The science behind the Kylie Jenner Challenge

Abbey Hull for – @AbbeyHull4160

The 17-year-old Kardashian sister has created a growing trend that matches the Ice Bucket Challenge and the Harlem Dance in popularity and humor. Kylie Jenner’s famous pouty lips has trended the “Kylie Jenner Challenge,” where teenagers will suck on glass bottles and glasses in order to get those luscious lips for themselves. However, as we have all seen in various videos, the reactions have been hilarious, but the desired effects have been taken to the dangerous extreme.

How does one even get their lips to become so full using solely a shot glass? Dr. Dendy Engelman, director of dermatologic surgery at New York Medical College, answered the world’s questions and concerns on Fusion–with the science behind the Kylie Jenner Challenge.

Looking engorgeous

First, a glass is placed on the lips and the participants sucks in the trapped air, thereby inducing negative pressure from the suction. As the pressure increases, it causes “vessel engorgement,” with means your blood rushes to the blood vessels in that area, causing inflammatory reactions.

As the chemicals causing the inflammation flood the suppressed area on your mouth, the soft tissue will quickly become engorged to the point of plump—the Kylie Jenner look.

While the celebrity may have the possibly perfect pout (if you so believe), Dr. Engelman warns that the challenge can also have serious lasting effects.

Unlike past challenges where the results were soaked clothes or public embarrassment archived on YouTube, Dr. Engelman said that the pressures caused by sucking too hard can break the fragile blood vessels around that area, and that’s what results in bruising. For those of us with fairer skin, we are even more sensitive to these bruises.

Basically like a hickey for your lips

Dr. Engelman still understands the desires to complete each societal challenge, and so she warns that if a pair of lips just happen to find themselves in a shot glass out of boredom, curiosity, or a friendly dare, a fifteen to thirty second suction would probably be okay without causing more than mild and temporary effects. However, sixty seconds or more, like what is seen in a new wave of videos filling the Internet, can lead to longer term damage.

While the trend may not be the best, there is one new thing that can be learned. Fun fact: Dr. Engelman stated that if you do the challenge, you’ve also found an innovative way to give yourself a hickey.

Are you up to the challenge? If so…be cautious, folks. When in doubt, love your lips.


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