Every so often, a social media challenge comes along that makes you say: “Why?” Some are harmless and fun, many are dumb, and others can have dangerous consequences. Like in April 2015, when teenagers were participating in something called the Kylie Jenner Challenge, in which they’d attempt to plump up their lips, Kylie Jenner-style, by sucking the air out of a shot glass; the subsequent friction would cause the person’s lips to swell temporarily. As one would expect, some of the participants ended up with painful bruising and swelling, and it might have been all for naught: Jenner finally admitted to having lip injections a month or so after the challenge went viral.
Four years later, the internet has generated a new lip-related challenge, this one born from the bowels of TikTok. This time, the challenge requires some sort of sticky adhesive, like eyelash glue, which is then applied to the person’s Cupid bow. After letting the glue dry for a few seconds, the person presses their top lip against their Cupid bow, resulting in the appearance of plump lips. As Paper reports, the trend appears to have been started by TikTok user @chloehammock4.
I mean, it works for the most part! Or at least enough to put on some lip gloss and snap a few selfies for the ’gram.
So, is there anything actually risky with this one, or can we let the kids have some fun? Dr. Jessie Cheung, a board-certified dermatologist in Chicago, says that even though eyelash glue is safe to use on the eyes, there are always potential irritants and allergens in it, which can cause a rash or other harm. “The glue can rip off your skin to cause superficial tears and abrasions. You can develop scars and discoloration,” Cheung says.
Not to encourage anybody, but this challenge doesn’t seem as dangerous as sucking the air out of a shot glass. “While no long-term damage should arise from a teenager doing this challenge once, the risk for irritation and discomfort are not worth the novelty of this challenge,” Dr. Manish Shah, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Denver, adds. “If a child uses a stronger adhesive for this purpose, like super glue, this may carry a higher risk of skin damage, redness, and agitation to the dermis and epidermis above the lip.”
Read that, fellow youths? Proceed at your own risk!