In a rapid-fire round of beauty word association, Botox will most likely conjure images of smooth foreheads and vanishing wrinkles. Since it was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use in 2002, Botox has become the go-to injectable treatment for combating wrinkles and fine lines. But lately, it's also gaining popularity through a subtle procedure in the lip augmentation family: the Botox lip flip.
WHAT'S A LIP FLIP?
As Lara Devgan, a top board-certified cosmetic surgeon in New York City, explains it, lip flips are a procedure in which neuromodulators (usually Botox) are injected in infinitesimal quantities at the corners of the mouth and near the Cupid's bow. All in all, a standard lip flip procedure takes less than ten minutes. Over the following weeks, it gently unfurls thin lips to make them appear large and full.
HOW ARE BOTOX LIP FLIPS DIFFERENT FROM LIP FILLERS?
Lip fillers like Juvéderm and Restylane inject a high viscosity filler into the lip to add volume. Botox lip flips enhance the upper lip's appearance by relaxing a muscle around the lips: the orbicularis oris, a circular muscle that almost acts like a purse string. "The idea behind the lip flip is if you use Botox to slightly soften some of the tensioned areas of the purse string, then you can cause a little bit of relaxation of the pink-white border of the lip," Devgan says. "So that vermilion border flips out a little bit and it gives you a very subtle improvement in upper lip show."
Botox can sometimes conjure images of frozen lips that struggle to wrap around a straw, but there's little risk of immovable lips with this procedure. Lip flips involve highly strategic injections administered in teeny-tiny quantities—and if you're seeing a board-certified professional, it's unlikely that they'll overdo the injection.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I SHOULD GET A BOTOX LIP FLIP?
If you're eyeing a dramatic lip augmentation, a Botox lip flip isn't for you. "It’s the right procedure for someone who is interested in fuller lips but feels a little bit apprehensive and wants a baby step before they commit to lip filler," Devgan says. Botox lip flips only roll the upper lip out, making thing lips appear fuller; they don't add volume. Additionally, the procedure only lasts for about three months.
HOW MUCH DO BOTOX LIP FLIPS COST?
Devgan tells us that lip flips can range anywhere from $400 and $1,200, depending on the person and the practice. And if you like the results, you'll expect to spend the same amount again on a return visit when the Botox fades in 90 days.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR A BOTOX LIP FLIP?
All the health requirements you'd need for another injectable procedure—say, cheek fillers or lip fillers—are standard for lip flips too. Devgan also advises that you don’t have any active cold sores. To reduce swelling, refrain from alcohol, aspirin, and other blood thinners for a few days before and after any injectables.
From Harper's BAZAAR U.S.