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Perceptions of Attractive and Healthy-Looking Lips

Hwang, Kun, MD, PhD; Kim, Young Suk, BA; Kim, Hun, BHS

doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000005070
Anatomical Studies

The aim of this study was to characterize Koreans’ perceptions of attractive and healthy-looking lips.

A survey was conducted among 258 women and 72 men who were asked to view illustrations of various examples of the 4 lip-related ratios (lip thickness-to-width ratio [LTW]; upper-to-lower vermillion ratio [ULR]; upper vermillion thickness-to-upper lip height ratio [VUL]; and lip-to-nose width ratio [LNW]) and to choose which they thought were attractive or healthy-looking.

The LTW ratios most often identified as attractive were LTW-1/3 (lip thickness is 1/3 of lip width, 40.0%) and LTW-2/5 (47.3%). The LTW value most often identified as healthy-looking was LTW-2/5 (54.3%). The most attractive ULR ratio was ULR-4/5 (upper vermillion thickness is 4/5 of the lower vermillion, 49.4%). The most healthy-looking ULR ratio was ULR-4/5 (47.0%). The most attractive VUL ratio was VUL-1/2 (thickness of the upper vermillion is 1/2 of upper lip height, 60.3%). The most healthy-looking VUL ratio was VUL-1/2 (61.0%). The most attractive LNW ratio was LNW-3/2 (lip width is 3/2 of nose width, 42.1%). LNW-3/2 was also the most preferred in all age groups below 50 years, while those over 50 preferred LNW-4/3 (55.0%). The most healthy-looking LNW ratios were LNW-3/2 (35.2%) and LNW-4/3 (32.1%). LNW-3/2 was the most preferred in all age groups below 50, while those over 50 preferred LNW-4/3 (40.0%). It therefore seems that older people preferred a narrower lip width than younger people.

The results of this study can be applied in lip augmentations or aesthetic lip surgery.

Department of Plastic Surgery, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Kun Hwang, MD, PhD, Department of Plastic Surgery, Inha University School of Medicine, 27 Inhang-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon 22332, Korea; E-mail:

Received 17 July, 2018

Accepted 22 August, 2018

This study was supported by a grant from Inha University Hospital.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2019 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.