Thursday, November 6, 2008

Do Lip Plumpers Work? And Are They Safe?

This little tidbit of information will close out my series on Lipsticks and Glosses. The safety of lip plumpers is questionable, and whether or not they actually work is the question of the day! Even if they may work are they really a safe product to use over the long term?

Lip Plumpers are an interesting product for enhancement in order to achieve a fuller lip if you can stand the feel of these little gems. Many women are attracted to Hollywood starlets amazing pouty mouths. And I agree, some have got the perfectly shaped mouth. But the question remains "Do lip plumpers actually work to this degree?"

I love using Lip Colors and have tried many over the years. All types of shades and shines. Some have been great, some goopy to the point where my hair would be stuck to my mouth in the slightest breeze. Some too shiny or shimmery. And it has been rare that I have ever finished a lipstick completely, usually tossing it before it was gone because some new color or new-fangled creation came on the market. That was until I realized it was better to mix colors before throwing one out. So much money down the old porcelain bowl.

The latest craze to hit the market are Lip Plumpers for women who are wishing to have the lips of a movie star like Anne Hathaway!

Lip Plumpers will definitely give a very red bee stung pout to the mouth and work well for some women. If you have very thin lips, then the results will be less than favorable. To some degree to achieve that kissable pout, the woman needs to have a fuller mouth to begin with in order for her lips to appear plumper. This concept is a great idea, but at what cost?

One of the most popular and first one to market, is a product called Lip Venom! It is a gloss that causes your lips to swell through irritation from oils of cinnamon, wintergreen and ginger. It was the new way to achieve a fuller pout without resorting to collagen injections.

Due to its popularity, many others followed to capture the market for their piece of the pie. There are currently close to 50 products in similarity on the market today. Other ingredients in these included eucalyptus, clove and spearmint.

Others claim, for instance Lip Fusion, to infuse lips through the use of Micro Collagen by being absorbed through the skin, painlessly. Many women will be disappointed with this concept since collagen cannot be rebuilt within skin tissue through absorption. Nice theory but false! Your lips will feel smoother and quite soft though.

Many products also claim to last up to a couple of days, however this was not the case for me and other women who have used them. They told me this claim is greatly exaggerated. It really is a short, temporary fullness for the mouth.
In order to achieve the super pout for instance, Lisa Rinna comes to mind, it is going to require a visit to your plastic surgeon for this serious augmentation of the mouth. In my humble opinion, this actress went way over the top. I saw her before augmentation and she was beautiful just the way she was. Too bad! But I digress...

Even though this has been a huge phenomenon among women, there is definitely a down side to using these types of products.

I personally tried these lip plumpers and the discomfort was so intense, I had to get them off immediately. Unfortunately, the effect is immediate and you achieve full red, sunburned looking lips within a minute. The results lasted for a couple of hours and they continued to tingle the entire time just to a lesser degree. They also did little to improve the shape of my mouth. My lower lip plumped since it has fullness already while my thin upper lip just looked sunburned. Nope.... no fullness there and that was the part of my mouth needing the most help. Also afterward my lips did some sloughing of skin because they dried out from the irritating oils. And the ongoing sensation that I had eaten something spicy became distracting and annoying. They were definitely not my cup of tea. For women who can stand the burning and stinging, then more power to you. I personally advise a heavy coating of Vaseline before going to bed to avoid chapped lips if you use these products.

Despite all the others on the market, I went into a Sephora store and asked them what was their most popular lip plumper to date, and it was still the original Lip Venom despite the heftier price tag, which runs about $16.00 to $20.00 dollars. But not near as pricey as Lip Fusion which is a whopping $30.00 dollars or more.

This brings me to the question of them being safe for use. For the most part they are quite safe to use in terms of ingredients, and women will continue to use them with success. But from a dermatologists' perspective, they have warnings of their own. I decided to discuss this with my personal dermatologist about what he thought of these lip plumpers. Apparently there has been some feedback on these through his trade journals so he had plenty to say about them.

Basically, he felt it was ill advised to use them based on how they cause irritation to the mouth. The look is achieved through these irritating elements, of which I named above, which promotes increased circulation and blood vessels to dilate. However, my dermatologist insisted that this could go beyond just a simple pout, but actually distort the lips on women not realizing they could be having an allergic reaction to the ingredients. The lips could be very swollen beyond what they can tolerate and crack spreading further inflammation to the areas around the mouth. And if used in excess, the lips may become ulcerated followed by infection.

The products themselves carry warning labels advising "if irritation or discomfort persists remove immediately and discontinue use". Well, I'm thinking.... isn't that kind of the whole point?

Another facet to this cosmetic puzzle, if in a relationship, your boyfriend or hubby will be none too thrilled to kiss you since the irritants will transfer to his mouth. Don't be surprised by his reaction when he pulls away at the sudden burning sensation.

What some of us do to look sexy!? And what we will endure to achieve that luscious pout of dealing with the distress to our lips, to risking allergic reactions!? All this for the sake of looking like the incredibly beautiful Angelina Jolie.

I ponder....Lip Venom, good name! Kind of says it all!

Smooches and have a great weekend!

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