- Lip fillers are temporary but effective solutions that add or restore lost volume to the lips
- Hyaluronic acid fillers are the most popular as they produce consistent results and have an excellent safety profile
- Collagen fillers are not appropriate for the lips and are known to cause allergic reactions
Lip fillers are injectable treatments that temporarily plump, enhance and rejuvenate the lips. They are noninvasive, considered safe, have no downtime and have few side effects. There are several types of fillers available, itching having their own characteristics.
Hyaluronic Acid Lip Fillers
These fillers are well tolerated, effective, and provide immediate results; this can be attributed to their biocompatibility, biodegradability and versatility.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that is found throughout the body and particularly within the skin. As a humectant, its primary function is to retain water to protect and lubricate the skin, and It achieves this by attracting and retaining moisture. It also stimulates collagen production to help firm up skin tissue.
Hyaluronic acid lip fillers provide two benefits to support long-lasting results: immediate volumizing of lips and long-term production of collagen to support the fillers’ effects.
However, with time, hyaluronic acid naturally dissolves and is absorbed by the body, therefore treatment must be repeated to maintain results.
Juvéderm is one type of hyaluronic acid dermal filler that can effectively add volume to the lips and plump the mouth area to treat smile lines and wrinkles. Compared to other brands, such as Restylane, Juvéderm has a smoother gel consistency that is malleable, which produces natural-looking results.
There are several types of Juvéderm filler including Ultra XC and Volbella XC which are both used for the lips and surrounding area. Both these products have a mix of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, referred to as cross-linked hyaluronic acids, which produces long-lasting results.
The difference between Juvederm Ultra XC and Volbella XC is the concentration of hyaluronic acid; the former has 24 mg/mL, the latter 15 mg/mL. This difference affects both the consistency of the product as well as the longevity.
Juvéderm results can be seen immediately after the procedure, however, as with all lip fillers you will see the final effects once swelling resolves. On average, the results from Juvéderm last up to 1 year.
Restylane is considered to be very versatile as an augmenting agent and can also produce natural-looking results.
This dermal filler is designed to add fullness to the face, reduce the look of moderate wrinkles and folds, and treat crepiness. Restylane is a granular gel resulting in a firmer viscosity compared to Juvéderm; this texture enables this product to remain where placed.
While Restylane can be used to enhance the lips and surrounding area, Restylane Silk is specifically developed for this purpose; to lift and plump lips, define borders and smooth lines on the lips and around the mouth.
Much like Juvéderm, you can expect to see improvements immediately; results last 6–10 months on average.
Belotero is another brand of hyaluronic acid filler available in varying consistencies to augment either the face or the lip area. There are specific products designed to volumize lips and reduce the look of lines including the following:
- Belotero Balance: enhances lips and treats moderate-to-severe lip lines
- Belotero Soft: plumps lips and softens fine lines around the mouth
- Belotero Shape: enhances lip volume
- Belotero Contour: adds definition to lips
In one study review of Belotero balance, 93% of patients were very to very much satisfied with their treatment.
Collagen Lip Fillers
Collagen was used for decades as it was one of the first fillers used for esthetic purposes. However, with the development of new substances, notably hyaluronic acid, it has lost its popularity.
Collagen fillers immediately add volume to the face but also stimulate collagen and elastin to produce lasting and natural-looking results.
Bellafill is a collagen-based dermal filler that contains a combination of bovine collagen and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) beads. It works to fill in acne scars and deep folds by adding volume and stimulating collagen production with the PMMA beads providing structural support.
Bellafill injections last much longer than any other filler alternative, lasting up to 5 years with ongoing improvements during this timeframe, however this applies to the face and not the lip area.
Bellafill is not approved as a treatment for the lips or the lips’ border; it’s sometimes used off-label as an adjunct therapy to treat deep vertical lines above the lips.
Which Lip Fillers Are the Best?
The best lip filler is one that is appropriate for you and addresses your aesthetic needs. Before your treatment, you will discuss your options with your provider to determine which is best for you.
That being said, hyaluronic acid fillers have shown consistency in results and have a strong safety profile. The following have been developed for use in the lip area:
- Juvéderm Ultra XC
- Juvéderm Volbella XC
- Restylane Silk
The total cost of your treatment is determined by the number of syringes required to achieve satisfactory results as well as the number of follow-up visits to maintain these results. As well, you must factor in your provider’s fees.
On average, one syringe (1 mL) of HA filler will typically cost around $682 on average.
The effects of Juvéderm have been found to last slightly longer with results lasting for up to 1year, compared to Restylane’s average of 10 months.
The potential side effects of Juvéderm and Restylane are the same and may include swelling and redness at injection sites, bruising, and temporary numbness. Although there is a very low risk of long-term side effects, these risks do exist and should be discussed with your provider before treatment.
What are natural lip fillers?
If you’re looking for a natural lip filler alternative, you can try using a topical lip plumping product containing natural ingredients such as peppermint and cinnamon. These ingredients act as mild irritants to temporarily increase the blood flow to your lips, making them appear fuller. Alternatively, you can use a sugar lip scrub to improve the circulation in your lips.
Keep in mind that these home remedies are temporary and can only produce subtle results.
Hyaluronic acid lip fillers rejuvenate the lips and surrounding tissue by plumping the skin, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles and stimulating collagen production for long-term results. Hyaluronic acid is temporary and metabolized by the body over a period of months.
Collagen fillers are sometimes used alongside hyaluronic acid fillers to address deep lines around the mouth area, however, collagen fillers are not designed for the lips themselves.
Hyaluronic acid has been shown to produce consistent and pleasing results. As a compound that is naturally produced by the body, there is no risk of allergic reactions, making it a safe choice.
Juvéderm and Restylane are two examples of leading hyaluronic acid fillers that offer very similar benefits.
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