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The Best Lip Plumping Glosses

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By Marissa DeSantis
Elite Daily/Amazon

If you love the appearance of a plump, shiny pout, it’s time to invest in a better lip gloss. But rather than using potential irritants to leave your lips looking fuller, the best lip plumping glosses harness moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, avocado oil, and peptides to make your lips look smooth and full.

To separate the good glosses from the bad, Elite Daily spoke with Dr. Ginger Urbaniak, M.D., who runs Urbaniak Plastic Surgery in Largo, FL, alongside her husband, board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Roderick M. Urbaniak, M.D. "For a quick volumizing effect, some plumping lip glosses will contain active ingredients that cause a temporary swelling effect via vasodilation, much like when you eat spicy food," Dr. Urbaniak explains. "Ingredients like menthols, peppermint, cinnamon, niacin, and capsaicin (hot pepper) are often used to quickly plump lips by increasing blood flow to the area.” According to Dr. Urbaniak, these commonly used ingredients are accompanied by a tingling sensation that occurs as your body releases histamine in response to coming into contact with the irritating ingredient. "In some cases, the histamine response is excessive and leads to a hypersensitivity reaction resulting in red, swollen, and painful skin where the ingredients made contact," she cautions, which is why you’re better off steering clear of these types of ingredients.

Instead, Dr. Urbaniak says that there are gentler plumping ingredients you can look for in a lip gloss — many of which you'll recognize as ingredients found in your favorite skin care products. "I suggest my patients use ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water," she says of one of her favorite nonirritating ingredients that provides a natural plumping effect. "I also encourage my patients to look for healthy emollients like avocado oil, shea butter, and mango seed oil rather than petrolatum. And collagen-stimulating peptides can amplify volume in the lips with consistent, daily usage," she adds.

Ahead, you'll find five of the best lip plumping glosses and balms, including Dr. Urbaniak's top recommendation.

1. The Expert’s Pick

Already a fan of Jane Iredale's hyaluronic acid-infused Liquid Minerals Foundation, Dr. Urbaniak shares that she was equally as excited for the brand's latest lip gloss launch. "HydroPure Hyaluronic Lip Gloss is a combination of lip care, hydration, and beauty all-in-one," she says of the formula. "There are both short and long-term benefits from the gentle exfoliation with lactic acid, collagen stimulation with palmitoyl tripeptide-1, and plumping with hyaluronic acid." In addition to hyaluronic acid and peptides, the gloss also contains jojoba seed oil, avocado oil, mango seed butter, and shea butter to condition and smooth lips. Plus, it comes in a wide range of sheer and shimmery tints to choose from.

  • Available shades: 13

2. Best Drugstore Lip Plumping Gloss

Plumping glosses from drugstore brands tend to use menthol to give lips a fuller effect, which is one of the potential irritants Dr. Urbaniak says it's best to avoid (especially if you already know your skin is on the sensitive side). Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Lip Shine instead uses hyaluronic acid to create natural volume, as well as skin-smoothing emollients like castor seed oil and soybean oil to leave lips feeling softer. These glosses are also great for anyone who likes to avoid glitter, as they give lips a tint of color that's more shiny than sparkly.

  • Available shades: 8

3. Best Tinted Lip Plumping Balm

This option from Tula is rich enough to be considered a lip balm, but the glossy sheen and tint of color it imparts puts it firmly in the lip gloss category. The brand’s Lip SOS Lip Treatment Balm combines hyaluronic acid and peptides to give lips a plumping boost minus any tingling sensation, while avocado, jojoba, and grape seed oils serve as smoothing emollients with skin-protecting antioxidant properties. All of the balms also include the brand's S⁶Pro Complex, a blend of six probiotic and prebiotic extracts that are meant to improve skin smoothness.

  • Available shades: 4

4. Best Prestige Lip Plumping Treatment

If you're looking to really give your lips a volume boost, PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Lip Booster uses several methods and ingredients to plump up lips sans irritation. Two different peptides work with portulaca pilosa extract to increase lip volume by stimulating collagen, while the brand's trademarked Filling Spheres blend hyaluronic acid with konjac root powder to further enhance lips by drawing in more moisture. The unique formula leaves lips feeling immediately softer while improving hydration, smoothness, and volume in the long term, too.

5. Writer’s Pick

For another super-nourishing treatment that doubles as a shiny plumping gloss, try Paula's Choice Hyaluronic Acid + Peptide Lip Booster. The multi-tasking product has become a staple in my nighttime routine, but I also find myself reaching for it throughout the day because of its glossy finish that's never sticky. Three firming peptides are included in the formula to stimulate collagen, as are multiple moisture-enhancing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and squalane. The fragrance-free lip treatment also includes emollients and antioxidant-rich ingredients like cocoa seed butter, castor seed oil, shea butter, and vitamin E to leave lips feeling immediately smoother.

Expert:

Dr. Ginger Urbaniak, M.D., board-certified physician and co-owner of Urbaniak Plastic Surgery, Largo, FL