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Have You Ever Wondered Why Your Lips Are Pink?

Spoiler: blood.

Posted on June 30, 2015, at 12:50 p.m. ET

A lot of people are sort of, kind of, totally obsessed with lips.

E! / Via youtube.com

Maybe it's because your lips are really unique. For one, you probably noticed that the skin on your lips is pink.

Istillloveyousomuch / Via giphy.com

Everyone has a sort of pinkish tint to their lips, even if you have a dark skin tone, Dr. Irwin M. Braverman, Professor Emeritus of Dermatology at Yale University, told BuzzFeed Science.

That's because there's more blood flowing near the surface of your lips.

Ok-photography / Getty Images / Via Thinkstock

The short answer? You basically have more blood vessels in your lips, said Braverman.

The waterproof protective layer of your skin, the stratum corneum, is really thin on your lips, which makes it a lot easier to see your red blood vessels.

There's more blood vessels in your, uh, genitals too.

TBS / Via media.giphy.com

The dermal papilla (fingers extending from the dermis) are really long and tall in your genitals and lips so they carry nerves and blood vessels closer to the surface of your skin, Dr. Beth Ann Ditkoff, a former surgical oncologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital told BuzzFeed Science.

Since the nerves are closer, your lips and genitals are really sensitive. And we might have extra sensitive lips because we used our mouths to explore things as babies, she said. And we all know why our genitals are sensitive.

Why are there so many blood vessels in our lips?

E! / Via giphy.com

Think about it: We constantly use our mouths. Like all the the time. We eat. We kiss. We speak. And some of us even take duck-faced selfies. Our mouths need a constant supply of nutrients since our lip muscles are always working, which is why there's an increased blood flow, said Braverman.

Have another question you’d like BuzzFeed Science to investigate? Submit it here and we’ll do our best to answer

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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