Retinol creams, topical retinoid prescriptions and chemical exfoliators are commonly used at home to reduce the appearance of wrinkles around the lips. Deep-set wrinkles generally require the intervention of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon experienced in laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and Botox and filler injections. Preventative measures, such as applying sunscreen, following an antioxidant-rich diet and not smoking, are important for minimizing wrinkles down the road.
Over-the-counter products have little to no effect on facial wrinkles. Instead, dermatologists often recommend Retin-A or a similar tretinoin product to treat fine lines. Available only by prescription, tretinoin is a vitamin A-related drug scientifically proven to reduce wrinkles and smooth rough skin. It produces visible results within two to six months of consistent use.
Another highly effective wrinkle treatment is retinol, a natural vitamin A derivative that may be gentler on the skin than tretinoin. Over-the-counter retinol products are not regulated by the FDA, however, and often contain a negligible amount of the active ingredient.
Chemical exfoliation involving alpha-hydroxy acids has also been shown to eliminate wrinkles around the lips. These acids help shed dead skin cells and remove the surface layer of skin. Over-the-counter formulations contain between 2 and 10 percent of an alpha-hydroxy acid, usually glycolic acid. Due to the potential for adverse effects, including burning, scarring and sun damage, acid peels at significantly higher concentrations should be employed under a doctor's supervision.