- Natural lip enhancing methods offer immediate results. Results, however, are subtle and temporary.
- Methods include the use of balms, creams, exfoliation and make-up.
- Natural lip plumping is safe and can be easily performed at home.
- More enduring results require the use of semi-invasive treatments such as dermal fillers, chemical peels or PRP.
A bee-stung pout is synonymous with beauty and sensuality. The lips are a visual cue for age, and studies show that women who appear young for their age tend to have larger lips.
It’s little wonder then, that full lips are so apparent on social media, made even more prominent by beauty influencers such as the Kardashians. While injectables represent one way to achieve more noticeable lips, certain natural methods can also help your lips appear larger, without surgical intervention.
Three Natural Ways to Achieve Plumper Lips
These lip-plumping techniques can be used to achieve a naturally augmented look. They’re ideal methods if you are looking for a subtle improvement, rather than a dramatic or lasting change.
1. Natural lip-plumping products
Lip balms and glosses containing certain natural products can help to create the appearance of increased volume. Herbs and spices such as spearmint, cayenne pepper and cinnamon are mild irritants. Lip balm formulations containing these ingredients cause the blood vessels in the lips to dilate temporarily, making them appear both fuller and redder. Be warned, however, that such products may also create a tingly feeling.
Lip care products containing these naturally plumping compounds generally offer short-term effects. If you have a tube or jar of gloss in your handbag, however, you can touch up your lips as often as you need.
Skincare products containing compounds such as collagen, hyaluronic acid and peptides work in a slightly different manner. Collagen and hyaluronic acid both hold water molecules, creating a hydrating, moisturizing and plumping effect. Formulations containing peptides can help to stimulate collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines around the lips. These products can help to work at a deeper level, restoring volume to the lips over time.
2. Natural lip augmentation techniques
There are also maintenance tricks that can help accentuate your pout. Many of these techniques use ingredients that can easily be sourced at home, and performed on a regular basis.
- Home-made lip scrub:
Dry and chapped lips can cause the lips to look thinner and older. Exfoliation is key to restoring a smooth and nourished pout. You can prepare a simple and delicious lip scrub at home using brown sugar and honey or coconut oil. Simply combine two tablespoons of granular brown sugar with one tablespoon of honey or coconut oil, blend well, and then gently apply to the lips. Use circular motions to sweep away dry skin and reveal fresher, smoother lip skin beneath. Rinse and wipe the mouth with a warm washcloth once you’ve completed your homemade scrub.
- Gentle exfoliation with a soft toothbrush
A soft-bristled toothbrush can also be used as a gentle lip exfoliator. Purchase a toothbrush specifically for the task, and apply some vaseline or a small amount of lip balm to the brush. Gently brush the lips in circular motions to encourage the removal of dead skin, and the circulation of blood to the lips. The lips should feel soft, smooth and moist after the treatment, and as a bonus, lipstick will go on more evenly and stay fixed for longer. Be sure to use a lip balm with SPF if you go out in the sun after exfoliation.
3. Make-up techniques
Make-up can also foster the illusion of fuller lips. There is a range of techniques available, with the Kylie Lip Kit currently trending. The Kylie Lip Kit combines lip liner and lip color. Liner is outlined just outside the natural lip line, then filled in with a matte lip color to create a uniform look. Gloss in the middle of the lower lip helps the lips to appear soft and voluminous.
Another popular makeup technique is properly priming the lips before applying lipstick. This can include gentle exfoliation, the application of a nude gloss or color, and then applying color last. This creates a flawless base that enables the lip color to last longer, and makes the lips appear smoother and fuller.
Benefits of Natural Lip-Plumping
Natural lip plumping offers a host of benefits for those seeking an instant fix.
Lip care containing natural vasodilators and make-up products can immediately accentuate the shape and color of the lips. Although temporary, they are more cost-effective than long-term options such as dermal fillers. Regular exfoliation of the lips also helps to keep them in tip-top shape, and costs very little.
Natural lip plumping techniques generally require no down-time. A fuller lip can be achieved in mere minutes. While lip care products with longer-acting compounds take longer to take effect, there is no swelling or inflammation requiring downtime or recovery time after application.
- Free of risk
Dermal fillers can sometimes pose risks, although very rare, of infection, severe bruising, blindness, and tissue death. Side effects can include swelling and bruising. Natural lip plumping methods are safe.
Limitations and Disadvantages
Natural lip plumping, while relatively safe and easy, will not result in dramatic or long-lasting changes.
If applying gloss or makeup, results are temporary. Lip care products containing targeted compounds such as collagen or hyaluronic acid will encourage change over a longer period, though the improvement is likely to be subtle.
Those looking for more pronounced augmentation will achieve more satisfying outcomes with lip injections. Hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane, last from six to twelve months. Under the care of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, beautiful and transformative results can be achieved. If for any reason you’re unhappy with the outcome, the filler can be dissolved with hyaluronidase.
Other cosmetic treatments that can rejuvenate and plump the lips include platelet rich plasma or chemical peels. These cosmetic procedures boost collagen production.
For a quick fix, natural lip plumping represents a straightforward, safe option. Carefully applied makeup and glosses can redden your pout and make your lips appear softer and more voluminous.
Scrubs and exfoliation can help smooth the appearance of the lips, endowing them with a more youthful appearance. Regular use of collagen and hyaluronic acid-infused products around the lips can contribute to restoring volume over the long term.
For more enduring and dramatic results, however, consider talking to a board-certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon. Only dermal fillers can significantly augment and re-shape the lips.
- Gunn DA, Rexbye H, Griffiths CEM, Murray PG, Fereday A, et al. (2009) Why Some Women Look Young for Their Age. PLOS ONE 4(12): e8021. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008021
- Lowe, N. J., Maxwell, C. A. and Patnaik, R. (2005), Adverse Reactions to Dermal Fillers: Review. Dermatologic Surgery, 31: 1626-1633. doi:10.2310/6350.2005.31250
- Luthra A. (2015). Shaping Lips with Fillers. Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery, 8(3), 139–142. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.167269