Injectable fillers are the most common way to plump up the lips. I like to describe injectable fillers as liquid skin. We can inject the filler into the borders or “meat” of the lips to plump them up temporarily.
The most popular injectable lip fillers are made of hyaluronic acid (HA). In these, the injectable filler is in gel form and lasts six to twelve months in most people. If you don’t like the results, there is also an antidote: the doctor can inject hyaluronidase to almost instantly dissolve the hyaluronic acid gel. That’s important if you develop a complication, such as the accidental injection of the filler into an artery.
You might wonder why, if injectable fillers are so soft and natural these days, so many Hollywood stars have lips that look so unnatural. Maybe you’ve heard the terms “trout pout” and “fish lips.” The most common reason this happens is because of the alteration of the lip’s natural proportions. Normally, the lower lip is 50% thicker than the upper lip, but for some reason, many patients insist that they want their upper lips larger than their lower lips. This reversal of the natural lip proportions causes the person to look like a fish—or a duck. For best results, ask your doctor to maintain the natural lip proportions, and your fillers should come out looking much more natural.
Certain HA fillers are better than others at filling and plumping the lips. As of this writing, my current favorites are Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Restylane Refyne, Restylane Defyne, and Juvederm Volbella. New fillers come around every few months, so make sure you keep up to date with the newest trends in the field of cosmetic medicine by subscribing to my free eNewsletter. You can do this by scrolling down!
Fat can also be used to fill the lips. The benefit of fat injections into the lips is that the fat that stays can stay for many, many years. Unfortunately, my experience is that only a small percentage of the fat that is injected into the lips actually stays – approximately 80-90% dissolves away. And, even though it’s minimally invasive surgery, it’s still surgery unlike off-the-shelf injectable fillers.