No everyone is born with the full, sensual lips of Kim Basinger or Angelina Jolie. Plus, age gradually reduces lip fullness by as collagen production declines. In the past if you were dissatisfied with your lip size, you had to resort to painful lip injections to get lush, sensual lips but the cosmetic world has responded with a solution of its own in the form of lip plumpers which can supposedly be applied to add instant fullness to the lips. But do limp plumpers work or are they an example of another cosmetic that doesn’t live up to the hype?
How to lip plumpers work? Over-the-counter lip plumpers appear to work by three mechanisms. Some of these products have additives such as cinnamon wintergreen, peppermint, and other ingredients that cause the lips to become slightly irritated. This causes the blood vessels in the lips to swell slightly creating a mild inflammatory reaction. This mild inflammation can cause the lips to appear fuller. Unfortunately, if used excessively these lip plumping products could cause longer term lip irritation and even lip ulcerations.
The second way in which lip plumpers work is by adding certain proteins to the lip surface which can stimulate collagen and elastin production after being used for several weeks. The verdict is still out as to whether this type of lip plumper actually increases collagen and elastin fibers in the lips. Although some dermatologists suggest that repeated use of these products may have a stimulatory effect on collagen production, other experts are skeptical of their long term potential to enhance the lips.
The third mechanism by which lip plumpers work is by adding microspheres to the lip tissue which acts to attract water molecules, resulting in visible fullness. An example of a product that uses this mechanism of action is LipFusion.
Although lip plumpers that use ingredients that irritate or attract water to the lip surface do seem to have some temporary ability to plump lips, the effect appears to be short lived and certainly not as dramatic as you would expect from lip injections performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
Will lip plumpers work for you? If you’re looking for a slight, temporary plumping of the lips for a special evening out, you may be satisfied with the results you get from these cosmetic lip plumpers. If your lips are thin and you’re looking for that bee stung look, you’ll likely be disappointed. Use of a lip plumper combined with cosmetic techniques that add the illusion of fuller lips such as using a lip liner slightly outside the natural line of the lips, may provide a more satisfying illusion of fullness or you can always play up one of your better features such as your eyes to draw attention away from your thin lips.