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Self-Moisturizing 38°C/99°F Lip Treatment: UZ by FlowFushi

Posted on June 17 2020

With the scientific name and the alchemical phial-like shape of this lip treatment, it’s clear that UZ (formerly Flowfushi) wants consumers to focus on how it can help your lips. The claim, from their website, is:

“Multi Flora™ enhances the microbe power already present in your skin that helps keep it healthy and hydrated. It is a type of lactic acid bacteria that bonds with skin’s own microbes to multiply their power. You get 30 billion Multi Flora™ in every bottle to help achieve lips that actually help keep themselves full, soft and supple.”

It is impossible to know how the lip treatment might improve your lips without knowing UZ’s proprietary formula. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at how lip skin works and what lactic bacteria do to get an idea of what the UZ 38°C/99°F Lip Treatment might do. Then, I’ll share my pictures of how my UZ lip treatment looks alone and with lipstick.

How is lip skin different from normal skin?

All skin has three layers: the dermis, the epidermis, and the stratum corneum. The dermis is the lowest layer, which contains blood vessels, hair follicles, nerve endings, and other good, essential things. The epidermis is where new skin cells are produced, and where cells called melanocytes are. Melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin, hair, and irises their color (except in albinos), and which protects the skin from UV radiation. The stratum corneum is the relatively hard outer layer of skin cells that protects the skin underneath in various ways.

All skin has three layers: the dermis, the epidermis, and the stratum corneum. The dermis is the lowest layer, which contains blood vessels, hair follicles, nerve endings, and other good, essential things. The epidermis is where new skin cells are produced, and where cells called melanocytes are. Melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin, hair, and irises their color (except in albinos), and which protects the skin from UV radiation. The stratum corneum is the relatively hard outer layer of skin cells that protects the skin underneath in various ways.

Starting with the dermis, lips have more nerve endings than most other areas (except for the tips of fingers). This makes them more sensitive than other areas of skin. They also have no hair follicles, which help toughen up other areas of skin, nor do they have sebaceous glands, which release oil that helps moisturize and protect the skin. Lip skin has no melanocytes in the epidermis, so little UV protection, and a thinner, more delicate stratum corneum. This translates to softer, redder skin that happens to be sensitive and prone to damage and dryness.

What causes dry lips, and how does lip balm help.

The primary cause of dryness is the lip skin quickly losing moisture through the thin outer layer of skin (a natural process) or through excessive lip licking and lip biting. Sun damage and vitamin deficiencies can also cause dry lips. Not drinking enough water dehydrates the whole body, including the lips, so if you don’t drink water, your lips will never be full.

Lip balm contains substances that act as a stronger outer layer of skin, which traps moisture in the lips. If the balm also contains UV protection and nutrients, it can protect from sun damage and help supplement any vitamin deficiency you might have.

Article: How to Get Rid of Chapped Lips: DHC Lips Balms

What are these lactic acid bacteria that UZ mentions?

“Good” bacteria and fungi in general prevent infection by competing with harmful outside bacteria and fungi for nutrients. If the flora in and on your body (including your lips) are healthy and balanced, outside bacteria and fungi don’t have enough space or food to multiply. They also help you digest food

As for lactic acid bacteria (LAB), they are some of the most studied probiotics, since they’re found in foods like yogurt, milk, and fermented foods. There are quite a lot of them in your mouth and on your lips since they feed on sugars found in food. Again, we can only assume what the Multi Flora™ in the UZ lip treatment does, exactly, since we don’t know the bacteria’s species, nor what UZ did to discover the effect. As far as I can tell, LAB doesn’t cause lip moisture. LAB are called “lactic acid bacteria” because they produce lactic acid after they feed, though, and lactic acid is used in many skincare products. It is a gentle exfoliant used to treat issues such as Rosacea and “chicken bumps,” and helps improve how the skin retains moisture

Some studies into the effect of LAB on skin have been done, so we might be able to get more of an idea of What UZ’s lip treatment does from them. This study found that applying a moisturizer with LAB in it effectively calmed acne in subjects because the LAB fought the infection-causing bacteria. Most people do not get acne on their lips, but dry lips can get infections, too. What helps prevent infections again? Right, probiotics like LAB, found in UZ’s lip treatment line.  

Ingesting live or dead LAB helps prevent skin disease, improve overall skin moisture, and slow the aging that comes from being exposed to the sun. In one Japanese study, ingestion of one strain of LAB resulted in less skin ulcers, less bone density loss, and less hair loss in the subjects. In other words, it helped prevent damage associated with age. It may also help prevent skin disease if used topically. Ingesting bacteria and applying them to your lips are two different things, true, but some of the same byproducts of the LAB’s life cycle will end up in or on your lips anyway. Plus, you’d be surprised at how much of your lip products you end up eating (about 3.7 pounds in a lifetime, if you’re an “average woman”).

How do some colored UZ 38℃/99°F lip treatments look?

Enough about how it might work, how does it look? Cosme Hunt carries three colors: +5 Orange, +1 Sheer-Pink, and + 3 Pink. These are all glossy, tinted treatments you can wear over other lip products, or on their own. UZ also sells a clear, semi-matte treatment that can act as a base for other lip products. I purchased +5 Orange and -4 Black

First of all, UZ’s packaging is rather unique. It’s some sort of styrofoam, instead of the usual paper or cardboard. It reminds me of minimalist architecture, strangely. The container for the treatment itself is attractive as well. Combined with the box, it feels like I’m holding some sort of futuristic medicine you would buy in a cyberpunk video game. (Come to think of it, “UZ” could easily be the setting for a cyberpunk game).

The applicator looks similar to a normal lip gloss wand, but the felt-like fabric of this applicator is much softer, and the end bends as it enters the container to absorb as much treatment as possible each time it’s put back in. The applicator is nice and wide for an easy swipe onto the lips, no-repeat strokes needed.

Left: My lips without treatment or balm

Middle: My lips with just the black treatment

Right: My lips with just the orange treatment

At first blush, it feels like the lip glosses I remember from my youth, but less sticky. It isn’t runny by any means, but it doesn’t feel like glue. It spreads easily, even over lipstick.

Left: Just with black treatment again

Right: After three hours, no balm added

When I apply it on its own, without other lipstick, it lasts for about three hours without eating or drinking before it is absorbed. It left my lips very smooth-feeling, though not as moist as they would feel if I had used lip balm. To be fair, the treatment lasted longer than even my favorite balm, Country and Stream Natural Honey Lip.

LeftTime for color combinations! Here is my first lipstick, Opera Lip Tint N (Red).

Middle: Here it is with +5 on it.

Right: Now, to make it a little cooler. Say, by -4 degrees.

Here’s another Japanese lipstick, one from Shiseido. I forgot the name of the lipstick variety, but the color is Coral 1. It seems it isn’t being sold anymore.

Left: Here it is with +5 added to the orange levels. A logical extension.

Middle: And now with Halloween colors.

Right: Last, my boldest lipstick, Maybelline Color Sensational (Ruby For Me)

Left: With +5, it appears more coral, and a bit brighter.

Right: -4 has the most spectacular effect, though. It reminds me of black cherries.

Special thanks to the makeup removing wipes that made it all possible, Makeup Remover Perfect Cleansing Cotton.

Overall Thoughts

While I wish I knew exactly what the Multi Flora™ is and what it does, I have faith that the lactic acid bacteria in it can only help my skin. The colors of the treatments I bought are strong and long-lasting. When applied over lipstick, it doesn’t overpower the other colors. It spreads easily as well but is viscous enough to have some staying power. I recommend it for those interested in their lip products having a medicinal effect as well as an aesthetic one.

You can explore UZ collection from here!

To find out more, visit our websites and explore our Blog more!

 

Lauren Goff

Lauren is a writer who spent two years teaching English in Japan and is curious about skincare products. Though she lives in America now, she is still in love with Tohoku. Her short stories and essays can be found in The Vortex Magazine of Literature and Art and Cirsova.

 

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