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Plumping the lips

SpecialChem / Jul 20, 2006

One of the first signs of age affects the lips. With age, lips loose their initial volume, they become thinner, loose colour and fine vertical lines appear around them.

Since 2005, there has been an explosion of propositions offering cosmetic products specially formulated for lips and the lip contour. These products have had great success, especially in the USA. They are well positioned in both the skincare line and in colour cosmetic lines. These lip treatment products are made to re-plump the lips, to make them fuller and to reduce the fine lines around the lips. It is said that they replace a collagen surgery injection.

These products take different galenic forms. The most commonly proposed product is an oily gel balm, or, sometimes formulated in a more liquid oily mixture, called serum for lips. Often sticks are used from colour cosmetic lines in a non colour form. There are also emulsions (preferably water in oil emulsions) inspired by usual treating skin care creams and using the same active ingredients...

Good lip treatment products may contain:

  • some shiny oils (with a high refractive index) to give the optical effect of a smoothing surface and a fuller and sexy lip volume. These oils usually have a high molecular weight and create an occlusive film on the surface of the lips to preserve the inside water of the lips
  • some active ingredients with hydrating properties and water retaining capacity (collagen, squalane...)
  • some flavours or other ingredients to give a sensation of lips microcirculation blood activation (mint, pepper or peppermint oil..)
  • some solid particles that have a high diffusing power of light to create such a "soft-focus" effect to reduce the appearance of fine lines for lip contour products, or some very shiny pearls and pigments to enhance the effect of the shiny oils. These pigments can be coloured or not (such as now well known borosilicate platelets). When the pigments are coloured they usually have a three-dimensional effect to help provide a visual volume effect on the lips.

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