Thin Lips: Causes & 12 Ways To Make Them Plumper

Without a doubt, big, full lips are considered desirable these days. They enhance the aesthetics of the face and are considered more youthful and attractive. Many people with thin lips look for different ways to make their pout more full. And contrary to popular perception, both women and men seek it. 

Here, you should know that the upper lips are usually thinner than the lower ones. Your upper lip may be more projected, but in terms of volume, the bottom lip is fuller. Having this kind of lip asymmetry is natural. And with any treatment that you’re seeking, it’s important that the results keep looking natural. 

What Causes Thin Lips?

Your genetics determines the shape of the lips. So, if your mother, father, or grandparents had thin lips, you might, too, as a result of your genetics. However, you’re not always born with thin lips. Ageing can result in loss of volume in the lips, and it is inevitable. 

According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), as we age, fat pads beneath the skin break down, and the skin thins. Besides that, the skin loses sweat and oil glands, which causes dryness, making the lips look even thinner. Your lips reach their maximum fullness when you’re 14 (there may be variations), but after that, things start to go downhill. 

With age, the production of collagen and elastin also decreases. That’s what causes loss of volume in many areas of the face. Your lips also experience these changes. They’ll become thinner, and the skin sagging can also make them look downturned. Additionally, you might notice the formation of wrinkles on them, also known as lip lines. Although these are prominent in those who smoke because of the damage caused by free radicals. 

Besides ageing, several lifestyle factors can cause premature thinning of your lips. For instance, prolonged exposure to the sun without any SPF protection can result in photodamage. The harmful UV rays will change the DNA of the cells in your lips. And you’ll notice them thinning and wrinkling as a result. Some even suggest that certain facial expressions like puckering can cause lips to thin and wrinkle. This can happen when you use straws a lot of time or smoke. 

How Can You Get Bigger Lips With Cosmetic Procedures? 

For bigger lips, you may want to consider more long-term cosmetic treatments since many DIY products and techniques can be dangerous and ineffective.

Dermal Fillers 

Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are most popularly used for getting bigger, plumper lips. Injecting the gel-like substance into the lips increases their volume. Additionally, it can smooth out any wrinkles and fine lines. It can restore volume or even enhance it so that you can get your desired aesthetic. 

With dermal fillers, you’ll notice a significant change in the contour of your lips. To make sure that the results look natural, your injector might use anywhere between 0.5mL to 3mL of filler. Keep in mind that dermal fillers are temporary. They usually last from 6 months to 2 years. 


Another non-surgical cosmetic treatment for bigger lips comes from Botox. This procedure works by relaxing the muscles around the corners of the upper lips. This relaxation of muscles slightly puckers the lips and flips them outwards – hence the name, lip flip. Like dermal fillers, Botox is also temporary. However, it lasts for a shorter duration, anywhere between 6-12 months. Its results are also more subtle than that of dermal fillers. And it’s also less expensive than fillers. 

Lip Lift 

A lip lift is a surgical solution for thin lips. This usually takes place under general anaesthesia. In this, the surgeon removes a small piece of skin from the area underneath the nose. It is then lifted and stitched back up. More of the fleshy underbelly of the upper lip is exposed (along with the teeth), which makes the lips look bigger. The results are permanent. This procedure can cost you anywhere between £2,500 to £3,000 in the UK and £1.500 in the Turkey.

Fat Injections 

It is also possible to graft fat to the lips. In this, fat cells are harvested from other areas of the body, such as the thighs, abdomen, and back. This fat is then purified and injected back into the lips. The procedure is more invasive and takes longer. But its results can last for 5 years or more. However, fat grafting for lip augmentation is not that popular. The reason for it is that some of the fat is absorbed by the body, so the results can greatly vary between patients. 

Tissue Grafting

Like fat grafting, tissue grafts involve excising tissue from a patient’s body and then it is inserted into the lips. The piece of tissue is usually taken from when a facelift is being performed, but it can also be taken from the abdomen. In a study published in the World Journal of Plastic Surgery, fibroareolar tissue was used for lip augmentation, and it gave long-term results. It can cost you as much as a fat grafting procedure. 

Lip Implants 

Contrary to more temporary treatment options, implants are kind of permanent. In the lip implant surgery, incisions are made in the corners of the lips, and a pocket is created, which follows the natural curvature of the lips. The implants are then placed in it, and the surgical site is sutured. This procedure can cost you around £4,000 in the UK. It can be cheaper than getting fat injections. 

How To Make Thin Lips Look Fuller At Home?

There are some DIY remedies and products that can help make your lips look slightly fuller. Although keep in mind that you shouldn’t expect to make a dramatic difference since the anatomy of your lips will remain the same. 

Liner & Lipstick 

One of the quickest ways to make your lips look fuller is to use a liner and lipstick – the right way. You’ll quite often see a lot of celebrities who overapply their lipsticks; Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and Alexa Demie, among others. However, they do it so well that you can barely tell that their lips are overlined. 

Clever makeup tricks can further enhance the effect. For instance, you can contour the bottom of your lips, slightly smudge the edges of the lips, vary the shades (lighter colour in the middle of the lips), and use a highlighter. And before you do anything, make sure to start off with a clean canvas. That means you shouldn’t have any flakes on your lips. For that, make sure to exfoliate, although not too often. 


One of the best ways to make sure that your lips don’t look dry, cracked and shrivelled up is to keep them hydrated. Petroleum jelly can serve you well. However, you can also look for products that contain hyaluronic acid. It binds to water molecules, which can make the lips look plumper. Some other ingredients to look out for include shea butter, collagen, peptides, oils, and ceramides. There are lip balms, jellies, masks, and other treatments that you can try out. 

Healthy Lifestyle 

Other than makeup, the safest way to plump up your lips at home is to make sure that you have a healthy lifestyle. You need to make sure that your body is hydrated. For that, drink lots of water. You need to sleep well for healthy skin, so make sure to get a good night’s rest. And lastly, do not forget your lips when it comes to wearing sunscreen. Many lip products contain SPF for lip protection.


Notice how your lips can slightly swell when you eat something spicy? Certain chemicals in spices can irritate the lips (stimulating blood flow) and make them look fuller, albeit temporarily. So, when the trend of big lips started, some people naturally turned to their kitchen cupboards. 

Cinnamon and cayenne pepper are most popularly used as lip plumper in a paste of oils like coconut or olive. Keep in mind that it can sting. Rarely spices can also cause an allergic reaction. Such lip-plumping hacks can be dangerous and may end up doing more harm to your lips. 

Lip Plumpers 

Lip plumpers work the same way as spices. These products contain mild irritants that stimulate blood flow to the lips. This temporarily swells them up. Usually, lip plumpers contain ingredients like menthol, camphor, ginger, capsaicin, and mint, among others. Keep in mind that their use can be dangerous depending on your skin type. Additionally, their ingredients can cause an allergic reaction. 

Suction Devices 

Although this doesn’t exactly count as at home, there are certain devices that you can purchase, bring home and use for plumping up your lips. They essentially work by increasing blood flow to the lips, which causes a temporary change. The results are very subtle (could almost be insignificant), and if misused, they can cause damage to your lips. 

Some time ago, you might’ve seen many influencers using the cap of a bottle to plump their lips. They used it like a suction device. However, that was (and still is) extremely dangerous. It can be very painful, and your lips can end up bruised and discoloured. You can even end up with an infection, so do not try it at all! 

Concluding Remarks 

Big lips are considered a symbol of beauty and attractiveness. And since it has become a beauty trend, more and more people want to make their lips look bigger. There are some at-home remedies available for that, but they don’t really deliver dramatic results. And they’re also very temporary. Some are even dangerous. 

Alternatively, cosmetic procedures are quite popular for augmenting the lips. There are non-surgical injectables and more invasive treatments that can give you long-lasting and even permanent results. It is important to consult your doctor about the best treatment option for you based on your needs and expectations.

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