What are the ideal lips? The answer will vary depending on who you ask. The features of ideal lips depend on a person’s facial structure, ethnicity, and gender. But one thing everyone will agree on – the shape and volume of a person’s lips play an important role in defining beauty as perceived by humans.

In other words, the appearance of the lips determines the attractiveness of a person’s face. Full, pouty lips are considered attractive by both men and women. Various anatomical features contribute to the ideal lips. Medical providers can manipulate these features to make the shape and volume of the lips more appealing. Injectable treatments like dermal fillers and Botox can be used to improve the visible signs of aging around the mouth and lips. To achieve this, however, injectors need an in-depth knowledge of lip anatomy and structure. Thankfully, we here at Pittman Plastic Surgery have the services of Master Injector, Charlotte Sims, CANS Injector, BSN, MSN.

In this article, we introduce you to the various parts of the human lips that an injector like Charlotte is evaluating when you come to see her.  Plus, we discuss a few of the treatments that can be used in each location.

Lip Structure: A Quick Overview

When thinking about beauty, it often comes down to harmony. A balance or proportion between various features makes a face more attractive. The lips play a vital role in facial symmetry. Many of the features of lips that are considered appealing, such as wider, fuller lips, change with aging, requiring correction or improvement. A trained injector, like Charlotte, can examine your face and tell you how the lip region can be improved with aesthetic treatments. They may use some uncommon terms in describing the lips, and we are going to help you become familiar with them.

Vermilion: This is the colored portion of the lips. Most people are thinking of the vermilion when they are talking about “lips.”

Vermilion Border: A thin line of paler skin separates the colored vermilion from the surrounding facial skin. This pale line makes the color of the vermilion more prominent by differentiating it from facial skin.

Cupid’s Bow: In the midline of the upper lip, there is a slight depression with elevations on either side, forming what is known as the Cupid’s bow. This is what gives the lips a heart shape.

Philtrum: The two vertical elevated columns that extend from the center of the upper lip to the nose are called the philtral columns, and the depression between them is called the philtrum.

Nasolabial Folds: As the name suggests, these indentations extend from the nose to the lips (the outer corners of the mouth, to be exact). When you smile, your nasolabial folds become prominent. With age, there is a deepening of the nasolabial folds and sagging of skin in this area. Fine lines and wrinkles can also develop near the nasolabial folds.

Mentolabial Fold: This is the area between the lower lip and the upper part of the chin. It is a crease that is present horizontally in an inverted-U shape under the lower lip. A mentolabial fold that is too deep or too flat can make the face less attractive. This structure needs to be carefully evaluated before treatments in the chin area.

Oral Commissures: This term refers to the corners of the mouth where the upper and lower lips meet. As we grow older, fine lines can develop in this area – commonly known as marionette lines – giving the face an angry, sad, or sorry appearance.

Dermal Fillers in the Lip Area

Notable signs of aging in the lip region include loss of lip volume and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles near the mouth. Movements of the lips throughout life, such as smiling, talking, eating, drinking, pouting, or puckering, contribute to the formation of lip wrinkles. Also, sun damage and genetics play a role in aging in the lip area. Medical providers can offer several treatments to correct the signs of aging in and around the lips.

Dermal fillers like Juvederm, and the rest of the Juvederm family, like Vollure and Volbella, are effective treatments for fine lines and wrinkles that form around the lips. If you have a loss of lip volume with age, lip injections can be performed with fillers to replicate naturally full lips. Your injector can reshape and enlarge the vermilion to give your lips a fuller, more robust appearance. An important part of lip augmentation is shaping and giving more definition to the Cupid’s bow.

Interestingly, lip shape is considered an indicator of gender. Meaning, female lips generally tend to be more full or lush and closer to the nose than male lips. You should choose an experienced provider when undergoing lip treatments because these differences must be kept in mind. Overfilling the male lips with a dermal filler, for example, can make them appear unnaturally feminine.

Botox Treatments Around the Mouth

Botox is a purified protein that is injected in minuscule quantities to soften the muscles in the face. This helps correct the visible signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Botox injections are a quick, minimally-invasive treatment that can be repeated at regular intervals to keep the face looking youthful. Botox injections may be offered along with dermal fillers for facial rejuvenation in the lip area.

In the lip area, Botox injections help reduce wrinkles, fine lines, folds, and creases. Botox can also be used to elevate the corners of the mouth that tend to droop with age. Furthermore, Botox can correct a gummy smile (when too much of the gums are visible above the upper teeth).

A lip flip is a common treatment offered in this area of the face. It involves an injection of Botox into the area just above the lip. As a result, the part of the upper lip (which is usually inside the mouth) flips out. The goal of a lip flip is to give your lips a fuller, plumper appearance.

Are Injectable Lip Treatments Right for Me?

Cosmetic treatments for the lips are appropriate for adults of any age, gender, and ethnicity. Dermal fillers and Botox injections can be performed on all types of skin. You should consider lip treatments if you are in good physical health and are a nonsmoker. It is important to understand what lip treatments can and cannot achieve for you. An advanced medical injector like Charlotte Sims, MSN, can help you decide on the best lip treatments for your concerns.