Fuller, natural-looking lips are in, duck lips are most certainly out.
Collagen injections have long been used to treat minor facial imperfections like fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, and acne scars. They have also been used to create fuller lips and have been considered relatively safe, quick, and easy to administer. But it’s not completely without risk of complications like infection.
In addition, “when you repeatedly enlarge the lips — pumping them up as big as possible — the filler can act as a tissue expander, permanently stretching the skin, and causing the lips to sag and deflate when the filler eventually degrades, leaving you in worse shape than when you started,” explains Karyn Grossman, a cosmetic dermatologist with offices in Santa Monica and New York City. Since that isn’t a ‘medical problem’ like bruising, swelling, or lumpiness, it’s rarely talked about. There’s no cure except surgery once that happens. Yikes!
So what other options are out there if you want to look your best for your next selfie?
Exfoliate. . . .Your Lips, That Is!
Exfoliation can offer a range of benefits for your lips. It can simply make them look healthier by getting rid of the dead skin cells that make them look dry and chapped. That alone will leave them looking softer and better hydrated. The process of exfoliation will increase circulation to the lips, making them appear fuller.
Flavored lip scrubs designed for the purpose are a great way to feel like you’re indulging, but a washcloth or soft toothbrush will do the trick, too.
Just be sure not to overdo it. Once per week is more than enough.
Try Contouring Lip Gloss
Ingredients in the gloss work to stimulate collagen production within the lip tissue, giving temporarily fuller lips without any irritation. Sometimes you may experience a tingling sensation for a few minutes, but that shouldn’t last very long.
Use a Face Roller
Michelle Phan, beauty blogger, recommends using a microneedle face roller on your lips, as it may stimulate natural collagen production and give your lips an instant boost. There’s no need to apply too much pressure, and remember to apply a lip moisturizer immediately afterwards.
Lip Plumpers Are the Rage
Plumpers come in a variety of formats: glosses, balms, and lipsticks, and are designed to pump up lips while also hydrating and improving texture. There truly is something for everyone, here. Some of them offer a natural look, while others really push your pout to the max.
Want something a little more natural? Try peppermint oil! It’s very soothing to your skin and gently irritates your lips without causing them to swell. It’s been known to increase lip fullness and color. Cinnamon oil is another viable alternative, effective at increasing blood circulation.
There’s a Device for That
There are a few mechanical devices that can help to temporarily plump up the lips by adding suction to the area. This process draws fluid to the area, creating a fuller effect that can last for several hours. Just be sure to follow instructions carefully. You can overdo it and cause yourself too much duck face, unattractive red marks, or even serious injury!
Use Makeup to Your Advantage
While makeup doesn’t actually make your lips fuller, it can certainly go far to supply the illusion of fullness. Add a dab of highlighter or concealer to the divit just above your top lip. Push that one step further by adding a touch of bronzer beneath the center of your bottom lip to add depth of contrast. Blend that in before using a lip liner to slightly overline your lips, creating subtle volume. Choose one shade darker than your lipstick, which you’ll top off with a touch of lip gloss in the very center of the lips to create the illusion of a fuller pout.
Ice Those Lips
Ice will temporarily compress your blood vessels to make lips look red and plump. You won’t have to suffer for very long. Massaging for only two minutes can give you instant results.
Supplement Your Collagen Intake
It’s good for more than just injections! Collagen is a protein found naturally in your body, and is one of the most important building blocks of your skin. Your body produces less collagen as you age, and many factors can contribute to collagen degradation, leading to fine lines, wrinkles, and thinning lips. You can help your skin replenish and replace collagen that has been destroyed by taking a collagen supplement.
Collagen supplements can be found in the health aisle and in health food stores. You can also help matters by eating collagen-rich bone broth soups or foods that help to support collagen production like fruits and vegetables with vitamin C.
Still looking for even more ways to enhance that pout? Check out some of these YouTube videos for even more tips!