A TikTok user applied erection-boosting cream to his lips to plump them up in a now-viral video.
A dermatologist told Insider it's a bad idea, since the ingredients in the creams could be too harsh for delicate lip skin.
Instead, use a product designed specifically for making the lips appear fuller.
TikTok users have gotten inventive with everything from old push-up bras to quesadilla-making, but a new trend that involves using erection cream as a do-it-yourself lip plumper has dermatologists concerned.
It's unclear what specific product he used - he said it was a French brand "with a giant penis on it" that he found in a sex shop - but creams designed to boost erections typically rely on alprostadil, a type of vasodilator that widens blood vessels.
Jerrybmaldanado said he got the idea after watching "A Nice Girl Like You," a September 2020 movie that contains a scene where actress Lucy Hale's character does just that, mistaking erection cream for lip gloss.
After applying a generous layer of cream to his top and bottom lip, jerrybmaldanado said it "kind of tingles but doesn't feel terrible."
But eight minutes later, he said his lips were burning and decided to wipe it away. He revealed noticeably plumper lips, which led his followers to inquire about his erection cream of choice.
"I don't know the safety of it. If you want to try it, go ahead," he said before ending the video.
According to New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, it's best to avoid putting erection cream on your lips at all costs - or any harsh skincare ingredient like retinol, alpha hydroxy acids, and salicylic acid.
"Products that can more easily be tolerated in areas where the skin is thicker or oilier may be too irritating when used on the lips," King told Insider.
Erection cream contains alprostadil and peppermint oil, which can cause peeling
But when applied to the lips, an area made of thin and delicate skin with fewer oil glands than normal skin, alprostadil could cause stinging, swelling, peeling, and allergic reactions, according to King.
Some of these creams also contain peppermint oil, which both moisturize the skin and cause temporary irritation that results in swelling. When applied to this penis, it creates a bigger appearance, and the same is true for the lips.
If the cream gets in your mouth, it could mess with your blood pressure
There's also a chance you could swallow bits of erection cream you previously dabbed on your lips, King said.
Consuming vasodilators in the form of pills has been shown to increase a person's blood pressure and cause heart palpitations, chest pain, and headaches, there's a chance the same could potentially happen if you accidentally swallow too much erection-boosting cream.
If you want to plump your lips, use a product designed to do just that
Rather than repurpose erection cream, King recommended using skincare products designed specifically for the sensitive skin on the lips.
She prefers ones that are essential oil-free because essential oils "generally irritate the skin and although they do cause temporary swelling, they usually leave the lips dry, irritated and flaky."
Instead, she opts for PCA Skin's Hyaluronic Acid Lip Booster, which contains tiny dehydrated particles that absorb into the lips. When they absorb moisture, the particles expand, creating a fuller look on the lips' surface.
For those who enjoy the tingly effect of certain lip plumpers, King said it's OK to use those essential oil-containing products so long as they're marketed for your pout and don't personally cause you irritation.
She suggested Alpha-H's Absolute Lip Perfector because it contains mint oil to plump the lips and hyaluronic acid, beeswax, and zinc oxide to moisturize them.
Read the original article on Insider