The Truth about Lip Injections

Cassandra wants to share a few hacks on how she gets her lips plumped and beautiful. She prefers to get a puckered pout without getting any injections. For others who do get procedures or treatments, there’s no judgment. It’s just something that isn’t right for Cassandra at this time. And while we talk about how to get a puckered pout, we’re also going to talk about before and after trends, plastic surgery trends, and societal expectations. Societal expectations have changed greatly over the past couple of years, especially with the influential rise of social media and people like Kylie Jenner and the Kardashians.

What are lip injections?

Lip injections are almost always hyaluronic acid unless you get something done on the black market. Improper lip injections can lead to vascular occlusion, which is basically when blood flow stops going to a certain area. So, please get your injections done properly by a board-certified doctor, a trained professional, or people who work with them. Some of the most common brands for lip injections are things like Juvederm or Restylane, and basically, these are hyaluronic acid products that get injected into the lips. 

And as we know, our body makes hyaluronic acid naturally. Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan. A glycosaminoglycan is found in the connective, epithelial, and neural tissues.GAGs are highly polar and negatively charged, thus having a strong tendency in attracting water molecules. 

More simply, hyaluronic acid attracts and holds onto moisture within the skin and can really plump it up.  When injected into the lips, it can create more of a cupid’s bow, a pout, and more volume in the lips. However, there is certain information that suggests that fillers migrate. It’s less likely that the filler within the lips will migrate, but we have seen it happen before. When this happens, a dramatized pout is created. Some people like this, but that’s usually just the migration of filler into other areas.

Photocred: Simply Clinics

There’s a doctor on YouTube who has actually done MRI studies to look at fillers in the face.  Cheek fillers can also migrate, and therefore, stay in the body much longer than expected like lip fillers.

Why did lip gloss use to sting?

When Cassandra was younger, she used to be really insecure about her lips. As puckered lips became more popular, Cassandra became more interested in wanting them. And in 2009, she first got her first lip-plumping gloss. It was the “Doo Wop plumping gloss,” and it burned. She remembers spending so much money on it from Sephora, this tingling lipgloss that stung. These glosses often included ingredients like menthol, capsaicin, or cinnamon to create circulation and blood flow by stinging. In turn, the lips would swell and look bigger. However, the lip industry has changed so much and shifted away from these glosses. Now, actual lip injections have become more popular. 

We all remember Kylie Jenner saying that “She’s never had lip injections.” But, do you remember the Kylie Jenner lip challenge where people would stick their lips into a cup or a container with a small hole? Their lips would get overly swollen, and it led people to go to the ER. Then, after forever, Kylie Jenner admitted it and was like “Oh, yeah – I had lip injections… It’s no big deal” after launching her cosmetic line. While yes,  someone else’s medical history is, of course, no one else’s business, Cassandra does feel like people deserve to know what’s going on if a celebrity or influencer is directly using their looks or a specific physical aspect to sell a product. It’s kind of like disclosing photoshop in advertisements. That’s just Cassandra’s opinion because a lot of people ended up feeling really bad about the way they looked based on myths or half-truths. And in addition to the Kylie Jenner lip challenge, a lot of people decided to go get lip injections.

The American Society of plastic surgeons did some research, and they found that lip augmentation or lip filler is done every 20 minutes which is a huge increase (about 50%) since the year 2000. The amount that this has taken off is huge. The definition of “ideal beauty” has trended towards a woman with super sleek hair, big brows, puffy lips, and makeup. But, Cassandra wonders if we’ll look back on this trend in 10 or 20 years and see this definition of beauty as antiquated. Today, many people are starting to look the same. And it begs the question, “Where is the uniqueness or the things that make us stand out? When will we get to learn and embrace ourselves for who we are?” There’s no problem with doing lip fillers, treatment, augmentation, and plastic surgery. But, how do we use this to enhance our beauty instead of attempting to be a carbon copy?

Those were the primary reasons Cassandra decided not to get lip fillers or a nose job. She realized that there are external forces of society that put expectations on us. So, this led Cassandra to contemplate what she truly wanted for her body. When we look at the map from Plastic Surgery Org, the majority of these procedures have happened on the Western Side of the United States like L.A and Hollywood, an area where beauty standards are astronomically unrealistic. This fact makes us question, “When do we know if we’re doing this for us vs someone else?”

That’s why Cassandra looks for options that can help her enhance her beauty rather than permanently change her facial structure. 

Power 3-in-1 Lip Plumping Treatment SPF 30 -$34

This is what Cassandra currently uses. She purchased it on amazon, it doesn’t sting, and she absolutely loves it. 

Cassandra loves putting this on and getting a plump pout, but she doesn’t have to change her face permanently to do it, unlike lip filler. Plus, if the fillers migrate, and as we mentioned, they can remain in the body longer than anticipated. Moreover, if you want to remove them, you need hyaluronidase which is an enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid. Lip fillers are very painful to remove whereas this wears off after a day.

Thus, Cassandra can use this product and get a pout without worrying about complications or side effects. This is the first product she ever bought from Clarity, and it’s extremely good. 

This lipgloss is a three-in-one lip-plumping treatment, and it also has an SPF of 30. Cassandra has tried some other SPF lip products, and she leans towards the mineral one because they don’t taste funny. Mostly, any chemical-based sunscreen lip product always leaves a weird taste in your mouth, but this one doesn’t do that even though it’s chemical. It’s a broad spectrum SPF 30, and this is what Cassandra uses almost on a daily basis. 

The sunscreen uses the chemical compound,  homosalate to protect against UVA and UVB, meaning it protects against radiation that causes cancer and sunburn. 

As for the plumping effect,  the ingredients that really do the work are the sodium hyaluronate and palmitoyl tripeptide-38. Sodium hyaluronate is the salt form of hyaluronic acid. Of course, it's not being injected into the lips like Juvederm and hyaluronic acid, but it is a small molecule and Cassandra feels that it actually penetrates the lips without burning or stinging. 

Cassandra finds that this puckers up her lips really well, and it acts as a humectant. The sodium hyaluronate holds and draws in moisture. The other ingredient, palmitoyl tripeptide 38 is also known as matrixyl. Peptides are strings of amino acids that become proteins.

This has also got niacinamide and ceramides. Ceramides make up 50%  of the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is the outer layer of our skin, and as we get older, our skin uses more and more ceramides. This is why the skin tends to get more delicate and have more fine lines and wrinkles. For that reason, ceramides are very good in skincare products. When we apply them to the skin, we replenish that. 

Although the skin on the lips is different from the skin on the face, given that they don't have pores or hair follicles, our lips do have layers of skin. Specifically, lips have the stratum corneum which also relies heavily on ceramides. So, overall, the ceramides, niacinamide, and other vitamins in this formula deeply nourish the lips. 

She wouldn’t say though that it’s the best for dry lips. This is more of a pucker and sunscreen product, but if you’re someone who is constantly struggling with lip products because they dry your lips out and keep you in this cycle of using more and more, this product does not do that.  So, this vegan and cruelty-free formula is fantastic for lips. 

Cassandra is on the subscription package, and she uses this regularly. It's vegan and cruelty-free,  and it’s just good to have a treatment that can help people embrace natural beauty instead of pressuring them to conform to societal beauty standards. So ultimately, doing procedures and treatments are totally fine just make sure you’re doing them for you.