Why You Should Definitely Not Try This TikTok Lip Plumping Hack

People will go to extremes for beauty, and in this social media-dominated era, unconventional beauty methods have a tendency to spread online like wildfire. But a certain beauty hack for lip plumping that has recently gone viral on TikTok is probably one to let pass you by.

A TikTok user named Jerry Mal (@jerrybmaldonado) posted the clip in December, featuring himself using erectile dysfunction cream to plump his lips. He leaves it on for five minutes before checking on the results. After another three minutes he states it is "burning really bad" and removes the cream.

According to the Toronto Sun, Mal took the hack from the Netflix movie A Nice Girl Like You, in which a character does the same, but doctors say it's a terrible idea. Dermatologist Dr. Hadley King told Business Insider that the thin skin of the lips can't tolerate the ingredients used in such creams, and application could lead to peeling and allergic reactions.

The cream promotes vasodilation, or increased blood flow to the area of application, but "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 said.

It has potential for risky side effects

In the movie, a character played by Lucy Hale does this because she mistakes a cream for lip gloss — intentionally applying it to the lips can be dangerous. You might ingest it through your mouth, which would be a concern, given the fact that vasodilator pills are known to raise blood pressure, and even cause chest pain, palpitations, or headaches.

These creams are also known to have side effects even when used for their intended purpose. Some common occurrences include burning or pain, discoloration, rash, itching, and numbness, according to Medical News Today. More serious side effects include light-headedness or fainting, increased pulse rate, and low blood pressure. There are safer ways to get fuller-looking lips without applying something this risky on the absorbent skin of the lips and mouth.

Dermatologist Dr. Muneed Shah also shared that any effects will be short-lived. "All the benefits of plumping will be completely temporary," he said. (Via DailyMail.) If you want to achieve fuller lips, look for a lip plumper made specifically for that purpose.