The Ashley Piercing: Five Things You Might Not Know March 3, 2023 – Posted in: Informative, Piercing Types – Tags: , , , ,


  • The skin on your lips (the vermillion) is more delicate than the rest of your skin.
  • Full lips are best for the Ashley piercing.
  • Avoid wearing lipstick and lip balm during healing, and choose the proper jewelry.

The Ashley piercing is one of those piercings that causes people to stop in their tracks when they see it. Appearing on the pigmented part of the lip, it offers an alluring aesthetic that others can’t help but stop to admire.

Adorned with a dainty gemstone or cute charm, the Ashley piercing helps to draw attention to the lips in a unique way. It looks especially fantastic combined with bold lipstick (after the piercing has fully healed, of course). Unfortunately, it’s not suitable for everyone, and your anatomy must align with the Ashley piercing in order for it to be successful. 

Because the Ashley piercing is so unique, there are a few things that you need to know before you get one. Let’s take a look.

1. The skin on your lips is more delicate than other parts of the body

While your lips have the same layers as the skin on the rest of your body—the epidermis, the stratum corneum, and the dermis—the middle layer (the stratum corneum) is much thinner than the skin on the rest of your body. This makes your lips much more delicate. For piercings, this makes them susceptible to migration and rejection. However, if placed properly on lips with suitable anatomy, and barring any trauma during healing, piercees should not have any problems. This is why it’s extra important to ensure that you find a reputable piercer for the Ashley piercing. Check out NeilMed’s guide to finding a reputable piercer here.  

Additionally, while the skin on the rest of your body gets moisturization from sweat and oils, the only source of moisture for your lips is your saliva. This means that licking your lips is an important process to keep your lips from getting dry and cracked. However, this can pose an issue while your Ashley piercing is healing; an essential aspect of piercing aftercare is keeping your piercing still, and constant lip-licking might cause some irritation. Just be aware of how often you lick your lips during healing, and try not to move the jewelry around too much.

Ashley piercing fast facts

  • It takes a minimum of 12 – 16 weeks to heal.
  • In spite of the delicate nature of the lips, it only falls about halfway on the pain scale.
  • It wears a flat-back post that sits flush with the skin.

2. Full lips are best suited for the Ashley piercing

Because the Ashley piercing has a propensity for rejection, placement is of utmost importance. If the piercing is located too close to where the lips meet, it could cause some issues. That’s why full lips are best suited for the Ashley piercing.

If you’re unsure whether or not your lips are full enough for the Ashley piercing, schedule a consultation with a reputable piercer. They will be able to take a look at your anatomy and ascertain whether or not the Ashley piercing is right for you. 

While the standard Ashley piercing is pierced with the back of the jewelry appearing on the inside of your mouth, some anatomy might require the exit point to appear below the lip as a front-facing piercing. The latter placement is referred to as the inverse vertical labret piercing. 

3. Do not wear lipstick or lip balm while healing the Ashley piercing

As you heal any piercing, all products except for a sterile packaged saline piercing aftercare solution must be kept away from the piercing. Healing piercings are very delicate, and most products contain chemicals that can irritate the piercing and cause complications that prolong healing. 

Because of this, keep the timing of the piercing in mind, and make sure that you can adhere to all aftercare practices for the duration of healing to ensure the best results. Consider the environment where you live and whether your lips are apt to become dry while your Ashley piercing is healing. Those who experience harsh winters, for example, should wait until the summer to get their Ashley piercing, while those who live in areas with arid summers should consider waiting until the weather is less harsh in the cooler months. 

It’s also important to note that the Ashley piercing will appear healed before it has fully healed internally. Because of this, you should always consult a piercer before stopping aftercare practices. 

Ashley piercing aftercare

As with all piercings, clean your Ashley piercing 2 – 3 times daily with a sterile packaged saline solution, like NeilMed Wound Wash. To do so, spray the solution onto a clean paper towel or cotton swab, and gently wipe the entry and exit points with the solution taking care not to move the jewelry. Avoid mouthwash with alcohol and spicy or acidic foods as they can be irritating to the healing piercing. You should also be sure to maintain the highest levels of oral hygiene. We recommend brushing after every meal and rinsing your mouth after snacks.

4. You will be fitted with a larger initial jewelry piece that must be exchanged for a smaller one later

woman with a vertical labret piercing

Some anatomy is better suited for the vertical labret piercing; Photo by Andra C Taylor Jr on Unsplash

The lips tend to swell a bit more than other areas of the body. Because of this, you will need to be fitted with a larger jewelry piece for the first few days after piercing in order to accommodate swelling and avoid embedded jewelry. However, this also means that you must pay attention, and once the swelling has gone down, you need to return to your piercer to get fitted with a smaller piece. 

A flush-fitting piece is important in an Ashley piercing because the exit point appears within the mouth where the jewelry can pose a great risk to your oral health. Lip jewelry that’s too long can scrape against your gums and accidentally get chomped upon, potentially breaking your teeth. Additionally, a longer jewelry piece will move around more, increasing your risk of jewelry rejection and potentially causing trauma to the piercing site. Avoid that by ensuring your jewelry fits well.

5. A flat-back straight post is typically worn in the Ashley piercing

Once your piercing has fully healed, now comes the fun part: picking out your new jewelry!

The Ashley piercing typically sports a flat-back straight post. The flat backing is essential for safety; a ball backing will rub against your teeth and gums, causing gum wear and enamel erosion. There are two types of flat backs to choose from: internally threaded and threadless. Internally threaded jewelry will screw into the post while threadless jewelry is popped into place using tension. While there are externally threaded jewelry options out there, these types are usually indicative of poor-quality jewelry and should be avoided.

Consult your piercer for correct jewelry sizing. You will need to be precise in terms of the length and gauge of the jewelry. Your Ashley jewelry must enjoy a flush fit without pressing against the piercing holes. Due to the delicate nature of the vermillion (the skin of the lips), the jewelry must also be the same size as the piercing hole. If it’s too thick, it will press against the piercing hole, potentially causing issues. Ask your piercer for the exact jewelry specs so that you can purchase the proper jewelry size without worry.

The Ashley piercing looks fantastic with petite gemstones and charms. Because it’s such a stunning piercing by itself, it doesn’t need a lot to stand out; understated looks combined with bold lip colors can create an amazing aesthetic that refuses to be ignored.

Side note: If you are pierced in the reversed vertical labret fashion, you will wear a curved barbell rather than a flat-back post.


The Ashley piercing is an absolute stunner. But, it’s not for everyone. Make sure that you’re fully educated in terms of the healing process and whether your anatomy is suitable, and do your research to choose a reputable piercer. Once these tasks are done, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a beautiful, problem-free Ashley piercing.

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