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What is Lip Flipping?

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Among all cosmetic procedures available, Botox is one of the most popular and effective treatments worldwide. It has a number of uses, ranging from an anti-aging solution to treatment for certain medical conditions. And now, Botox can be used for lip enhancement in a procedure called “lip flipping”.

So what exactly is a Botox lip flip? It is a procedure where Botox is injected to help relax the upper lip and roll it slightly upward. This treatment will work for you if you have a gummy smile, if you want to enhance the shape of your mouth, or if you want to create a more subtle effect than what lip fillers would produce. 

Lip Flip 101

Lip flips are done by strategically injecting very small quantities of Botox at the corners of the mouth and near the upper lip. The entire process takes less than 10 minutes in expert hands. 

Botox is derived from botulinum toxin, which works by temporarily disrupting the nerves in the muscle to make them relax. A Botox lip flip relaxes the orbicularis oris muscle. This circular muscle acts like a purse string around the mouth. 

Once the Botox is injected here, this tensioned area softens and relaxes the pink-white border of the mouth. When this red border gently rolls out, your upper lips will unfurl. This presents the illusion that your mouth is larger and fuller, and it stops your top lip from “disappearing”  when smiling. 

Differences Between Lip Flips and Lip Fillers

Both Botox lip flips and dermal fillers are non-surgical, non-invasive ways to achieve fuller lips. They aren’t wildly different in terms of procedure and possible side effects. Choosing between the two will largely depend on your goals, your budget, and how long you want the results to last

Lip Fillers

  • Substance: High quality dermal fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, a natural substance produced in the body that attracts water.
  • Procedure: Prior to the treatment, numbing cream will be applied onto your lips. The hyaluronic lip filler is injected into certain areas, and ice will be applied to ease swelling. There is no downtime.
  • Side effects: Side effects may include soreness, swelling, tenderness, bruising, or pain which will eventually wear off. 
  • Results: Results can be seen immediately after treatment, and last 6-12 months depending on the patient’s metabolism. 
  • Goals: Patients who choose to get dermal fillers want a more dramatic volume on their mouth. The hyaluronic acid keeps the lips looking extra plump yet feeling soft.
  • Cost: High quality dermal filler injections cost an average of $500 – $1000 depending on your area and provider. You will also need to “top off” the lip filler every few months if you wish to maintain the volume. 

Lip Flips

  • Substance: Botox, or botulinum toxin relaxes the orbicularis oris, or the muscles around the upper lip.  
  • Procedure: The target muscle and surrounding areas are injected with Botox. The procedure lasts no more than 10 minutes, and there is no downtime. 
  • Side effects: Side effects may include temporary swelling and numbness. 
  • Results: Results may take a while to see, and will only last around  3-4 months. 
  • Goals: A Botox lip flip is for patients who would prefer a subtle pout to the top lip, rather than volume. It’s also good for patients who want to take baby steps towards longer-lasting dermal fillers
  • Cost: The average cost of a lip flip is around $50 – $500, since you won’t need too many units of Botox.

The Pros and Cons of Lip Flips

A Botox lip flip is an overall great procedure, but it definitely requires expert hands performing it on the right kind of patient. Before you decide on undergoing a lip flip, here are some pros and cons to consider. 

Pros of Lip Flips

  • Painless: While there may be a little sting at the injection site, it passes quickly. Side effects are also minimal. 
  • Quick: The procedure lasts only 10 minutes long, and the actual injecting can be finished in 2 minutes. 
  • Natural: A lip flip will allow you to improve your lips without making them look over-injected.
  • Safe: Botox has been tried-and-tested on thousands of patients. Since it is a non-surgical procedure, lip flips are a low risk procedure. 

Cons of Lip Flips

A Botox lip flip only has one major downside: Overtreating. 

Overtreating happens when an inexperienced provider injects your mouth with too much Botox, resulting in a limited ability to move your mouth properly. You would have difficulty eating, drinking, sucking on a straw, and the like until the effects of the Botox wears off. 

It’s crucial to find a board certified and experienced specialist who has reached a certain level of skill and understanding with regards to a Botox lip flip. 

When Would You Need a Lip Flip? 

A lip flip is not suitable for everyone. A board certified plastic surgeon will only recommend this lip augmentation procedure for very specific circumstances, such as: 

  • If you’re interested in fuller lips but aren’t ready to commit to lip fillers.

Some patients want full lips, but don’t want the volume that lip fillers give. A lip flip would be a more preferable option, since it subtly enhances your upper lip. Compared to lip fillers, a Botox lip flip is more temporary as they only last three to four months, so you can see first if you would want permanently pouty lips. 

  • If there is a long distance between your nose and your upper lip.

The philtrum is the groove between your nose and your upper lip. If it’s too long, you might want to look for a Botox lip flip. The ideal philtral distance in women is between 11-13 mm, while it’s good for men to have a philtral distance of 13-15 mm. A lip flip will balance out this distance. 

  • If you think your upper lip is invisible when you smile. 

A lip flip is an ideal solution if you’re self-conscious about having a thin upper lip or a gummy smile. By gently unfolding the upper lip, you will have full lips which won’t overpower your smile. 

Learn More About Lip Enhancement at Ethos Spa 

Are you longing for luscious lips? Visit us at Ethos Spa.

Ethos Spa Skin and Laser Center is New Jersey’s leading aesthetic service provider. We provide the best patient experiences with our board certified physicians and expert staff. If you’re curious about lip enhancements, let us recommend what procedure would be best for you. Schedule a free consultation with us today

Read more: 8 Things Not to Do After Lip Injections

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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