About 20 years ago, I read a magazine article explaining that when women (and probably men too, but would anyone notice?) reach mid-30's, part of the aging process includes atrophy of fat in the face, including the lips (why not the thighs and hips is what I wanted to know!!). I then remembered when 10 years previously my mother-in-law, complaining about her lipstick 'bleeding' (a phenomena I had yet to experience) purchased a serum from Avon to solve this problem (she was disappointed with the result, if my memory serves me well.) And that was when I began to worry about the future of my lips, and the disappearing landscape that I required to utilise the wonderful array of lipsticks that I owned.
I then shared this information with a group of girlfriends that I'd gone to school with when we were on a girls week end away and they wondered why I was applying lip balm just prior to sleeping. I gave them the bad news of what was to come in the future along with the benefit of my research into receeding plumpness and the great products on the market that might slow the decline. These included externally applied cosmetic products and more dramatic surgical procedures but one of my dear friends, who had sported thin lips all her life, refused to believe the biological fact that I was so sure of. She wouldn't take my advice that even just some balm applied before bed would assist to slow the process and, a few weeks ago (more than 20 years after I had delivered the drastic news) my friend admitted that I must have been right, because she's not sure she has much real estate pout left to paint.
In addition, my 78 year old mum recently told me that the reason she doesn't wear lipstick any longer is because she has no lips left to put it on. I hadn't noticed, because she's never worn much makeup but since she pointed it out, I've realised what a shame it is to lose such a lovely feature. And giving up lipstick is just sacrilige. So I will continue my night time ritual of lip care, in the hope that I don't have to go down the cosmetic surgery route.
In terms of surgery, as early as 1900 surgeons began injecting lips with paraffin to plump the declining pout. Then in the 1960's liquid silicone was tried, but later abandoned in favour of bovine collagen. Today, amoungst other procedures, women can get injections of Restylane and Juvederm, or even have fat removed from areas on their own body from where it can be spared, and then injected into the lips.
Can I just say here that I am too nervous to try any of the above procedures, no matter how concerned I am about disappearing lips and no matter how much spare fat I have in other areas that could be used to plump a thousand thinning lips? I have two reasons for this nervousness. One is that I am blessed with perfect health, and therefore I would hate to start messing around medically with my body and risk putting that at risk. And the other reason is the really obviously bad outcomes of such injections that I have seen with my own eyes.
So I will continue to treat my lips like the precious commodity that they are, externally applying products that I can buy over the counter. Currently I am using Avon Beyond Plumping Lip Conditioner and Lucas Paw Paw ointment. I also use a soft toothbrush to brush over my lips regularly, and when I exfoliate, I also do my lips. Other products that I've used in the past have been Blistex Lip Ointment, Nivea Natural Volume, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Protectant, and Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm, just to name a few. I wear lipstick every day, and apply gloss regularly as well.
At the end of the day I'd have to say that it doesn't matter what you use, but I would strongly urge you to use something, no matter how young you are. In summer you need something with an SPF to protect from the harsh Australian sun and in winter you need protection from the cold and the dry conditions. But at night when you are sleeping you can be reversing the damage that the atmosphere and the aging process has produced. And if all else fails – smile or kiss someone…because that's what lips are good at!!