There are many reasons we develop lines around the mouth, most people don't realize you can do something about them outside of injectables, but you can! This is a holistic approach to improving lip lines - from awareness, habits, massage, and self care.
Why they occur:
Tension held in the lips over time
Loss of muscle one, collagen
Lack of hydration, nourishment
Drinking from a straw, smoking
Sleeping on your side, stomach
In terms of TCM, we say this area reflects a need for more self care if it has a drawn or wrinkled appearance. We'll also want to pay special attention to digestion, as the Large Intestine meridian circles the lips as well. In clinic we would explore your digestion further.
This video demonstrates how to do a massage at home to improve this area. Key is not to be too aggressive - you are not to PULL around this area, rather loosen tension in the muscle that you feel between your fingers by squeezing.
Besides the massage, awareness of tension held around the lips is very important. Throughout the day - check in, you'll be amazed to discover how tight you are holding your mouth without realizing it. Start relaxing this area! You can hold the area with TONE, but not tension. The face is one of the only areas on the body where the skin is attached to muscle, so if we can nourish the muscle and release microspasms, we can improve the skin, even older wrinkles. I cleansed my skin first, then applied a bit of Kindred Skincare Nightly Nourish to my face for this massage (available in the store).
Consider other ways you can pamper yourself as well - do something just for yourself!
A transcript of the video is below. Give this a try, and let me know how you go! You can join me on TikTok to see more of these helpful videos at @brookeandtcm (formerly @brookeandhoney).
Transcript: Lines on the top lip in Chinese medicine can be indicative of what's going on in your digestion, but they can also be called "caregiver lines". If you're someone who takes care of others more than you're able to take care of yourself, you might see these lines appear. To work on them I've applied a few drops of oil to my face. Gather your lips like this, and gently squeeze, we're just squeezing not pulling.
There's a pressure point on the outside of the lips (Stomach 4), you can spend a second there and go back and forth.
Now, put your thumbs on the inside of your upper lip and use your index finger to draw across and down, working out the lines. (not pulling)
Now you're going to glide upwards from below the lip and then upwards from above the lip. You can do this several times. Smooth out, and then smooth your whole face upward and repeat.
You can do this a few times a week.