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Will Retin A Help with Lip Lines?

by Ella Goodman 02 Dec 2019

darkspot and aging skin treatment

Ask any woman in her 30s or beyond, and she’ll tell you that aging is a sneaky business. All over the world, women peer into their mirrors, looking for the faintest signs of those first delicate lines around their eyes. They might also notice that their skin doesn’t seem to be as “plump” as it once was, or that their skin texture feels less firm than it once did. T

hese are the obvious signs of aging skin that most women look for. But then there are those signs of aging that can catch you a little off guard… 

Like lip lines.

Lines around the lips tend to sneak in slowly, barely noticeable until one day you’re putting on your favorite lipstick and see the tiniest little offshoot, as if your lip color seems to stray a little from your lips. These little lines that form around the mouth can eventually give your lips a somewhat puckered appearance, and while they might not be completely avoidable as we age, it’s also nice to be able to hold them at bay for as long as possible.

Despite all the varied products we use on our lips, few of them are formulated to prevent premature aging and protect the area from damage. Maybe that’s why we often don’t think about lip lines until they’ve already begun to surface. 

As you begin to search for a skin care option to minimize lip lines and create a more youthful appearance, you’ll probably come across Tretinoin, or Retin A, as a possible treatment. The question is: Does Retin A really help with lip lines, and how effective is it?

What Is Retin A?

Let’s start with the basics. Retin A isn’t your typical anti-aging skincare product, packed with ingredients that sound good but may have no scientific research behind them. Instead, Retin A is a brand name for a retinoid called tretinoin.

Tretinoin, in turn, is viewed as being one of the most effective skincare ingredients on the market today. You can use tretinoin to treat a wide variety of conditions, including brown spots, age spots, acne, skin lines, and photo aged skin. Tretinoin’s well-documented success has made it one of the preferred treatments prescribed by dermatologists.

Retin A, along with all other retinoids, is a derivative of vitamin A. Tretinoin works to reduce brown spots, age spots, and lip lines by breaking things down at a cellular level. Tretinoin targets unhealthy or dead skin cells and helps your body naturally replace them with healthy, unblemished cells, giving your skin a more sprightly appearance overall.

Will Retin A Help with Lip Lines?

As a stand-alone treatment, Retin A — aka tretinoin — is effective for a range of skincare concerns, including minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, along with enhancing your skin’s ability to slow down the aging process. 

Those first signs of aging that lead to more deep-set wrinkles are all caused by the same factors, regardless if the effects are appearing at the corners of your eyes or around your lips. Tretinoin works by directly impacting those aging factors. Let’s take a closer look. 

How does tretinoin work?

 Your skin depends on collagen and elastin as its support structures to keep it plump, smooth and supple. You can thank collagen, in part, for the reason why a child’s cheeks are so irresistibly plump and pinchable. 

As we age, collagen synthesis begins to slow down to the point it becomes a slow crawl. The process actually begins in your 20s and 30s, which is why we sometimes see those first signs of aging so much sooner than expected. Combine this with the fact that our skin cells aren’t regenerating at the rate they were when we were younger, and you have the ideal formula for those dreaded lip lines.

Tretinoin has been shown to be effective in improving the appearance of maturing skin and slowing down the rate at which skin aging occurs. When it comes to lip lines, Retin A can be incredibly effective because it helps support collagen synthesis in this incredibly delicate area, and also prompts cellular turnover, which is crucial for improving the appearance of skin in this area.


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Tretinoin is one of the most bioavailable retinoids in the world. In layman's terms, this means that tretinoin is small enough to pass through those upper layers of skin and start working below the surface to produce real, noticeable results. In addition to enhancing collagen production, the tretinoin in Retin A also increases blood flow to the area and speeds up cellular regeneration – all of which works to beautifully minimize the appearance of lines around the lips.

What Are the Downsides to Using Retin A?

One of the biggest barriers customers have when deciding to work with Retin A is that this form of tretinoin needs to be prescribed by a healthcare provider. Not only can it be embarrassing to talk with your doctor about your aging skin, but it can also be an expense. Professional medical advice takes at least one visit to a doctor, and if your PCP insists that you see a board certified dermatologist, it may mean several appointments before you can begin to treat your aging skin.

Retin A can also have some negative side effects, especially if you have sensitive skin. Applying Retin A can cause retinol to pass through the outer layer of your skin and get into deeper skin cells. Based on a number of factors, including your skin tone and your skin’s sensitivity, this may lead to side effects around the affected areas, including: 


  • Dry skin

  • Skin irritation

  • Redness


These common side effects may go away after the first few weeks as your skin adjusts to your new skin care routine. However, depending on your skin’s sensitivity, you may never fully adjust to using Retin A. 

And regardless of whether you adjust to using Retin A, you will always need to be diligent about using good sunscreen while you’re using Retin A. Retinol can increase your skin’s photosensitivity, making it easier to burn or gain dark spots as a result of sun exposure. This may seem like a catch-22, since prescription retinoids are supposed to treat signs of aging, but as long as you look for sun protection when you’re outdoors, wear protective clothing, and wear sunscreen regularly, Retin A works well. 

Is There an Alternative to Retin A?

You’re probably not ecstatic about the little lines sprouting out around your lips, so you’ve turned to the one place where you can find out everything you need to know about the most effective treatments for banishing them into non-existence: the internet. There is a lot of advice out there, not to mention some promotion of skincare products that falls on the wrong side of ethical. 

You’ll find skincare products spouting the value of salicylic acid or claiming that benzoyl peroxide is the key to treating sun damage and erasing crow’s feet. But when you do further research, you’ll find that few of these other skin care products have the peer reviewed studies to back them up that tretinoin has. At best, many of these over the counter products need more research before you can know what the long-term benefits of using them will be (if any). At worst, using the wrong over the counter products can cause skin irritation, clogged pores, acne, wrinkles, and more. 

However, there are some safe alternatives that have shown to be just as effective as tretinoin in improving the appearance and health of skin. These medically reviewed products work because they have the same active ingredient that’s in Retin A: retinol. 

One such effective product comes in the form of a non-prescription retinoid cream. This retinol based cream is just as effective at penetrating the skin’s surface as tretinoin and produces results on par with tretinoin, but without a prescription or the negative side effects of using tretinoin. 

Admire My Skin has created a formula that combines powerful anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid along with retinol. The special combination of proven ingredients and a gentle, hydrating formula may be the perfect solution for banishing lip lines and improving the overall appearance of your skin and provides a safer alternative than prescription tretinoin. 

Using this retinol-based skin care solution creates a noticeable difference to the appearance of your skin, reducing wrinkles, acne, and age spots without the skin irritation that comes from using the prescription retinoids known for getting into that deeper layer of your skin.

Tips for Using Retin to Treat Skin Aging

Your skin care matters. Whether you’re trying to treat acne, treat wrinkles, or reduce lip lines, finding a topical cream that works for you can bolster your confidence and provide long-lasting skin beauty. Using retin based products like tretinoin or non-prescription retinols can improve your skin care, leading to fewer wrinkles and an overall rejuvenated appearance.

That being said, it’s important to know how to apply your chosen topical medication. Even in a gentle formula, retinols like tretinoin are powerful ingredients. For best effects, start slowly. Avoid irritation by applying a pea sized amount of your cream to a cotton pad and massaging it into affected areas. The cream will be absorbed by your skin, and will quickly work to treat acne and wrinkles. 

Remember when you’re using over the counter retin that, just like with prescribed retin, you’ll want to be mindful of your sun exposure. Use your retinol cream first and apply sun screen on top of it to best protect your skin. 

Choosing Quality Skincare Products to Build the Best Skincare Routine and Reduce Wrinkles

The most important step you can take in protecting the health and appearance of your skin is to choose quality skin care products that are formulated to be gentle on your skin, without unnecessarily harsh ingredients. 

Use retin on your skin — an ingredient that the National Library of Medicine has certified can help with skin problems — but consider setting aside harsh, doctor-prescribed Retin A in exchange for gentle, hydrating alternatives that use retina like tretinoin in conjunction with other proven ingredients. Your skin will thank you, and your skin care routine will be better than ever. 

Retin-a before and after wrinkle pictures and dark spot treatment

Get real results within weeks when you use Admire My Skin skin care routine bundles to get a glowing skin whether you want to remove dark spots on your face or reduce wrinkles


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