1. When you’re looking for lip balm, try to get one with a short ingredients list.
“Ingredients like shea butter, beeswax, mineral oil, natural oils such as olive oil, petroleum, and lanolin are some of the best ingredients,” Dr. Jeremy Fenton of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City tells BuzzFeed. “Generally, try to find balms that have the fewest ingredients, avoiding things like fragrances and dyes.”
2. If your skin is super sensitive and prone to allergic reactions, be careful with lanolin and beeswax.
“For those that are highly allergic to numerous things and have very irritated lips, I usually recommend going to plain petrolatum (or Vaseline) for at least a period of time until things calm down,” Fenton says.
3. Exfoliate your lips once a week with an easy DIY blend of olive oil and sugar.
“Not everybody thinks to exfoliate their lips, but they can build up dull skin just like your face,” Fenton says. “You just need to be more gentle here though. One simple method is to use a weekly homemade scrub: a teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil mixed with ½ a teaspoon of sugar.” Gently scrub this on your lips with your fingers and then pat it off with a damp washcloth or just leave it on for a sugary balm.
4. Want to exfoliate AND get fuller-looking lips? Try a toothbrush.
7. STOP. LICKING. YOUR. LIPS. PLEASE.
It’s so tempting when they’re dry through, amiright? But seriously. Your saliva contains acids that break down food, but which also irritate your lips. The more you lick them, the dryer they’ll get.
8. Want fuller lips immediately and without *injections*? Look in your pantry.
To get immediate results, opt for ingredients that mildly irritate the lips in order to stimulate bloodflow and swell the lips up slightly, according to Fenton. Some of the ingredients that can work are cinnamon, peppermint, menthol, camphor, and capsaicin (or any ingredient derived from hot peppers). But be prepared to feel a little tingling. Learn more about a DIY cinnamon lip-plumping balm here.
10. If you’re in it to play the long game, try treatments with palmitoyl oligopeptide or hyaluronic acid.
“An ingredient to look for in lip hydration to lead to plumper lips is hyaluronic acid. This ingredient works by drawing more moisture into the lips,” Fenton says. To stimulate collagen in the lips, look into an oligopeptide such as
palmitoyl oligopeptide (sometimes also called palmitoyl hexapeptide-12 or Pal-GHK). “These ingredients tend to provide a more subtle effect that takes some time to see results,” he adds.
11. Always remember that you can create the ~appearance~ of fuller lips instead of actually making your lips bigger.
Oh, the power of makeup. To make smooth, healthy lips look luscious AF, try a simple illusionary trick like adding a shimmery powder to the center of top and bottom lips. Use a gold-toned eyeshadow or highlighter to draw light to the center of your lips, making them look more dimensional and, ultimately, FULLER.