The History of Lip Gloss

Lip gloss from moist to shiny, has a long, colorful and rich history. Originally lip gloss was created by Max Factor the inventor of makeup back in the early 1900's as a quick fix application to help make actresses lips more moist and shiny to save time in creating the actress in looking more appealing and sexy on the black and white films.

Since then lip gloss has evolved from its simple beginning of making lips beautiful and sexy for film, to being a must have beauty product for all women regardless of age. Today lip gloss has come full circle to being a lip cosmetic, a lip moisturizer, a lip plumper, protecting lip from the wind, cold and sun to healing lips burnt and damaged by the sun, or wind and frost, as well as still delivering sexy shiny lips in an instant when you need it most.

Marketers have also taken this further by making lip gloss products more readily available in various forms, sizes and applications. You can buy lip gloss simply in a squeezable tube, lip gloss in a tub, with a stick and brush dipping in your favorite lip gloss, and even retractable lip gloss units so that you do not lose your favorite lip gloss.


Lip gloss is usually teenagers lip product of choice, as it is shows more natural lips, lips with some glitter, gloss and shine. Additionally lip gloss is usually thought of being more natural for lips, without as many toxins and metals as most lipsticks and lip stains, however, recent research shows this is not necessarily the case, and now a lot of natural lip care cosmetics are competing for the lip gloss and general lip products space and wallet share of teenager to older women alike.

"Interestingly a report showed that a lot of lipsticks and lip glosses contain high levels of leads and other dangerous metals, therefore it is always wise to check to ensure your lipstick and or lip gloss you are using is lead free or free of metals that can cause harm to your health." (Source: Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1205518.-

Womens desire for fuller, sexier lips could be blamed on Max Factor, because since:

  • Max Factor's first commercially available lip gloss X-Rated, was launched in 1932
  • And the earlier imagery and projection of desirable shiny lips in movies,

women globally all seem to want the look of sexy fuller lips and seem to stop at nothing. Sometimes these lip glosses and application are painful, even non surgical methods. Lip plumpers aim to create a lip that is more full and desirable even if it is temporary. So lip plumpers often contain ingredients that increase the blood flow in the capillaries of the lips.

Such lip plumping ingredients as capsacin or better known as the heat produced in chilli, cinnamon, menthol, caffeine and ginger all cause an irritation of the lips causing them to swell due to increased blood supply to the lips.

Even more painful methods of lip plumping come with the use of vitamin B3 in the form of niacin. This application method of lip plumping is usually quite painful, due to the flushing of the superficial capillaries of the lip skin. The opposite of this are some lip products contain natural collagen which will temporarily give the feeling of lip plumping, however these products do not claim to be a lip plumper and nor are they painful or irritable when applied to your lips.

The better lip gloss products that can achieve this are natural collagen products from fish skin, that are produced by lyophilization. Lyophilized collagen is freeze dried collagen as opposed to hydrolyzed collagen. (hydrolyzed means exposed to high temperatures of heat to extract and dry the collagen into a useable form). Additionally collagen from fish are more bioavailable to human collagen and more assailable then other collagen derived from cows, pigs or chicken. Additionally there have been no reported cases of any disease or sickness being passed from fish to humans as opposed to animal derived collagen such as bovine and porcine.

As far as moistening the lips it is best lip gloss contain ingredients that are great moisturizers and really do moisten the lip, and are especially long lasting, this giving better care of the lips rather than having to apply and reapply gloss to your lips regularly as if some kind of lip gloss addict.

Ingredients those are great for lip care and regeneration and extremely effective as lip moisturizers include, beeswax, shea butter, collagen, squalane and jojoba oil. When lips are exposed to sun, wind and the cold for too long a periods, even short intense periods lips will dry and crack and need moisturizing and protection. And thankfully some lip glosses are excellent lip treatment solutions, repairing dry lips, moistening and regenerating sun burnt or chapped lips, rather than simply masking the problem. Additionally a few lip gloss are used by many as their lip balm!


So why do our lips get chapped?

Lips do not become tan when exposed to the sun, but rather our lips burn. This is because lips do not contain melanin (melanin is responsible for the colour of our skin, and the more sun we are exposed to the more melanin produced and the darker of skin). Additionally our lip skin is different to our skin because it does not product sebum; which helps keep our skin moisturized and protected when exposed to the sun, wind and the cold.

Jojoba oil is an ingredient that imitates sebum, the natural oils our skin produces, and therefore should be an essential ingredient in your lip gloss or even lip balm selection criteria.

Shea butter has natural UV filtering properties additionally provides cellular restoration and moisturization.

Squalane as we age, starts declining from our 20's. Squalane is naturally occurring in our bodies and one of the common lipids produced by our skin cells, and accounts for near 10% of our sebum. When applied on our lip skin, squalane is easily absorbed by our lips because it mimics our bodies own natural moisturizers.

Collagen in lip gloss products provide a protective layer when applied on the surface of our lips helping to retain water loss and moisturizes from your lips deep layer. Collagen is extremely effective also in regenerating damaged lips from the sun, cracked, chapped and dry lips.

Do you normally buy lip gloss just for the shine and sex appeal, or to keep your lips healthy and moisturized? Which lip glosses do you find are best for your lips?

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