The increase in popularity of non-surgical lip plumping is on the rise and has been since 2000. At one point, the most commonly seen patients for this cosmetic treatment were women age 65 and over. Now doctors are seeing patients as young as late teens who are requesting this cosmetic treatment.
The rise of lip injection procedures has undoubtedly been the effect of many iconic celebrities choosing to plump up. It was Kylie Jenner who has started to make the craze popular when she “confessed” that she was getting lip treatments. Now the lip treatment isn’t as taboo as it once was. It has since drastically increased in popularity, so much so that the procedure is performed every 20 minutes!
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ (ASPS) reported that there was a doubling in the number of lip augmentations between 2000 and 2016.
Lip augmentation has made vast improvements in its efficacy and the overall experience. Women can now get a quick lip fix during their lunch break as it only takes about 30 minutes for the appointment.
Are you in the market to make your pucker plumper?
There is a lot to know before you go, and it is best to have at least a little information about the procedure and the products that are used so you know what to ask for and what to expect.
Let’s get started on the Complete Guide for Non-surgical Lip Plumping.
What you can expect in this guide:
- What is the purpose and why get lip injections?
- Popular lip fillers and what you need to know about them
- What are injectables and how are they different than lip fillers?
- The difference between Botox and dermal fillers
- Non-surgical facelifts treatments – because other areas of the face need some volume too
- Tips to achieve the best-desired outcome
- Is non-surgical lip plumping right for me?
1. What is the purpose and why get lip injections?
As women age, a lot of changes occur within their physical appearance. Keeping up the youthful glow gets harder as the years go on. Not only does gravity take effect, but with the decrease in the production of hormones, skin tends to dry out as moisture retention decreases, collagen is reduced, the skin is less elastic, and fat starts to store differently on the body.
Yes, very unpleasant and can have quite an effect on women’s self-esteem.
Also keep in mind that other factors will deplete the skin of moisture and increase the aging process such as sun exposure, pollution, poor diet, and tobacco use.
So, as we talk about the effects of aging and other age-increasing elements, the face tends to show the damage quite vividly. It becomes difficult to “put your best face forward” when its youthfulness is ceasing with sagging skin, volume loss, jowls, double chin, loose skin that hides the eyes, lines on the face and around the mouth, and yes – thinning lips!
Surgery may have been the only option back in the day to have the skin re-stretched and sewn back in place which sounds gruesome. Thankfully, there have been many aesthetic advancements to reduce the look of problem areas by restoring what has been lost or filling the area with safe alternatives to restore the collapsed skin.
Not just an anti-aging treatment anymore…
As mentioned previously, late teens are also sitting in the medical aesthetician’s chair awaiting the needle – they certainly do not have wrinkles or thinning lips yet, but their favorite celebrity makes this procedure very attractive to them so they, in turn, will also feel more attractive. It used to be highlights and nose rings, but plumping has become the new way to primp.
Read on! We’ll discuss what exactly is getting pumped in to fill out the lacking areas of the face and lips.
2. Popular lip fillers and what you need to know about them
Pump it up, baby! Dermal fillers are used to restore the volume that was lost in the lower face including the lips and to fill in the lines around the lips, nose, and mouth as well as to give volume to the cheeks.
There are a couple of natural options available for lip fillers.
The Collagen Lip Treatment
Collagen is naturally produced by the body and is found in the skin’s tissue. It is a helpful substance for lubricating joints. This is a natural option for a lip filler to increase volume in thin lips. The collagen lip treatment has lost its popularity as its effects do not last as long as the other well-known products that are on the market.
Hyaluronic Acid Lip Fillers
The products Juvederm and Restylane are often used in medical aesthetic practices, as well as many other popular brands. These products contain hyaluronic acid, a substance that is commonly found in many facial cosmetic products and is also naturally produced by the body. The body produces hyaluronic acid to retain water in the skin, tissues, and eyes to keep them lubricated and moist.
The decrease of these naturally occurring substances is due to the previously mentioned factors of aging, diet, tobacco use, pollution and sun exposure.
Lip Fillers Purpose
Dermal lip fillers are injected under the skin at the site that needs the volume and plumping. This provides fuller lips with increased volume as well as structure and shape. There is added definition to the look of the face as well, which brings back a youthful appearance that was lost with the decrease in volume.
The effects of lip fillers will remain prominent for around six months before another treatment may be desired to achieve the same look.
Facial Filler Side Effects
As with any cosmetic procedure and alteration to your biology, there are risks of reaction and side effects. Be well prepared before you consider calling to schedule your assessment by reviewing the following.
Typically, side effects that are experienced due to a dermal lip filler treatment should be temporary and clear up in a few days.
Side effects that may be experienced at the site of the injection could be swelling, bruising, bleeding, tenderness or redness.
Other serious side effects that may be experienced:
- Lumps in the lips
- Different sized lips
- Continued swelling or bruising
- Tissue loss due to an injection site into a blood vessel
- The feeling of a stiff lip
- Scarring on the lip
- An allergic reaction that may cause itching, swelling, redness, or inflammation around the lips
If any of these more serious side effects are experienced, making another trip to your aesthetician who performed the procedure would be ideal to receive further instruction or correction if needed.
How Much Are Face Fillers?
Considering that lip fillers are gaining popularity so quickly, the assumption is that this cosmetic procedure would be affordable. Let’s take a look at what the contributing factors would be for the cost of lip plumping treatments.
A few things to consider…
- Your personal preferences and your medical aesthetician’s recommendation for the number of treatments would play a role in the overall cost of the treatment.
- The area in which you live and the experience and clientele of the aesthetician can play a factor in the cost. Higher-end cities, such as New York City, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Scottsdale, etc. the prices may be higher than in more lesser-known or affluent communities.
- Aestheticians with a high-profile clientele list also tend to charge more because they can…
- The products used will also affect the overall cost. Some products are more expensive than others. It will depend on your aesthetician’s preference for the product. It’s also OK to ask why she or he prefers this product over others.
- These all play a role in what the final cost of lip filler treatment may cost, and there are typically more than one to achieve the desired look.
- Also, keep in mind, the aesthetician will want to schedule an initial assessment with you to review your needs, health history and provide the best treatment plan for you before the treatments begin. And, because this is for cosmetic purposes, insurance is most likely not going to cover any costs.
With this said, an overall cost of lip filler treatments can cost between $500-$2,000.
3. What are injectables and how are they different than lip fillers?
An injectable cosmetic procedure using the more well-known product Botox, as well as some other brand products like Dysport and Xeomin, is used to decrease the appearance of wrinkles on the face. Botox injections are the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure to be conducted with over 6 million treatments being performed each year.
Is Botox Safe?
Botox was the first of its kind to be approved by the FDA and trusted by aestheticians to be effective at treating fine lines and wrinkles, thus how it became to be the more eminent product name.
Botox is a derivative of an organism that is harvested from the natural environment, including soil and lakes. It is created to make a compound called Clostridium botulinum, which is non-toxic, safe and effective for cosmetic and other medical treatments.
What’s actually happening when Botox is injected?
When used as an injectable for cosmetic purposes, the Botox functions to temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles by paralyzing specific muscles in the facial structure that are the real cause of the wrinkles. What’s happening is that the facial muscles are contracting which are creating the wrinkles.
A few variables are at play. Along with the factors that cause aging, such as loss of bone density, fat, elastin and collagen, the skin becomes looser on the face. With contracting facial muscles, folds in the skin start to appear, causing creases and wrinkles.
Botox is classified as a neuromodulator, meaning the product is modulating or controlling the nerves in the area where it was injected. It prevents signals from the nerve cells from reaching the muscles, disabling their function to contract thus preventing the wrinkles from forming.
What to Expect with a Botox Treatment
There are five spots on the face that are prone to getting wrinkles:
- Forehead: The forehead has the largest surface area to work on and tend to require more injections, which could be up to 12.
- Eyebrows: For a slight brow lift, 1-2 injections should do it
- Outer Corner of the Eyes: Three or 4 injections will help to decrease the appearance of crow’s feet
- Between the Eyebrows: The wrinkles in this area create what looks like the number “11”, 3-5 injections should help to minimize these wrinkles.
- Lips: People will get Botox injected into their lips to achieve a fuller appearance and to decrease the fine lines that form around this area as well. Two to 4 injections are recommended for a subtle and natural-looking lip plump.
Botox injection appointments typically last no more than 30 minutes and results start to take effect within 48 hours with the full effect complete within 7 days. Minimal pain is typical with some bruising and brief bleeding.
A word to the wise if we may…
Please keep in mind that Botox is not a miracle solution for drastically and quickly reducing years of aging. Your natural beauty is going through the natural aging process. With that said, to prevent the “over-done, definitely-had-some-work-done” look, do not overdo the Botox treatments. Stay within the recommendations of a trusted medical aesthetician to attain the natural younger look.
To ensure you are in the hands of a trusted medical aesthetician refer to other patients for reference. Look up the number of years in practice, credentials and reviews.
To see some great, natural-looking results for Botox treatments, take a look at these injectable before and after photos.
Other Brands of Injectables
Where Botox has been on the market for over 20 years, there are some newer products that you may or may not have heard of. Both these products are made of the same active ingredient found in Botox and are also neuromodulating prescription products. Here’s some more info on these other lip injection options:
This Botox competitor received its FDA approval in 2009. The debate is still out if the results of Dysport last as long as a Botox treatment, which is 3-6 months. A noticeable difference is that Dysport takes a shorter period of time to take effect after the treatment is performed. Dysport may take 2-5 days to see results where Botox may take up to 7 days.
FDA approved in 2010, this lip plumping product is marketed as having no additives which decreases the risk of the body creating antibodies to fight off what is recognized as foreign invaders in the body. The product also does not need to be refrigerated which makes its distribution much easier to resellers and medical aestheticians.
In comparison to Botox and Dysport, it has the same efficacy with the same time frame to see results.
Discuss your options with your medical aesthetician to get his or her opinion on the products. Ask around to a few different facilities to see what they use and why to help you determine which product you would like to use to plump your lips.
Now that you’ve learned about lip and dermal fillers and Botox injectables. Let’s take a look at what sets them apart from each other.
4. The difference between Botox and dermal fillers
Botox and dermal fillers are used to both achieve that non-surgical facelift that is desired by so many. The minimally invasive procedure opposed to an actual facelift, which is under the knife and anesthesia, is much less traumatic to the facial area, requires much less recovery time, is very quick and convenient, and much less expensive.
As a recap, Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are used to manipulate the cause of the wrinkles, which is the contracting of muscles that create the etched lines on the face, also known as expression lines.
Dermal and lip fillers use hyaluronic acid, which is naturally produced by the body but its production decreases with age. Hyaluronic acid retains moisture and is effective in increasing elastin and volume to the injection site.
To achieve a lasting, desired look of decreased wrinkles and more volume, injectables and fillers are often used together as recommended by the medical aesthetician.
Injectable treatments typically last between 3-6 months before wrinkles start to reappear. Though, with consecutive treatments, the visibility of the lines will soon decrease since the muscles are also decreasing in size due to not being used.
Lip filler treatments could last between 6 months to 2 years depending on the type of filler used. Products used for lip filler treatments include:
- Juvederm Vollure – used to smooth lines around the mouth and lasts around 18 months
- Juvederm Volbella – a lip filler to add volume and to contour the lips, as well as to smooth the vertical lines that can appear around the lips
- Juvederm Ultra XC – a thinner gel to plump lips and reduce lines, lidocaine can be used or not per the patient’s preference
- Juvederm Ultra Plus XC – a thinker gel with lidocaine to reduce pain, it is used to volumize the lips and reduce lines
- Restylane-L, Restylane Defyne, and Restylane Refyne are often used to lip the lips and fill deep lines around the mouth
There are many products to perform the desired look you are wanting to achieve. Your medical aesthetician will review your health history and your desired outcome for the appointment to recommend the best treatment option, injectable treatments, dermal fillers, or a combination of both.
The biggest factors you may consider to help you make the best choice would be price, the number of treatments and your choice of product to be injected.
5. Other non-surgical facelift treatments to help put your best face forward
Lips may not be the only area that could benefit from a little boost to give you the youthful look you desire and the confidence you would like to restore. The aging process indeed affects every person differently. Wrinkles, fat storage and loss of volume can play a role in decreasing the youthful appearance you once had.
Kybella treatments to dissolve fat under the chin
Kybella is an effective treatment to help diminish the appearance of the extra fat that can get stored under the chin. This is more commonly known as the “double-chin, where excess fat in this area gives the appearance of two chins. The double chin is often joked about, but in reality, it causes much embarrassment and self-consciousness.
If you are feeling this way about your appearance and have noticed that the area under your chin has seemed to take on a mind of its own, you are not alone. Read this one blogger’s experience with her “doubling chin” and her journey with Kybella treatments.
There are a few reasons why someone may have excess fat under the chin:
- Carrying excess weight may place fat in this area
- Genes can play a role as to where your body decides to store fat
- And of course, aging can result in a layer of looser skin that can no longer hold as tight and firm as it used to
Some may be tempted to try liposuction with a nip and tuck to return to their original single-chin appearance, but there is a less intrusive, less expensive treatment option with much less recovery time.
What is Kybella and how does it work?
Kybella is the only FDA approved non-surgical treatment to reduce the excess fat under the chin. It is made of deoxycholic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. Kybella is administered through injections to the sagging skin area of the chin to destroy fat cells so they can no longer store fat. This sounds pretty promising and like an answer to many who are searching for an effective method to get rid of this issue.
Sound too good to be true? Here are the next steps to take to see if Kybella is for you
If this is an answer to your prayers, then it is recommended to call a medical aesthetician to schedule a consultation to see if this treatment would be right for you. A proper health assessment should be given to ensure that you are in good health to receive this treatment without the risk of an adverse reaction. Every injectable treatment requires this protocol to make sure the patient will tolerate the substance being injected and be a good candidate to receive favorable results.
What to expect with a Kybella treatment
Unlike the liposuction, nip and tuck option, a Kybella treatment will take only 15 to 20 minutes, no anesthesia required.
With Kybella injections, patients should expect to experience a burning sensation where it was injected. Kybella side effects include swelling and a feeling of fullness in the chin area for a few days after the treatment. It is advised to give yourself adequate time to heal and for the swelling to subside before attending any social events. Meaning, you get to chill out for a few days!
To experience its full effects and benefits, 2-6 treatments may be required though once the desired goal has been achieved and you are happy with your single-chin, further treatment should not be needed.
For patients with double chin and excess loose skin, a Nova Thread Lift that can help lift excess skin and build collagen.
You may ask, once the fat dissolves, what happens to the loose skin that was holding that fat? That is a good question! The answer is the Nova Thread Lift, used to help lift the excess skin and to rebuild the lost collagen in the sagging skin.
Collagen stimulators for an effective, facelift from within
The next two products work similarly offering effective techniques to give your face a rejuvenated look. The methods discussed here are known as collagen-stimulating treatments that activate the restoration of collagen beneath the skin. These treatments will nicely compliment the benefits of lip injections to help recreate the youthful appearance you feel needs to be brought back to life.
An instant facelift with the thread-lift technique
If you’re still looking for the nip and tuck without the surgery procedure and recovery, the Nova Thread lift provides the perfect solution. Nova Thread is made of synthetic, absorbable polydioxanone (PDO) sutures, the same material used in cardiothoracic surgical procedures. What is great about this material is that it is very safe to be implanted in the body, which will reabsorb completely over 4 to 6 months without leaving any scarring once healed.
Another popular thread-lift product that is available is known as the Silhouette InstaLift, which is comparable to the Nova Thread technique as well.
Both procedures accomplish the same result:
The thread procedure is used to stimulate inflammation which increases the production of collagen as the skin and tissue are responding to the natural healing protocol. The skin and tissue in the area where the thread was placed also start to increase in strength and structure. With the restructuring and strengthening of the skin, the instant facelift is accomplished.
Sculptra, a facelift with a gradual, natural, and longer-lasting results
The active ingredient in Sculptra is poly-L-lactic acid, which is also known as a collagen stimulator. A collagen-stimulating treatment is designed to restore lost collagen in the face to regain volume.
As discussed previously, Juvederm and Restylane are other dermal fillers that use hyaluronic acid gels to fill wrinkles. These treatments work very fast though also require more treatments as their effectiveness eventually subsides after 3-6 months.
Sculptra is made from poly-L-lactic acid, which is a synthetic material used in dissolvable stitches and soft tissue implants. As a collagen-stimulating treatment, Sculptra works deep within the skin to promote collagen production which increases the skin’s inner structure to restore volume.
Sculptra does not provide the same instant results that are achieved with Juvederm and Restylane treatments. Sculptra is a more natural approach using the body’s healing process, so the results take a little longer to obtain. Though, once the desired facelift has been achieved, the results last much longer than hyaluronic acid fillers, as long as 25 months has been reported.
How to use Sculptra
Sculptra is administered by a qualified and trained aesthetician in the most common areas of the cheeks and temples, and to reduce lines on the face and wrinkles around the nose and mouth.
Other ways patients have benefited from Sculptra is to have the product administered to reduce acne scarring, to reduce the appearance of cellulite around the buttocks and thighs, while adding a boost to the buttock area.
The recommended approach to receiving Sculptra is to have approximately three treatments one month apart from each other.
So many options, how to choose?
Many medical aestheticians offer these treatments and may recommend a combination of a couple of them for their patients to achieve the best outcome. The practitioner needs to conduct a health assessment to see what treatments will be tolerated and medically safe for the patient. Then, the most effective treatment plan for the client will be determined to obtain the most desired result as requested.
6. Tips to achieve the best-desired outcome
There is a lot of time, effort, and money that can be involved in the best and proper lip injection treatment and other aesthetic procedures. No doubt, you want the best outcome with little to no reactions, as little recovery time as possible, and, of course, amazing results.
Read on for some great tips to help you accomplish the ideal lip injection, dermal filler or non-surgical facelift results.
Finding the best aesthetician for the job
This should be a priority when looking for the right aesthetician to perform your lip injections or facelift treatments. Research medical aestheticians before calling the number for the cheapest one that pops up on Google.
- Choosing an aesthetic MD, an aesthetician with a medical background and schooling would be ideal. Injecting needles into the face without knowing the anatomy can have some detrimental effects. If the product is injected into a blood vessel opposed to the layer of skin intended, then there is a risk for deformation and scarring.
- Read reviews from other patients and look at before and after photos to see if others’ look the way you are hoping – natural and youthful.
- Have a consultation with your top two or three choices. This will help you to get the vibe and feel of the office, staff, equipment, and products.
- It is also very important that the aesthetician completes a health assessment before any procedure. The worst thing would be to have a reaction to the treatment, which can be quite uncomfortable. The purpose of a health assessment is to try to avoid, as much as possible, any occurrence of a reaction.
Take the advice from your trusted aesthetician
After you have researched and found the best aesthetician for lip injections and other dermal filler treatments, follow the treatment plan that has been laid out for you. Some get overzealous and think a one-and-done deal is best with a heavy injection. Take it slow and go with the recommended number of treatments to get the best results possible. The goal is to look as natural without the “just got work done” look. Going from thin lips to Kim Kardashian lips overnight will turn heads, but probably not for the reason you want.
Avoid these before your lip injection appointment
Your aesthetic MD will most likely give you a list of do’s and don’ts before the treatment. One sheet that is highly advised to not overlook is the medications and supplements to avoid at least a week before your appointment.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Advil, Aleve, Excedrin, Motrin, etc.
- Fish oil
- Vitamin E
You may have seen a similar list if you’ve ever had a medical procedure performed. The reason is that these medications cause the thinning of your blood and can make you more susceptible to bleeding and bruising. Caffeine and alcohol also have similar effects and are best to avoid these at least 24-hours before and after the appointment to reduce swelling.
Say no to the numbing cream…if you can
To help ease the discomfort of needles being injected into the sensitive areas of your face and lips, your aesthetician will most likely apply a topical numbing cream. Be aware that numbing creams may cause excess swelling, burning, and redness which may alter the initial appearance of the lip filler or dermal filler treatment, though this will subside. Just a word of caution.
Look at the bigger picture in the mirror
With the help of the trained eye of the aesthetician, looking at your whole face as you plan to increase the volume in one or more areas may cause a different look than you are expecting. Balance and proportion will be key when deciding which procedure to do and how much volume to add. Increasing the volume in one area may cause other areas to look disproportionate.
Commit to following the recovery procedure guidelines
Life is busy and hectic, but to get the best out of the aesthetic treatment, take the proper steps that are recommended to assist in a speedy and proper recovery process.
With all of this information covered, there is a lot to consider about the best product and treatment for your lip plumping. Next, we hit the big question…
7. Is non-surgical lip plumping right for me?
As listed in this article, there are many things to consider before receiving any medical aesthetic treatment. Lip augmentations are increasing in popularity and the products have advanced to make for quicker procedures and recovery time.
Let’s recap your options:
Juvederm and Restylane dermal fillers
- Made from hyaluronic acid – a naturally occurring substance found in our bodies
- How it works – it is used to retain water in the skin and increase moisture to boost volume
- Cost range – $500-$2,000 to achieve desired results based on the number of treatments needed
- Typical appointment time – 30-45 minutes
- Typical side effects – bleeding, bruising and swelling, which may last up to two weeks
- Results – last between 6 months to up to 2 years
- Made from clostridium botulinum – created from an organism derived from soil
- How it works – it temporarily paralyzes the muscles in the face to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and for fuller-looking lips
- Cost range – is usually determined by the medical aesthetician administering the product. Some price it out per unit injected which will be determined by how many lip injections are needed for the desired result. A ballpark price range could be $10-$15 per unit or $200-$300 per treatment.
- Typical appointment time – no more than 30 minutes
- Typical side effects – minimal pain with some bruising and bleeding
- Results – seen as soon as 48 hours with full effects seen by day 7, and last for 3-6 months before another treatment would be needed.
Other similar injections to consider:
Dysport: similar results as compared to Botox though may have a decreased time to see results, 2-5 days opposed to 7 days with Botox.
Xeomin: the benefit of this product is that there are fewer additives that decrease the chances of reactions with the body. It provides similar results as Botox and Dysport.
For lip injections and fillers, plus any other facial aesthetic treatments you choose to combine, consider the risk of side effects and recovery time. Do your research to find a trained, licensed and credible medical aesthetician. The aesthetic MD will help to answer all of your questions and guide you in the right direction for the treatment that is best for you.
Enhancing your beauty from the inside out
Prescott Medical Aesthetics is all about patient education and wants to inform those interested in enhancing their appearance with medical-grade and natural techniques.
There is nothing better than feeling good about yourself and restoring the youth that you once had.
Learn more about the many techniques and treatments Dr. Kim Harris, a medical aesthetician, offers at her practice. She is available for consultations and assessments and would love to answer any of your questions.