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Lip perfection
Skin Institute
March 24, 2017

Our lips are an important feature of our face and can truly enhance our overall appearance. Thin lips are a common concern for many women and men, whether it has occurred gradually through age or the lips have always lacked volume.  Lip enhancement is one of the most frequently requested procedures in cosmetic clinics today. If you’re concerned about the volume of your lips, or just interested in knowing more about the ideal lip proportions read on to find out more.

Did you know that lips mature at different rates in both males and females? Quite surprisingly, the upper lip in females reaches its maximum volume by age 14, and remains at it’s fullest for only 2 years. In males, it reaches maximum volume at age 16.  Thereafter the lips of both females and males begin the slow process of thinning, which then continues throughout the remainder of your life *.

From as early as our mid-20s, our bodies produce less collagen – which is a crucial protein that holds your skin together. We lose 1% of collagen per year after the age of 29**. So, as well as the lips continuing to lose their plumpness, vertical lines around the lip area can become more noticeable. This is one of the first signs of intrinsic ageing; ageing caused by internal factors, in this case cellular degeneration.  One of the common extrinsic contributing factors to ageing is the weather, especially in New Zealand: both your face and lips can be affected and damaged when exposed to excessive sunlight and its damaging UVA and UVB rays.

“One way to help preserve the texture and colour of your lips is to protect them from the strong UV rays by wearing lip balm that contains a sunscreen”, states Emma Lindley, Skin Institute’s National Appearance Medicine Training Manager.

The characteristics of beautiful, natural-looking lips have been defined by the Golden Ratio or Phi which gives us the number of 1.618. This ratio of 1:1.618 can be found throughout nature.  It is no surprise then that the Golden Ratio also applies when enhancing the lip. According to the theory, the bottom lip should be 1.618 times the volume of the upper lip.  This means your top lip is 1/3 the size of your bottom lip. If the upper lip is smaller than this, that is when fillers work well – they have a very natural feeling and create a soft appearance.  In addition to the volume, the perfect lip should contain a gentle curve that peaks at what is called the cupid’s bow – the hinge of the upper lip comes in the form of the central philtrum that separates the two sides.



“These photos show how a simple one hour filler treatment can achieve a beautiful, age appropriate change in this 60-year-old patient. This lovely lady reported becoming self-conscious about the appearance of her lower face, losing her confidence when people spoke to her. I used 1ml of Juvederm Ultra to define her lip border, recreate her lip shape and support her mouth corners. Placing filler at the corners of her mouth has lifted them, making her look happier. I also placed 1ml of Juvederm Ultraplus in each cheek, which has reduced the saggy tissue in her lower face, improving her jowls. The result delighted my patient who said that she feels much better about herself and no longer thinks about how she looks,” Lindley explains.

Treatments like dermal fillers  can help re-volumise and enhance your lips, as well as filling fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth by replenishing the lost volume.

A successful and natural result is about improving the size of the lips, considering both the lower section of your face, as well as your overall facial appearance, contours and proportions.  The use of dermal fillers in the lower part of the face, including lips, doesn’t mean you’ll end up with “duck lips”, or a puffy face. Performed skilfully, dermal fillers can be used to improve your natural contours and revolumise, leaving you looking refreshed and fantastic for your age.

Lindley explains: “Dermal fillers can be used to enhance your natural look by improving the shape of your face, contour and proportions. By working with our clients to address their specific needs, while utilising our expert knowledge of facial and aesthetic proportions, we can produce the ideal result for you”.

At Skin Institute, our experienced Appearance Medicine team can advise you on the best way to improve, rehydrate and revolumise, while taking your overall natural beauty into consideration.

Interested in talking to one of our team? Book in a appearance medicine consultation with one of our experienced Appearance Medicine nurses, and receive expert advice and recommendations on treatments and skin care that are tailored specifically for you.

*Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless – http://www.deardoctor.com/articles/understanding-aging/page2.php

**Skin Facts – http://www.theskincompany.com/skinfacts/