What Are Lip Fillers, and Are They Worth It?

BY Kaleena Stroud · June 30, 2017

woman getting lip injections

Whether you are looking to rejuvenate thinning lips or have always coveted a fuller look, lip fillers have become a much-talked-about way of achieving a plumper pout. Lip enhancements add volume to the lips, fill out undesired lines and even accentuate a cupid’s bow. But what exactly are lip fillers? Is there a one size fits all? Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. John Diaz and cosmetic surgeon Peter Truong, MD help us understand the benefits and risks of each type.

The Two Types of Lip Fillers 

Lip fillers are quickly taking over lip augmentation procedures in this decade, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Administered in a matter of minutes, collagen fillers and hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers are quick in-office treatments with temporary results. Aren’t feeling the outcome? The doctor is able to remove the filler if you are not satisfied.

Collagen Fillers

Did you know that collagen is naturally found in skin tissue? It’s essential for strengthening and plumping your skin. Yet as we get older our bodies produce less of it. That’s why collagen injections work well to restore lost volume. Dr. Diaz tells us that a skin test will determine if you will form a reaction or not. “If no redness and itching develop at the site of the injection,” he says, “you can return to the doctor’s office for the treatment which is done in 30 minutes or less.” Expect to pay a cool $300 to $400 for results lasting up to three months.

Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

Already familiar with the term hyaluronic acid? You’ve probably seen it in many of our favorite skin care products. HA—found in brand-name lip fillers such as Juvederm, Belotero and Restylane—moisturizes the lips while adding volume and shape. “Most doctors use HA fillers because the results last longer than collagen,” says Dr. Truong. A typical treatment lasts six to nine months. After a quick 30-minute session you can leave the office and go about your day, although redness and swelling may occur for about a week. The average cost is $644.

Other Lip-Enhancing Options 

While social media gurus obsess over lip fillers, there are other options on the market. Looking for something more permanent? Lip implants and fat transfer are two lip-enhancing methods for those who desire long-lasting results. Not ready for a trip to the doctor’s office for the plumped-up look? Topical treatments for temporarily voluptuous lips may be your new best friend.

Lip Implants

Ready to go all in (and spend an average cost of $2,475)? Lip implants—made from soft, flexible silicone—come in different diameter and lengths, making the results more refined than lip fillers. However, Dr. Truong tells us that “results can vary depending on how the implants take to the patient. For both lip implants and fat transfer, the effect will increase or decrease with change in body weight.” Rare side effects include implant rejection or migration, infection or scarring. Dr. Diaz adds that lip implants are very appealing because they can provide permanent lip enhancement (in contrast to fillers, which need to be re-injected every couple of months).

Fat Transfer

If the idea of injecting fillers into your lips doesn’t interest you, fat transfer could be for you. It involves removing fat from one area of the body and injecting it into the lips. “Since the fat is removed from your own body, there is no chance of forming an allergic reaction to it,” says Dr. Diaz. The best part? The fat cells become incorporated in the areas injected and should last forever. However, it is possible, Dr. Diaz continues, that some of the fat can get reabsorbed, in which case repeat injections are needed to achieve the desired look. Plus, the price tag comes in hot with the average cost being $1,930.

Topical Treatments

If over-lining your lips with lip liner isn’t doing the trick and lip fillers aren’t your thing, get your hands on some lip plumpers for a subtle change without needles and side effects. Topical treatments are surgery-free ways of achieving healthy-looking lips by stimulating collagen and hyaluronic-acid production to create a fuller, softer look. Treatments usually come in the form of lip gloss and lip balms, which make getting the look a breeze!

 

Lip enhancements are growing in popularity for achieving the perfect pout. And while having full lips may give you a confidence boost, altering your look with cosmetic procedures is not for everyone. Many women simply add a swipe of lip gloss when they want a sexier pout. From temporary fillers to topical treatments to good old-fashioned au natural, it’s all about what makes you feel your best.

Kaleena Stroud

Kaleena is a freelance content writer based out of Los Angeles. She is crazy about books and travel. If you can't find her unearthing used novels at a thrift store or typing away at a coffee shop, she is probably out of... Read More >