The Science Behind Thinning Lips
If you’re encountering lips that are losing their fullness over time, it can be for a number of reasons – it’s not just age that’s a potential cause, contrary to popular belief. A lack of B vitamins, especially B12, can lead to cracking and oily skin while contributing to thinner lips over time. Too much exposure to the sun’s rays can be very harmful to the dermis as well, including the lips, in which case their collagen can break down. Smoking can also play a negative role. Alternatively, you may also be encountering a reduced production of collagen for other reasons, including age and/or genetic traits.
Collagen: A Critical Protein
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in the body that enables for smooth skin and full lips. In fact, it’s the most common protein in the bones, skin, muscles, and even tendons.
There are two varieties of collagen:
- Endogenous collagen, naturally synthesized by the human body
- Exogenous collagen, a synthetic alternative administered from the outside via injections and other treatments
The skin, including our lips, is influenced by the presence of this protein when it comes to maintaining a full, healthy appearance. Collagen forms fibroblasts, an extensive network of cells that act as foundations of sorts for new cells to grow. It is also capable of replacing and restoring skin cells that are dying off. As we age, collagen production declines. This can be accelerated by smoking, soaking up excessive UV rays and not taking care of our skin.