Craze for thicker, pink lips; Creams selling like hot cake

BY: Hadiza Nuhhu-Billa Quansah

Issues on beauty enhancement always seem to be taking a different dimension. From the journey of fake hips, eye lashes, body piercing, breast implants, silicon injection, skin whitening, among others, the latest is the craze for thicker, pink and red lips.

Currently, there is aggressive marketing ongoing on various social media platforms with posters and banners displayed at vantage points around the city and flyers distributed at some social events.

Some of the advertisement read: “Want pink or red lips in days? Want that luscious lip that will turn heads? Call 02414 …. Or email and order one. 30 Cedis for small size, 50 Cedis for jumbo size. Stand out and look clean and get rid of those dark stains and sunburns on your lips.”

In addition, tattooed eyebrows, permanent eyeliner and lip liner pigmentation are becoming increasingly popular, but the big question is, are these makeup "surgeries" actually safe?

Why thicker, pink or red lips?

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In the past, people who had red lips were often mocked as people who drunk ‘akpeteshie’. Akpeteshie is spirit produced in Ghana by distilling palm wine or sugar cane. Other names for this drink include apio, VC10 and kill me quick.

Today, both young men and women are spending money on lip injections, lip creams, lip oils, lip balms, lip plumper, lip gels, lip soaps and even surgeries just to have pink or red lips to enhance their looks.

Some of the inscriptions on the products indicate that you can have a fuller lip overnight by applying certain powders and oils. Aside from this, some of the young ladies are also applying some of the creams to their nipples to equally make them look pink.

Kevin, a university student who often patronises such lip products, explained that: “Chapped lips can affect your appearance and show a lack of proper lip care and for me, it is the reason I decided to enhance my lips.”

According to Kevin, while he was in secondary school, some of his friends often teased him for having darker lips; so when he saw an advert on Facebook for such products, he decided to give it a try.

“The first time I applied the soap on my lips, I had severe burning sensation so I decided to discontinue. However, one of my friends who also uses the lip enhancer product urged me to continue since it would make me look sexier,” he narrated.

Ms Efia Ansah, a beauty therapist, told The Mirror that it is generally known that lips are the most attractive feature on the face; therefore, correctly shaped lips are appealing and more attractive and can be a trademark of someone’s personality.

“Lips can be beautified according to one’s own desire and preference by many natural and artificial ways. However, experts and professionals must be consulted before one goes in for products that could have serious health implications,” she explained.

According to her, the lips are probably the most common source of problems as blisters can develop after the procedure. Besides, working near areas such as the lips and eyes can be delicate as one false move can be costly.

“The biggest risk is generally dissatisfaction with the result. As these products and services are growing in popularity, so are technicians with little experience offering the treatment,” she noted.

She explained that when we age, our faces tend to lose muscle tone.

“Blood circulation also reduces, making us have thinner lips. Facial exercise can help in firming the muscle around our mouth. Through exercise, the capillaries distributing blood on our face and lips are stimulated, which in turn boost the production of collagen which is a natural plumping substance for the lips,” she noted.