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Kaplan MD Lip 20 Treatment plumps and protects

March 7, 2010 Reviewed by Marta 8 Comments
I was recently introduced to the Kaplan MD line of antiaging cosmetics and I’ll be writing more on the full range and the approach behind it in future posts. In the meantime, I have been getting acquainted with the Lip 20 Treatment, a lip plumper with Dr Kaplan’s signature tally of ten antiaging actives.

The first thing to say about Lip 20 is that it does plump the lips. Mine are thinner than a snake’s when left to their own devices and lip plumpers generally don’t work or are uncomfortable. When I looked up into the mirror after applying Lip 20, I couldn’t help but break into a big grin. My lips were pleasantly full, darker and smooth. This is a look I could get used to.

No humble lip plumper, Lip 20 Treatment has rather a lot going on. FIrst, I’ll deal with the fact that it comes in a a couple of colors as well as completely sheer. It also has a most unusual container that is twisted to flip open a hinged lid. It got me quite flustered for a few minutes and I ended up breaking the tip of the lip product. Still, it puts the packaging in the realm of gizmo and makes the versions without color eminently appealing to guys.

The plumping job is achieved by sodium hyaluronate in the form of patented molecules that easily penetrate the skin. Hyaluronate’s moisturizing power is backed up by shea butter and squalane. Another important ingredient is seabuckthorn (hippophae rhamnoides), which has loads of quercetin. The thing about quercetin is that it may be a much more of a powerful antioxidant than was previously thought. Cornell University has a new way of measuring antioxidant potency called ‘cellular antioxidant activity’ (CAA) that tests the antioxidant activities of a compound inside the cell itself. This is an approach that is deemed to be more accurate. Of all the flavenoids, quercetin had the highest CAA value.

One of Kaplan MD’s signature ingredients is black cohosh root extract. This is a source of plant-derived estrogen and is used as antiaging ingredient. Estrogen or estrogen mimicking ingredients (such as parabens) in cosmetics are a little controversial with one doctor making the link between them and cancer. This work remains uncorroborated and did not deal specifically with plant-derived estrogen.

Specifically discussing black cohosh (note that mostly it is used as an oral supplement for menstrual and menopausal issues), the Mayo Clinic says: ”The mechanism of action of black cohosh remains unclear and the effects on estrogen receptors or hormonal levels (if any) are not definitively known. Recent publications suggest that there may be no direct effects on estrogen receptors, although this is an area of active controversy.”

Talking of controversy, I always approach chemical sunscreen ingredients with caution. Of the three chosen here, octisalate seems to be perfectly safe, while the other two can be unstable and octonixate should, perhaps, be avoided by pregnant women (the estrogen issue again). You can read about octinoxate and the other two sunscreen actives in our article that summarizes some of the research.

Sunscreen actives: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 3%

Other ingredients: Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Polyethylene, Beeswax, Oleyl Alcohol, Phenyl Trimethicone, C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Aroma (Natural Peppermint), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Squalane, Glyceryl Triacetyl Hydroxystearate, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn Berry) Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Cimicifuga Racemosa (Black Cohosh) Root Extract, Eupatorium Rebaudianum Bertoni Leaf Extract, Atelocollagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, Silica, Tribehenin, Lecithin, Water (Aqua), Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 80, Sorbitan Isostearate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Carbomer, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Glycerin, PEG-8, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, [+/-: Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxide (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850:1)
  • September 22, 2011

    by Debra

    Thanks so much for your comments! I'll continue to use and see what happens!

  • September 22, 2011

    by Peggy

    Debra, I don't know how much help this will be, but YBF Define has done more for my lips than any other product I've ever tried. I'm so impressed with it I've been intending to send in a review (just haven't had time). However, my lips were "terminally" chapped. They are now in better shape than they've been since I was about 10 years old. Since they're no longer covered with a layer of dry, dead skin, they're soft, smoother, redder, and a little fuller. If your lips are already in good shape, I don't know how much it would plump them. Also, it was a very slow improvement - months of use to see much change. But they have changed so much for the better I'm definitely going to continue with it, and hopefully will see even more improvement.

  • September 21, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Debra- I think it takes a few weeks or more to see the plumping effects. I'm sorry you're unhappy with this; I'm still liking it! ~jk

  • September 21, 2011

    by Debra

    I have been using this product for over a week and am sorry to say it has done nothing for my lips. I've purchased many products recommended on this website and it's my first disappointment. In fact, I was going to return it but discovered items can only be returned if unopened and damaged...not for dissatifaction. If anyone knows of a topical product that actually plumps the lips please post!

  • September 4, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    I dunno why I took so long, but bells rang a couple days ago- I reread this review and ingredients and bought "natural" and "berry." I've worn berry all day today and love it! It's not too much color, not tacky and I like the lipstick tube. I hope I develope a regular pattern of wearing it, so I can see if it PLUMPs my lips... heheeh ~jk

  • March 31, 2011

    by Sheree

    Thanks for the quick reply! I'm looking forward to trying this.

  • March 31, 2011

    by marta

    Hi Sheree, I am using Nude (it has a slight beige tint).

  • March 31, 2011

    by Sheree

    I'm curious what color you sampled here? I'm leaning towards the natural or nude. Just would like a sort of natural tone and I'm wondering if the nude is natural looking or just a very light color.

    And just a side note...I love your site! I have gotten some great ideas and have been using so many products that in one way or another originated from reading your reviews here. Love the youtube videos as well!

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