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The rise of ‘tweakments’: Lip plumping in a bottle

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Cosmetic procedures encompass a range of medical treatments designed to enhance or modify appearance for aesthetic and self-esteem reasons, spanning minimally invasive to more complex surgical interventions.

Common among these procedures are minimally invasive options like Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion. Top-searched cosmetic procedures include microblading, lip fillers, and blepharoplasty, with lip fillers emerging as the favored dermal filler globally.

According to a Google search data ‘microblading’, ‘lip filler’ and ‘blepharoplasty’ were among the top-searched cosmetic ‘tweakments’ in 2022.1​ Also, data from McKinsey shows that lip fillers are the most popular dermal filler in Australia, Europe, Brazil and North America.2

Lip fillers are a type of cosmetic procedure used to enhance the appearance of the lips by adding volume and shape. Lip plumping can be achieved through various methods, both temporary and longer-lasting, ranging from non-invasive treatments to surgical procedures. They involve injecting a filler substance into the lips to create a fuller and plumper look. Lately, a novel category of beauty products has been calling attention and completely revolutionizing the industry: the cosmetics influenced by ‘tweakments’.

Emerging beauty trends shaping the industry

Tweakment is a play on the words “tweak” and “treatment”, and refers to primarily non-surgical, minimally invasive treatments. Thanks to advancements in technology and new ingredient molecules, this cosmetic category is innovating rapidly, driven by a growing demand for natural-looking results. The popularity of this trend is on the rise, driven by the desire for self-enhancement without the commitment and risks associated with more invasive procedures. This trend aligns with the growing emphasis on maintaining one's individuality and embracing a natural appearance.

In August 2022, Worth Global Style Network (WGSN) highlighted the discussions about lip plumping and its rise across the social media platforms. This lip plumping interest coincides with the emergence of "notox" products, which imitate cosmetic procedures using solutions that don't require needles.

Aligned with the prevailing natural-looking aesthetic, the opportunity lies within the lip category to incorporate tweakment-like formulations without the cost or pain. Consumers are looking for a natural enhancement, seeking subtle and natural-looking lip enhancements rather than dramatic changes. This need emphasizes enhancing the lips' natural shape and volume without creating an exaggerated appearance.

The "cleanical" movement - the idea of seeking effective, safe, and ingredient-conscious products - has risen, signifying an opportunity for cosmetics companies. The term “cleanical” means to be made without potentially harmful and sensitizing ingredients which are proven to be effective. According to a Circana report 66% of American beauty consumers seek brands that use clean ingredients.3​ This is an opportunity for cosmetics companies to develop products for pre- and post-intervention treatments in a natural and safe way.

Natural skin filler is the way forward

Meeting the requirements of the market and responding to changing consumer behavior towards cosmetic procedures, Chemyunion conducted recent research involving Cellfie,​ a natural skin filler with remarkable results, avoiding the need for invasive procedures.

A new clinical study was conducted with the aim of evaluating the effectiveness of Cellfie in lip plumping effect. The clinical evaluation was performed on a total of 40 volunteers, divided into two groups of 20 volunteers. The age range of the participants varied between 37 and 65 years old, with a mean age of 49.6 ± 6.7. The selection of volunteers was based on criteria of lips with volume considered very thin to moderately thick. During the periods of seven days (D7), 14 days (D14), and 28 days (D28), the volunteers were submitted to the treatment on lip region twice a day, using a placebo gel formulation or 2% Cellfie in a gel formulation.

According to Figure 1, studies performed with Cellfie on specific parameters of the lips indicated a significant increase in lip width after treatment with the active by 4.7%, 4.7% and 4.5% during seven days (D7), 14 days (D14) and 28 days (D28), respectively; whereas no significant results were obtained after treatment with placebo.

Figure 1

Figure 1. Effect of Cellfie on lip plumping, by increasing the width of the lips. ***p<0.001 in relation to D0

Moreover, to ensure the effectiveness of Cellfie,​ a study was also carried out to verify lip circularity— as the greater the circularity, the thinner the lips. The results indicated that treatment with placebo significantly increased lip circularity by 6.7%, 6.3% and 6.1% respectively, after 1 week (D7), 2 weeks (D14) and 4 weeks (D28) of topical application, while the results with Cellfie indicated a trend towards reduced circularity(Figure 2).

figure 2

Figure 2. Effect of Cellfie on reducing the circularity of the lips (consequently improving lip thickness). ***p<0.001 in relation to D0 and **p<0.01 in relation to D0.

In Figure 3, photographic evidence showcases the results achieved within a week following the application of Cellfie.

figure 3

Figure 3. Lip plumping effect in only seven days treatment with 2% Cellfie.

These remarkable studies were achieved because Cellfie is a precise and effective mechanism for delivering Thymus vulgaris​ (thyme) extract to target adipocytes and stimulate skin and wrinkle lipo-filling in a non-invasive manner, leading to a notable natural-looking rejuvenation. Its purpose is to address structural aging resulting from lipoatrophy or the depletion of adipose tissue.


1.​ Look Fantastic. The Beauty Standards Report 2022.
2.​ McKinsey & Company. From extreme to mainstream: The future of aesthetics injectables.
3.​ The NPD Group L.P./U.S. Beauty Trends/Total Measured Market. Internal Field, Q1 2023. Female Facial Consumer Report 2022. – Circana, Inc. and Circana Group, L.P. | Proprietary and confidential.

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