Know Your Body: Lips

Without our lips we can’t properly snog under the mistletoe. And where’s the blimmin’ fun in that?

10 lips

Read My Lips
Everyone’s lip mark is totally unique, just like our fingerprints, and thanks to millions of nerve endings, they’re at least 100 times more sensitive than our fingertips. They have no sweat glands—which is why they dry so fast—and no protective tissue either, which makes them incredibly susceptible to cold weather and other external effects.

Kiss Me Quick
Kissing isn’t just “a bit of alright” when you do it with someone you like—it also facilitates a biological information exchange in our brains, allowing us to sample the pheromones of our partner and ultimately help us decide whether they’re of long-term interest or not. A French experiment revealed that men (mostly French ones, we presume) found women with red lips more attractive, as it made them subconsciously think about, uh, their partner’s other set of lips. In fact, in some culture across the globe today—including Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman—women’s lips have to be covered in public, as they’re considered sexual organs.

Totally Licked
Compared to others area of skin, which are composed of up to 16 different layers, our lips have only three to six layers. Thus, they appear pink in colour, due to all the blood running just under the surface. Unfortunately for those of us in our senior years, lips will lose their fullness and plumpness as our body produces less and less collagen.

Whistle For It
People who can’t whistle have more difficulty controlling the “orbicularis oris” muscle around their upper lip. Whistling (and kissing!) can only be achieved through precise movement and manipulation of these muscles.