What Causes Thin Lips as You Age?

The lips are one of the most noticeable facial features. They tend to attract attention when people are speaking or making facial expressions because the human eye is naturally drawn to objects that move. When the appearance of the lips is further enhanced with the use of lipstick, preferably in a bright color, this prominence is even more obvious.

Unfortunately, the features of your face will change as you get older, and the lips are no exception. They will become thinner, and vertical lines may begin to appear on the edges of the upper lip.

What causes your lips to thin as you age? In this blog post, Dr. Mark Deuber explains what causes the lips to lose their youthful, full appearance.

Reduced Collagen as Your Face Ages

Collagen is a protein that is formed in fibers to help keep your skin firm and full. As you age, your body produces less collagen, and the existing collagen fibers start to break down.

The overall result is a face that looks hollowed and gaunt. Your lips will also thin out as they lose collagen.


Just as your eye color or nose shape can be hereditary, so too are the shape of your lips. If either of your parents have small or thin lips, you will have a 50 percent chance of inheriting those thin lips.

The good news is that patients can undergo treatment to improve the appearance of the lips.


Tobacco smoke is known to dry out the lips and the delicate skin surrounding them. Over time, this creates vertical lines, known as smoker’s lines, which can make your mouth look tight and puckered.

Your lips can also become dried out and cracked, which will also make them appear thinner.

Excessive Sun Exposure

We probably all grew up soaking up the sun without worrying about the harm it might be doing. The truth is that excessive sun exposure not only increases your chance of getting skin cancer, but it also has a detrimental effect on the lips.

The lips become dehydrated by excessive exposure to sun, wind, salt water, and even pool chemicals. Even winter’s biting wind and cold can be harsh on your lips. Once your lips become dehydrated, they will tighten up, appearing to be thinner than usual.

Fortunately, once you understand the factors that can cause your lips to appear thinner as you get older, you should know what you need to do to slow down the aging process. Lifestyle habits, such as smoking and excessive sun exposure, can be changed.

However, if you are considering long-lasting means to improve the appearance of your lips, Dr. Deuber can help you determine if a cosmetic procedure might be the right answer for you. Dermal fillers can be carefully injected to add volume to the lips with beautiful, natural, and lasting results.

To find out which treatments are right for you, contact Dr. Deuber’s practice to schedule your consultation with us.


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