Straws Are Evil…For Your Skin Too

By Minji

  • The seemingly harmless habit of drinking through a straw can cause unnecessary wrinkles
  • Be mindful of other life activities that make you tense up your lips
  • For mouth area skincare, a pro-tip is to apply any left-over eye cream to  the mouth area

If you live in LA, you’ve probably gotten used to drinking your beverages without a straw by now. Ever since reports about plastic straws killing marine life surfaced, most cafes I know have either eliminated straws entirely or substituted with paper alternatives. My friend was telling me that after carelessly asking for one recently, her waitress didn’t hesitate to shame her by saying, “I guess you don’t care about baby turtles, huh?” Shame is never good, but undoubtedly caring for mother nature is top of mind for most of us these days and the related hatred for plastic straws is pretty intense.

In any case, I think it’s a good thing that we’re all learning to drink without straws. Not just for the environment, but also for your skin! The seemingly harmless habit of drinking through a straw can cause unnecessary wrinkles. When you drink through a straw, you end up pursing or scrunching your lips harshly and if you repeat often enough, it can create wrinkles from the repetitive muscle motion.  Similar to how angry face can cause angry wrinkles between your brows and forehead (adopt a new angry face!). The skin around the lip area, similar to the eye area, is thinner and more delicate than other parts of your face, so it’s even more important to develop good skincare habits to keep this area healthy and glowing.

If you’ve been using straws because you don’t want the liquids to stain your pearly whites, considering swishing with water instead. Goes without saying that for the same reason, you should at all cost avoid smoking.  Be mindful of other life activities that make you tense up your lips. I recently have been practicing fluttering my mouth for breath during workouts instead of swishing air out of my mouth which makes me wrinkle up my lips. Drinking tea that’s too hot is another time that you might be tensing up your lips. I’ve also noticed that if you take bites of food that are too big, you will end up having to purse your lips harder to contain it all, so smaller bites are better (not just for lips, but for health and etiquette too).  

Like all other areas of the face, your lip area is also prone to sun damage, so using a lip moisturizer with SPF can be helpful. I don’t like how hard lip balms can sometimes strain the lip area during application (especially during the cold winter months) so I’ll stick to a softer moisturizer or oil type. Lip moisturizer should be something you always have with you to make sure your lip area is well-hydrated at all times, similar to carrying a hand cream everywhere.   

Lastly, take the time to invest in your overall skincare routine and make sure you don’t leave out the skin around the mouth. One of my favorite pro-tips is to apply any left-over eye cream to around the mouth area. Be mindful of the movements of your mouth, protect it from the sun and nourish your skin with the right products, and you should have a beautiful mouth to smile with always!