Remember the old school topical lip plumpers? They stung like crazy. And if you happened to get them on your finger, then touch your face, well, good luck dealing with the ensuing inflammation. Plus, derms weren't fans due to their tendency to irritate lips. A few years ago, dermatologist Chris Adigun, MD, told us something she still stands by today: “I would steer people away from menthol products — it does not serve any healing or hydrating property for the lips. It will impart a cooling sensation and some people really like that, but I wouldn't recommend that to anyone because it’s not going to make their lips better.” Still, irritation was a small price to pay for a mouth that was a little fuller and poutier in mere seconds.
But that was then — and we're not going back. Now, there are a new crop of plumpers that amplify without the sting — and they’re quickly replacing our trusty standard lip balms. The latest versions pack major nourishing ingredients, like shea butter and plant-based oils, which means they’re primed to heal. Even better, they tap non-irritating ingredients to plump, like hyaluronic acid microspheres, which fill in the fine lines in the lips to make them appear fuller, and mustard sprout extract, which can have a plumping effect without the burn. Research shows the ingredient stimulates blood circulation and can increase lip volume when applied topically.
It's excellent news for those of us who don’t subscribe to the "beauty is pain" motto (or at least get the longer-lasting benefit of fillers if we do). Meet the new gang of lip plumpers, ahead.