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In 2010, Megan Fox spoke out against Botox, telling "Allure" magazine, "My lips are my lips," after doubters disparaged her pout. "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher took to Facebook to prove her lips were the work of Mother Nature -- nothing else. Of course, not every rumor is untrue. Jessica Simpson's Restylane gel injections made her look grotesque. She told "Glamour" magazine that it took four months for her balloon lips to shrink. Are lip plumpers harmful? There are three answers: Yes, no and it depends upon the type of plumper you choose.
Hello -- it's bacteria. Originally used for eye muscle surgical procedures, Canadian physicians Alistair and Jean Caruthers decided to repurpose the stuff to plump up skin around aging women's eyes. Period. Other docs started using Botox around the lips despite warnings, and it was only a matter of time before the first case of "immobilized lips" was reported to the FDA. You don't want your lips immobilized -- and you sure don't want to deal with the nausea, pain, hives, dry mouth, respiratory and tooth problems women have reported as a direct result of Botoxing their lips.
Women scared of Botox call in the second team: collagen. Collagen is a synthetic agent and not every body takes kindly to having it injected. Sure, collagen promises Angelina Jolie lips, but dig beneath the advertising hype to learn about the risks. Scarring has been reported, but the scariest prospect is a life-threatening allergic reaction to collagen after it's been administered. If your doc doesn't insist on an allergy test before agreeing to inject collagen, run, don't walk, out the door.
There's no shortage of ads that leave you drooling for mega lips, but creams can have an adverse affect on your entire body, not just your lips. There's a reason some plumpers are categorized as "aggravation" products; they're formulated to trigger the blood vessels in your lips to swell up. Even your mom knows that swelling isn't normal. Read the cream package. Look for the warning about "long term use" and obey. Your lips accept you just as you are. Return the favor.
Avon's Beyond Color product line is typical of today's cosmetic lip enhancer, but frankly, beauty editors reviewing it don't think the products is worth the bother. Your lips plump and deflate so fast, you would have to spend an entire evening reapplying for a consistent result. DuWop Venom Gloss, called "the queen of all lip plumpers" will do the job for a longer period but testers declared it "not for the fainthearted." Apply this to your lips -- over a tiny paper cut or chapped lips -- and you may swear off all lip plumping products forever.
Least Harmful (For Now)
New lip plumping products are being introduced as fast as the FDA can hand out approvals and marketers can attach alluring names to them. Radiesse, an injectable that appears safer than collagen and requires no allergy test, is a 2011 favorite, but since it must be injected, there's always the risk of a reaction. New on the scene is calcium hydroxyl, the antithesis of collagen, because the compound is already in bones and teeth. Like all new products, fallout takes time. While you wait, consider this: it's been proven that an intense make-out session plumps lips like nothing else on earth.