New Wrinkle—Worry Water Bottle Lips

April 2014 View more

iStock_000009109905MediumWe’ve heard it all before, drinking water is a healthy habit, for numerous reasons. Many times, a sports bottle is the most convenient way to drink water on the go. But excessive drinking from a bottle can create lip and facial wrinkles, and over time, those wrinkles can deepen.

Some people think that lip wrinkles are caused by excessive dryness and they are disappointed when the kinks don’t disappear after using heavy moisturizers. There’s more to it than that. Environmental factors like sun and wind exposure can play a major part in developing facial wrinkles. Other factors include genetics, smoking and overall lifestyle.

A Natural Process

As we age, vertical wrinkles form directly above the upper lip. Oftentimes these lines extend onto the lips. Over time, we lose volume in the skin, and the wrinkles are more noticeable. Dr. Robert D. Galiano, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, says any motion that causes wrinkling and furrowing can eventually result in permanent cleats or lines that are visible even when the skin is not being moved. “In the past, wrinkles around the lips were associated mostly with smoking, but even other activities and habits such as frequent straw use or drinking from a water bottle can cause mouth wrinkles,” said Dr. Galiano. It’s that repeated pursing of your lips that causes premature wrinkling.

The muscle surrounding the mouth allows us to purse our lips to eat, drink and speak, since it is a sphincter muscle. “The skin around the lips and the lips themselves essentially are pulled along with the muscle when it contracts. Over time, the repetitive wrinkling that results can cause lines and creases which can become noticeable and persist even when the lips are not being actively pursed or minimally pursed,” said Dr. Galiano.

Treatment Options

There are a number of treatment options available to help improve those lines around your lips.


Used in very low doses, Botox is a common option. “This decreases the creasing of the skin and decreases the appearance of wrinkles that occur with animation. It is very important that low-dose Botox is used because muscle function around the mouth is essential for eating, drinking and speaking,” said Dr. Bryan W. Rubach, Center for Cosmetic and Laser Surgery, Naperville. Botox lasts about three to four months.


Fillers are injected into the wrinkle, almost like caulking to push up the crease. “Fine lines can be extremely difficult to fill appropriately and can result in overfilling which creates an unnatural full lip. Deeper lines around the mouth and lip area can often be filled by an experienced injector with very good outcomes and high patient satisfaction,” said Dr. Rubach. Fillers last about one year. There is no downtime with Botox and fillers. They can be done in the same appointment.


Deeper wrinkles require more aggressive therapy. Two types of laser systems can be used for treatment: The CO2 laser and the Erbium laser. “Resurfacing involves removing the outer layers of the skin and allowing new healthy skin to heal in place of the damaged skin. The result is a dramatic improvement in the amount of collagen,” said Dr. Rubach.

You need about one week of downtime for healing after laser procedures. Even after that week, the skin can be pink or red for one to two months. Dr. Rubach says patients often use makeup to cover the difference in skin color until healing is complete. “While resurfacing does require healing and downtime, the results can be amazing. Typically, lines, wrinkles, textural problems are dramatically reduced.”

Other Options

The simplest, cheapest solution is to drink your water from a cup, or something with a wider opening. Also, relaxing your upper lip while you sip helps to minimize the puckering motion.