Lets face it; theres no way you’ve gotten through the past year without one picture of Kylie Jenner. It’s become one of the biggest crazes since sliced bread, but how do we know what’s swelling our lips is actually safe?
There are two types of plumping products; Chemical-based, and Suction-based.
Chemically-based glosses and lipsticks actually mostly use natural ingredients to achieve that pout- chilli pepper, peppermint oil, mustard extract, caffeine extract, cinnamon extract, clove, menthol, camphor, ginger extract, and wintergreen are common ingredients. These irritants induce the release of histamine, which causes heat, a burning/tingling sensation, and of course, swelling through widening of blood vessels.
Other chemicals used are benzyl nicotinate, L-arginine, and niacin, which induce a high amount of vessel dilation. However, there has been little to no research on how continued inflammation of tissue and blood vessels can have long-term effects, both in the lips and on the rest of the body. When these products are absorbed into the bloodstream, does it cause swelling and irritation in major organs?
I myself tried the Kiko 3D Instant Volume Plumping and Refreshing Lipgloss, which has no obvious plumping ingredients as mentioned above, which is why I wanted to try it out. In fact, the only way I knew it was a plumping product was the tingling sensation. Considering its outrageous claims which you can see here, I was expecting a lot. I have to say, I did notice some volume, but I feel that was more because of the nice mirror effect. My lips looked wet, shiny, and fuller, and although there are other products that work better, this is one of the best that don’t contain potentially harmful ingredients. I did really like the addition of hyaluronic acid, which gave some light hydration throughout its four hour wear time. Just a heads up if you were interested in that product.
Now, back to the types of products: Suction-based.
These in my opinion have skyrocketed the most out of the two types this year through the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge (if you haven’t seen JennaMarbles’ parody of it, I highly recommend it). This works through the ancient ‘Cupping’ method, using suction to increase blood circulation and subsequently healing. However, little knowledge about this method has led to bruising, soreness and torn skin as people aggressively suck shot glasses. In more severe cases, repeated use can lead to permanent scarring and disfigurement, much like a dodgy lip injection. Doctors have even warned teens of using it, as doing it is actually “hurting lip tissue, and collagen and elastin — proteins that give lips plumpness and firmness”(see here for full article).
I want to shame the companies that don’t give information with their ‘wonder’ suction products. Ladies, and gentlemen, if you want your lips to feel luscious don’t stick them in a cup- the glosses I can make peace with, but loving your lips would be even better. Here’s a gruesome reminder: the dangers of a trend.
So, in conclusion; do what you like, I’m not going to tell you. However, the potential problems of these trends and products should be made aware to the public, so please share this info if you know anyone who is into fuller lips (to be honest, that’s most girls) 🙂 Until next time,