There are two non-invasive methods consumers can use to increase the appearance of their lip volume: Chemical-based lip plumpers and suction-based technology lip plumpers. Both methods may utilize different mechanisms to achieve their results. Are lip plumpers safe to use? You decide.


Currently, there are lack of clinical research done on lip plumpers. Physiologists have suggested three possible mechanisms by which chemical-based lip plumpers use to elicit lip swelling. All mechanisms could be acting simultaneously to achieve a mild swelling of the lips.

  1. Immunological defenses: One proposed mechanism involves the immune system. In the immunological defenses, the body has already been sensitized by the irritants through contact with or exposure to the skin, mucous membranes, respiratory tract, or gastrointestinal tract in the past.  The release of histamine is the major mechanism of action seen in inflammation of the skin/lips. The Initial reaction can appear within minutes of local contact. The common symptoms reported by consumers were beet-red lips assisted by mild swelling after they apply lip plumper liquid to the lips.   Histamine is known as a vasodilator of the immune system. It plays a role in inflammation. Thus, pain, redness, swelling, and heat are the classic manifestations of the inflammatory process.

(Trivia: Consumers of chemical-based lip plumpers have reported the sensations of heat and burning after they applied the substance to their lips. Did you know that scientists from Harvard University found that the chili pepper’s burning sensation and pain caused by inflammation from arthritis disease share the same pain signal molecule, called p38. This protein can trigger a 25-fold increase in production of the “chili pepper receptor”, which results in increased sensitivity to pain. The common active ingredients found in lip plumpers are capsaicin (chili pepper), peppermint oil, mustard extract, caffeine extract, cinnamon extract, clove, menthol, camphor, ginger extract, and wintergreen. Since, lower doses of irritants are ineffective, for the lips to swell higher doses must be used. The higher the doses used in the lip plumper formulations, the greater the burning and heat.)

  1. Non-immunological defenses: In non-immunological defenses, the body does not use the histamine-mediated immune responses directly to induce lip swelling. It uses the prostaglandin mechanism to stimulate inflammation. The symptoms are the same. Why non-immunological? Non-immunological means that the body has not been exposed to these irritants so it uses the prostaglandin pathway. In this pathway, it  induces histamine to do its job. Once the body develops and recognizes the irritants, in the next encounter, it will go directly to the immunological defense mechanism via the histamine-mediated immune responses.

  2. Direct vasodilation effect:  A few ingredients in some lip plumpers that can directly induce potent vasodilation are benzyl nicotinate (benzyl nicotinate ointment is used to treat blood clots), L-arginine, and niacin.

SUCTION-BASED TECHNOLOGY LIP PLUMPERS In recent years, celebrity endorsements by Olympic swimmers and professional football players to famous Hollywood actresses and actors such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Jennifer Aniston, Denise Richards, Anna Lynne McCord, Kelly Osbourne, Jessica Simpson, David Arquette, Denise Richards, Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Kate Moss, and Victoria Beckham have raised the profile of Cupping Therapy. Cupping Therapy is an ancient medical treatment which uses suction cups to enhance blood circulation in the body in order to encourage healing as shown in the image below.


In suction-based technology lip plumpers, the cup is placed on the lips.



Some experts suggest that cupping therapy may use the hyperemia mechanism to induce the widening of blood vessels in the skin which causes the tissue to expand. Did you know that hyperemia occurs when the sex organs are enlarged when they are aroused or stimulated? Well, the lips are an erogenous body part. They also swell when they are touched, kissed, and aroused. It is possible that the suction of the lip plumper simulates the sensation of kissing.  It can be suggested that the lip swelling is elicited via the hyperemia mechanism.


  • Chemical-based lip plumpers should not be used daily. The questions are: Do you want to aggravate and tease your immune system on a daily basis? What are the long term effects of prolonged irritant/allergen exposures?

  • Do not kiss someone after you apply lip plumper liquid gel to the lips. Allergic reactions could be transferred to another person. For example, in a case well known to researchers, the mom transferred her lip plumper allergic reaction to her 3-year old boy when she kissed him on the cheek.

  • If a substance can be absorbed into your skin and distributed into your blood, how do you know that it will stay in the area beneath the lips. What if it can be moved into different organs? Collagen microspheres are commonly found in lip plumpers.  Microspheres are tiny molecules which can be absorbed by the body. One type of microsphere is made of dehydrated dried fish collagen molecules.

  • If you see allergic reactions developing in different areas, stop using your chemical-based lip plumpers and see if they are the cause of your allergy.

  • Lip pumps may be the best natural method to use as it might use the hyperemia mechanism of sexual arousal to plump up your lips!



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About The Author

- CEO & Founder of Thienna Inc. and CandyLipz LLC. - Achieved Levels of Education/School * PhD in Scientific Nutrition * Master of Business Administration * Master of Science in Genetic Engineering * Bachelor of Science in Microbiology * Bachelor of Art in Economics - Author * Eat Your Way to Brighter Skin: The All-Natural, Inexpensive, Easy Way to a Clear and Healthy Complexion * Cooking On the Light Side: Smart Recipes for Bright Skin and Vitality Book - Book Awards 2008 to 2011 * Grand Prize Award Winner at the Beach Book Festival 2008 * Silver Award CIPA Evvy Book Awards 2008 * Silver Award Premier Book Awards 2008 * Finalist in Foreword’s Book of the Year Award 2008 * Finalist in the Eric Hoffer Award 2008 * Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Award 2008 * Finalist in the National Best Books Awards 2008 * Honorable mention at the Hollywood Book Festival Award 2008 * Honorable mention at the DIY Book Festival Award 2008 * Honorable mention at the New England Book Festival Award 2008 * Honorable mention at the New York Book Festival Award 2008 * Gold Award Winner for Reader’s Favorite 2011 * Gold Award Elit Awards 2011 * Finalist in Best Books Award 2011 * Finalist in Eric Hoffer Award 2011 * Finalist in Indie Excellence 2011 - Patents * USA Skin Brightening Method Patent 10/599,779 * China Lip Enhancement and Enlargement Device Patent 2013306223476 * USA Lip Enhancement and Enlargement Device Patent 9,119,758 * USA Lip Enhancement and Enlargement Device Patent D739,083 * Korea Lip Enhancement and Enlargement Device Patent 30-0782522 * Japan Lip Enhancement and Enlargement Device Patent 1519769 * Europe Lip Enhancement and Enlargement Device Patent 002369892-0001 - CandyLiz Lip Enhancement Awards * Iron A'Design Award 2013 Italy * Gold Good Design Award 2013 USA * San Francisco Best Beauty and Personal Care Award 2015 USA * Best in Beauty Awards 2015 by Beauty Examinee USA * Women Inventor Award 2013 at Korea Invention Award Festival (KIAF), Korea * Gold Award for Technical Design at INPEX 2013 USA * Spark Design Awards 2014 USA * Silver Medal at International Invention Show, INOVA 2014 Croatia * Special Award by World Invention Intellectual Property Associations * Gold Medal at Kaohsiung International Invention Exhibition, KIE 2014 Taiwan * Special Award by Indonesian Invention & Innovation Promotion Association * Gold Medal at Int’l Art – Creativity & Engineering Exhibition, I+ACEH Indonesia * Special Award by Malaysian Research & Innovation Society, MyRIS Malaysia * Gold Medal at European Exhibition of Creativity & Innovation, EUROINVENT, Romania * Special Award by Croatian Association of Inventors * i-ENVEX Gold Medal by UniMAP/MINDS/MyRIS/EYReC/WIIPA/IFIA * Gold Medal at World Invention Innovation Contest, WiC Korea * Special Award by World Inventors Association (WIA) * Gold Medal with Mention at International Warsaw Invention Show, IWIS Poland * Special Award by Chinese Innovation & Invention Society (CIIS) - Guinness Book of World Records 2007 to 2011 1) Most Sumo Squats in One Hour (5,135 squats) 2) Longest Samson's Chair (static wall sit for 11 hours, 51 minutes, and 14 seconds) 3) Heaviest Weight Deadlifted in One Minute (3,864 pounds) 4) Heaviest Weight Deadlifted in One Hour (104,863 pounds)

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