The Evolution of Lip Filler and Lip Care Products

The Evolution of Lip Filler and Lip Care Products

Not so long ago, lip filler was the stuff of comedy (and sometimes also horror). But we’ve (luckily) come a long way from injectable liquid paraffin (cringe!) with plumping your pout now being most women’s cosmetic procedure of choice.

Lip fillers are among some of the most Googled beauty treatments in the world, and while some beauty trends enter the scene out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly, lip augmentation has been a mainstay for decades.

So, have you ever wondered how we got here?

The History of Lip Fillers

Would you believe us if we told you that lip fillers date back to the 1900s? The first attempt at lip augmentation was published in 1906, describing a procedure where surgeons injected liquid paraffin into the lips by means of a powerful metallic syringe, which, together with its contents, was immersed in hot water. It was NOT successful (to say the least), so the search for a new lip plumping alternative continued...

Liquid silicone then came onto the scene in the 1960s. Serious concerns about the safety of liquid silicone led to this method of lip enhancement being abandoned rather quickly, and new approaches using bovine collagen (in the 80’s) and human collagen (in the 90’s) emerged.

Unlike liquid silicone filler, bovine collagen lip injections were deemed safe (at the time) and became the standard product for lip enhancement procedures. It was however not without its flaws. Firstly, only the very wealthy could afford it, and these select few had to undergo allergy tests weeks before treatment and then wait several more weeks to see results (which simply didn’t last that long).

Then 1996 came around, the moment our lips have been waiting for… The launch of hyaluronic acid for cosmetic use! First isolated by the German pharmacist Karl Meyer in 1934, hyaluronic acid has been used by the cosmetics industry since 1996. Prior to that, it had been used by athletes to help speed up recovery from sprained ankles and other joint problems.

Why We Love Hyaluronic Acid Lip Filler

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in your bodies. Not only does it carry very little risk (when injected by an experienced and trained lip filler specialist), it also offers great control over the amount of volumizing required, stimulates collagen production, improves skin hydration, and has an immediate and long-lasting result.

The Rise and Boom of Lip Filler Procedures

The rise of lip fillers started in the 1990s with the introduction of human collagen lip fillers, and lip enhancement procedures took off! Unfortunately, this left us with images of exaggerated, unnatural looking duck-billed lips (think Goldie Hawn from the First Wives Club).

Luckily, thanks to Karl Meyer and today's state-of-the-art technologies, lip augmentation procedures are now safe and affordable, and offer natural-looking results with minimal downtime. Due to this, lip augmentation procedures are no longer reserved for the rich and famous (as was the case in the 90’s).

Today thousands of people obtain lip fillers as part of their routine beauty regimen. (We particularly like the Kissable Lips lip filler package offered by the lip experts at California Cosmetics). In fact, in the US alone, one person gets their lips augmented every 20 minutes, and these people include women and men of all ages and walks of life.

But cosmetics lip injectables are not the only products that evolved…

The History of Lip Balm

There has always been a need to treat cracked, chapped lips, the reason why lip balm has been a top-selling beauty product from the 1800’s until the present day!

Cleopatra and other pharaohs of ancient Egypt used beeswax, olive oil, and animal fat as part of their lip care routine (probably the best combination we’ve seen among lip care products from the past). Cleopatra also used crushed bugs (carmine) to create her signature red lip color. Bugs.

And believe it or not, in the early 1800’s a woman by the name of Lydia Maria Child wrote a book called "The American Frugal Housewife", in which she recommended using earwax to treat cracked lips!

In 1865, Robert Chesebrough invented, patented, and distributed a new type of petroleum jelly called Vaseline (also known as "Wonder Jelly" at the time). Shortly after, Charles Brown Fleet was credited for the world's first official lip balm, Chapstick, with their first retail product looking like a candle without a wick wrapped in tin foil.

The evolution continued from the 70s with first production of flavored lip balms (some of you might remember the Lip Smackers brand), all the way through the 80s and 90s as a more caring approach to lip care started to emerge. Here we saw products that claimed to “shield your lips from the even the coldest weather”, and beeswax bestsellers found in metal tins.

Besides the unimaginative (compared to today) packaging we saw in the past, there was a more serious evolutionary change required…

The Evolution of Lip Care Ingredients

Unfortunately most mass-produced lip care products sold until the 2000s (with some still being sold today) contained ingredients we try to avoid. Parabens, butylated hydroxytoluene, synthetic colors, artificial fragrances, various types of alcohols, glycerine, chemical sunscreen, petroleum jelly, and mineral oils; all doing more harm than good (according to science).

Considering this, was the Egyptians’ lip care approach really that “bad”? Besides the bugs, not at all! They were resourceful in general when it came to cosmetics. They figured out that using natural, antibacterial, and moisture-locking ingredients improved their overall lifestyle and could also be used to treat minor injuries (even chapped lips).

Now combine this more natural and ancient approach (think shea butter, jojoba oil, candelilla plant wax extracts) with centuries of scientific lip care evolution, and you can find safe and effective modern lip care products that not only care for chapped lips, but also promote lip health, promote and maintain healthy moisture levels in the lips, expertly care for lips before and after lip augmentation procedures, create lasting yet nourishing lip color, and help pucker lips for a naturally fuller-looking result.

So, are Ancient Lip Care Ingredients Best?

Just because we have a lot to credit the Egyptians for, it doesn’t mean we need to follow their exact cosmetic traditions.

Take lip filler products for example… Would you have your lips injected with a hyaluronic acid-based filler from the 90’s (know that you know what you do) or would you prefer to have a lip filler procedure done with the safest, most advanced product technology available today?

The same goes for lip care… Would you still opt for age old lip care traditions when you know there are safe, vegan lip care products that are tried and tested, and contain lip-enhancing ingredient combinations designed by professional make-up artists and medical aesthetic experts specifically for lips? What a mouth full…

How about when we tell you that there is a full range of lip care products available specifically designed for lip filler lovers?

The Beauty of Cosmetic Evolution

Considered by scientists as the central unifying concept of biology, evolution is a set of complex processes by which populations of organisms change over time. Evolution results in genetic adaptations that allow organisms to survive, be healthy and thrive.

The same goes for cosmetics… As time goes by and cosmetics evolve, so do the standards, expected end results, acceptability of what is good and what is great, and ultimately our customer satisfaction.

Moral of the story? Take time to consider new technology (and not just trends). You and your lips deserve the very best.


If you are all pumped for lip enhancement after reading yet another one of our #LipLove blogs, here are some lip filler safety tips to keep in mind before you book your lip augmentation procedure.

Lip Filler Safety Tips:

* NEVER get any type of liquid silicone injected into your lips! These products can be dangerous and can cause serious injury and even death.

* NEVER buy dermal fillers on the internet and attempt to do it yourself. Besides the possibility of these products being fake, contaminated, or harmful, it takes training and experience to inject lips to perfection.

* NEVER get your lips injected from unlicensed injectors! ALWAYS work with a licensed and experienced professionals who choose FDA-approved products for treatment.

* ALWAYS consider products designed for your lip filler journey when getting your lips done. Injected lips need special care (before and after your procedure), a simple beeswax lip balm just won’t cut it.


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