You might be familiar with lip fillers, but what about lip flips? A lip flip is a cosmetic procedure that uses Botox to enhance the appearance of your lips, specifically your top lip.
Lip flips are an alternative to fillers, and it may be a better choice for some, especially if you want a more natural-looking end result.
Here’s what you need to know about lip flips, including how to prepare beforehand and aftercare.
What is a lip flip?
During a lip flip procedure, a doctor will make multiple Botox injections into the area around your upper lip. Botox is a neurotoxin, which means it prevents muscles from firing, says Robert Applebaum, MD, board-certified plastic surgeon in private practice.
“With the muscle unable to fire there is a relaxation effect and in the case of lip flip it creates a fuller upper lip,” says Applebaum. The relaxation causes the lip to roll forward which makes it look fuller, especially when smiling.
By injecting small amounts of Botox across the top lip, you can achieve a pouty look without adding volume in the form of fillers.
This procedure is a lot different from a lip filler procedure, which involves injections of thick filler material such as hyaluronic acid directly into the lips, says Applebaum. Lip flips also tend to look more natural than fillers.
The cost of a lip flip will vary depending on your geographic location and how many units of Botox you need, says Howard Sobel, MD, founder of Sobel Skin and Attending Dermatologist and Dermatologic Surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
Sobel says based on these factors, the price may range anywhere from $80 to $500 per session. You only need one session to see results, but if you want to maintain the look, you will need to go for follow up sessions every three to four months, says Sobel.
Before the procedure
Before a lip flip, Sobel recommends that his patients stay away from alcohol, aspirin, and smoking 48 hours beforehand in order to reduce the risk of swelling or bruising, and to ensure that the healing process goes smoothly.
At your consultation, you should let your provider know about all of the medications and supplements you take, as some may interfere with the healing process. You should also ask your doctor any and all questions you have about the procedure.
“It is common for patients to feel a little anxious about getting injections for the first time. The more open and honest you are, the more our team can work to alleviate your stress,” says Sobel.
During the procedure
For the lip flip, you will be conscious the entire time. Sobel says your dermatologist or plastic surgeon will inject Botox into the center and corners of your lips. “This will relax the muscles and ‘rearrange,’ the volume of your upper lip,” says Sobel.
Only a few small injections are made, and it is minimally invasive. “Most people who have had this procedure done say that it is a very quick, low pain procedure,” says Sobel. He says the entire process only takes around 20 minutes.
After the procedure
There is no real downtime after the procedure. Sobel says you can continue on with your activities as long as you don’t put pressure on your lips for at least three to four days after getting the injections. This includes:
- Applying lip makeup
- Sleeping facedown
- Touching or picking at your lips
Don’t expect to see results right away. It takes some time for the Botox to kick in. Sobel says you should wait about 10 to 14 days to see the full effect of the procedure.
It’s rare to have side effects, but Sobel says the most common ones are:
- Small bruises at the injection site for one or two days
A lip flip is a minimally invasive procedure that’s a good option for anyone who wants the illusion of fuller lips, at a lower price point than lip fillers. To learn more about how a lip flip would work for you personally, schedule a consultation with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.