Main menu


Hyaluron Pen | Is Hyaluron Pen Safe?

 Is Hyaluron Pen Safe?

Hyaluron Pen

over the last year and a half (ugh), a lot of us have gotten pretty good at the DIY life, mostly thanks to a constant stream of info and tutorials on TikTok. And while DIY tricks might work for your Ikea furniture flip or makeup routine (all hail the game-changing TikTok makeup hacks), when it comes to cosmetic treatments? Absolutely not, especially if it involves hyaluronic pens (hyaluronic acid pens)—aka at-home lip filler devices. Yup. Nope.

If you somehow missed the memo on hyaluronic pens, good. Consider yourself lucky. But if you also got served a video or two showing people testing out hyaluronic pens, allow me to explain to you why this is something you really, really don't want to try. Below, board-certified dermatologist Corey L. Hartman, MD, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology, sheds light on the safety of hyaluronic pens and why this is one TikTok DIY "trend" you should def skip.

What is a hyaluronic pen?

Do you know how lip injections require the use of a needle to inject the hyaluronic acid filler into your face? Well, as Dr. Hartman explains it, the hyaluronic pen is a mechanical device (medically referred to as a jet injector) that works by creating enough external pressure on the tissue to push hyaluronic acid filler into the skin—without a needle. In other words, while one injects with a needle, the other pushes with pressure.

hyaluronic pen

Does a hyaluronic pen hurt?

Actually, nope, not really. The technology behind hyaluronic pens, according to Dr. Hartman, was initially created to be a less painful alternative to injections with needles. "A hyaluronic pen is a device originally intended to be used by diabetics to inject insulin and other essential medications into the skin without using needles," he says. "Its purpose was to offer a less painful route of injection for people who need to inject themselves several times a day."

The problem, of course, is that social media ran with the idea and transformed these devices into tools used for...other purposes. Ahem: lip injections.

Does hyaluronic pen work for lips?

Hang around on TikTok long enough, and you'll see the devices being marketed and used to “inject” hyaluronic acid for plumper, bigger lips. But the reality is that there is no data to support the efficacy or the safety of these devices. Not only are there no peer-reviewed studies to show that they are safe or effective, but Dr. Hartman adds that many patients have been seeking help and treatment to fix the problems a hyaluronic pen caused. So is it a replacement for in-office lip injections? Absolutely not.

hyaluronic pen

Is the hyaluronic pen FDA-approved?

Nope, the hyaluronic pen is currently not FDA-approved in the United States. In fact, Dr. Hartman says it is currently being marketed and sold illegally online. Yikes. Not only that, but recently, the Canadian Health Department made a strict warning against the device to its residents, stating that it may pose health risks if used.

Is hyaluronic pen safe?

If it wasn't made clear enough before, no. Hyaluron pens are not safe, and they come with a pretty long list of potential risks, like inflammatory skin reactions, abscess formation, permanent discoloration, bacterial and fungal infections, the transmission of disease from person to person, and damage to skin, eyes, and blood vessels due to the excessive pressure being applied. Woof. "Unless these pens are being used as indicated for the delivery of diabetic medications and under the care of a physician, they are not considered safe," Dr. Hartman stresses.

And depending on the severity of the complication, it may or may not be able to be reversed, so don't read all of this and take your chances anyway. Some infections can be cured with prescription medications, but discoloration and scarring will likely be more permanent. All that to say, using a hyaluronic pen for bigger lips is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea.

hyaluronic pen

The takeaway:

Dr. Hartman doesn't mince words: Hyaluron pens are not considered safe. So if you're looking for some little nugget of hope that you can use one of these for bigger lips at home, might I suggest lip plumper instead? And if that won't cut it, see a board-certified dermatologist who can assess and *safely* treat you with dermal fillers. We've got a million other TikTok hacks for you to kill time with while you wait for that appointment.