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Are There Botox Creams for Lips?

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Both men and women struggle with the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines in the face as early as their 20s. Most of the time, a person’s facial appearance can affect the way they feel about themselves, with 43% of Americans admitting they are more self-conscious when they have wrinkles. Cosmetic products such as facial creams, moisturizers, and serums help keep the skin firm and in tiptop condition. 

So are there Botox creams available for the lips? Unfortunately, there are no Botox creams yet in the market. 

Why Botox Creams Don’t Exist 

Botox is an FDA-approved cosmetic treatment that’s widely used for treating excessive sweating, migraine, and most cosmetic problems like crow’s feet, nasolabial fold, and thinning lips. Because of its effectiveness and long-lasting results, patients are interested in a topical version of Botox as an alternative.

Botox cream for lips, however, is still undergoing clinical trials and there’s no word yet about when they will be marketed. Be cautious when stumbling upon a product that claims to have Botox as it may cause potential harm to the skin in the long run. 

To understand why injections are considered the best method for receiving Botox, it’s important to get a grasp of what this injectable is made of.

What Is Botox? 

Botox is composed of a strong neurotoxin known as botulinum toxin. It’s derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which is one of the most powerful substances in medicine. This neurotoxin is further classified into 4 categories: 

  • OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) – This is the most common type used for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes such as Botox Lip Flip. 
  • RimabotulinumtoxinB (Myobloc) – This usually blocks nerve activity in the muscle. It’s used for treating severe spasms in the neck and chronic drooling. 
  • AbobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport) – This is typically used to cure cervical dystonia which is a condition where neck muscles contract abnormally.

Since it’s a powerful drug, the botulinum toxin is typically injected in very small amounts in targeted areas with significant muscle movement. In cases of lip enhancement, it works by weakening nerve impulses that are responsible for signaling the muscles to contract. It effectively smoothes out fine lines, lip lines, and lip wrinkles for some time until the toxin wears off. 

It’s also a good course of treatment for individuals who complain of thin lips as an effect of volume loss due to aging. The treatment is called Lip Flip and is a minimally invasive and safe procedure that works the same as a lip filler (mostly using hyaluronic acid fillers or HA fillers).

It requires injections in the muscle above the upper lip. Doctors may rub some numbing cream before injecting to manage the pain during the procedure. The toxin then causes the upper lip to instinctively curl outward to appear fuller and feel more defined. It’s a great choice for individuals who want to naturally enhance their lips without altering the shape around the mouth area. 

For the best results with minimal side effects, it’s recommended that the lip injection is performed by a licensed plastic surgeon or registered dermatologist. It’a a convenient procedure that can be done in less than an hour, allowing patients to return to their normal activities after the injection. Most results are visible in the face and the lip in just two weeks and last for 3 to 6 months. 

If Botox creams did exist, they would only have a temporary firming effect on the skin. An injectable filler is still suggested to have more efficacy and gradually reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines. Patients may opt for follow-up visits to their clinic and receive the injection again for optimal results.

Learn more: Which Is Better: Lip Filler or Botox?

The Science Behind Thinning and Wrinkling Lips 

The skin is the most sensitive part of the body. It’s generally divided into 3 main layers: 

  • The outer part, also known as the epidermis. It’s a thin layer consisting of skin cells, pigments, and proteins. It acts as a barrier that protects the body from harmful substances that may damage its normal function.
  • The middle part, also known as the dermis. It supports the epidermis and is commonly the thickest layer of the skin. It mostly holds the body’s water supply to regulate temperature and continuously provides blood to the epidermis. Most of the tissues that maintain the skin’s firmness such as collagen, elastin, and reticular fibers are found here.
  • The inner layer, also known as the subcutaneous layer. It’s a fatty layer of tissue that contains the sweat glands, hair follicles, and blood vessels. It also serves as a line of defense against bacteria and toxins, effectively keeping them out from reaching the vital organs and bones in the body.

Lips, in particular, have their own set of skin layers. Unlike the skin that generally has 15 to 16 layers for protection, the lips only have 3 to 4 thin layers which allow the blood vessels to easily flow to the surface and give it a pink or reddish color.

Another difference is that lips do not produce sebum due to the absence of sebaceous glands. It’s the main reason for having chapped lips because sebum is capable of keeping the skin hydrated. These glands are also providers of antioxidants such as vitamin E, which protect against UV rays. Without vitamin E, the lips have no protection against sunlight and are more prone to losing their soft, plump texture over time.

The Importance of Collagen in Lips 

One other main cause of thinning lips is the loss of collagen. It’s an essential protein that makes up one-third of the entire body’s composition. It holds everything together — from bones, muscles, ligaments, and blood vessels — and is vital in keeping the firmness and youthful structure of the skin.

It works hand-in-hand with hyaluronic acid (also referred to as HA), which is another substance that can keep the skin moisturized. It’s a sugar molecule found in several parts of the body, particularly in the joints and connective tissues. It acts well as a lubricant and can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.

Because of its ability to retain water, hyaluronic acid supports collagen by binding moisture to maintain the elasticity of the skin. It’s also widely used in most dermal fillers (HA filler) to help add volume and improve shape around the mouth area, effectively reducing the appearance of deep wrinkles and fine lines. 

However, once the body hits peak efficiency in its early 20s, the maintenance functions and production of the needed cells and tissues start their slow decline. The decrease in the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin contributes to sagging and loose skin, dark spots, facial wrinkles, and a dull complexion. 

There’s also a good chance that genetics plays a role in determining whether a person will have pouty lips. Some people are naturally born with voluminous lips, while others have smaller ones. Most of the time, thin lips are a recessive trait passed down by the parents. Fortunately, there are some natural ways to give the lips a boost of volume and make them look plumper: 

  • Stay hydrated. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. The body is made up of fluids, and it’s important to replenish with liquids to maintain the moisture of the skin and the lips. 
  • Wear sunscreen. Too much sun exposure can cause the UV rays to speed up the aging process. Sunscreen products, with at least an SPF 30, provide a barrier that blocks the radiation from penetrating the skin and avoids the risk of decreasing collagen production.
  • Avoid too much puckering of the lips. Puckering can cause premature thinning and upper lip wrinkles. It’s wise to avoid drinking using straws to prevent lips from losing their natural full shape.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol. Cigarettes and alcohol are both vices that can contribute to the deterioration of healthy skin and the appearance of facial lines and vertical lip lines in the mouth area. Drinking alcohol can also dehydrate the skin, which can affect its smooth texture and complexion over time.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Consuming fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C and meat that is rich in protein can encourage collagen production. This is a foolproof and simple way to ensure that the lips remain soft and slow down their thinning as you get older.

Topical Treatments and Anti-Wrinkling Serums as Alternatives 

Having a good skincare routine is also crucial in maintaining healthy-looking skin. While waiting for Botox creams for lips and face, you may opt for good alternatives such as lip plumpers and anti-wrinkling topical lotions that have the same effect as a filler injection. 

Most of these products have ingredients that have similar effects to Botox and can achieve naturally plump-looking lips. Those substances are:

1. Collagen

It’s been established that the body is capable of producing collagen by itself. However, you can boost this by eating collagen-rich foods such as chicken, fish, egg whites, leafy greens, and citrus fruits. 

There are also supplements that are available in capsule or powder form. These medications are derived from the connective tissues of cows, fish, and chickens. When ingested, they are broken down into amino acids and protein which stimulate the body to improve regeneration and maintain healthy skin. 

2. Retinoids 

Retinoids are also known as retinol and are a form of vitamin A which is commonly found in most anti-aging products. It can increase the production of collagen and new blood vessels to improve skin color and retain the elasticity of the skin. It’s also popular in the cosmetic industry as an effective substance for clearing age spots, evening out skin tone, and diminishing acne marks.

3. Peptide

Similar to collagen, peptides are groups of amino acids that already exist in the body. They function as building blocks that build most of the body’s protein, including collagen and elastic fibers. It helps the body absorb collagen easily and reverses the signs of aging. Topical creams that have peptides can minimize wrinkles, firm up the skin, and act as a complement to protect the skin from sun damage.

4. Ceramides 

Ceramides are a class of fatty acids known as lipids and are located in the skin’s layers. They act as a natural moisturizer that rebuilds the protective barrier of the skin to keep it hydrated, preventing dryness and irritation. Using face products with ceramides can further provide moisture and maintain plumpness around the lip area. 

5. Hyaluronic acid 

Hyaluronic acid has many uses for the skin and face, one of which is the popular facial filler or lip filler (usually marketed as Restylane) that can add volume to improve upper lip lines. It’s one of the most effective hydrating ingredients used in today’s creams, serums, and even cleansers to give the face a dewy look. It’s also capable of assisting in the maintenance of cells and tissues, as well as boosting the production of collagen to effectively keep signs of aging at bay. 

6. Niacinamide 

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, which is an essential nutrient that the body needs to function properly and ensure that the cells can carry out important chemical reactions. When used for skincare, niacinamide brightens the skin, lightens dark spots brought by hyperpigmentation, and reduces acne and pimples. It also helps build collagen and cells to protect skin from environmental stresses and prevents wrinkles and severe acne breakouts.

7. Centella asiatica 

Centella asiatica is an herb also known as gotu kola and has seen widespread use in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. It’s made up of 4 active ingredients known as terpenoids (asiatic acid, asiaticoside, madecassic acid, and madecassoside) which have natural wound and scar healing properties. It’s also plentiful in flavonoids which fight free radicals damage and reduce the signs of aging.

8. Squalane 

Squalane is a natural compound that’s mostly extracted from plants like olive and palm trees. It bears many benefits such as boosting hydration to make skin feel plump. It’s also rich in antioxidants that can fight skin damage and slow down the aging process. It also has collagen production properties which can result in firm skin.

It’s extensively found in anti-acne creams, anti-aging products, and moisturizing lotions. It can also be applied as an oil that can treat dry areas around the mouth and effectively reverse the chapping in the lips to revive its softness.

9. Ferulic acid 

Ferulic acid is another plant-based antioxidant that’s primarily used in anti-aging serums. It’s found in most fruits seeds, vegetables, grains, and nuts. It’s preferred for its ability to strengthen the effects of other antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E. It’s commonly applied topically as it can also act as a skin’s protective barrier from the sun’s harmful UV rays and other environmental factors. 

Talk With Experts at Ethos Spa for Lip Enhancement Options 

Thinning lips are one of the most obvious signs of aging that many women want to address. While there are lip balm and anti-aging creams that offer the same effect as Botox for a self-esteem boost, many doctors would still recommend the tried and tested dermal filler injections and lip flip treatments to naturally restore volume to the lips and restore that youthful glow. 

Find out how you can benefit from lip augmentation at Ethos Spa, Skin and Laser Center. Our medically licensed plastic surgeons can guarantee that they can help achieve your goals of fuller lips with our safe and quality products and services. We’ve served many happy clients who can all testify to how lip fillers and Botox can improve your quality of life. Contact us for a consultation via our website today.