First, a bit of lip anatomy: Your lips are made up of two parts: the skin lip and the mucous lip, which includes the vermilion (aka, which is responsible for the different shade of pigment on your lips compared to the rest of the face).

“The mucous part of your lip is thinner than the rest of your skin because it is made up of fewer layers and also contains many capillaries or tiny blood vessels,” says a certified dermatologist. Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD. “Taken together, this explains the color of the lips. Basically: The skin on your lips is super thin and delicate, making the underlying blood vessels more visible.

Of course, everyone has a different lip pigment: lips come in all shapes, sizes and colors, all equally amazing and unique. (And for what it’s worth, a lot of people can also have two-tone lips.) Whatever color your lips are, however, it tends to be more vibrant when you’re young, fading over time.

“As we age, the lips tend to thin and [face] increased moisture loss, causing the lips to dry out, which can change the overall appearance and color, as dry skin on the lips can make them look dull, ”says Garshick. collagen levels decreases with age (which can happen in your twenties with around 1% loss each year after), the structural integrity of your skin decreases, which can lead to a loss of volume and hydration, with a loss of pigment not too far behind. Adds Garshick, “With the loss of fullness and hydration comes a loss of vibrancy.”

Since the colored part of your lips is already so thin (you were told that an anatomy lesson would be helpful!), You might notice these changes, both in volume and pigment, much faster. . Not to mention that sun damage and smoking also contribute to collagen decline, which only accelerates these pigment changes.

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