Making lips look bigger with lip liner was our only hope until the early '80s, when bovine collagen injections hit the scene. But results lasted two to three months at best — and many people were allergic to it. Around 2002, human collagen injections were introduced (thanks to bioengineering). No more allergic reactions, but longevity was still a problem. We also saw a ton of topical lip plumpers that temporarily swelled lips with irritating ingredients — ouch!
At home: A new reason to smile? Topical treatments are moving away from painful plumping and toward an antiaging approach. Peptide technology, antioxidants, and topical hyaluronic acids can help smooth lip wrinkles and plump slightly over time. Try Blistex Deep Renewal,
$3, and Nivea A Kiss of Rejuvenation Anti-Aging Lip Care,
$4, both with antioxidant CoQ10. Also try Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Lip,
$30, with peptides.
At the Doctor's Office:
HAs picked up where collagen fell short — lasting six to 12 months with no risk of allergic reactions. Studies even suggest HAs might encourage your own collagen to grow over the long haul. But the latest news brings us back to injectable collagen: Evolence, a new natural (pig) collagen filler, is superior to earlier forms. It's nonallergenic and lasts as long as HAs but causes far less swelling and bruising.
"Fillers will continue to dominate the field," says Brandt. Johnson & Johnson, makers of Evolence, already have Evolence Breeze — a finer version, even better for lips — in development.