Lips thin and lose volume with time. It’s a natural part of the aging process and can be attributed to natural decreases in and under the skin, such as loss of collagen, fat, lipids, and humectants like hyaluronic acid. When the natural production of these starts slowing, the skin will appear less plump and supple.
When we lose this precious collagen, our skin’s structural integrity declines and our overall volume diminishes. Essentially, our lips deflate with time.
And unfortunately, this process starts earlier than you might expect: Your 20s (yikes!), and continues at about a 1% loss every year after.
“Our bodies always balance collagen production and degradation,” says board-certified dermatologist Gary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “When we are young, our bodies produce more collagen than we break down. That balance tips the wrong way with age since tissue regeneration decreases.”
That’s not all, hyaluronic acid also decreases with age. HA is the key molecule involved in skin moisture, meaning it plays a huge role in the skin’s aging process. According to Nigma Talib, N.D., a naturopathic doctor, our body’s natural reserve of HA diminishes greatly over time. She says that by the time we reach our 40s, we have just 50% of the HA we had during our younger days.
Finally, so does fat. People naturally lose facial fat as they get older–we’ve even nicknamed it “losing the baby fat.” Specifically with the lips, the fat pads under the skin is what gives them that cushiony shape. How and to what extent folks lose fat varies quite a bit, but starting at some point in your 20s this change will start happening. Unfortunately, facial fat loss is not something easily controlled.