- DIY lip augmentation can be performed with devices such as suction pumps and dermal filler kits.
- DIY lip augmentation also includes natural lip plumping methods such as lip balms, make-up techniques and skincare products.
- Devices carry risks such as bruising, infection, tissue death and blindness, and their use should be avoided.
- For safe and effective lip augmentation, clinical treatments such as dermal fillers, PRP and chemical peels may offer the best results.
If you’re interested in experimenting with a bee-stung pout in the comfort and privacy of your own home, you’re not alone. As lip injections have grown in popularity, DIY filler options have found their way into the market. These lip augmentation devices and products promise plump lips through techniques such as suction and injection, at a fraction of the price of clinical treatments.
DIY Lip Augmentation Devices
While the idea of plumping your lips with a device at home may seem appealing, it’s not advisable for a number of reasons. DIY lip augmentation devices include semi-invasive techniques such as injectables and suction force. If incorrectly performed, these can result in unsightly outcomes, infection, and irreversible damage.
Here’s what you should know about DIY lip augmentation devices and kits:
These devices utilize suction as a lip plumper. Available in a variety of designs, some use self-suction while others are pump-operated. Self-suction devices function by applying the device to the lips and sucking in air to create suction, so a gentle pulling sensation is established.
Devices such as JuvaLips volumize the lips by applying intermittent pressure. JuvaLips has pushbutton control which delivers regulated pressure to the lips to boost blood flow into the capillaries. Suctioning causes mild inflammation, which results in temporary enlargement. Suction can be released after 15 to 30 seconds. Results purportedly last between 1 to four hours, although many Amazon reviews report that volume disperses more quickly. Some users experience little to no change in volume at all.
Risks: Suctioning the lips can cause trauma such as bruising, burning, asymmetry, swelling, discoloration and infection. Reviewers report that the device can cause severe bruising following use.
At-home injectable kits:
With the explosion of injectables on the market, it’s now easier than ever to purchase dermal fillers online, and self-administer them using YouTube tutorials. For obvious reasons, this represents a major source of concern to dermatologists and qualified injectors.
Risks: The lips are extremely vascular and prone to bruising and swelling. Injection into the wrong blood vessel can cause an obstruction, tissue death, scarring or even blindness. Fillers purchased from untrustworthy sources may contain foreign substances that foster allergies. Self-administered fillers can cause adverse side effects, and may even require surgical intervention. From an aesthetic standpoint, self-injection is likely to result in an asymmetrical outcome.
Electrical current devices
Handheld devices such as Ziip can also be used for DIY lip plumping. Ziip delivers a micro current to the lips which draws blood towards the surface, and reportedly stimulates skin repair in the cell. A proprietary gel must be applied before lightly swiping the device back and forth across the lips in ten second increments.
Risks: Hovering the device for too long in one location can break capillaries and result in bruising. Reviews reveal that the results may be short-lived or appear very subtly.
DIY Lip Augmentation without Devices
There are several at-home options that can help create the appearance of full lips. These options are completely non-invasive.
1. Make-up products with natural plumpers
If you’re looking for an instant, bee-stung look, try lip gloss or lip products containing ingredients such as wintergreen, ginger, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Products such as Du Wop lip venom plumping balm flush the lips with color and increase circulation to the lips. Results are predictably short-lived, lasting several hours at most. The sensation can feel tingly as the product takes effect.
2. Lip care with targeted ingredients
Lip products and moisturizers containing powerful compounds such as hydrating hyaluronic acid or vitamin C can stimulate collagen production. These products can help to target the lip tissue at a cellular level, by restoring volume to the lips over the long-term and reducing fine lines. Results will take a month or more to become apparent, and are likely to create subtle rather than dramatic improvements. Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid may also help prevent signs of aging.
3. Make-up techniques
Make-up techniques can create the illusion of a fuller lip. The Kylie Lip Kit represents one such option. Penciling outside the lip line, then filling the lip in with a matte lip color and a dot of gloss in the center of the bottom lip, can help enhance your pout temporarily.
Dermal fillers are the most effective way of achieving noticeably bigger lips that last for longer than several hours. A board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist can offer you the best chance of achieving a safe and beautiful outcome.
Many expert injectors prefer to use hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers on the lips which provide the lips with a soft and voluminous appearance. HA fillers, such as Juvederm or Restylane, last about six months on average but can be reversed if necessary. They have a high satisfaction rating among patients.
Other effective treatments that can help to enhance the appearance of the lips include chemical peels, laser resurfacing and PRP therapy.
- Blanchard, J., Ali, S., Ali, E., Gillan, G., & Cheng, L. (2017). DIY Fillers. British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 55(10), e86. bjoms.com/article/S0266-4356(17)30290-5/abstract
- Brennan, R., Wells, J. S., & Van Hout, M. (2018). “Saving Face”: An Online Study of the Injecting Use of DIY Botox and Dermal Filler Kits. Plastic Surgery, 26(3), 154-159. journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2292550318767432
- Cartier, H., Trevidic, P., Rzany, B., Sattler, G., Kestemont, P., Kerrouche, N., & Dhuin, J. C. (2012). Perioral rejuvenation with a range of customized hyaluronic acid fillers: efficacy and safety over six months with a specific focus on the lips. Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD, 11(1 Suppl), s17-26. europepmc.org/abstract/med/22497040
- McCullough, J. L., & Kelly, K. M. (2006). Prevention and treatment of skin aging. Aging Interventions and Therapies, (1067), 323-331. https://books.google.co.nz/books?hl=en&lr=&id=5vHICgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA29&dq=vitamin+c+hyaluronic+acid+anti-aging&ots=kspOhwXuMe&sig=o-CHH0kCHtrmvpR3yc_v9ZZx6_I#v=onepage&q=vitamin%20c%20hyaluronic%20acid%20anti-aging&f=false