Ines Verner's Anatomy of Lips: Part One


Lips and the region around them are the main features determining the beauty of the lower third of the face. Fullness, breadth, curvature, naturalness and vermilion height are all signs of youth and seductiveness in women.

A natural-looking result is one of the most important objectives when treating ageing lips. To achieve this, it is important to understand lip anatomy and to have established a precise plan in accordance with the patient’s


Proportions of the lips

The lip typically desired by white women has been identified in anthropometric studies recently published in the medical literature.

The “perfect lip” is symmetrical and full with harmonious curves and well-defined borders. The bulk of the lower lip should be 1.6 times greater than that of the upper lip. The distance between the upper vermilion and the nose is 18-20 mm and that between the lower vermilion and the chin double that. Cupid’s bow should be well defined and the labial commissures lifted


Wong et al. 4 carried out three-dimensional analysis to compare Asian and Caucasian lips and showed that the upper Caucasian lip is significantly thinner whilst the lower lip volumes are very similar in both. In this study, attractive upper lips were relatively thin with lower lips that were 1.6 times or one-third thicker. This goes against the idea that simple fullness is necessarily more beautiful. Although many people want perfect lips, defects are common. These may be congenital or age-related. With time, lips lose their curvature to become flat and thin. Definition is lost and wrinkles across and around the edge of the vermilion tend to channel lipstick over the white part. The upper lip gets longer and projects less so that, when smiling, the upper teeth are covered and the lower teeth are exposed. The lower lip shrinks, the corners of the mouth turn down and the whole mouth drops.

Within all ethnic groups, men have thinner lips than women and white men have the thinnest lips. The ratio between upper and lower lip is the same in ethnic groups. Since fleshy lips are considered as more feminine, men rarely seek lip augmentation; indeed, Asian men often ask for volume reduction to enhance their masculinity.

Part 2 coming soon.

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