Easy tips for sexier lips: a top expert explains how to get a fuller, prettier pout

Easy tips for sexier lips: a top expert explains how to get a fuller, prettier pout – beauty Rx

Jody Buffalo

If you weren’t born with perfect lips, there are several ways to make them look fuller and sexier temporarily, says San Francisco dermatologist Richard G. Glogau, M.D.

The Basic Facts

Unlike the skin on the rest of your body, lip tissue doesn’t have as thick a protective outer layer of skin, or epidermis. That means blood vessels are more visible, which helps give lips their pinkish hue. Also, a lack of hair follicles and oil glands makes lips prone to chapping. And with no melanin (the protective pigment that produces a tan in response to sun exposure), lips are especially vulnerable to sunburn and sun damage. Luckily, your lips are well-supplied with nerves for maximum sensitivity.

What to look for?

Signs that your lips might be in need of a little TLC:

* They’re always dry or chapped. People with eczema and allergies tend to have lips that chap easily.

* They have less volume than you’d like–a characteristic dictated by heredity and/or age (lip skin gets thinner with age, as does the rest of the skin on your face).

* Fine vertical lines above and below the lips have started to appear. These are typically caused by daily exposure to the elements, sun damage, smoking and/or loss of lip volume as we age.

* They just don’t look youthful. Over time, underlying collagen and elastin fibers, which support the skin, begin to deteriorate. And because the edges of the lip line begin to break down and blur, lips look less defined.

Simple Solutions

There are options for enhancing your lips. Beauty Rx:

1. Soothe with emollients. What you perceive as dry, chapped lips are often inflamed lips. The causes: sun, wind and dry air. Apply emollients like Vaseline Lip Therapy ($1.79; at drugstores) regularly to help soothe them.

2. Use makeup to enhance your lips. Before putting on lipstick, apply a lip base like Paula Dorf Perfect Illusion ($20; that uses paraffin to help fill in lines. Then draw slightly past the natural lip line with a liner in the same color as your lips, apply a light- to medium-colored lipstick and dab a shimmery gloss in the center.

3. Talk to your dermatologist. For fine lines: A prescription retinoid or series of nonablative laser or intense light treatments ($200-$500 per treatment) can help smooth lines. For thin lips: Collagen or other temporary soft-tissue fillers like hyaluronic acid can plump up lips; they last up to four months and cost $500-$700 per treatment. Short-term risks include possible bruising, asymmetry and swelling.


Steer clear of procedures that claim to forever change your lips (think: implants or permanent fillers made of materials derived from nonbiological sources), warns Richard G. Glogau, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. “Any problems or allergies with temporary fillers like collagen will disappear, but with so-called permanent fillers there’s no going back if you develop lumpiness or asymmetry,” he says. But even with temporary fillers, Glogau offers this advice: “As with anything, be realistic about your expectations and the results.”

COPYRIGHT 2003 Weider Publications

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group