If you love the idea of fuller, plumper lips and a perfect pout, then lip fillers could be the ideal cosmetic treatment for you. Without further ado, let's dive right in. Read our comprehensive guide on lip injections to find out everything you need to know, including how long they last, what they cost, and more.
What are lip injections?
Lip injections or lip fillers are a cosmetic procedure that is performed to increase the volume and refine the shape of the lips. Also known as lip enhancement or lip augmentation, it is a quick office-based treatment that can add volume. Patients who wish to increase the plumpness and fullness to their lips or balance the shape choose this procedure.
Lip injections are highly customizable. Meaning, an aesthetic provider (a board certified plastic surgeon, cosmetic surgeon, dermatologist, or licensed aesthetician) can work with you to create the look you desire - this can be either a head-turning dramatic change, perfect for those Instagram selfies, or a more subtle lip injection that enhances without being too obvious. Whatever route you choose to go for plumper lips, fillers can give you natural-looking results.
What's the difference between lip pluming, lip fillers, and lip injections?
Lip plumping refers to cosmetic products that make the lips appear fuller by increasing blood flow on a temporary basis. These products typically contain substances like mint, capsaicin, bee venom, or cinnamon oil.
Lip fillers refers to treatment with dermal fillers in the lip area. There are various kinds of dermal fillers, the most common being hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm and Restylane. The terms lip filler and lip injection is often used interchangeably.
Is there a difference between lip injections and lip flip?
A lip flip is a cosmetic procedure in which a small amount of Botox or Dysport is injected near the lips to relax the muscles. Botox is the substance that is used to treat wrinkles on the forehead and near the corners of the eyes. It causes the lip to protrude out or "flip," giving the mouth a poutier appearance. Lip injections involve injection of FDA approved dermal fillers to add volume to the lips.
A lip flip is appropriate if you have thin lips and want to naturally enhance their shape or address a gummy smile. Lip fillers, on the other hand, are suitable for volume enhancement or a poutier mouth. Fillers involve placing a substance in the lips to add volume. The substance can be something like hyaluronic acid that is naturally found in the body or something synthetic.
What are the different types of lip fillers?
If you decide to go in for lip augmentation with lip fillers, one of the key things you will need to decide is the type of filler used. Many different types of fillers are used to enhance the lips, including hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, and Perlane; collagen fillers like Bellafill and Sculptra; and synthetic calcium hydroxyapatite fillers like Radiesse. Keep in mind that besides the filler type, how much filler (or the amount of filler) will also determine your results.
What is the best injectable for lips?
Juvederm and Restylane fillers are two of the most popular and commonly used fillers. However, there are various types within each family. They are all made of hyaluronic acid, but each filler is designed for a different purpose. For example, Juvederm Ultra XC is ideal for people who want a more dramatic increase in volume. Those who want more subtle changes in their lips may choose Juvederm Volbella. Your aesthetic provider can discuss your goals with you and help you decide on the best lip filler.
Are hyaluronic acid fillers the most natural lip filler?
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance found in the body. It can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. HA fillers are some of the best injectables for lips because they hydrate the skin and make it appear smoother and more supple. Hyaluronic acid is also preferred for its natural-looking results and its ability to dissolve over time.
Keep in mind that a large part of getting a natural result has to do with your provider's skill in using the correct amount of filler and placing the product strategically, rather than the type of lip filler used. The MeTime app can help you find experts in lip fillers who will assess the symmetry and overall shape of your lips and place the filler accordingly for the most natural results. It may also be helpful to gradually add filler over time so that it doesn't look unnatural.
How long do lip injections last?
It's impossible to predict how long lip fillers will last in any given individual. Various factors, including the type of lip filler product used and the desired plumpness will determine the longevity of the results. In general, fillers can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Most people need a top-up every 6-9 months, but some can go longer.
How can you make lip injections last longer?
Temporary fillers last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, as noted. You cannot do much to make them last beyond this timeframe. However, your lip fillers will last longer if you keep all your top-up appointments. This is because your lips retain some filler every time you get them done - so the more times you go in for lip injections the longer you can go between appointments. Also, ask your doctor about the types of fillers that last longest if this is something that's important to you. Besides this, you can maximize your results by following your doctor's aftercare advice, using sunscreen to protect your skin, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and minimizing stress.
Do lip fillers stretch your lips?
Many people are wary of lip fillers because they imagine that once the filler dissolves their lips will look like deflated bags of skin. However, the truth is that fillers don't permanently stretch the lips. If anything, they can leave your lips looking a little tighter by stimulating collagen production in the area.
Will my lip filler dissolve naturally?
Hyaluronic acid fillers dissolve naturally within a few months. That's why you need to come back for top-up treatments to keep your results. How long the filler takes to dissolve depends on the type. It usually ranges from six months to two years. Some semi-permanent and permanent fillers can last up to 5 years.
Do lip injections hurt?
Many commonly used lip filler products are pre-mixed with lidocaine (a local anesthetic or numbing medicine). Your plastic surgery provider can additionally numb the area with a topical numbing cream or nerve block for added comfort. With the treatment area appropriately numbed, getting lip injections is easily tolerated. Most patients describe it like a pressure, dull throbbing, or slight pricking sensation.
What can you expect during post-filler recovery?
There can be mild bruising and swelling immediately after your lip filler treatment. Most of the swelling and bruising will be gone in 2 days and it should be completely resolved in 7-10 days. That's why you should not plan to get the injection within 2 weeks of a big occasion.
What are the possible side effects of lip injections?
Lip injections involve needles. Therefore, bruising and swelling are common side effects. These are temporary and resolve within one to two weeks after the procedure. The lips can feel slightly lumpy initially while the filler settles into place. Rarely, lip filler treatment can lead to the formation of inflammatory nodules - this can occur months or even years after the procedure. Serious complications of the treatments include the filler blocking an important blood vessel and leading to ulceration or scarring. In very rare instances, the procedure can cause blindness. The chances of these severe side effects occurring are extremely low. You can reduce your risk of lip filler side effects and complications by choosing a qualified, experienced medical professional.
Are lip fillers bad for you? Are they dangerous?
Lip injections are safe, provided they are performed by a qualified professional. Safe injection of lip fillers requires an in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy (you don't want to nick a blood vessel or a nerve). Therefore, to avoid a botched lip job, it's important to choose a board certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or cosmetic surgeon for your lip injections.
What should you not do before and after lip injections?
At the time of your consultation, be sure to give your doctor a list of all your current medications, including over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements. Some medicines, such as blood thinners, make you more prone to bruising and bleeding. You may also need to be temporarily stop medications like vitamin E, aspirin, ibuprofen, and fish oil before filler treatment for lips. If you have a history of cold sores, your doctor may give you preventive medicine to reduce the risk of a flare-up.
After your lip injections, plan on staying away from the gym for 24-48 hours. Also avoid saunas and hot tubs or any activities that increase blood flow to the face, such as doing headstands in yoga or getting a facial massage. These activities can worsen the redness and swelling. Using an ice pack and drinking plenty of water will help the redness and swelling disappear faster.
How can you do lip enhancement at home?
Does a needle make you queasy? There are other ways to get fuller lips. Besides using makeup tricks such as a lip liner, you can use a lip plumping product to temporarily pump up your lips. These products contain hyaluronic acid, peppermint, mint, and other such substances. The results are not the same as lip fillers but the risks are lower and the results more temporary.
What should you do if you don't like your lip filler results?
If you have got a hyaluronic acid lip filler (Juvederm or Restylane Silk), it will dissolve naturally in a few months. If you don't like the results at all, your doctor can inject an enzyme called hyaluronidase to break up the HA filler and speed up the rate at which it dissolves. The reversal is almost instant, although it can take a few days for the swelling to go down.
How much do lip fillers cost on average?
Lip fillers don't come cheap. Expect to be set back anywhere from $500 to $2,000. Remember, you'll need to go back for repeat lip filler injections every 6-9 months if you want to keep your lips looking their pouty best, which will add to the cost. The exact cost of your lip enhancement will depend on the type of filler, the amount of filler, and also where you live.
How many filler syringes do you need for lips?
For most people, one syringe is enough for all-around lip enhancement while maintaining a natural look. More than one syringe is unusual, especially if it's the first time you are there to get lip treatment. The key is gradual plumping of the lips - so your doctor may use half a syringe and have you come back for the other half a week or two later.
Ready to choose a provider for lip fillers?
The MeTime app makes it easy to find providers for lip injections in your area. You can chat with experts, send photos across, set up a video consult, and book your appointment when you're ready for the treatment. Download the MeTime app today and prepare to show off your pouty smile on Instagram!