The world of DIY plumping is vast. From cayenne pepper to cinnamon to shot glasses, many a method has been used in the pursuit of Angelina Jolie-esque pillow lips. So when beauty Instagrammer Farah Dukhai posted a wasabi lip plumping video, it’s no surprise that the beauty world took notice. With over 2000 comments and more than 7.1 million views, the video no doubt had Kylie Jenner wannabes rushing to their nearest Asian grocer.
Her instructions are simple:
- “All you need is:
- take a tiny amount and rub it all over your lips
- leave on for NO MORE THAN 1 minute
- wipe off with a damp cloth or baby wipe
- moisturize IMMEDIATELY! I used my@farsalicare Rose Gold Elixir – you can use whatever you prefer to moisturize your lips, the key is to make sure to moisturize!
- there you have ittttttt .. pillow soft lips!”
- WASABI! – $4 for a tube at the grocery store or you can keep the leftovers from sushi dates
Looks good right? Not so fast. Some experts are advising against this method. “There is also the real risk although unlikely of allergy and anaphylaxis that could be life threatening. Using irritants can also trigger a cold sore so the result could be much worse,” says Dr Ross Perry, dermatologist and director at CosmedicsUK.
Dr. S. Manjula Jegasothy of the Miami Skin Institute tells Teen Vogue, “The horseradish element can be extremely irritating, especially when applied to the lips for any period of time. While this irritation is what causes temporary lip swelling, this can go on to cause profound swelling, and more dangerously, anaphylaxis, an acute allergic reaction. Lips do not have as much protective barrier compared to other skin, making this area more susceptible to allergies and irritations.” So while a plumping effect is achieved, if your lips are sensitive, it might not be worth the risk.
But all is not lost. One dermatologist says that the antimicrobial properties might actually be doing some good. “It’s antimicrobial and packed with phytochemicals, vitamin C, potassium, and calcium, all of which stimulate circulation,” says Dendy Englemen to Allure.
The takeaway? While we might save a bit of that wasabi packet for some experimenting (when our lips aren’t chapped, sore or cut), that tube of plumping lip gloss is probably still your best bet.