While there are topical lip plumping formulas, they wear off quickly, which can be bothersome for someone who wants her lips to appear more youthful around the clock. Solutions range from semi-permanent procedures like hyaluronic acid fillers to more permanent lip implants made from Gore-Tex™ or silicone. Here’s a rundown of some of your lip plumping options.
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
Hyaluronic acid exists naturally in the body, and has the added benefit of binding well to peptides and to up to 1000 times its weight in water. In addition to this, it has a high viscosity that allows it to work well as a filler in the skin (Dermatologic Surgery). Dermal fillers help to restore volume to areas where it might have been lost. Unlike Botox™, these don’t affect your muscles or nerves, but simply fill in space. This helps to give back some of the lost firmness and elasticity to skin. Typically for lips, dermatologists will use Restylane® or Juvederm®. These have little downtime and last between six and 18 months
Botox and Dysport
Botox and Dysport won’t add the kind of volume that hyaluronic acid fillers will, but they can be used to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles around the lips to give them a fuller appearance. Both of these have little downtime after the procedure and last for up to six months. However, these often don’t deliver the same kind of volume as fillers and, if done improperly, can lead to temporary issues with speech, eating, and drinking (since they paralyze the muscle). As with any procedure, it’s important to seek out a doctor you trust who will be able to expertly inject you in the right places to sculpt a frown-line free face.
Other Injections and Surgery
Traditional collagen lip injections don’t last quite as long as hyaluronic acid fillers, but there are new forms that are often made from biocompatible material from the patient or a donor. For example, AlloDerm™ is collagen taken from donated skin that’s injected into the lips. This is a temporary effect and needs to be repeated regularly, but the benefits are that there is little downtime and the AlloDerm™ eventually integrates with the tissue of the body (The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery). Surgical lip implants are typically a permanent lip augmentation. Permanent solutions include Gore-Tex™, which is usually well tolerated by the body, and silicone such as in the FDA-approved PermaLip™, which is commonly used in other cosmetic implants (New York Magazine). In this case, it can take up to a week for patients to return to typical activities. These treatments are not easily reversable if you don’t like the results, and removal can sometimes leave scars within the lips.
If you are considering any of these options please speak with a board-certified dermatologist.