What is Plumping Lip Gloss?

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  • Written By: G. Melanson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2019
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Plumping lip gloss, or lip plumper, is a topical gloss that contains ingredients that slightly irritate the lips, causing a mild inflammatory reaction that results in the appearance of redder, fuller lips. Peppermint and cinnamon are often used, as they can cause the lips’ blood vessels to swell slightly. Some brands also claim to work using microspheres, which draw water molecules to the lips and cause them to swell slightly. Another lip boosting ingredient found in certain lip plumpers is a tri-peptide of amino acids known as palmetoiloligopeptide, which has been shown to stimulate elastin and collagen production if applied topically for several weeks in a row.

These lip glosses have become a popular alternative to lip plumping procedures performed by plastic surgeons or dermatologists such as Botox® or fat injections, which can be both costly and painful. However, the effects of gloss are much more temporary compared to injections, and it has also been known to cause a painful tingling sensation or numbness to the lips. Additionally, people who apply plumping lip gloss excessively run the risk of causing damage to their lips, as excessive use can cause lip ulcerations.


Over the last few decades, images in the media featuring celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Paris Hilton, and Lisa Rinna have popularized the look of full, often oversized lips, sparking a trend which has been coined the “bee-stung” look. Women are the largest target market for plumping lip gloss, and the lips tend to gradually reduce in fullness over time.

Plumping lip gloss can be purchased in most cosmetic and drug stores and comes in a variety of shades in addition to clear gloss. Many different brands of can be found in drugstores and specialty cosmetics stores.


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Post 1

Make sure you know you're getting a lip plumping formula beforehand. Otherwise, they can sneak up on you. A lip plumping gloss will probably sting a little after you apply it. All part of the "irritating the lips" part of the equation.

Some lip plumpers sting so much that they are unpleasant to wear. I've gotten samples that I'm glad I didn't have to pay for. Some women may subscribe to the "beauty is pain" mantra, but I'm not one of them. I don’t necessarily think a plumper looking lip is worth having my mouth sting for 20 minutes to achieve a fuller look.

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