The Lip Flip is a minimally invasive procedure that modifies the shape of the lips via anti-wrinkle injections. This gives the illusion of increased size and can provide a more symmetrical appearance.
What is a Lip Flip?
What exactly is a Lip Flip? To put it simply, a Lip Flip is a cosmetic procedure that alters the shape of the lips to enhance their appearance. This non-surgical treatment uses anti-wrinkle injection along the vermilion border of the lips. The neurotoxin temporarily reduces muscle contraction, leading to a relaxation of the muscles around the lips.
The main objective of the Lip Flip procedure is to increase the size of the lips, but it is not just about adding volume. The Lip Flip aims to create a symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing look that complements the patient's other facial features.
The procedure alters the shape of the lips by 'flipping' the lip outwards, thus exposing more of the lip and creating the illusion of fuller lips.
The Science Behind a Lip Flip
The two primary agents often involved in this process are anti-wrinkle injections, and occasionally, dermal fillers.
Anti-wrinkle injections are a neurotoxic protein produced by bacteria. When this agent is injected into specific muscles, it blocks nerve signals that make your muscles contract. In the context of a Lip Flip, the neurotoxin is injected along the vermilion border of the lips. The result is a relaxation of the circular muscle around the mouth (known as the orbicularis oris), which allows the lip to flip outward, creating a fuller and more noticeable pout.
When the objective is to add more volume or fine-tune the shape of the lips, dermal fillers may be used in conjunction with anti-wrinkle injections. Dissolvable fillers are made from a substance that our bodies naturally produce, and it is crucial for keeping our skin hydrated and volumized. Dissolvable fillers act like a sponge, absorbing moisture and expanding to add volume to the area where it is injected. In a Lip Flip procedure, injecting fillers into the lips can result in an enhanced plumpness and definition that lasts for several months.
What Happens During a Lip Flip Procedure
The Lip Flip procedure may sound complex, but in the hands of a skilled cosmetic practitioner, it is a relatively straightforward and quick treatment. Here is what you can expect during each step of the procedure.
First, a consultation with your practitioner is crucial. This is where you will discuss your aesthetic goals, potential risks, and what you can expect. Your practitioner will assess your facial structure and lip shape to ensure the Lip Flip will provide the desired results.
On the day of the procedure, the area around your lips will be cleansed, and a topical numbing cream may be applied to ensure your comfort. Once the area is numb, the practitioner will use a fine needle to inject the neurotoxin along the edge of your lips. This is the border where the pink part of your lip meets the skin.
The entire Lip Flip procedure typically takes less than 15 minutes, which is why it is often referred to as a "lunchtime procedure." You may feel a slight pinch or discomfort during the injection, but this sensation is usually brief and tolerable.
After the procedure, you can expect some redness, swelling, or bruising around the injection sites. However, these side effects are typically mild and resolve on their own within a few days. It is important to avoid rubbing or massaging your lips after the procedure, as this can cause the neurotoxin to spread to unwanted areas.
The results of a Lip Flip procedure are not immediate. You will typically start to notice a change in the appearance of your lips within a few days, with full results visible after about two weeks. The effects of a Lip Flip last for about 3 to 4 months, after which the neurotoxin wears off and the muscles return to their normal state. At this point, you can choose to have another Lip Flip treatment to maintain your results.
Non-Surgical Alternatives to a Lip Flip
While the Lip Flip procedure has gained popularity for its effective and relatively quick results, it is not the only option for those seeking to enhance their lips. For those who are hesitant about undergoing a cosmetic procedure or those who prefer a less invasive approach, here are several non-surgical alternatives.
One of the most common alternatives is the use of lip plumpers. These are cosmetic products that work by irritating the skin of the lips, causing them to swell and create the appearance of fuller lips. The active ingredients in lip plumpers, like Capsaicin, stimulate blood flow to the lips, resulting in temporary swelling and redness. While the results are less dramatic and more temporary than a Lip Flip, lip plumpers can be a fun and non-committal way to experiment with the look of fuller lips.
Another non-surgical alternative is the use of suction pumps. These devices use vacuum technology to increase blood pressure in each lip, pulling them out slightly. Over time and with consistent use, suction pumps can help adjust lip fullness in a gradual, step-by-step manner. It's important to use these devices with caution, as excessive suction can lead to bruising or damage to the lips.
Surgical Alternatives to a Lip Flip
While the Lip Flip and its non-surgical alternatives provide a range of options for those seeking to enhance their lips, there are also surgical methods available for those seeking more permanent results. Surgical procedures tend to provide more dramatic outcomes and are often chosen by those looking for a significant change.
Here are a few surgical alternatives to the Lip Flip:
- Lip Augmentation with Implants: This procedure involves the surgical insertion of synthetic materials or fat grafts into the lips to increase their size. The implants are usually made of soft, flexible silicone and are designed to feel similar to natural tissue.
- Lip Lift: A lip lift is a surgical procedure that increases the prominence of the vermilion border (the red part of the lip) and enhances the facial area above the lips. This is achieved by removing a strip of skin under the nose, which lifts the upper lip and exposes more of the edge.
- Lip Reduction: For those who feel their lips are too large, a lip reduction can be performed. This surgical procedure involves removing excess tissue from the lips to reduce their size.
While these surgical alternatives can provide more lasting and significant results compared to a Lip Flip, they come with increased risks and a longer recovery time. Potential complications can include infection, scarring, or dissatisfaction with the results.
Final Thoughts on Lip Flips
Choosing to enhance your lips is a personal decision, one that should be made after careful consideration and consultation with a skilled and experienced professional. Whether you opt for a Lip Flip or choose a non-surgical alternative, remember that the goal is to feel good about yourself and your appearance.
Sources & Studies
Baudoin, J, Meuli, JN, Pietro, DS, Watfa, W & Raffoul, W 2019, ‘A comprehensive guide to upper lip aesthetic rejuvenation’, Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 18, Wiley-Blackwell, no. 2, pp. 444–450, viewed 16 June 2023, <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocd.12881>.
Li, Y, Chong, Y, Yu, N, Dong, R & Long, X 2020, ‘The use of botulinum toxin A in upper lip augmentation’, Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 71–74, viewed 16 June 2023, <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocd.13731>.