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Is Lip Flip better than Lip fillers?

Anyone who has spent any significant time on beauty topics in social media has heard the term “lip flip.” As with any topics pushed by various social media influencers, lip flip can gain popularity as many people wonder if the lip flip is the latest superior treatment. With lip augmentation among the most popular sought treatment in women, it’s no wonder that more women are asking if lip flip is the best for them.

Before we can discuss if lip flip is better than lip filers, first we need to know what is a lip flip. In short, a lip flip is using Botox to try and create a fuller lip. But the mechanism is not increasing lip volume. Rather, the strategy is to WEAKEN the muscle around your lip. The idea is when the muscle is weaker, it allows more red lip to show. A lip flip will not increase your lip volume. It primarily is intended to give a subtle increased red show. If you want more lip volume, then filling your lip with a physical product..whether that be filler, fat, or the definitive way to increase your lip volume. But I know patients who don’t want the result from filler, but want a very subtle increase in red lip. For these patients, they are happy with appropriate Botox injections at specific sites around the lip. Thus, the question is lip flip better than lip filler depends on your goal. If you are looking for the typical lip augmentation to make your lips look more sexy, then I would say lip filler is still the better treatment. However, if you have decent lips, but just want subtle improvement, than a lip flip may be a good option.

A lip flip works differently than lip fillers. Lip flip uses Botox injected into the orbicularis muscle, whereas lip filler is injected into the lip itself. Is lip flip dangerous? No. Botox injections are probably the safest treatment in cosmetic industry because the effects are not permanent. If you dislike the results, it will go away in about 2-4 months. Some of the most commonly cited problems with lip flip are really related to the incorrect dosage. You’ll find numerous social media posts about “horrible” side effects from a lip flip. These include problems pursing your lips, using a straw, kissing, or asymmetries. You might find posts of people drooling when they try to use a straw. I believe these complications are due to higher than recommended dose. An inexperienced injector may incorrectly think increasing Botox dose will lead to more lip show. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much Botox to get these bad outcomes. A properly performed lip flip should only use 1-2 units at each site…up to four sites. As you see, this is a very tiny dose. And if the injector is not experienced, it will be challenging to deliver such a small dose precisely.

In addition—in general– a lip flip also won’t last as long as lip fillers. Botox typically lasts 3-4 months. Some patients only last 2 months, while some lucky few patients may get up to six months of effect. Lip fillers usually last anywhere from 6-12 months. I say in general because I have also seen some patients only see three months of lip enhancement with fillers. Also, don’t forget that lip fillers can have much more devastating complications than Botox. While very rare, lip fillers can cause vascular occlusion. This very rare but potentially catastrophic complication is an emergency. If a patient suffers a vascular occlusion, than the treatment is immediate dissolving all the fillers and getting good blood flow returned. Worse case outcome would be part of the lip dying and then requiring complex lip reconstruction.

In summary, a lip flip is a reasonable option to improve your lip aesthetics but it’s crucial you and your injector understand clearly what your goals are. Furthermore, you have to make sure your anatomy is appropriate for a lip flip.

For more information about San Antonio lip treatments, please visit our interactive website at Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a qualified team of experts serving the San Antonio, Texas area. To schedule a consultation, please contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (866) 574-1719 or