Very few people realize it, but the lips are one of the first places to show signs of sun damage. Lips do not have sebum glands like the skin, so they don’t naturally produce sebum like the skin does. As a result, the lips don’t benefit from any of the natural protection of sebum, making them more susceptible to sun damage – appearing in the form of fine lines, a loss of fullness, and a decrease in size over time.
Luckily, there are products like Kinerase Ultimate Volume Lip Conditioner SPF 20 ($28.00 retail, Kinerase.com; $26.50, Amazon.com). When I was sent one by the company recently, I was ecstatic to learn the product contains 3 sets of ingredients designed to help your lips:
- UV protection – SPF 20 is amongst the highest I have seen in lip products
- VolulipTM – a peptide complex that may increase lip volume by up to 15% by stimulating collagen production
- Kinetin – a plant-based antioxidant, shown to have anti-aging results similar to retinyl palmitate (but not retinol)
VolulipTM – I’m Mildly Impressed, Mostly Disappointed
Kinerase is known for quality skin care products designed for sensitive skin. Which is probably why they are attributing the lip plumping action of Kinerase Ultimate Volume Lip Conditioner SPF 20 to a peptide complex they call VolulipTM rather than the irritating action of citrus medica (limonum) extract.
In general, lip plumpers use ingredients like camphor, ethyl menthane carboxamide, or citrus oils like limonene, which can leave the lips feeling dry after repeated use.
So while it is true that the VolulipTM peptide in Kinerase Ultimate Volume Lip Conditioner SPF 20may stimulate collagen production over time, making the lips fuller, it is the citrus oil that is giving that tingly immediate plumping effect. I’d have preferred if there was no immediate effect and if this were a long-term collagen stimulator, but then again, a lot of other people would stop using it if there was no immediate effect. So it’s a toss-up.
Kinetin – Beyond Awesome for a Lip Product
Kinetin is beyond awesome for a lip product. I would never put concentrated 0.04% tretinoin on the lips, because it’s simply too strong, but at least one study has shown 0.1% kinetin improves skin mottling, roughness, and fine wrinkling similar to less-concentrated 0.02% tretinoin (Skin Medicine, 2004).
Kinetin mimics a powerful antioxidant in the skin, superoxide dismutase. In fact, in a 1995 study, kinetin-fed fruit flies had a 55%–60% increase in the activity of the free-radical busting enzymes.
In addition, kinetin can help create repair enzymes (Cosmetic Dermatology). Kinetin has also been found to increase the rate of cell cycle. Collective kinetin studies on human skin cells and fruit flies have shown that kinetin can delay the onset of several processes associated with cellular aging through both antioxidant activity and DNA repair stimulation.
So yes, I do love kinetin, and I’m thrilled to see it in Kinerase Ultimate Volume Lip Conditioner SPF 20.
Personal Use and Opinions
When you first put Kinerase Ultimate Volume Lip Conditioner SPF 20 on, it smells like vanilla and feels a little tingly on the lips (due to the citrus oil). It has a lot of polyisobutene, which feels like a thin, slightly watery coat of Vaseline. Kinerase Ultimate Volume Lip Conditioner SPF 20 does not taste great – it has a teensy bit of a very bland taste I can’t quite put my finger on, but don’t quite like.
Kinerase Ultimate Volume Lip Conditioner SPF 20 has a smooth, slippery finish that is not sticky or tacky. It is fine for applying most types of lipstick over top, but I would be wary of applying long-last formulas over it, as the polyisobutene and other ingredients are likely to affect the binding process.
Overall, I personally will be using Kinerase Ultimate Volume Lip Conditioner SPF 20 daily in the future. So long as you’re not overly sensitive to flavors or insistent on using long-last lipstick, it’s a really great formula. I’m pretty happy with it!
Product rating: 9/10
- High or optimized concentration of proven effective ingredients: 3/3
- Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3
- Value: 2/3
- Sunscreen: 1/1