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How to Keep Lips Soft & Plump

Get luscious, pillowy, kissable lips—with or without injections.


  • : Cosmetic lip surgery can lead to scarring and other side effects. Talk to your doctor at length before undergoing any procedure.
  • Step 1: Avoid sun damage Protect your lips from wrinkling by wearing SPF 30 lip balm—either alone or under your lipstick—year-round.
  • Step 2: Buff your kisser Keep lips supple by exfoliating them. Buy products specifically made for this purpose, or get the same results by mixing sugar and olive oil into a paste, gently rub it on your lips with an old toothbrush, & rinse off. Apply this scrub once a week, & give your lips the once-over every morning with a plain, wet toothbrush.
  • TIP: Avoid licking your lips. It can cause and worsen chapping.
  • Step 3: Apply petroleum jelly Keep your lips moist by dabbing a little petroleum jelly on them at bedtime. Or open up a vitamin E capsule and rub the contents on your lips. Plant-based oils—like olive, coconut, sunflower, and jojoba—work, too.
  • Step 4: Make them swell For temporary bee-stung lips, use an over-the-counter lip plumper, which contains irritants that swell lips. There are also over-the-counter topical treatments that may slightly enlarge lips over time because they contain peptides or hyaluronic acid.
  • TIP: To make your own plumping product, rub a small amount of cayenne pepper on your lips. It’s the main active ingredient in many commercial plumpers.
  • : If you have allergies to latex, bananas, kiwi, chestnuts, or avocado, you may have a cayenne allergy.
  • Step 5: Create full lips with makeup Create the illusion of fuller lips by lining them—except for the corners—with a pencil that matches your natural lip color, then smudging it. Next, apply a thin line of liquid highlighter at the top center of your upper lip and blend. Finally, apply a neutral lip color; then dab a tiny bit of shimmery gloss on the center of your bottom lip.
  • TIP: Layering two complementary lip colors can create the illusion of depth.
  • Step 6: Seek an M.D.'s advice If you’re interested in a longer-lasting plumping solution, collagen or hyaluronic acid injections or a lip implant may be an option. Remember that these are medical procedures: Consult a doctor before making any decisions.
  • FACT: Angelina Jolie’s lips are the most coveted by American women, according to a poll by the Beverly Hills Institute of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery.

You Will Need

  • Lip balm with SPF 30
  • Sugar
  • Olive oil
  • A toothbrush
  • Lip plumper or cayenne pepper
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Lip injections
  • A lip implant
  • Vitamin E capsules
  • Plant-based oils

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