So I am a professional trumpet player and I created ChopSaver, the best lip balm money can buy. I guess that makes me a bit of a lip expert, right? Well, yes and no. When playing the trumpet, I “know” my lips much in the same way a baseball pitcher gets to know his throwing arm or a sprinter understands his legs. I understand the basics of proper muscle maintenance and what it feels like when my lips are out of shape from lack of practice or strained due to over exertion.
While it is fairly amazing that lips creating a vibration in a brass tube can create such beautiful sounds, lips are a great source of fascination, even when not used to make music. We use them to talk, we use them to show emotion and we use them to show affection and love. We also use them to eat and to make silly sounds to entertain babies.
Some celebrities are famous for their lips. Mick Jagger and Angelina Jolie come to mind.
But what exactly are they? Why are they red? Well, to get the real technical answers, I asked one of the members of the ChopSaver Medical Board of Advisors, Dr. Peter Silver, a dentist from New York City who just happens to also be a trumpet player! Here is what he had to say:
“The lips (labia oris) are muscle, specifically the Obicularis Oris. In addition to muscle there are blood vessels, nerves, areolar tissue (the red part), fat and labial glands. Like any muscle it can be strengthened with exercise or weakened with lack of it.”
Here are few more fun facts about the lips:
That little groove above your lip actually has a name. It’s called the philtrum. Typical lip color ranges from pinkish to dark brown and that is because lip skin is so thin the blood vessels are more apparent. There are no hair follicles or sweat glands in the lips. That means there is no sweat or body oil to protect the lips from the outside environment which is why they sometimes get chapped and, in extreme cases, crack. Of course, that’s where ChopSaver comes in handy!