Fillers, Flips, and Lasers: Everything You Need To Know About Lip Treatments

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Have you ever wished that your lips were just a little bit fuller or smoother? You’re in luck. An aesthetic provider can help you get the look you want with a safe, quick, in-office procedure. In the U.S. alone, providers perform millions of lip treatments each year.

To get the skinny on full, gorgeous lips, we turned to SkinSpirit’s Director of Medical and Aesthetic Services, Cara Fonteyne. As a healthcare professional and skincare expert for over 15 years, Cara’s an expert on treatments like BOTOX® and filler. Read on for Cara’s insights about three of SkinSpirit’s most popular lip treatments: lip filler, lip flips, and laser resurfacing.

Everything you need to know about lip filler

If you’ve only ever seen or heard of one type of lip treatment, it’s probably lip filler, also called dermal filler. It’s a wildly popular treatment for adding a little—or a lot—of volume to lips.

“Don’t think of fillers as just for plumping, they can create a smoother, more hydrated appearance as well,” Cara explains.

What happens during and after a lip filler treatment?

Before and after lip treatment

After reviewing your questions and needs, along with the possible side effects, your provider will use a small syringe to inject your lips with filler. It’s a quick office procedure with no “downtime.”

Most people will have injection site swelling after filler injections, which typically goes away after 24-48 hours. Minor bruising is also possible. It’s best to avoid strenuous exercise for about 24 hours after your filler appointment, as well as hot environments like saunas, steam rooms, and heated yoga.

If you’re getting lip filler for the first time, or you’re concerned about the swelling, don’t book an appointment the same day as a big event. A 48-hour buffer is your friend. It usually takes about four weeks for lip filler to completely settle and achieve the look you were going for.

How long does lip filler last?

Sadly, this isn’t a one-and-done procedure. Every client is different, but most people find their lip fillers last about six months, or even up to a year.

Is lip filler reversible?

Hyaluronic-acid based lip fillers like JUVÉDERM VOLBELLA® XC or Restylane® Lyft are reversible. Providers can use an enzyme called hyaluronidase to remove hyaluronic acid if you change your mind.

What is a lip flip?

Unlike lip fillers, which achieve smoother, fuller lips using dermal filler, a lip flip uses neuromodulators like BOTOX to relax a muscle in the upper lip, causing the lip to "flip" and giving the appearance of a fuller upper lip.

Toxins like BOTOX® can be used to help relax the underlying muscle that sometimes becomes a little too tight as we age, creating a thinner lip,” Cara says. “BOTOX can relax the underlying muscle to help create a little more lip to ‘show’ without changing the volume of the lip.”

What happens during and after a lip flip treatment?

before and after a lip flip treatment

To relax the orbicularis oris muscle, which helps form and shape the top lip, a provider injects BOTOX® above the lip.

While you can get back to your daily life right away following a lip flip, some people may experience temporary light bleeding at the injection site, which should subside after a few minutes after the treatment. We recommend avoiding strenuous exercise and rubbing the injection site, because it could cause the Botox® to spread.

Most people notice results within a few days. It takes about 10-14 days for the full results to be apparent, so keep that in mind when scheduling your appointment..

How long does a lip flip last?

Results will vary, but a lip flip will probably last about 2-3 months.

Is a lip flip reversible?

A lip flip isn’t reversible, per se, but it is temporary.

What is a laser lip treatment?

Like any other kind of laser resurfacing, lip resurfacing uses a laser to improve your lips’ appearance or treat minor flaws.

“We can use resurfacing lasers to help rejuvenate the lip and smooth out the texture,” Cara says. “Fotona® and Halo® are good choices for this.”

What kinds of lasers are used?

A provider could use either an ablative laser, a non-ablative laser, or both for laser resurfacing. Both are fractional lasers, which basically means it’s very precise. At SkinSpirit, our equipment can vary depending on your location so please give us a call for more information!

What happens during and after a laser lip treatment?

During a treatment, an ablative laser removes a thin outer layer of skin, called the epidermis, and heats the underlying skin to stimulate collagen production. As the epidermis heals and regrows, the treated area appears smoother and tighter.

A nonablative laser can also stimulate collagen growth. It has a shorter recovery time, but the results are less noticeable.

Insider Tip: “Always make sure to let your provider know if you have had permanent make up done in the area, as lasers can alter the result of the tattoo,” Cara warns.

You should expect some peeling on the laser-treated areas. This can vary for each individual but generally plan for about 5-7 days of “downtime” for peeling. The post-treatment peak kicks in about 2-3 months after the treatment.

Are laser lip treatments permanent?

Kind of. The results aren’t reversible, but time catches up with all of us. As you age, you may see some similar issues crop up again. That said, it is considered a long-lasting treatment. (Think years, not months.) We recommend maintenance treatments to keep your very best results. Your provider will be happy to put together a custom treatment plan during your consultation.

Lip Filler vs. Lip Flip vs. Laser Resurfacing

Ready for a quick review of your lip options? Check out this side-by-side comparison.

LIP FILLERLIP FLIPLASER RESURFACINGWhat it doesAdds volumeGives form and shape to the top lipStimulates collagen production and smooths the lipsType of treatmentDermal FillerBOTOX®LasersDowntime~ 2 daysNone5-7 daysExpected ResultsFuller, smoother lipsGives the appearance of a fuller upper lipRejuvenates the lip and smooths textureHow long to achieve results4 weeks10-14 days2-3 months

The answer is on your lips: schedule a free consultation at SkinSpirit

“Lips age just like everything else and can experience texture changes and thinning as we age,” Cara says. If you’re curious about what a lip treatment could do for you, schedule a free consultation with one of our experts.

And before and after your glow-up, don’t forget the SPF. “Always use sunblock, sunblock, sunblock,” Cara says “Even on your lips!“