You need only look at the frenzy over the Kylie Lip Kits to know that in 2017, lips are It. And while the youngest Jenner may be the social media queen of the bee-stung pout, she’s by no means the only style star to rock a mean duck face. Swipe through Instagram and you’ll be faced with a bevvy of full-lipped beauties, including Lana Del Rey, Selena Gomez and Rihanna.
Beauty brands are catching on to the statement lip craze, launching new products designed to take lips from zero to 100, including a new arsenal of plumping glosses. “[They] temporarily work by creating a mild irritation to the lips. Most products will create a tingling sensation, the lips will slightly swell and become brighter in color,” says cosmetic physician Dr. Diane Wong of Toronto’s Glow Medi Spa, adding that popular ingredients that cause this effect are peppermint, menthol, cayenne and cinnamon. (Readers of a certain age will remember DuWop’s Lip Venom, the little vial of sticky gloss that plumped lips in a rather uncomfortable way.) “Often the inflammation or swelling of the lips go down as soon as the feeling of the product decreases on the lips,” says Dr. Wong.
For longer-lasting results, in-office procedures—fillers like Juvederm or Restylane performed by qualified medical professionals—can be used to plump the lip tissue, says Dr. Wong. “Lip lines can be reduced and the lips rejuvenated with this lunch-time injectable procedure.”
To keep lips looking their youthful best, it’s important to remember that the skin on the mouth is different from the skin on the face; it’s thinner, and has no sweat glans, pores or oil production. Incorporating lip-specific anti-aging products into your routine can slow signs of aging, like lip lines and the vertical wrinkling nicknamed “barcode lines.” And, of course, the cardinal rules of skincare apply here, too: always wear sunscreen, and no smoking!