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What's the Point of Plumping Our Skin?
When it comes to skincare, there are certain words that we regularly use to indicate positive results.
From “bright,” to “bouncy,” to “plump” — we know all of these words mean our skin looks beautiful and youthful — but what exactly does each word mean?
Better yet, how do we get our skin to be bright, bouncy, and plump?
You probably know that the plumper our skin is, the more youthful it appears (and if you didn’t know that, now you do!)
You may also have noticed that when our skin isn’t as plump, we may look older or more tired.
But, do you know why plumpness contributes to a younger appearance? Do you know if there’s a way to prevent loss of plumpness that comes with age? Better yet, do you know how to get plump skin without turning to injectables or plastic surgery?
I’m going to answer those questions and more in this blog post!
What Exactly Is Plumping?
Chances are, it’s not often that you hear the word “plump” and wish it was used to describe your appearance.
When I think of the word “plump,” I think of ripe peaches or my little boy's chubby 'lil cheeks.
But, believe it or not, you actually do want “plump” to describe you — your skin, that is.
When our skin is plump, it’s not saggy or tired-looking and our fine lines and wrinkles are filled in.
It’s not that we want to look like a chubby-cheeked toddler, but we do want our skin to have similar qualities to a toddler’s!
The plumper your skin, the more you’ll appear young, refreshed, and like you got your 8 hours of sleep last night — even if you didn’t.
Unfortunately, as we age, our skin loses that plumpness, which can give the opposite effect.
You may get 10 hours of sleep, but you may still look tired.
Our skin naturally loses elasticity and starts using more collagen than it can produce as we age.
In fact, our bodies generally start working in a collagen deficit (meaning we use more collagen than we produce) at the ripe young age of 25!
This leaves our skin looking more tired and sagging — even if we’re sleeping enough.
How Do You Achieve Plump Skin?
Lucky for you (and for me), there are plenty of ways to combat sagging skin, and many are simple!
In fact, many methods or tips to achieve plumper skin can be done at home, so let’s start with those!
If you’ve read my blog before, you know I’m all about tackling skincare problems from the inside first, and plumpness is no different.
As I mentioned above, the decrease in the production of collagen as we get older contributes to the appearance of aging.
So, what to do? Eat more collagen-boosting goodness!
Certain foods are said to boost your body’s collagen production: think superfoods like dark leafy greens (hello, kale!), fatty fish like salmon, avocado, garlic, carrots, and eggs.
You can also simply purchase a collagen supplement or a collagen powder to mix into your morning smoothie - just do extra research and make sure to speak to your doctor first.
Once you’ve stocked your fridge up with whole food goodness, let’s talk about facial massages.
Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Anna Wintour swear by facial masseuse Georgia Louise.
But, it’s not always realistic for all of us to spend the time (and money) on a professional massage, so let’s talk about DIY-ing it!
By massaging your face using your fingers or a quartz roller, you can naturally stimulate your facial muscle tissue.
This stimulation can plump your skin, refine your pores, and tighten your face — I like to think of it as a natural facelift.
If you’ve never massaged yourself before, you’re in for a treat.
Distribute your favorite serum or moisturizer into your hands, warm it up, then sit back, relax, and gently roll your face using upward motions.
You deserve to chill — and getting the beauty boost is just an added benefit!
Another at-home plumpness tip? A DIY collagen-boosting facial.
If you click this link, you’ll find 11 unique DIY collagen-boosting face mask recipes!
The best part is that many of them only need one or two ingredients that you already have in your pantry, like the egg white and lemon juice “quickie facelift.”
Of course, you don’t have to DIY a collagen-boosting topical solution.
There are tons of anti-aging, plumping products available for purchase at your favorite skincare store.
M very own Clear Collagen Peel-Off Masque is a best-seller and fan favorite!
I also love this Two-Step Anti-Wrinkle Polish and Plump Peel. It gives me the effects of an in-spa treatment like microdermabrasion and a chemical peel in the comfort of my own home — not to mention much more affordably!
But if you’re not interested in at-home plumping treatments, many women turn to the professionals.
Another celebrity-approved anti-aging expert is Joanna Vargas, who gives treatments such as her “Forever Facial” for $400-600.
Other women turn to injectables or plastic surgery to keep their skin plumped up.
From Botox to cheek fillers to lip fillers (which we’ll talk more about later), many women find that with the right doctor and the right amount of injections, they can maintain a younger appearance without feeling like they’ve lost their natural look.
The key is being patient, finding the right doctor, and not overdoing it.
I've heard that women have pressured their doctor into giving them an extra injection because they weren't happy with the results, and the results came out less than stellar.
How Do You Achieve Plump Lips?
Even if you’re not quite worried about plumping your skin at this point in your life, you may have thought about plumping your lips.
Part of the reason for this may be because more celebrities these days seem to be going for a plumper pout by getting subtle (or not so subtle) lip fillers.
If you’re not interested in lip injections, you can also try a store-bought lip plumper product.
If you’ve never tried one before, I’ll give you a heads up: they tingle!
Most of the lip plumpers work by involving ingredients that cause blood circulation on your lips (and maybe even a small allergic reaction) such as cinnamon and wintergreen.
It’s certainly not a long-term solution, but if you want a short-term solution for plumper lips, lip plumpers are certainly an option!
If you’re looking for a less tingly/stinging sensation, I’d recommend this lip plumper from Aminogenesis. It incorporates collagen in the formula so that your lips will (hopefully) look plumper with continued use.
Other lip plumpers, like this one by GM Collin, are made with tiny dehydrated spheres that get absorbed by your lips and result in an instant and long-term plumping effect.
Another simple but effective option?
Keeping your lips hydrated!
The more moisturized your lips are, the fewer wrinkles, crevices, and ridges will appear.
A simple gloss or lip balm will also give the appearance of bigger lips because the sheen reflects the light.
Another DIY trick I’ve learned? The lip toothbrush exfoliant.
All you have to do is grab an unused toothbrush, wet it, and gently scrub your lips.
Not only will you get rid of any dry skin, but you’ll also naturally smooth out your lips.
As a bonus, you’ll also get a naturally rosy lip color from the boost in circulation!
If you’re a makeup aficionado, there’s also the overlined lips trick that can trick the camera (and your friends) into thinking you magically sprouted a plumper pout overnight!
Temporary vs. Permanent Plumping
Of course, any of the at-home, natural, DIY plumping techniques I mentioned are temporary.
If you stop using your lip plumping gloss or ditch your collagen supplement, you’ll stop seeing the results.
However, when it comes to plastic surgery and fillers, there are permanent and nonpermanent options.
Back before stars like Kylie Jenner were getting temporary lip fillers, reality stars were getting much more permanent lip implants.
Implants can look more unnatural and will stay in your lips until you get them surgically removed.
Fillers, on the other hand, only last for about six months to one year.
The ingredients in fillers, like hyaluronic acid and collagen (see more about these in the next section), dissolve on their own after a certain amount of time.
While collagen is probably what comes to mind when you think plastic surgery, hyaluronic acid has become more common because it’s less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Plus, if you don’t end up liking the look of your fillers, there’s a medicine that can quickly dissolve the hyaluronic acid immediately, leaving your face back and its naturally beautiful state (although you likely won’t get the $700-$2,000 back).
A third plumping option is a fat transfer, which is semi-permanent but will last much longer than fillers.
It involves taking extra fat from one part of your body and injecting it into the desired area (like your lips or your cheeks).
Unfortunately, this means there are two areas of your body that could be prone to infection or complications.
Plus, fat naturally is unpredictable and can move around a lot, which means it’s harder to determine exactly how the fillers will look.
My suggestion? If you’re considering something more permanent, go for the fillers first.
If you decide you like them after a few maintenance touch-ups, consider trying the more permanent implants.
The Main Ingredients That Go Into Plumping
Now that we know what plumping is and what we can do to get plumper skin, let’s talk about the main ingredients that you’ll find in any product that promises to plump your skin.
Hyaluronic Acid - One of the key ways to keep our skin looking younger is to keep it moisturized, and when it comes to expedited moisture, hyaluronic acid is your guy! Hyaluronic acid is a moisture-binding ingredient, which means it’ll keep your skin moist, soft, and plump!
Retinol - You likely already know that retinol is great for anti-aging. Retinol can actually boost collagen production, but it can also increase your cell turnover rate, protect against free radical damage, and help to erase dark spots. Oh, and it can plump your skin, of course!
Collagen - As I mentioned previously, it’s important to supplement the collagen our body produces since we produce less and less as we get older, but our body still uses the same amount. Collagen keeps our skin firm and bouncy-looking.
Are There Any Drawbacks or Side Effects?
Depending on which method you choose to plump your skin up, there can be some drawbacks.
Of course, with any surgical procedure, you have to be aware of any risks associated with the surgery and/or injections, as well as the cost.
Some side effects and risks with surgical procedures include negative reactions to anesthesia and allergic reactions.
You may also experience bruises, bumps, or swelling from the injection technique.
And of course, you run the risk of not liking the results, especially if it’s a permanent or semi-permanent procedure.
Think about any permanent procedure for at least a year, and don’t skimp when it comes to doing your research on the right doctor and being clear about what you want during the consultation.
While aging is a natural process that we’ll all have to go through (some sooner than others), I know I want to age gracefully...and as slowly as possible.
Keeping my skin plump helps me to look my best — and chances are you’ll feel the same way!
Thankfully, there are so many different methods and tips for achieving plumpness.
Whether you prefer to simply add more leafy greens into your diet or you’re planning on scheduling a consultation with a local cosmetic surgeon, I hope this blog has given you the information you need to keep your skin looking as bouncy and beautiful as it should!
Have you tried any of the above methods for achieving plumper skin? What did you think of the results? I’d love to hear what you thought in the comments below!