What Exactly Is a Botox Lip Flip?

Are you dreaming of fuller lips but hesitate to take the plunge with injectable fillers? If so, a lip flip might be the perfect solution for you. Unlike traditional lip fillers that add volume, the lip flip more subtly enhances your lips using a different injectable: Botox. By gently relaxing certain lip muscles, this minimally invasive treatment temporarily gives you the appearance of a plumper pout.

Interested in subtle lip enhancement that leaves you still looking like you? Discover everything there is to know about the Botox lip flip below, or contact us to undergo the procedure at our med spa.

How Does a Lip Flip Work?

Botox Cosmetic is an injectable treatment containing a purified version of the botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin that temporarily paralyzes muscles, causing them to relax. It’s most commonly used in the world of cosmetics for combating wrinkles, but it has many other aesthetic and medical uses as well.

In the case of a lip flip, the injections are made into the orbicularis oris muscle in the upper lip area. By relaxing these muscles, the lip flips outward, creating a fuller effect and reducing the appearance of a gummy smile. It’s a subtle, temporary option for natural-looking lip augmentation.

Botox isn’t the only neuromodulator used for a lip flip. Other brands such as Dysport may be equally effective, although their onset, duration and cost may differ slightly.

Your Botox Lip Flip Treatment

Now that you understand the science behind the lip flip, let’s explore the treatment process itself. Here’s what you can expect during your lip flip appointment:

Consultation 

The first step is a thorough consultation with a board-certified dermatologist or other experienced injector. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss your desired results, any concerns you might have and your medical history. Your provider will assess your lips and determine if a lip flip is the right approach for your goals. Based on your consultation, they’ll develop a personalized treatment plan and determine the number of units of Botox needed to achieve your desired outcome.

Procedure

The actual lip flip procedure is relatively quick and involves injecting small amounts of Botox into specific points just outside the vermillion border–the red part of your lips–above the top lip along the cupid’s bow to the corners of the mouth. If you’re concerned about discomfort, a topical numbing cream can be applied to the top lip before the injections, but this step isn’t usually necessary.

Downtime and results 

The beauty of a lip flip is the minimal downtime involved. You may experience some slight swelling or bruising immediately after the procedure, but these typically subside within a day or two. The full effect of your lip flip will gradually become noticeable within a few days to a week. You can expect a subtle eversion (outward flipping) of your upper lip, creating a fuller appearance and potentially reducing the appearance of fine lines.

Botox Lip Flip Before and After Result

How Many Units of Botox is Needed for a Lip Flip?

The amount of Botox needed for a lip flip is relatively minimal, especially when compared to other areas of the face. Typically, a lip flip requires about 2 to 6 units of Botox. The exact number can vary based on your individual muscle strength, desired degree of flip and your injector’s technique and experience.

It’s important to start with a conservative approach, especially if it’s your first time getting Botox injections. Using fewer units initially allows you to gauge your body’s response and adjust in subsequent sessions if you desire a more pronounced effect. Over-treating the area could lead to difficulties in speaking, eating or expressing yourself naturally, so precision and expertise are key.

How Much Does a Lip Flip Cost?

Here’s a breakdown of factors that influence the price of your lip flip treatment:

  • Provider experience and qualifications: The expertise of your chosen provider plays a major role in determining the cost. Board-certified dermatologists, plastic surgeons and other highly qualified providers typically command a higher premium due to their extensive training and proven track record. This isn’t something you want to skimp on, as more experienced injectors tend to create better aesthetic results.
  • Geographic location:  Location can also influence pricing. Costs may vary depending on the cost of living in your area. Generally, lip flips tend to be more expensive in larger metropolitan areas compared to rural locations.
  • Number of treatment units required: The amount of Botox used during your lip flip will impact the overall cost. The number of units needed depends on your lip size, desired level of enhancement and the provider’s technique. 

Am I a Good Candidate for a Lip Flip?

Typical candidates are adults, both men and women, usually ranging from their late 20s to 50s–the time when individuals start to notice age-related changes in their lip volume and seek treatments to maintain or enhance their lips’ natural shape and fullness.

A Botox lip flip can address:

  • Thinner Lips: Enhance the upper lip’s natural curve without the added volume of fillers.
  • Gummy Smile: Reduce the visibility of gums when smiling by relaxing the upper lip.
  • Flatter Lip Shape: Create a more pronounced “flip” to give the illusion of a fuller lip.
  • Asymmetrical Lips: Adjust the balance between the upper and lower lips for a more symmetrical appearance.
  • Fine Lines Around the Mouth: Minimize the appearance of vertical lip lines, often referred to as “lipstick lines.”

Contraindications include neuromuscular disorders, due to increased risk of severe side effects.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women are typically advised against undergoing Botox treatments.

People with an infection or skin condition near the treatment site should wait until it resolves, and anyone with a known allergy to any Botox components should not receive the treatment.

What Are the Side Effects of a Lip Flip?

Botox injections are FDA-approved for both medical and cosmetic procedures and have an excellent safety profile. However, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects.

Mild swelling, bruising or tenderness at the injection site are common and typically subside within a day or two. In rare cases, temporary asymmetry or unevenness of the lips might occur, but these usually resolve within a few days.

During your consultation, disclose any pre-existing medical conditions or medications you’re taking. Certain conditions or medications may make you a poor candidate for the lip flip.

How Long Does a Lip Flip Last?

Typically, results of a lip flip last 2–3 months. Because your mouth moves frequently, lip injections wear off more quickly than those placed in other areas of the face. However, proper aftercare can help you maximize their duration.

Sun exposure can accelerate the breakdown of Botox, so consistent use of sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher will help preserve your results. And generally, maintaining a healthy skincare routine that includes gentle cleansing, moisturizing and exfoliation will keep your lips healthy and supple, complementing your lip flip results.

Lip Flip vs. Fillers: What’s the Difference?

Unlike Botox Cosmetic, which relaxes targeted muscles, dermal fillers add volume to specific areas of the face. They are typically made of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring sugar molecule that plumps and hydrates the skin. 

Lip fillers are injected directly into the lips to enhance their size and definition, and they vary in terms of longevity and effect. Juvederm Volbella and Restylane Silk are two popular brands used for subtle enhancement and smoothing out lipstick lines, while Juvederm Ultra XC and Restylane Kysse are firmer, longer-lasting formulations used for more dramatically fuller-looking lips.

Can I Combine a Lip Flip with Fillers?

If you’re dreaming of a fuller, more defined pout, combining lip fillers with a Botox Lip Flip might just be the perfect solution for you. This dynamic duo works together to enhance both the volume and the shape of your lips.

With dermal fillers, you can achieve fuller, poutier lips–then, the Botox lip flip comes in to gently curl the upper lip, sharpening the definition of and contouring your newly volumized smile. The beauty of combining these treatments lies in the customization. You can adjust the amount of filler for your desired plumpness and control the flip for just the right amount of curl, ensuring the look is uniquely yours.

Plus, while the Botox lip flip lasts about 2-4 months, pairing it with fillers can extend the results of your enhanced lips, since fillers often last between 6 to 12 months. However, it’s important to remember that the Botox used in a lip flip works by temporarily relaxing muscles and doesn’t interact with the filler material. So, while it might enhance the appearance of your fillers, it won’t extend the actual longevity of the filler product within your lips. 

Lip Flip vs. Lip Lift

When considering options to enhance the appearance of your lips, both the lip flip and the lip lift might come up as potential treatments. While they may sound similar, they’re quite different in terms of procedure, results and commitment. 

A lip lift is a type of cosmetic surgery that involves removing a small strip of skin from under the nose to lift the upper lip, decreasing the space between the nose and the lip and enhancing the cupid’s bow. This procedure is performed by a plastic surgeon under local anesthesia.

The procedure provides a permanent solution for those seeking to enhance their lip area. It can significantly reduce the vertical height of the upper lip, offering a more pronounced and lasting change than a lip flip. The results are immediately noticeable, though there will be a period of swelling and healing.

This option is best for individuals looking for permanent results and are willing to undergo plastic surgery. It’s particularly beneficial for those with a long upper lip or significant space between the nose and the lip who desire a more pronounced cupid’s bow and a fuller appearance of the upper lip.

Takeaway

The Botox lip flip is a great choice if you prefer a subtle enhancement to your lips, avoiding the more dramatic results from traditional lip fillers. It uses Botox to slightly lift the lip, giving a fuller appearance without adding volume. Whether you’re looking to reduce a gummy smile or just want a slight boost in lip fullness, the lip flip can be an ideal start. Results are temporary, lasting only 2–3 months, so it’s a low-commitment way to try out lip enhancement.

Yet, the lip flip isn’t for everyone. If you’re after a more noticeable increase in volume or a permanent change, you might find lip fillers or a lip lift more to your liking. Choosing the right procedure is just one part of the process; equally important is finding a skilled provider. A good professional will understand your goals and ensure you’re comfortable and informed throughout the procedure.

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