So…those kissers just aren’t as plump as they used to be. Maybe you’ve just noticed and are shocked…or you’ve had your eye on them for a while now and finally getting concerned. What happened to those luscious lips of your youth? Or maybe you’ve never really had plump lips, but now they’re even thinner.
Whatever the case, thinning lips is a fact of life for most as we age. I’m one of the fortunate ones that hasn’t lost much plumpness…yet… So today we’re taking a look at how to plump thinning lips. Is there help for aging lips? Thankfully the answer is Yes!
The Cause – Is it All Agings Fault?
Aging is partly at fault, but not the only thing that causes thinning lips. The environment and our lifestyles also play a part. I’m choosing to see this as good news because that means we can make some changes to slow the thinning process. We might not can reverse the thinning that already occurred, but we can try to prevent further damage. But before we get into all that let’s have a look at the causes of thinning lips.
Loss of Collagen – We’ve learned through our journey of skincare over 50 that we lose collagen production with age and that collagen is important for firm, plump skin. Well…our lips are no exception. We also have learned that collagen keeps our skin firm and plump because that’s what retains moisture in our skin.
Dehydration – Now is a good time to mention this cause. With the loss of collagen, we also lose that natural retention of water in our skin. Proper water consumption is important for our overall health at any age, but more so for our skin as we age. The problem is that most people don’t increase their water intake as they age. I can’t say this enough…drink plenty of water. Your entire body will thank you!
Bone loss – We think of bone loss in our torso and limbs, but we also lose bone structure in our face and teeth. It’s bad enough that our skin starts to droop with the loss of elasticity, but it sags even more without bones holding it up. Our upper lip starts to fall over our teeth, making it look thinner.
Genetics – Genetics determine the size and shape of our lips. As I mentioned earlier, I am fortunate to have plump lips…thank you Dad! If you were born with thin lips then you most likely started seeing your lips thin at an earlier age…sorry.
Puckering – Puckering can cause thin lips as well as wrinkles around the mouth (see my post on How to Reduce Wrinkles Around the Mouth) by breaking down collagen. Puckering comes from actions like smoking, making funny faces – another reason not to make those silly fish lip pictures – and drinking through straws.
Exposure to the environment – Exposure to the sun and cold can wear down our lips. As we learned in my post Best Way to Treat Chapped Lips, the skin on our lips is thinner and more delicate than the rest of our body, therefore, must be protected. Look for lipstick or balm with sunscreen. And be sure to keep your lips covered in the Winter as well.
Fuller Lips – What We Can Do
Now that we’ve seen that aging and genetics are only part of the reason our lips thin, let’s look at what we can do to have fuller lips.
Prevention – As you read above, our lifestyles and the environment play a part in thinning lips. Protect your lips by covering them with nourishing, SPF products, take care of your teeth, drink plenty of water, and limit puckering. Giving up straws is a tough one for me when I’m eating out somewhere. There’s just something about drinking out of a glass I know strangers have used. Shiver…ok…back on topic.
Moisturizer – Use a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid to help penetrate and retain moisture. One that you apply at bedtime can be especially beneficial since that is when our skin goes into recovery mode. Also, make sure your lip balm is not drying out your lips. Some waxy chap sticks may actually be doing more harm than good. Go for a more natural balm containing oils and not in stick form. Olive, almond, and grape seed oil are also a great way to add moisture to your lips.
Exfoliate – Our lips need to be rid of dead skin just like the rest of our bodies. Dull, dry skin will make your lips look smaller. Be sure, however, to be gentle with this process since the skin on your lips is thinner and more delicate.
Eat Healthy – Eating healthy is always a good thing for many reasons and our lips are part of that. Consuming plenty of protein and Vitamin C helps with collagen production.
Lip Plumper – We’ve all seen the lipsticks and gloss that tout fuller lips. While temporary, they can give the appearance of plumped lips. These products use ingredients like cinnamon or ginger…natural, right?…but beware…these products actually irritate the skin (which creates the fullness) and can tingle and break down collagen when used long-term.
Pink Lips – The color pink reflects the most light, making lips look bigger. Here are some ways to make your lips naturally more pink:
- Exfoliate with honey and sugar
- The healthier you are the pinker your lips become
- Gently exfoliate with a soft toothbrush
- Aloe Vera, pomegranate, turmeric, beetroot, lemon, and crushed rose petal masks.
Light Therapy – You can purchase a reasonably priced device for in-home light therapy for your lips. The device emits an infrared LED light to the inside of your lips to stimulate the production of collagen.
Lip Fillers – I prefer to do things the natural way…you know, no needles…but I like to give you all the options and let you decide for yourself. You can have your lips injected with product to temporarily plump your lips. Be sure, however, to select a reputable professional. Just look up “lip injections gone wrong” and you’ll see plenty of horrible outcomes. Do plenty of research so you can make an educated decision whether or not this is the right option for you.
Cosmetic Tricks – The Art of Fuller Lips
I truly believe makeup is an art form. We use color and shade to shape and highlight certain features on our face. Here are some tips to give your lips that plump look you’re seeking.
Lip Liner – Besides keeping your lipstick from spreading, lip liner helps define the shape and size of your lips. Choose a shade just slightly darker than your lipstick. Line just outside the natural line of your lips for a fuller look. Then fill in lips with the liner. This will also help your lipstick stay in place longer. Next, softly apply a white liner in the notch (cupid’s bow) on your upper lip just above the liner you’ve just applied.
Pink Lipstick – Choose a pink lipstick to reflect as much light as you can. As a side note: Cool skin tones should choose a pink with a blue or purple undertone (hot pink, rose, or magenta) and warm skin tones should choose a pink with a yellow or orange undertone (coral, peach, or nude).
Two Shades of Lipstick – Get a little dramatic by using a darker shade on your outer lips and a lighter shade on the inside of your lips. Make sure the contrast is subtle, however, and blended.
Highlighter – Use a highlighter above your liner on your top lip and just a dab in the middle of your lower lip near where your lips meet, avoiding the outer edge.
Gloss – Use a gloss either over natural lips or lipstick to give a little shine. This will reflect light, causing lips to look fuller. If gloss is too shiny for you then select a lipstick with shine.
My Final Thoughts
Hopefully I’ve given you some encouraging and helpful tips to get back those lips from your youth. It’s nice to know that there is hope and that it’s not too late to take control. As you think about how to plump thinning lips, keep in mind that there are natural ways, cosmetic tricks, and even injections.
I hope most of all that you’ve seen that living a healthy lifestyle is the best thing we can do for our skin…lips included. As we start a new year I encourage you to think of just one thing you can change that will get you on the road to a healthier you. Maybe it’s as simple as drinking more water. Whatever you decide, your skin will thank you for it!
Before You Go
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