What Is With Lips These Days?

It appears that lips are in. Pop culture has been throwing lip augmentation our way for years now, but over the last two years, it seems that a tipping point has been reached. Celebrities are showing off luscious, full, juicy lips that are impacting people of all ages’ tastes. Patients that before two years ago would have been thought of as “aged out” of having their lips done at our Naples practice are now asking for their lips to be improved.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ 2016 report highlighted an increase of 50 percent in lip augmentations for 18- to 55-plus-year-olds between 2000 and 2016, with another 5 percent increase since 2016. We are not just talking about those lipstick lines anymore, but fullness using hyaluronic acid soft tissue fillers. We have been using some of the same or related fillers for laugh lines or cheeks for more than a decade now.

As infants, we all have full, pouty lips—an important biological trait related to improved latching when breastfeeding. Lips will lose thickness and thin as we age due to both extrinsic (i.e., sun and smoking) and intrinsic (genetics: “my mother’s lips”) factors. Loss of lip thickness will often result in a more deflated and wrinkled appearance, while vermillion thinning will result in a less or barely observable vermillion (red part of the lip). 

Lips are an important agent of communication for our faces. There are cultural biases about thin lips, with wrinkles giving false impressions of smoking or unhealthy decision-making, but augmenting one’s own natural or younger lip shape can battle back against those subconscious biases people may have about our appearance. Fuller lips, with the help of hyaluronic acid fillers, can gently denote a younger, healthier appearance. It is important to note that fuller lips do not mean full lips, but can simply mean fuller than before. This can be subtle or dramatic, much like the breast augmentation industry in cosmetic surgery. 

Lip augmentation is an excellent approach to complementing one’s aesthetic regimen and can be discussed with any of our board-certified physicians at Skin Wellness Physicians. Call (239) 732-0044 or reach out online.

Dr. Daniel Wasserman

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