Welcome to your skin check-in with Life & Style’s resident health and beauty expert, Dr. Will Kirby, a celebrity dermatologist and Chief Medical Officer of LaserAway. Every week, he’ll be spilling his candid thoughts and professional advice on all things skin, beauty and wellness as it relates to you — and your favorite stars.
The Kardashian-Jenner family popularized lip injections years ago and it’s still all the rage. When implemented well, lip augmentation results in natural, kissable, hydrated lips, and no one can tell that a procedure was even performed! When done poorly, however, patients experience the terrifying trout pout or the dreaded duck lips. So what do you need to know before getting a pillowy pucker of your own? Here is everything you need to know before getting lip injections!
1. It’s an uncomfortable (but tolerable) procedure.
“Lip injections do hurt,” says aesthetic nurse practitioner Morgan Wolf. “But it’s a very tolerable procedure overall. We typically apply a numbing cream in advance to help minimize the discomfort. Also, FDA-approved injectable lip products used for injection like Revanesse Lips and Juvederm Ultra XC are infused with the anesthetic lidocaine, so once a little filler is injected in the lips, it’s nearly painless after that!”
2. Realistic expectations are paramount.
“The most important mindset prior to making an appointment for lip injections is having realistic expectations,” explains aesthetic nurse practitioner Emily Perbellini. “The goal of lip injections should be to artistically enhance your existing lip shape without altering your already beautiful, unique appearance! If you have unrealistic expectations then lip injections might not be right for you.”
3. Different types of lip fillers can be used.
“Lips, like other parts of our faces, occasionally need to be refreshed, renewed, and revived,” says dermatologist Dr. Shino Bay Aguilera. “But different injectable lip products give different results. For lip restoration, I love Revanesse Lips and I still use Juvederm Ultra XC for lips that require a bit more of structural support and hydration.”
“I agree! Lip augmentation is always a favorite with patients!” adds dermatologist Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson. “Whether they want or need more structure/volume or more of an injectable ‘lip gloss’ look, I love using a combination of products to achieve optimal results. My favorite filler for a soft, yet volumized lip is Juvederm Ultra XC, and for subtle hydration, I use Revanesse Lips!”
4. Select a reputable provider.
“Always ask to see the product being injected,” recommends aesthetic nurse Corey Ordoyne. “You’d be shocked how many people receive lip injections and don’t know what was actually used because the injector purposely didn’t inform them. There is a full spectrum of products available and they have completely different properties in terms of viscosity, cohesiveness and overall quality. Also, experience really counts when it comes to lip augmentation so picking an injector and a company with great reviews who will listen to you and craft a customized plan of care can make all the difference when considering lip injections!”
5. Techniques vary.
“There are a number of acceptable lip injection techniques including, but not limited to, linear threading, serial puncture/serial aliquot placement, retrograde cross hatching, and the fan technique,” dermatology resident Dr. Annie Xiao explains. “So there isn’t necessarily one best method to inject as successful lip augmentation is dependent on the patient’s anatomy as well as the ultimate desired shape and volume outcome. One of the newest techniques that patients are requesting is the Kirby-Xiao Intraoral Injection Technique because it offers a natural volumization appearance with minimal to no downtime.”
6. Aftercare counts.
“Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water and avoid excess sodium after getting lip injections,” recommends skincare expert Camille Morgan. “This will help the filler absorb water and plump up naturally. I also recommend that for the first 24 hours after injections that patients only apply Vaseline to their lips. Afterwards, I suggest using an elevated lip treatment enhanced with nourishing ingredients like LaserAway Beauty’s Girl Boss Plump and Shine Lip Lacquer, which is enhanced with peptides to support healthy collagen and hyaluronic acid. It also contains a brown algae extract naturally rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals – so your lips will appear firmer, smoother and better defined!”
7. Side effects are possible.
“Bruising is very normal with lip injections”, says aesthetic nurse practitioner Jennifer Lopez. “In fact, it’s not even an adverse side effect as bruising is an anticipated event with lip augmentation. Bruising can be minimal, moderate, or even significant, but the good news is that the bruising goes away within a week and you can cover bruising from lip injections with makeup after 24 hours. Patients can also expect to experience minor soreness, swelling and even a little unevenness, but that all typically resolves after just a few days.”
8. The results are not permanent.
“Patients always want to know how long lip injections will last,” notes dermatologist Michelle Henry. “I always explain that the most lip fillers are FDA-approved for up to twelve month and that they actually typically last nine to twelve months but that they may actually be visible for a shorter or longer period of time depending on a number of factors including how much of the actual product was placed. Also, we know that the actual physical injection process itself causes neocollagenesis so patients are often pleasantly surprised to see lip injection results can last longer than they originally anticipated!”
9. In case of an emergency…
“Lips should only be injected with hyaluronic acid based fillers,” notes aesthetic registered nurse Chelsea Nathie. “See, hyaluronic acid, although generally extremely well tolerated, can be easily dissolved if necessary. In the event that the lip injector feels like an adverse reaction occurs, he or she can inject an enzyme that quickly dissolves the product. And it doesn’t happen often but, on rare occasions, a patient will present with too much filler, an unwanted shape of the lips, or unbalanced/asymmetrical lips, and then we can dissolve the product as long as, again, a hyaluronic acid was used. Lastly, if a permanent lip filler like silicon was unfortunately used, the only way it can be removed is through surgical excision.”
10. Enjoy your lips!
“Many aesthetic treatments focus on skin fitness with the goal of improving, maintaining or slowly maximizing your current level of cosmeis,” explains aesthetic registered nurse Jessica Graybill. “But lip injections differ in that they are an easy aesthetic treatment to immediately change your overall look in a fun way. So enjoy them! Take selfies, kiss boys, post pictures of them on Instagram, have fun with your new perfect pout!