Woodlands Explains: Lip Filler (Part 1)
According to Google Trends, there are more online searches for lip filler treatments in Liverpool than for anywhere else in the UK. However, while lip enhancement seems to be much more commonly accepted than it was a few years ago, there is still a great deal of stigma and confusion surrounding this treatment.
Unfortunately, there are still lots of stories in the media about “botched” treatments or people who have gone way too far and now look overinflated and fake. Leslie Ash is a cautionary tale of exactly what can happen when filler goes wrong and her case is often cited as a reason to avoid the treatment altogether. However, there are far more people who have “gone under the needle” and have come out the other side looking natural. Kylie Jenner is a great example of this; while it is now common knowledge that she had lip filler treatments, for a long time there was a great deal of debate around whether she had or hadn’t, because, even though her lips were a lot fuller than they had been, they didn’t look false.
So if you’re considering lip enhancement, what are the main things that you need to know to make sure you end up with a perfectly plumped pout rather than lips like lilos?
In the UK, some of the most commonly used filler brands include; Juvederm, Belotero, Restylane and Teosyal. These are HA fillers, which means their main ingredient is Hyaluronic Acid, a substance that occurs naturally in the body. Hyaluronic Acid plays a vital role in keeping the skin hydrated and plump, as it attracts water molecules. HA fillers are temporary; the effects will eventually wear off over time.
There are also different filler formulations. For example, Belotero is available in Soft, Balance, Intense and Volume. These products are designed to treat a particular area of the face and the weight of each varies. When treating the lips, a practitioner will usually recommend a lighter product, as the tissue of the lips is very soft. Something heavier, such as Belotero Volume, which is used to restore volume in the cheeks, would be far too bulky in the lips. A knowledgeable and experienced aesthetic practitioner should explain the different dermal filler products available to you and help you make an informed decision on the one that will give you the best results.
You may have heard people talking about a “full syringe” or “half syringe” of filler, which can be confusing! Generally speaking, lip fillers are available in syringes that are either 1ml (“full ml/full syringe”) or 0.55ml (“half ml/half syringe”) in size. If you’re new to fillers, your practitioner may recommend starting off with a 0.55ml syringe to allow you to get used to how your lips look first, rather than going for 1ml straight away, which may give a fuller result than you were expecting.
It’s important to remember that the lips usually swell immediately after treatment, so how your lips look at first will not be how they’ll always look. Swelling normally settles after a day or so. We sometimes hear from patients who preferred how their lips look when they were swollen, and in those cases we recommend going for more product at their next treatment session.
For patients who want to increase the size of their lips more dramatically, most practitioners will do this gradually over several sessions. It may seem like a better idea to just inject a lot of filler all in one treatment to get it “out of the way”, but this will likely result in excess swelling and the results will look unnatural. Instead, the best option is to allow a few months between treatments to allow the filler to integrate with the tissue of your lip. This will keep your results looking natural.
Lip filler can look great when it's done correctly, however, it is also a medical procedure with its own potential risks and complications (we'll come back to this in Part 2). For anyone considering a lip filler treatment, the main piece of advice that we can offer is to research your practitioner. Lip enhancement is a delicate procedure that requires a great deal of skill. Like anything, practice makes perfect, so a highly experienced practitioner, who has carried out many lip treatments before, is far more likely to give you the natural-looking results you were hoping for.