Hi babes! Hope you are all having great and glossy weekends. I’ve been hard at work looking for new and interesting ideas for glossable, and every now and then I come across something that really piques my never-ending curiosity. “What,” you ask, “has me all fired up this time?”
Well, I would have to say that something really has me all plumped up, and that is the subject of lip plumpers. In my glossy travels, I came across something that suggested looking for lip products that contain ingredients like cinnamon, ginger or red pepper if you are looking for a plumping feature in a lip product because those ingredients increase circulation to your lips. That led me down the path of wondering if simply rubbing some ginger or tapping some chili powder to your lips before applying would work. Hmmmm. I may have to try that one of these days…
Anyhoo, that made me really start to wonder how plumpers really work and what what, if any, was the science behind them. I happen to love them (and science!). I love how that little sting feels on my lips. But I do have some friends that can’t use them because of that very sting. Some don’t like the feeling, and some find all that “plumping action” uncomfortable, sometimes even painful.
So, how do they really work? Well, there are a few “ways”.
The first way is by adding certain vitamins – particularly B12 and E – to their formulas, which can help nourish and restore the fragile skin around your lips and increase blood flow which makes lips appear fuller. This method can be more immediate (upon application), and tends to wear off as your product does.
Adding ingredients that help to increase your body’s natural production of collagen is another way to achieve a plumper lip. Ingredients like retinol and alpha-hydroxy acids can stimulate collagen production, and increase the fullness of your lips. This method is known to be effective, but may take time and regular use for results to be seen.
The third way that lip plumpers work is to actually irritate the lip. Sounds mean, I know, but certain ingredients (including the cinnamon, ginger and red pepper listed above), can increase the blood flow, but the way they do that is by irritating the surface of the lips by causing temporary swelling and redness.
Last year I wrote about DuWop’s Venom Gloss (which I love). This product in particular uses the irritation method and lists a “spicy concoction of cinnamon, wintergreen and ginger…” on its web site, which we now know to be the plumpers at work. Another product I have, but haven’t written about yet (and is at a much higher price point than DuWop’s $18.00) uses the collagen method.
Well babes, sounds like I have some work work to do on this subject – comparisons, more detailed investigation of ingredient lists, and maybe even trying a homemade plumping test or two. Look for more info to come. Until then, keep on plumpin’!
smooches and smacks!
Originally published 1/31/10.