Full, juicy, plump lips without injections? Yup, thanks to the magic of plumping lip glosses, this fantasy is a very real reality. Still, despite their increased popularity, many people are skeptical about lip-plumping products. How do they create a plumping effect? Do they really work? Are they bad for your lips? So. Many. Questions. To help with this, below we answer all of these pressing inquiries including what ingredients to look for and avoid in lip plumping products. Spoiler alert: Lip plumping glosses really do work, but there are some caveats.
How do plumping lip glosses work?
Many popular lip plumpers create the plumping effect by using ingredients that work as irritants to the lips, such as ginger, cinnamon, menthol, or camphor—hence the prickly or burning sensation you frequently feel when you apply them.
Libby's new plumping lip gloss works a bit differently (and, dare we say, better). Instead of using heat and irritation like traditional lip plumpers, it plumps the lips with a cool and soothing sensation. The magic is in its active ingredients: Volulip™, hyaluronic acid, Frescolat® MGA, vitamin E, and shea butter.
Volulip™ is a patented ingredient that helps stimulate collagen production, adds volume to the lip, plumps fine lines and wrinkles and repairs, moisturizes, and hydrates the lips. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that has amazing water retention properties. Frescolat® MGA, another patented ingredient, is what gives the cooling, liquid ice feeling instead of the bee-sting feeling of traditional lip plumpers. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals, while shea butter moisturizes and protects the lips, giving them a silky, smooth texture.
And there’s data to back it all up. Volulip™ has gone through in vitro studies that show that applying it twice daily for a month can double collagen production and increase moisture to the lip by 50%. So these aren’t made up claims. They are actual substantiated and clinically-proven results.
Are lip-plumping products bad for the lips?
The short answer is it depends because not all plumping products are created equal. Lip plumpers that contain cinnamon, ginger, or capsaicin (a compound found in chili peppers that gives the burning, irritating sensation) can trigger an allergic reaction in some people, even causing hives on the lips in extreme cases. For this reason, it’s best to avoid lip-plumping products that contain those ingredients.
So when shopping for a plumping lip gloss, the key is choosing ones with safe, high-quality, and clinically-proven ingredients that won't irritate the lips. Case in point: Libby's plumping lip gloss. Instead of the warm burning sensation of traditional lip plumpers, Frescolat® MGA gives a cooling sensation. This reduces the risk of allergic reactions that are common with ginger and cinnamon.
The bottom line
Yes, plumping lip glosses do work. Opt for ones that don't irritate the lips and feature safe and clinically-proven ingredients. Bonus points if they also provide other added benefits beyond just plumping. For instance, Libby's plumping lip gloss also helps protect the lips from damage, improves lip texture, and firms the lips making them look softer, younger, and more supple over time.