- Facial yoga is a massage technique gaining popularity on TikTok.
- Users on the platform claim that “working out” your lips can make them bigger.
- We’re investigating the claims with commentary from skin-care experts.
TikTok is both a blessing and a curse. For the most part, it’s an amazing place to find beauty tips and tricks that are guaranteed to make your life easier. On the other hand, it can occasionally be tiresome trying to sift through what hacks really work and which ones definitely do not.
When it comes to the latter, we’ve debunked plenty of claims. There was the time everyone on the app said you could use calamine lotion as a makeup primer (you shouldn’t), apply hemorrhoid cream to your under-eye bags (please don’t), and most recently, that you can “work out” your lips to make them bigger, similar to how you work out your muscles by lifting weights.
In a video created by TikTok user Trinh Georg where she showcases how she works out her lips, overlay captions read: “Just as your muscles will get bigger when you work out, your lips do too.” She then sticks her tongue out, sucks her lips in, and presses her lips against her tongue as she holds for a few seconds. At the same time, she places her fingers on either side of her mouth, which she says helps avoid any extra lines or wrinkles. Georg repeats these steps ten times in total.
Replying to @happylittlelovee thank you! plump your lips with this simple lip exercise. just as your muscles get bigger when you work out, your lips will too. #antiaging #faceyoga #trinhgeorg #faceexercise #beautyhacks #lips #lipspump
♬ Famous piano songs for comedy and cooking programs – moshimo sound design
We’ll be the first to admit that Georg’s lips are gorgeous — they’re plump and don’t boast a single wrinkle — but we wondered how much of that was actually related to facial yoga, and how much was the byproduct of genetics. Eager to learn more, we tapped skin-care experts and plastic surgeons to answer all of our burning questions about whether or not “working out” your lips could actually increase their volume.
First, What is Facial Yoga?
Facial yoga is a massage technique that promises to stimulate circulation within the skin and release muscle tension. Exercises can include positioning your face in a certain way, rubbing your face using your hands, and even specific breathing techniques. Although one 2018 study found that facial exercise “resulted in improved mean upper cheek fullness and lower cheek fullness,” it was also noted that the study had “limitations that may reduce its external validity.”
Can You Change the Shape or Size of Your Lips With Facial Yoga?
The answer is both yes and no. While you may see a slight difference in the shape and size of your lips from consistent facial yoga, these changes are temporary. “Increase in lip size with facial yoga mostly comes from mild swelling that occurs after the soft tissue of the lip is forcefully manipulated,” Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD, plastic surgeon tells POPSUGAR. Edward Chamata, MD, plastic surgeon, agrees, adding, “[The swelling] will significantly reduce and your natural lips will quickly revert back to normal.”
Dr. Vasyukevich also says that any noticeable difference will fade after an hour, so ultimately, it’s not a reliable way to enhance the shape or size of your lips for the long term. If you’re still interested in testing out the theory, it’s worth noting that both Dr. Chamata and Dr. Vasyukevich say doing repeated facial exercises could potentially cause unnecessary wrinkles. “Forceful exercise can create wrinkles around the mouth,” Dr. Vasyukevich says. “Smoker’s lines are a good example of excessive muscle activity causing lines around the upper lip.”
What Does Influence Lip Size?
The biggest factors that influence lip size are genetics and environmental factors. “Age, genetics, hydration, and life choices will all affect lip size,” Dr. Chamata says. “As we get older, we start to produce less collagen, which is the plumping agent that helps our skin keep its elasticity and look healthy.”
Dr. Vasyucevich and Dr. Chamata both note that other factors like smoking and sun damage can also have an effect on lip volume. Because nicotine is an irritant to the skin, excess exposure can reduce the volume of lips by affecting small blood vessels and reducing tissue perfusion as well as causing other types of damage. In addition, sun damage is known to impact collagen, which also decreases lip volume. If you’re concerned about the size of your lips, it’s important to take the right steps to keep yourself hydrated and protected. Drink plenty of water, always wear SPF (even indoors), and avoid smoking.
What Are Some Proven Ways to Make Lips Bigger?
Both Dr. Chamata and Dr. Vasyukevich say that one of the best ways to keep your lips as plump as possible naturally is by staying hydrated. “Good hydration and using moisturizing lip balms can help maintain a healthy lip volume,” Dr. Vasyukevich says. Other temporary ways to plump lips can be through the use of stimulating lip products, like the Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme Lip Plumper ($33) or the Ourself Lip Filler ($145).
If you’re looking for a longer-term approach to adding volume to your lips, you can always look to cosmetic procedures like lip filler and lip flips. “Studied and proven ways to make your lips fuller is to fill them with hyaluronic acid dermal filler or do laser treatments,” Courtney Newlin, aesthetic nurse practitioner for Skin Spirit, tells POPSUGAR. She also adds that resurfacing lasers and neuromodulators can also treat smokers lines. Looking for a less invasive treatment? “The LipLase laser by Fotana is an alternative method of building collagen without dermal filler injections,” Newlin adds. The treatment involves no needles or downtime and instead stimulates collagen using a gentle laser system that passes over the lips.
Image Source: Getty/Plume Creative