The cheapest anti-aging lip products are, as you might expect, the least effective. Lip plumpers might cause a tiny bit of plumpness for a very short period, but they generally last no longer than an hour [source: Consumer Reports]. On the other hand, discomfort should be very slight and with something like a lip plumping gloss or lipstick, so it's not a huge risk to give these products a try.
Injections, of course, aren't completely painless. Before an injection, you'll probably receive a topical anesthesia. After, you might experience bruising, redness and other uncomfortable reactions. Injections also are costlier. An injection of autologous fat, where fat is taken from your thighs or abdomen, can run you about $1,400 in surgical fees. It's considered a temporary fix, although some people may experience permanent results. Depending on how much work is done, recovery takes anywhere from one to 14 days [source: The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery].
As far as specific products go, a Restylane injection, a gel that the body gradually absorbs, will last about six months. You'll be out of the doctor's office in less than an hour, and no recovery period is necessary. The typical fee per treatment is $527 [source: The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery]. The effects of another injectable, cow collagen, typically last from four weeks to three months, at a slightly lower cost [sources: WebMD, The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery].
Products inserted surgically can be either long-term or permanent. For example, Alloderm, a product that comes from cadaver donors, is surgically inserted from inside the lip. It can plump the lips for about a year. Synthetic materials such as Gore-Tex usually provide permanent results [source: WebMD]. A typical surgical lip augmentation takes about an hour, with the surgical fees running about $1,800. Recovery time before returning to everyday life is a week, and results should be permanent [source: The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery].
Choices in anti-aging lip products will undoubtedly continue to grow. A professional consultation will help you sort out your options. In the meantime, see the links below for lots more information.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Brown, Bobbi. "Plump Your Lips." Prevention. (Accessed Oct. 7, 2009) http://www.prevention.com/cda/article/plump-your-lips/deaa8b5c9398a110VgnVCM20000012281eac____/lifelong.beauty/makeup/bobbi.brown/
- Consumer Reports. "Do Lip Pumpers Have Pucker Power?" Nov. 2007. (Accessed Oct. 7, 2009) http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/home-garden/resource-center/personal-care/lip-plumpers-11-07/overview/lip-plumpers-ov.htm
- Daly, Kimberly A. "Lip Service." WebMD. (Accessed Oct. 7, 2009) http://women.webmd.com/features/lip-service
- Hayt, Elizabeth. "Kiss My Puffy Lips." Aug. 4, 2005. (Accessed Oct. 7, 2009) http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/04/fashion/thursdaystyles/04skin.html?pagewanted=all
- The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. "Injectable Anti--Aging Treatments." (Accessed Oct. 7, 2009) http://www.surgery.org/consumers/procedures/skin/injectables
- Keller, Amy. "Younger Looking Lips." Good Housekeeping. (Accessed Oct. 7, 2009) http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/skin/younger-looking-lips-0804?par=webmd_h|ghk|emb|
- Newman, Cathy. "The Enigma of Beauty." National Geographic Magazine. Jan. 2000. (Accessed Oct. 7, 2009) http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-body/enigma-beauty.html
- The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. "Procedures." (Accessed Oct. 7, 2009) http://www.surgery.org/consumers/consumer-resources/quick-facts/procedures
- The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. "Read My Lips: Not All Fillers are Safe for Lip Augmentation; Rejuvenation." Oct. 9, 2006. (Accessed Oct. 7, 2009) http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Media/Press_Releases/Read_My_Lips_Not_All_Fillers_Are_Safe_For_Lip_Augmentation_Rejuvenation.html
- WebMD. "Cosmetic Procedures: Lip Augmentation." (Accessed Oct. 7, 2009)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/cosmetic-procedures-lip-augmentation