Full lips make you look younger

by Elizabeth Heathcote

Scarlett Johansson-Milan Fashion Week-Dolce and Gabbana A/W 2009-Celebrity Photos-02 March 2009

Women like Scarlett Johansson, with firm, plump lips look younger than their age, according to new research.

Even if a woman shows other signs of ageing, such as wrinkles or tired hair, bee-sting lips can mean that other people judge her to look younger.

'When we identified people who looked young for their age, we were struck by the difference in their lips,' said David Gunn, a research scientist at Unilever, which funded the international study.

The study analysed the faces of 102 pairs of Dutch female twins, and 162 British women aged 45-75, says the Times.

Lips naturally get thinner as people get older, and the study found that the rate at which this happens is genetically determined. Other signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and age spots, are determined by a mixture of genetics and environmental factors.

This may seem to be a green light for women to have collagen or silicon implants to make their lips fuller. But David Gunn believes this is not the way forward for middle-aged women. 'It just looks odd because it doesn't counter the impact of a wrinkled face,' he says.

There are other non-invasive ways to perk up thin lips. Lip plumpers, available as glosses and lipsticks, cause a mild reaction with the lip tissue that causes it to swell temporarily.

For a natural option, a routine of brushing the lips with a toothbrush exfoliates the skin. Add oil of cinnamon leaf or niacin (available from health shops) to increase blood flow and glow.

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