LeAine Dehmer Clinical Skincare Specialist Answers Your Questions!
Over the counter lip plumper’s: Capsaicin is often a main ingredient, right? Are there others? How do they work? I've read it's basically by irritating the skin and increasing blood flow.
Yes capsaicin (from the red pepper plant) is used very often as a main ingredient for lip plumper’s. Other great plumper’s (volumizers) are ingredients such as; cinnamon, wintergreen, menthol, caffeine. They work 2 ways. Some work by stimulating blood flow (over circulation) causing a swelling thus plumper lips. Some work by irritating the lip tissue causing more of an inflammation reaction. With each method usually you will feel a tingling sensation from slight to wow wee. The burning or itchy sensations (the irritating method) is caused by the chosen active ingredients.
Do you think the effects of lip plumping glosses are minimal?
I will answer the “effects” word in two ways. I am also answering with ways to prolong or for those of you who needles or going under the knife is not an option. First, I have experienced glosses not working as well as lip (plumper) treatment creams or balms. With most volumizing glosses there is too much multi-tasking going on i.e. color, plump, hydrate, long lasting; so I believe you get a dilution of the active ingredients. So yes I think there effects are minimal vs. their counter part of creams or balms.
Second I’ll answer to, are “effects” minimal? As an anti-aging specialist I must answer this question with this perspective as well. I believe women should understand long term effects of the action of “plumping”. Plumper’s are a short term cosmetic effect to enhance the lips volume again temporarily. Plumping is a “politically correct” term for “you’re stretching the living daylights out of your lip/skin tissue” weakening the fibroblast integrity. And you’re doing this daily several times a day. Just like using the same balloon (your lips) blowing it up and letting the air out every day several times a day. If you think you’re having issues with upper lip lines now, just wait you’re actually enhancing them. What I teach my client’s is how to actually enhance fuller lips by getting moisture and collagen boosting creams into the lip tissue, ingredients with benefits not just “fillers”. I call this anti-aging for lips. Look for lip creams or face creams (yes, use them over the lips) with collagen stimulators, antioxidants and moisture magnets such as hyaluronic acid, silver ear mushroom (new discovery I use even more intense then hyaluronic acid). Because the creams penetrate into the lip tissue they will leave the surface a little bare. Seal in the treatment with a Shea butter base balm or petrolatum (plant based) not petroleum based balm or sticks.
Do you have a favorite makeup tip for making lips appear fuller?
Yes, lots of them! First apply lip color and gloss all over lips. Next use a lip gloss highlighter (usually a whitish or silvery cast) only applied to center of upper and lower lip area. This works fabulously.
Lip pencils. Can’t live without them. I prefer one that matches my natural lip color, by using a pencil color this way rather than matching a lipstick color; you can extend better past your (volume challenged) natural lip. With this I can create a considerably fuller pucker for anyone.
Permanent Makeup! I have the privilege of my long time friend being what I think is the world’s best permanent makeup artist. You need to do your research and see photo after photo of a PMA’s work. Or best if possible, meet people she or he has actually done work on. I suggest only doing your natural lip color. This way you can easily go over with any lipstick color you’re in the mood for any day. By doing your natural lip color a PMA can work magic in changing your lip volume and shape for an improved look. You can wake up, eat, and swim never losing your full volume lips.
What's the best treatment for chapped lips? I've read that petrolatum-based balms are great. Better, at least than things like Carmex that have camphor which may irritate the skin. Would you agree?
Yes and no. No because balms with a base such as petrolatum (plant based), petroleum (yuk!), Shea butter and all kinds of oils cannot penetrate the lip tissue or are extremely limited with penetration. The problem of dry lips starts from the inside not surface. You need to treat both issues. The best treatment for both (as I wrote above) is moisture and collagen boosting creams that can penetrate the lip tissue, ingredients with benefits not just “fillers”. I call this anti-aging for lips. Look for lip creams or face creams (yes, use them over the lips) with collagen stimulators, antioxidants and moisture magnets such as hyaluronic acid, silver ear mushroom (new discovery I use, even more intense then hyaluronic acid). Because the creams penetrate into the lip tissue they will leave the surface a little bare. Seal in the treatment with a Shea butter base balm or petrolatum (plant based) not petroleum based balm or sticks. Now you’re correcting the inside and outside issues of the lip.
Also, are more emollient balms better than waxy sticks like traditional Chap Stick?
Yes. Waxes are a cheaper ingredient usually then butters, oils and silicone (plant derived) based lip treatments. Waxes can only temporarily hide so to say the symptom of dry lips. You get no correction which is why you have to use them all day long.
What's the best lipstick for someone with dry lips? I would imagine it would be something with a lot of emollients, like a sheer lipstick. Definitely not a matte or a stain, no?
Without naming any brand most makeup lines are well advanced with color and moisture treatment in a lipstick. Actually with the use of the newer silicone’s we now have full color pigments in a great moistening lipstick. Move over sheer
Helen Pensanti M.D.
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