Why lips thin with age and how to stop it

Let’s face it, it seems like nowadays media and everyone you know is obsessed with having plump and full lips.

I am embarrassed to admit it but I have always been a little bit vain about my lips. So when I realized my lips were thinning at a pretty fast rate, I got pretty worried. Aesthetics aside, it made me wonder if the thinning was a sign of something missing in my overall health. The short answer is yes but the good news is there’s many things we can do to reduce the thinning and even possibly reverse it.

Why do lips thin?

1. Natural decline of collagen- Just like the rest of your body, collagen production slows down as you age. While that is just a fact of life, theres ways to slow this down. It’s easy to believe all the ads on Instagram and TV promoting fillers but we urge you not to go for it. Although it helps temporarily it wears off in 6 months and because your lips were essentially inflated, you’re often left with wrinkly deflated lips.

2. Teeth wearing- This is another sad fact of life. As you grow older your teeth wear and shift and don’t provide the same level of support for your lips anymore. The only thing you can do here is take care of your teeth but its simple, just keep your gums and enamel strong by not over brushing. A Chilean dentist told me when I visited him for gum recession, “all the special toothbrushes and toothpastes are just for them to make money”. He told me to throw away my fancy electric toothbrush and switch to a very soft one. A few months later, my gumline is growing back and I have him to thank!

3. Dehydration- I think the importance of drinking water appears in any beauty article but that’s because its so important. It is literally what we are made of so when you’re not getting enough water your body will shut down non essential functions (such as collagen production). Plus your body uses water to manufacture hyaluronic acid, the stuff that keeps lips plump.

4. Sun damage- UV rays are a natural collagen killer. Always wear sunscreen on your lips and face!

Natural remedies

1. Honey Mask- Apply honey over your lips like you would lip gloss and let it sit for 15 minutes. If it’s warm then I suggest putting a small piece of plastic wrap over it to prevent dripping. The honey will help even out the tone of your lips, and hydrate them. Be sure to take a before and after picture!

2. Exfoliate- Mix together: 1 tbs brown sugar, 1/2 tbs cinnamon powder, and 3/4 tbs coconut oil. Apply to lips and gently exfoliate for 2-3 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and voila! Your lips should be smooth, soft, and plumper.

3. Increase circulation- Things like peppermint and capsaicin oils naturally stimulate nerve cells and increase circulation. You’ll see these ingredients in a lot of lip products. For the lip balm we make, we use Cayenne pepper.

4. Diet- Eating a diet rich in healthy fats (such as avocado) is known to boost collagen production. Also in Traditional Chinese Medicine, an herb called Horsetail helps boost production as well.

5. Lip Exercises- Do the following lip exercises once a day to strengthen lip muscles. This counteracts any teeth wearing and provides structure to your lips. The exercise is simple, just pucker and extend your lips like you’re going in for a closed mouth. kiss. Repeat for 2-3 minutes. Make sure your lips and area around them is hydrated to prevent fine lines from forming.

Michelle Wu