Are you unhappy with the shape or thinness of your lips? Good news – enhancing your lips to that perfect shape is easier than ever thanks to some new lip injection innovations (whether you’re a man or a woman). One of the newest, most exciting options to enhance your lips today is the Botox lip flip.
But what is a lip flip, and how does it hold up in comparison to the traditional reliable option of lip filler? In this blog post, we will break down the lip flip vs filler debate so you can make the most informed lip treatment choice possible.
What is a Lip Flip?
A Botox lip flip is a quick and easy alternative to lip fillers for achieving a more lush and everted pout. The procedure is called a Botox lip flip because it makes the inner part of your upper lip “flip” up, making it appear more voluminous. In a lip flip procedure, a patient is injects a small amount of Botox (or other neuromodulators) into the upper lip, “flipping” the lip up to improve fullness and symmetry.
A lip flip can also help prevent long-term formation of lip line wrinkles and also helps to curb excess sweat production around the lips. Lip flip treatments are minimally invasive, meaning they require little to no downtime and are a more affordable option than surgery and fillers. Though lip flips are more helpful for achieving lip symmetry and exposing more of the lip, they don’t add much volume or size in comparison to lip fillers. Here is a video of Dr. Soleiman explaining this point in more detail:
Your injector will typically administer the Botox at points along the edge and/or above the lip. This may or may not include injections into the Cupid’s bow (the center of the upper lip), the Vermillion Border (where the upper lip meets the skin), and the corners of the mouth. All in all, this procedure typically takes no longer than 10 minutes.
What is Lip Filler?
Lip filler is today’s most popular form of lip augmentation. Fillers work by injecting a fluid (typically hyaluronic acid) directly into the lips. When injected, hyaluronic acid filler works by attracting water and moisture to the area, adding volume and hydrating the lips at the same time.
It’s important to understand how the main ingredient in lip fillers works. Hyaluronic acid is a clear and viscous liquid that is incredibly efficient at lubricating tissue and retaining moisture. It is naturally produced by the body, most specifically in the face and the skin – and it is incredibly efficient at attracting and retaining moisture. These fillers typically last around 6 to 12 months before your body absorbs the filler material.
Dermal fillers that utilize hyaluronic acids are also simply known as hyaluronic acid fillers. Collagen used to be another type of common dermal filler ingredient, though collagen fillers are far less common than hyaluronic acid fillers in the present day.
Popular hyaluronic acid fillers for the lips include:
- Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Juvederm Volbella XC, Juvederm Vollure XC
- Restylane Kyss, Restylane-L, Restylane Silk, Restylane Defyne, Restylane Refyne
- HRA 1, HRA 2, HRA3
Though different in name, all of the fillers listed above use almost the same injection method and produce similar aesthetic results. Some fillers are thicker than others, which affects longevity. Thinner fillers typically dissolve in around 3-6 months, while thicker fillers can last as long as over a year in the lips. Read our blog about filler longevity for more specific information on these differences.
Lip Flip Pros and Cons
It’s essential to do thorough research before any cosmetic procedure. After all, this is your face we’re talking about here! Either choice of lip enhancement will come with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. So let’s break down the pros and cons of each procedure:
Lip Flip Side Effects
Luckily, lip flips typically don’t use enough Botox to carry many risks. But, as mentioned before, some minor bruising or swelling at the injection site is possible. If you do end up with a larger dose of Botox, then your lips might relax a little too much — making it difficult to purse them tightly. As a result, you might experience some…
- Difficulty exaggerating certain letters (B and P)
- Drooling during brushing teeth (as one can’t close lips tightly)
- Inability to whistle
- Trouble keeping fluids in the mouth after drinking (usually resolves after 1-2 weeks)
The good news is that these symptoms will subside with time (usually 1-2 weeks). For some (very few) people, high doses of Botox used throughout face, neck and body might add up and cause more severe reactions, like chills, headache, and fever.
While this may sound scary, these effects are extremely rare. It’s important to remember that cosmetic Botox has been FDA-approved for both safety and efficacy since 1989. We recommend that you consult a professional immediately if you experience any of these more severe reactions.
Lip Filler Pros and Cons
Lip fillers have practically put cosmetic injectables on the map, being among the most common non-surgical enhancement treatments for decades. Clearly, they’re popular for a reason. Let’s go over some of the advantages and disadvantages of hyaluronic acid lip fillers.
Lip Filler Side Effects
Any side effects from hyaluronic acid fillers are usually temporary, lasting only a few days at most. The most common side effects include:
- Bleeding from the injection sites
- Bruising and swelling
- Reactivation of cold sores on the lips or surrounding areas
- Tenderness and redness at the injection site
It should be mentioned that hyaluronic acid fillers are one of the most commonly performed medical aesthetic procedures and are very safe in the hands of an experienced injector.
Lip Flip vs Lip Filler: Comparing Costs
Cost can be a major factor in deciding on a lip enhancement procedure. Beauty is an investment, and you’ll want to consider both short-term and long-term expenses. Your wallet will thank you for reading the following information.
Lip Flip Cost
Botox lip flips tend to be cheaper upfront, but the the effects will wear off sooner than fillers. On average, a Botox lip flip will require two to ten units of Botox. According to Healthline, each unit costs about $10 to $15. As such, you can expect to pay a range of $20 to $150 for the typical lip flip.
Because the neuromodulator in lip flips will wear off after a couple of months, you should expect to undergo multiple treatments in order to maintain the effects. It’s important to keep this in mind when deciding on a lip flip.
Lip Filler Cost
Lip fillers tend to be more expensive, and costs vary depending on a variety of factors: patient needs, desired results, type of filler, city, injector, and more. In a high-cost area like Los Angeles, you can expect them to range from $600 to $1,500 per syringe.
However, fillers tend to last longer than lip flips, especially with proper care. In the long run, it may be more cost-effective to go for lip fillers instead. No matter what you choose, you can rest assured knowing that both methods are safe and effective in the hands of the right injector.
Lip Flip vs Filler: Which Procedure is Right for Me?
Many factors can contribute to what type of lip enhancement is best for you. We recommend as a first step that you consider your lip shape and the goals you have for your treatment.
If you are already satisfied with the shape and size of your lips and are primarily looking to enhance what you already have, then a Botox lip flip may be right for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a wider range of possible results, then hyaluronic lip fillers may be the better choice. A combination of both procedures can create the shape and volume you are looking for, prevent lipstick lines, and make your fillers last longer.
Lip Flip and Filler Together: Combining Both Procedures
On top of enhancing the shape and size of the lips, a lip flip also extends the longevity of any lip fillers. Plus, while a Botox lip flip can only give the illusion of larger lips, lip fillers can add actual volume. In other words, each procedure amplifies the other. As such, we recommend a combination of both procedures for the best results. A combo procedure is typically referred to as lip augmentation with filler.
A combination of both treatments is the perfect option for someone with a “disappearing” upper lip, often seen in older patients. As skin loses its collagen, the upper lip tends to fold over the teeth. A Botox lip flip can revert the lip back to its youthful position, while lip fillers can further rejuvenate the volume of the lip.
You may also want to consider a lip flip with filler if you are looking for the most control over your results. When you get a Botox lip flip with filler, you get to have more say over the shape and size of your end result.
If you are hesitant to get a combined treatment due to safety concerns, do not worry. When performed by an experienced injector, the procedures are safe and minimally invasive – both independently and when performed together.
Schedule a Consultation Today
The lip flip vs lip filler debate can go on for days – but the final decision should be based on what your specific goals are for your lips. Whether you decide to go for the more subtle, natural look of a Botox lip flip or are looking for the more dramatic results that lip fillers can provide, our professionals at Cosmetic Injectables Center are here for you.
Our founder Dr. Sherly Soleiman is a faculty member at Allergan (the parent company of Botox, Juvederm, and other popular dermal fillers), and lectures on best practices at other clinics and symposiums regularly. Rest assured knowing that you will be in good hands under her care.
Dr. Soleiman and each member of her devoted staff are dedicated to turning your dream look into a reality. We have helped countless clients – we can help you too. Call us today or send us an email to speak with a staff member and schedule a consultation.