronto dermatologist Lisa Kellett. "Fine, vertical lines extend from the mouth, causing lipstick to bleed, and lips decrease in size and can droop or sag."
How to help lips stay youthful
What can you do to counteract these changes? Kellett says a hyaluronic acid injectable filler can increase lip volume, smooth out lines and re-define the lip margin. But remember, less is more! Botox can improve the downturned corners of the mouth, and a course of ProFractional laser treatments can boost skin tone and texture. (If you opt for any of these techniques, check out your doctor's experience and ask friends for recommendations.)
You don't have to go invasive to see results. Instead, try using a one per cent retinol cream around the mouth to help rebuild collagen and soften lines, and ditch the dark lipstick in favour of a light-reflecting clear or pink gloss.
Regardless of your comfort - or finance - level, some great anti-aging products are available over the counter. They range from lip plumpers (which generally work by using a gentle irritant to temporarily create fullness) to moisturizing lipsticks with antioxidants to creams that help soften the look of wrinkles around the mouth.Plump lips with Elizabeth Grant Torricelumn Intensive Caviar Line Treatment for Lips ($38), which contains caviar extracts and peptides.
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($22) is a balm with SPF 15 and antioxidants.
Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Plumping Anti-Wrinkle-Lips and Contour ($97) promises to help lift and firm the entire lip area.
Collagen microspheres help increase fullness in FusionBeauty Colorceuticals LipFusion Balm Lip Conditioning Stick ($24)
Retinol and biopeptides combine in a lip-enhancing gloss. Alyria Intense Lip Volumizer ($60)
Use a smoothing, non-sticky gloss to fill in fine lines. Caryl Baker Visage The Lip Lift Gloss Smoothing Line Filler ($19)
Extend lipstick wear with Elizabeth Arden Lip-Fix Cream ($28), which acts as a primer and softens lines.