Inner Lip Tattoos

In our last post, we covered some of the ink of Australian supermodel Catherine McNeil. In addition to all the blackwork adorning her back, she also has a lip tattoo. And no, we are not talking about the cosmetic microblading kind that injects pigment into your lips to make them look redder or a permanent lip pencil. We mean actual motives on the inside of your bottom lip, naturally quite small and simplistic, but highly effectful when disclosed.

Catherine McNeil is far from the only celebrity to get inked on the inside of the mouth. Miley Cyrus debuted hers in 2014, and Kendall Jenner in 2016, skyrocketing the miniature tattoos in popularity. And hey, if you want a hidden tattoo that also makes for a great impact when revealed, why not? But here are some things you need to know before you consider getting one done.

Do lip tattoos last?

The natural question that arises is – but won’t it fade? Yes, it will. Your lower lip is a place of all kinds of frictions (food, rubbing against your teeth etc.) and saliva, meaning that any ink is sure to be more short-lived than your other tattoos. The general consensus is that it will stay around five years, but it could also either be shorter or potentially remain somewhat smudgy for a long time after, never truly disappearing. However – their semi-permanent nature also makes it a fun spot to go a little crazy with when it comes to what you get. 

Pain level – high

They are generally considered some of the most painful tattoos (although, again, everyone is different, and we hear anecdotes of it being ‘not all that bad’). The skin on our lips tends to be quite thin. It is also packed with nerve endings which, as you know by now, equals ample amounts of ouch. Beyond that, the lip needs to be turned out and you need to hold it entirely still for the procedure. Hopefully, you have gone with a professional and experienced artist that can work meticulously and quickly at the same time. 

Healing an inner lip tattoo

Healing time is relatively short – everything in your mouth heals very fast. However, that area also contains a lot of bacteria, which means it still requires careful aftercare consideration. Not to mention all the foreign contaminant possibilities from food intake.

Obviously, you cannot wash your mouth with antibacterial soap. Meanwhile, a mild anti-bacterial alcohol-free mouthwash a couple of times a day will do the trick. You may want to consider adding some probiotics to your regimen while you are doing so – there are good bacterias in there that you want to support for the sake of overall health.

The best is to stay away from very pungent or spicy foods while your tattoo is healing and avoid things that have vinegar or are otherwise high in acidity for at least the first few days. Smoking is a big no-no when it comes to healing a tattoo on the inside of your mouth. Unfortunately, so is making out with other people until your tattoo is healed, so as not to introduce any additional bacteria or contaminants. 

As with all tattoos, it is important to seek out a reputable and experienced artist – this is particularly true with inner lip tattoos. There is a small risk of the ink being inserted too deep, and showing on the other side of your skin, aka your chin. But other than that, they are fun little ways of expressing your unique style and individuality.