How to Prevent Lips from Thinning
Published: (January, 2022)
Your lips—they are front and center on your face. With the exception of your eyes, your lips are your most noticeable facial feature. And fuller, firmer lips shout "young" as nothing else can. And that is why it’s important you take good care of your lips!
How do your lips age? Actually, it depends on the shape of your face. For some, wrinkles develop on the upper lip earlier than anywhere else on the face and can begin as early as the mid-twenties. You can see people in their seventies with wrinkled faces and unwrinkled lips.
Usually, such faces have developed deep nasolabial folds. In fact, most people develop these folds along with thin lips as they approach their elder years.
You want your lips to look attractive, but the days of those whopper lips have passed. So, what’s in vogue now? Natural lips with regular shapes.
Wrinkles around the lips interfere with that regularity. But what causes this to happen? A more detailed explanation may help…
The orbicularis orris muscle is the one surrounding your mouth. It looks like a flat plateau of muscle, but it comprises two distinct layers—a superficial (“labial”) layer and a deeper (“borderline”) layer. In most places, the skin loosely covers your muscles. But the orbicularis orris is attached very firmly to the skin.
This muscle often dries out with age, contracting toward its center. As a result, this brings about several undesirable effects. The mouth drops inward, and the mucous membrane of the lips thins. There is a lowering of the corners of the mouth, complete with descending folds and wrinkles.
With age, the orbicularis orris closes like the lens of a camera. Physiologically speaking, centripetal force twists the red border of the mucous membrane of the lips inward (dragging the fibers of the muscle of the lower lip down), while centrifugal force presses toward the corners of the mouth (involving the triangular muscle and buccal fibers).
More vividly? Imagine a drawstring bag. Now you’ve got the idea.
This drawstring effect pulls the lips in toward the interior of the mouth. Over time, the lips seem to be gradually disappearing inside the mouth, becoming visibly thinner. And the result? Those vertical wrinkles we despise so much.
This continuous tightening has a broad effect over the entire face. When the orbicularis orris tightens, it leads to a complex but unified mechanism that brings on powerful deformations of the entire lower face. On a small scale, these deformations include the wrinkles we’ve spoken about already. But on a larger scale, what happens if you do nothing to counter the process? A change to your face so significant that others will misinterpret both your emotional state and your personality.
Cosmetic intervention may give you fuller lips, but their effects are fleeting. There is no single permanent solution—not to mention the risks and side effects of these types of procedures that are simply frightful.
Lip augmentation involves injectable dermal filler. These fillers contain chemical solutions, which increase lip volume. The most common dermal fillers are Restylane and Juvéderm. Both come with possible side effects, such as bleeding from injection sites, severe swelling and bruising, asymmetry, injection into blood vessels, ulceration, and stiffening lips.
Newer dermal fillers include Artecoll and Artefill. One unfortunate result of the latter? Once the filler is injected, its microsphere behavior is unpredictable, leading to bumps and even lip granulomas.
In another procedure, fat from elsewhere in the body is harvested via liposuction or excision. This fat is injected or surgically placed into the lips. Not all of this fat survives long-term. In fact, regular touchups are needed, increasing the risk of lumps and scarring.
There is another possible side effect that very few are talking about…Scar tissue gets tighter and stronger after the first few months. Some say it’s like having a wire inside your lips! Eventually, after several procedures, this might lead to distortion in your lips. One injection might not be a problem —but nobody stops at one injection. It appears that this stuff is addictive.
How to Prevent Lips from Thinning
So, what CAN you do?
Start taking care of your lips as early as you can. The best way? Daily cupping. Will it give you “duck lips”? Absolutely not! (And I hope that is not what you want!) But it will definitely help prevent premature wrinkling. Watch my short video on the left.
What if you’re 50, 60 or more, like me? Will it help to smooth the wrinkles around your mouth? Yes, by all means. I believe that if done daily cupping increases collagen production. But the older you are, the more you’ll need to be diligent, dedicated, and patient when it comes to your skincare—your lip care in particular.
Add cupping to a healthy eating regimen, facial exercises, and solid skin care. Cupping will help relax your facial muscles—better than any other method I know. Visually wrinkles will begin to disappear. Your lips will gradually relax and appear fuller. And as a result, your younger, warmer smile will return.
Facial Exercise for Your Lips
Helicopter Exercise for Fuller Lips
Here’s a great exercise to remove tension in the orbicular orris muscle—that’s the muscle that goes around your mouth. Done regularly, this exercise will relax your lips AND make them appear fuller.
You’ll be making a sound as you do this exercise. Kids often call this sound “the helicopter.” Here’s what you do:
1. Push your lips forward and release your jaw.
2. Then inhale deeply—all the way. The air must fill up your tummy.
3. Now start vibrating your lips, blowing air out through loose lips—there’s your helicopter.
4. As you’re releasing air from your lips, suck in the belly.
This exercise involves diaphragmatic breathing or “belly breathing.” This involves fully engaging the stomach, the abdominal muscles, and the diaphragm as you breathe. You’re not just squeezing out whatever air you had in your throat and lungs. Rather, the sound you’re producing depends on a soft movement of the diaphragm.
At first, you’ll be able to do it only for a few seconds. But keep trying! In time, you’ll be able to make it for thirty seconds or longer. Regular practice will teach you to breathe diaphragmatically which brings numerous health benefits as well. And to bring this full circle, it will reduce or eliminate lip wrinkles and give you the fuller lips you’ve always wanted.
Our Sensual Lip Balm
Lips contain no oil glands, making them more vulnerable than any other part of the face. Keeping your lips moist and sealed against cold or dry weather is vital. There are lots of emollient lip products that do just that. The more emollient they are, the better. Look for emollient ingredients such as shea butter and castor oil. Our Sensual Lip Balm also contains cinnamon oil.
A little mild inflammation comes in handy from time to time. The skin of our lips is thinner than the skin on our body. It lacks the sebaceous glands that keep skin moisturized. This is why our lips chap and dry so easily.
Cinnamon has the effect of ever-so-slightly inflaming the uppermost layer of lip skin, increasing blood flow and giving your lips a fuller look.
Our Sensual Lip Balm will enhance your lips natural color, moisturize lavishly, and gently plump your lips. It's best used during the day.
Every night before retiring, I massage my lips with a spare toothbrush and then apply plain castor oil to my lips. It is quite convenient because I use castor oil on my lashes, too.