- Believe it or not, your lips are comprised of several muscles, all of which must work to pucker up. The main muscle, the orbicularis oris, is the muscle that controls movement in the mouth. It encircles the mouth, and originates in the maxilla and mandible bones. This muscle inserts directly into the lips. When you pucker up for a kiss, whistle, or drink through a straw, you have to contract your orbicularis oris.
- The orbicular oris is not a single muscle, however. It is actually comprised of four muscles, and by using these four muscles over the years (by kissing, drinking from a straw, smoking, etc.) you will develop vertical lip lines around the mouth, which contribute to causing us to look older, and allows lipstick to bleed into those lines.
- Lips do not sweat! (Mind. Blown.) Because sweat glands are what helps keep our skin moisturized, that’s why our lips dry out faster than the rest of our bodies.
- The reddish color that our lips have is caused by blood. The skin of the lips is thinner that the skin elsewhere on our bodies (consisting of 3-5 layers of skin instead of up to 16). Thinner skin makes it easier to see the blood vessels directly underneath, and this effect is more pronounced on people with lighter skin tones.
- Lips tend to thin as we get older. The lip area gets its shape from collagen, which as you know, begins to decrease as we age. Another factor that causes lips to thin is ultraviolet light from the sun. We don’t often think of our lips as something we need to protect from the sun, but remember, less layers of skin, combined with thinner skin, mean that this sensitive area is prime real estate for sun damage!
There are some non-invasive treatments and procedures that are tailored to help treat this sensitive area. Belotero, Restylane, and Juvederm are routinely recommended and used to help plump up the lip area.
Topical products include SkinCeuticals AOX Lip Repair, which helps prevent the signs of premature aging, while restoring moisture and smoothing the lip surface. This is meant to be used in conjunction with your other skin care products twice daily, and not meant to be used as lip balm!
To protect your lips from the harsh rays of the sun, we recommend Epicuren Anti-Aging Lip Balm SPF 15, which is a UV filtering anti-aging moisturizer that soothes and rejuvenates dry, chapped lips.
If the eyes are the window to the soul, the lips are the sign of youth and vitality. If you are reading this, you most likely take your skin care regime seriously, and as such, should consider your lips an important area to protect. Stop by the Studio anytime for more information on the products we recommended above, or to talk to us about a restorative treatment. As always, we are your partners in skin care!