Kylie Jenner’s latest lipstick launch is just another reminder that the quest for the perfect pout shows no signs of fading soon.
In fact, lip fillers continue to be one of the most popular, socially acceptable cosmetic treatments out there. Going to your injector is almost like getting your hair colored or lashes lengthened.
“Lip plumping procedures have been on the rise because of the increasing popularity of fuller lips on celebrities and the fact that the treatment is minimally invasive in comparison to more serious surgical procedures,” said Vanessa Lee, a registered nurse injector in West Hollywood, California.
Sure, lip fillers are headline makers, but along with increased exposure comes some horror stories. Don’t be fooled. Here we debunk the top five myths about the treatment.
Myth No. 1: ‘Lip fillers will stretch out my lips, and they won’t look the same.’
Your body naturally absorbs fillers over time, so “your lips should return to completely normal after it wears away,” says Dr. Dana Goldberg, a Jupiter, Florida plastic surgeon.
However, you should know that each dermal filler is rated to last a certain amount of time, but your lips will likely need more frequent injections.
“It won’t last as long in your lips as the rest of your face,” says Dr. Jeff Angobaldo, a plastic surgeon in Plano, Texas. “You’re always talking, laughing, eating, you’re always moving your mouth. There’s lots of blood flow to the area which dissolves the filler faster.”
Myth No. 2: ‘I can’t wait to show off my sexy new pout tomorrow!’
Think you’ll get your lips done today and pose for that perfect selfie tomorrow? Think again.
“When people get fillers, they look great in the office and they’re happy,” said Dr. Angobaldo. “When they leave, their lips swell. These fillers are very hydrophilic, they draw in water. The swelling usually lasts for two days.”
After the swelling goes down, there might also be bruises. “Fillers come with sharp needles, but the more you inject the more bruising is possible,” he added. “We can use a blunt cannula to inject and help reduce bruising.”
Make sure to follow your provider’s instructions and ice it after your treatment. Leave time for your bruises to heal.
Myth No. 3: ‘My lips will look just like [insert favorite celeb]!’
“Patients often bring in photos and ask me to inject them so that their lips look exactly like the women in the pictures,” says Lee. “Most of the time these expectations are unrealistic because every lip is capable of only so much change before it looks foreign to the rest of the face. It is best to work with your natural shape and enhance it in ways that complement your existing lip frame.”
It’s important to find an experienced injector who understands what’s possible and how to use lip fillers to achieve different shapes.
“It’s not a cookie-cutter approach for every patient,” says Dr. Angobaldo. “If someone has very thin lips, there’s no way you can end up with Angelina Jolie lips. Some patients need more than one syringe, we’ll do two and even three on very thin-lipped patients. If a patient starts with fuller lips, one syringe can get them the look they want.”
Myth No. 4: ‘Lip fillers never look natural.’
You should choose an experienced injector and also listen to their advice about what will best work with your face.
“The bottom lip should almost always be fuller than the top, but most patients focus on filling the upper lip, which can lead to an unnatural look,” says Dr. Goldberg. “Patients also tend to focus on filling all the way out to the corners of the mouth, which does not follow the natural proportions of the lip, which should be fuller in the center.”
Myth No. 5: ‘With the right injector, it doesn’t matter what lip filler I use.’
Lip fillers are products that offer different features, depending on what you want. They can feel different and achieve different results.
“There is an appropriate dermal filler for each type of lip enhancement,” says Lee. “If your goal is to have a slight boost in fullness and to minimize fine lines, I would go with Volbella. If you want a more robust fullness with definition, I prefer to work with Juvéderm Ultra.”
The newer ones also offer another benefit.
“There are new fillers from Juvéderm and Restylane,” says Dr. Angobaldo. “These new lip fillers are pricier, but draw less swelling.”