We purchased Kaplan MD's Lip Mask so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
For years, I believed lip masks could do just one thing: hydrate. I definitely thought they were only good for giving your lips an extra dose of moisture while you slept, and not much else. It wasn’t until I came across Kaplan MD's Perfect Pout Lip Mask that I realized lip masks had seriously far-reaching potential—that they could do things like exfoliate and plump the lips, too. Needless to say, I was excited to test out this formula myself, along with Byrdie contributor Erin Jahns.
Read on to see how it worked.
Kaplan MD Lip Mask
Best for: Anyone with dry lips
Uses: Hydrating lips and chemical lip exfoliation
Active Ingredients: Papaya enzymes, adipofill’n, hyaluronic acid
Potential Allergens: Fragrance from citrus fruit extracts
Byrdie Clean?: Yes
About the Brand: Kaplan MD is a skincare brand founded by dermatologist Stuart H. Kaplan. It's best-known for its lip mask and lip balm.
Ingredients: Exfoliates and plumps lips
The biggest draw of the Kaplan lip mask is its ingredients—specifically the ones that exfoliate and plump the lips. Adipofill'n, a patented L-ornithine amino acid, encourages increased volume and fullness, while papaya enzymes (a natural exfoliator) lightly slough off dead skin. This mask also includes not one but two different forms of hyaluronic acid to moisturize lips on the cellular level and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
This product is also clean by Byrdie's standards and is free of parabens, sulfates, gluten, and petroleum jelly.
The Feel: Surprisingly lightweight
All the lip masks I'd tried prior to Kaplan had a thick, substantial feel, so the texture of the Kaplan MD lip mask was surprising to me—it was just so thin. It felt more like a light gel-cream moisturizer than something meant to lock in the moisture of my lips. I did like the smell, which is pleasantly minty.
All in all, I’d say the mask was just okay. I tried it several times over the course of two weeks and can’t say I noticed a significant change in the volume or shape of my lips. I have full lips to begin with, so I wasn’t expecting anything particularly miraculous, but I didn’t really notice much of a difference. It’s supposed to take all of three minutes for my lips to turn into a plumper version of themselves, but aside from a little tingling and slight plumping, it didn’t feel significant. I was impressed though, with how quickly the product sunk into my lips. Maybe it’s the thin, creamy texture, but it all but disappeared around the five-minute mark. I also loved that my lips felt smoother after applying it.
Byrdie contributor Erin Jahns also tested this product, and it was a total game-changer for her: "I first discovered this product thanks to fellow Byrdie editor Kaitlyn McLintock, who thrust it into my desperate arms before a night out," she says. "In a nutshell, it's a lip-transforming cream mask that, with a consistent nightly application, pretty much canceled an upcoming filler touch-up I had planned for my lips. This mask alone has reinvigorated my pout (which I felt had begun to de-pert and -plump a bit) with a bump in volume, contour, and overall hydration. Isn't that pretty much the dream when it comes to finding a be-all-and-end-all lip-improving product?"
"Thanks to the mask's natural exfoliating ingredients, I've stopped using my collection of lip scrubs for good, and I've taken to smoothing a tiny bit into my lips every night as more of a leave-on formula than as an actual mask. Even though you're technically supposed to slather it on and then wipe it off about three to five minutes later, I prefer to use smaller, more frequent doses—applying just enough so that the formula effortlessly soaks into my lips and works its magic overnight. Every morning, I wake up with a plumper and more voluminous pout—no cracks, chapping, or flakes in sight."
The Value: It's a splurge
This product retails for $35, which is definitely a bit of a splurge compared to other lip masks. However, if I felt strongly enough about it—or it was replacing a more expensive option, like lip injections—then maybe I could justify the price.
Kaplan MD Lip Mask vs. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
I also tested a cult-favorite lip mask from K-beauty brand Laneige (read my full review here). Although the masks have different benefits—Laneige's mask is all about hydration while Kaplan MD's is about plumping and exfoliating—I still can't say enough about the Laneige mask. Truly, my lips have never been softer. Even when my lips are dry and flaky I can apply this stuff and within a day or two, I wake up with a kissable pout. Plus, at $22, it's practically a steal compared to the Kaplan MD mask.
Our Verdict: It might work for you!
If you’re someone who wants some extra volume or likes the idea of plumping and exfoliating your lips all at once, then I recommend giving this a try. Although it's expensive for what it is, if you don't have full lips already, it might make a big difference.