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The Difference Between Lip Fillers and Lip Flips

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Lip fillers and lip flips are one of the most common lip enhancement procedures. Patients may have different reasons for getting these treatments – whether it’s concealing wrinkles, replacing lost volume due to aging, or correcting asymmetry, among others. Make sure to do your research, as well as finalize your aesthetic goals, before choosing your final treatment.

So what’s the main difference between lip fillers and lip flips? In a nutshell, lip fillers are injectable treatments that add volume and improve the shape of your lips, while lip flips use neuromodulators like Botox to treat a “gummy smile”. Aside from considering your area of concern, you also need to consider other factors that affect your ultimate decision (e.g., budget, lifestyle, goals, cosmetic provider).

Lip Flip vs. Lip Filler

Lip fillers, also known as dermal filler injections, plump and reshape the lips. These are typically made out of hyaluronic acid, a naturally-occurring enzyme in the body that retains the skin’s moisture and adds more volume to the injection area. Your cosmetic surgeon should set realistic expectations, as well as inform you about the possible risks of the procedure. You can get a touch-up session after 6 months.

Lip flips, on the other hand, are achieved through Botox. The onabotulinumtoxinA toxin is injected just above the lip border to weaken the muscle. Once the muscle relaxes, tension is released, and the upper lip becomes more prominent especially when you smile. Keep in mind that lip flip results are much more subtle compared to dermal fillers. You’d also need to have maintenance shots more often because results wear off faster.

FeatureBotox Lip FlipLip Filler
BenefitsSlightly lifts and reshapes the upper lipEnhances lip volume and shape
Treatment time10 to 20 minutes (4 quick injections)15 to 45 minutes
ReversibilityGradually wears off; no reversal agentCan be dissolved with hyaluronidase
Results2 to 3 days to kick in, up to 14 days for full resultsImmediately apparent
Longevity2 to 4 months6 to 12 months

Some patients opt for a lip flip-lip filler combination. Since a lip flip procedure focuses on the upper lip, you may also ask for a small amount of dermal filler to be injected into your bottom lip to achieve perfect harmony. You could all add some filler material along the edges of your lips. 

The best part is that both procedures have virtually no downtime. You may experience swelling and bruising for a few days, but these should gradually subside on their own. Consult a doctor if you experience any major side effects (e.g., cold sore reactivation, infection, vascular compromise).

Is a Lip Flip Cheaper Than a Filler?

Yes. Generally speaking, lip flips tend to be cheaper than lip filler injections. The cost of a lip flip procedure usually ranges from $50 to $500, depending on the number of units used, whereas lip fillers can range from $500 to $1,000 per syringe.

Keep in mind that lip flips provide a more subtle effect and have a shorter duration of results. The total cost also varies based on the medical spa’s location, the expertise of your provider, and the specific brand used.

How to Choose the Right Lip Treatment

1) Budget

Before deciding on your preferred lip enhancement treatment, reevaluate your budget. Determine which procedure is best for your needs, goals, and wallet. While lip fillers tend to be on the pricier side, they also last longer, providing results for up to 1 year – much longer than the results of a lip flip.

Aside from considering the initial price, take into account the potential maintenance costs if you plan on having touch-up shots. Cheaper treatments often require more frequent maintenance sessions, potentially increasing the overall cost of your lip enhancement journey in the long-run.

Don’t skimp on quality and safety. Always look for an experienced and reputable cosmetic provider, even if their prices are slightly higher, to ensure that you get the best possible results with the least risk of complications. Some medical spas also offer financing or payment plans.

2) Lifestyle

Your lifestyle is a significant factor when determining the most suitable lip treatment. While both options have minimal downtime, lip fillers may cause more swelling and bruising that last for a few days

Think about any upcoming events or travel plans that might impact your lip treatment timeline. Schedule your procedure with enough time for potential recovery and to allow for the full effects of the treatment to become visible. 

Consider how either a lip flip or lip filler fits into your overall self-care routine. If you regularly invest in other beauty treatments, it might be worth it to take a step back and see if an additional procedure will complement those treatments.

3) Desired Results

As mentioned, lip fillers are the go-to option of individuals seeking fuller, plumper lips. This procedure, in particular, is more effective at achieving a dramatic change and volumized look. Lip flips, on the other hand, are designed to give you a slightly fuller and more youthful appearance. It’s the ideal choice of those who want a more natural-looking enhancement and short-lived results.

Recalibrate your personal aesthetic preferences. Why do you want to have a lip enhancement procedure? Are you looking for a significant change or a subtle shift in appearance? Would you be satisfied with results that don’t last for a long time?

4) Consultation with a Medical Professional

Lastly, and arguably the most important factor in choosing the right lip enhancement treatment, schedule a consultation with a trusted and qualified medical professional. They’ll evaluate your unique facial features, discuss your aesthetic goals and expectations, as well as recommend the most suitable procedure. They should also educate you about the possible risks and proper aftercare instructions.

Consultations serve as an opportunity for you to ask all of your questions. It’s essential to be open and honest about your concerns and expectations so that you’re not disappointed in the end. Don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion if you find yourself uncomfortable with your cosmetic provider.

Take the time to review the reputation, experience, and credentials of your chosen medical spa. Read testimonials from previous clients, and look at before-and-after photos. This way, you can feel more confident about your decision.

Enhance Your Lips at Ethos Spa

The key difference between lip flips and lip fillers lies in the purpose, procedure, and results they offer. Lip fillers enhance lip volume usually through hyaluronic-acid-based fillers, and results last up to 1 year. On the flip side, lip flips lift the upper lip using an injection of Botox neuromodulators, with results lasting up to 4 months. 

Choosing the right lip treatment isn’t easy. At Ethos Spa, we want to make your beauty experience as seamless and as hassle-free as possible. Our cosmetic surgeons have a personalized approach that takes into account your unique needs, goals, and natural beauty. We’ll tell you exactly what to expect so that you can make an informed decision. Learn more about lip enhancement procedures by scheduling a consultation today.

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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