- The top lip fillers are hyaluronic acid-based, such as Juvederm and Restylane
- Hyaluronic acid fillers produce consistent results with a low risk of side effects
- Results can last for several months up to 1 year
- The total cost of treatments will depend on a number of factors including the type of filler, number of syringes required and geographical location
- Hyaluronic acid fillers can be easily reversed if results are unsatisfactory
Injectable lip fillers are noninvasive cosmetic treatments that temporarily plump and smooth lips to achieve a fuller appearance. The best lip fillers are those that create a natural voluminous look, are low risk and provide consistently satisfactory results.
Fitting this description are hyaluronic acid lip fillers. These fillers are by far the most popular type of filler: In 2020, more than 2.6 million hyaluronic acid injections were performed in the United States, an increase from previous years.
What Makes a Good Lip Filler?
The ideal lip filler defines, smooths and volumizes the lips while maintaining a natural look. Depending on the indication, a lip filler may also be used to fill in vertical lip lines or help lips appear plumper or more symmetrical.
The best fillers achieve aesthetic goals without over-plumping the lips, and can be easily reversed if results are unsatisfactory. Fillers should appear evenly distributed across the lips, without any lumps, bumps or uneven areas.
Is there such a thing as the best lip filler?
Some fillers are proven to provide better results than others. Hyaluronic acid gel lip fillers are widely regarded as the best for lip augmentation as they have been shown to produce consistent results, are readily available and carry a lower risk of adverse reactions compared to other fillers.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural complex sugar found throughout the body, including the skin, cartilage and bodily fluids. Because it is naturally present in the body, it is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in contrast to other types of fillers. This offers a significant advantage over other options.
Juvederm and Restylane are the most popular hyaluronic acid lip fillers. They’re both considered effective, safe and produce natural-looking results; both are available with or without lidocaine to reduce pain.
Hyaluronic acid fillers can be reversed using an injectable enzyme called hyaluronidase if results are not as expected. Results will also be contingent on the skill of the provider; even a high performing lip filler can produce poor results if administered incorrectly.
What do you want to achieve?
Fillers are versatile solutions to a number of aesthetic issues. The most common reasons people seek lip filler injections include:
- Achieving a more symmetrical appearance
- Filling in vertical “lipstick lines” above the upper lip
- Plumping and adding volume
- Smoothing the lips
Juvederm Lip Fillers
Juvederm Ultra XC and Volbella XC are two examples of hyaluronic acid lip fillers. Juvederm Ultra XC adds fullness to the lips; Volbella XC is more effective at treating vertical lip lines.
- Treatments take little time, averaging 15–30 minutes
- Results are immediate, effective and tend to be consistent
- Adjustments can be made as needed by the provider
- Results can be reversed if unsatisfactory
- Allergic reactions are rare
- Side effects tend to be minor and include bruising, swelling and redness
- No associated downtime
- Lidocaine, administered to reduce any pain during treatment, can cause prolonged numbness or an allergic reaction
- Results can last up to 1 year and must then be repeated
Restylane Lip Fillers
Restylane Silk is another hyaluronic acid lip filler that is in most ways comparable to Juvederm’s offerings, with a few exceptions:
- Restylane takes several days for results to appear and lasts about 10 months
- Juvederm’s results are immediate and last about 1 year
- Juvederm treatments cost more than Restylane treatments, on average
- Restylane has a granular texture; Juvederm has a smoother texture
Other Hyaluronic Acid Lip Fillers
There is a wide range of lip fillers similar to Juvederm and Restylane formulated to enhance lips, with differing characteristics.
Belotero lip fillers typically last for 6–12 months depending on the formula. There are three types of lip fillers that are used to address different concerns:
- Belotero Balance and Basic enhance lips and reduce shallow lip lines
- Belotero Soft enhances lips and softens fine lines
- Belotero Intense adds volume and addresses deep lines
In a scientific review of study literature, evidence demonstrated that Belotero has effective long-term results with a good safety profile – particularly Basic, Balance and Intense.
Previously known as Captique, the Prevelle Silk lip filler contains a lower concentration of hyaluronic acid than other brands. While less expensive than other options, effects aren’t as long lasting, about 3–6 months on average.
Fat transfer involves harvesting fat from an area of the body–usually the buttocks, thighs or stomach—and reinjecting it into the lips with a very fine needle. This is considered a more involved and invasive procedure than other lip filler options, as there are several steps involved.
- Fat transfer results in longer-lasting, more natural-looking results than dermal fillers
- Very low risk of allergic reaction, as your own cells are used as opposed to synthetic solutions
- Depending on the technique, results are long term, from 3–12 years
- Liposuction surgery is required, sometimes performed under general anesthesia
- Some fat cells may not be viable, requiring additional treatment as a result
- Fat grafting is more expensive than injections
- Procedure is more difficult to reverse than lip fillers
- Greater risk of adverse events
- More invasive than hyaluronic acid fillers
- Requires downtime of several days to several weeks
A Word About Off-Label Lip Fillers
While many dermal filler materials are commonly used by practitioners as lip fillers, not all are intended for this purpose. This is a practice called off-label use.
Off-label use can be dangerous because these formulas have not been studied and approved for this purpose. Adverse effects can occur and potentially cause irreversible damage to the lips. Some synthetic fillers can create too much volume or migrate after injection.
For optimal results, it is important to choose a provider who specializes in lip injections and uses formulas approved for the lips.
What Is the Longest-Lasting Lip Filler?
Juvederm is the longest-lasting temporary treatment with results visible up to 1 year; fat transfer is a semipermanent treatment that can last for years.
Cost Comparison Between the Best Lip Filler Brands
Pricing will vary per brand, but for an accurate estimate of the complete cost of injections, the provider’s fees and your location must also be considered. Your provider will determine the number of syringes required and the number of treatments you will need.
|Lip Filler Brand||Average Cost per Syringe||How long It Lasts|
|Juvederm||$550–$900||Up to 12 months|
|Restylane||$300–$650||Up to 10 months|
If you opt for fat transfer it will cost $3,000–$6,000 as this procedure is more invasive and requires several steps, including liposuction in addition to the injections.
The most popular lip filler injections are hyaluronic acid-based formulas such as Juvederm and Restylane.
These fillers produce consistent, natural-looking results, have a low risk of side effects and require no downtime. In the event of an unsatisfactory outcome, they can be safely reversed using hyaluronidase.
Fat transfer is another option that offers long-term results but is more costly and invasive.
Whether you opt for hyaluronic acid-based formulas or fat transfer, for safety and optimal results, choose a skilled practitioner well-versed in both procedures. Avoid off-label use of fillers as these can cause unsatisfactory results or even irreversible damage.
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