Why is our lips a different colour than the rest of our face?

Anyone else ever wonder this? And why do we paint them to be brighter/paler/darker?

Should be ARE not is…sorry - don’t know how to change it. Jeez…USE THE PREVIEW!!!

The layer of skin on the lips is very thin, so that the blood is much closer to the surface, and easier to see, making the lips appear darker.

Probably get more responses ifin this was in the GQ forum, but que sera sera…

I don’t know why our lips are different colors, but I think I’ve read or heard somewhere (don’t have time for a cite) that women have been coloring their lips for hundreds (thousands?) of years. I think it has something to do with making them look like a woman’s other lips, in relation to attracting menfolk.

Someone’ll be by shortly to either prove me wrong or right.


I have successfully attracted the menfolk with my natural lip color, thank-you-very-much.

Besides, lipstick feels nasty and dries out my lips. Yek. Just give me good ol’ fasioned chapstick! :smiley:

As was previously said, the skin on the lips is really thin comparitively and it allows the blood underneath it to be more noticeable. Also, as was mentioned briefly, women used to paint their lips to make them look flushed with blood, which is a visual indicator of sexual interest.

It’s now done out of tradition more than to show interest though.

I know what happened. You meant to say, “Why *is it * our lips are a different color than our face?”

Yeah, that’s it… that’s the ticket.


Paging CalMeacham or others that have read Desmond Morris’ The Naked Ape.

And on a more serious note, I would imagine that the skin of the lips is more like that of a mucous membrane (sorry) than the skin on our faces. Ever notice how much closer the color of your lips is (yep, that’s correct grammar…“the color is”) to the inside of your mouth than your face?

And I heard from some questionable source that this is the reason why women like to experiment with lipstick colors they like in the same way as with clothing colors. (light pink, purple, brown, black, blue…) Men however are on average less than impressed by those and prefer red over all other colors. Call me primitive, but “arterial blood” just is the perfect lipstick color. :wink: