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What Are Lip Fillers Made Of?

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The Complete Breakdown of What’s Inside for Fuller Lips

Full, shapely lips can make a dramatic difference in your appearance and boost your self-confidence. If you’ve ever wanted a sexier, more sensual mouth, then lip fillers may be right for you

Dr. Soni and the team of experienced medical aestheticians at Ethos Spa Skin and Laser Center use the latest FDA-approved dermal fillers to give you natural-looking, plump lips and restore a more youthful contour to your mouth area.

Keep reading this comprehensive guide to discover everything you need to know about what lip fillers are made of, how long they last, what to expect during the procedure, and recovery.

What are Lip Fillers?

Lip fillers are substances injected into the lips and perioral area to add fullness, shape, and volume. They can reduce fine lines around the mouth while enhancing and redefining the borders of the lips. 

The most common injectable is hyaluronic acid, a compound that occurs naturally in the body. According to a study, 69% of all the dermal fillers injected in the USA were hyaluronic acid (HA) in the year 2011.

When injected into the lips, hyaluronic acid binds with water to add volume. Other materials used can include collagen and fat transfers from your own body.

What are the Ingredients in Lip Fillers?

lip filler treatment

Most lip fillers consist of synthetic hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is responsible for maintaining moisture levels by increasing water retention in the skin and delivering nutrients. When the skin is hydrated, it looks rejuvenated and feels soft. 

Lip fillers such as JUVÉDERM®, Restylane®, and Perlane® contain a synthetic form of hyaluronic acid that plumps tissues and minimizes the appearance of wrinkles, lines, and nasolabial folds while also being able to add volume to the lips and cheeks.

In addition to hyaluronic acid, other ingredients found in dermal fillers include:

Synthetic Calcium HydroxylapatiteThis is the active ingredient in RADIESSE®, a filler that improves facial wrinkles and folds, plumps thinning lips, and restores vibrancy to aging hands. This material is sterile and highly biocompatible with facial tissue.
Poly-L-lactic AcidThis is one of the ingredients found in Sculptra and several other dermal fillers. It is a biodegradable, synthetic material that stimulates collagen production and helps to restore volume to the face.
LidocaineThis is a medication commonly used to numb tissue. It is one of the ingredients found in PREVELLE™ Silk and several other dermal fillers. Lidocaine allows the injection to be given without any additional local or topical anesthetic and typically results in a more comfortable procedure.

What are the Benefits of Lip Fillers?

There are many aesthetic benefits to getting lip filler injections. These include:

Fuller, plumper lips

Lip fillers can significantly increase the volume and fullness of the lips, giving them a smoother, more youthful appearance. The results are immediate and lips look much more prominent.

Improved lip shape

Fillers can be used to balance uneven lips and enhance the overall shape and contours. Well-defined borders can be created to give lips a more aesthetically pleasing shape.

Reduction of fine lines

As we age, the lips lose volume and get thinner. This causes lip lines and wrinkles around the mouth. Fillers help fill in these lines and creases, making lips look smoother.

Hydration and moisture

The hyaluronic acid in the fillers brings hydration to the lips, giving them a more moist, luscious appearance. Dry, chapped lips are improved.

Long-lasting results

With HA fillers, the effects can last anywhere from 6-12 months. While the filler is gradually absorbed by the body, the results are long-lasting.

Minimal downtime

There is very little recovery time needed after lip injections. Some minor swelling may occur but this usually resolves quickly. Most people can return to normal activities right away.


No surgery or incisions are required. Fillers are injected with a fine needle into the lips and surrounding area. There is no lengthy or complicated surgery involved.


Filler amounts can be tailored to meet individual goals. More or less filler can be used to achieve subtle to more noticeable differences in lip fullness.

The Lip Filler Procedure

The procedure is minimally invasive and provides temporary results that can last 6-12 months.

The first step is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist like Dr. Soni and the Ethos Spa Skin and Laser Center. We will evaluate your lips, discuss your goals, and determine if you are a good candidate for fillers. 

On the day of treatment, a topical anesthetic cream is often applied to numb the lips. This helps make the injections more comfortable. Dr. Soni will then use a very fine needle or cannula to inject small amounts of dermal filler into specific areas of the lips. 

Dr. Soni will massage the lips after each injection to evenly distribute the gel and help it integrate naturally into the lip tissue. Multiple injections are made to shape and augment the lips to the desired fullness. Approximately 1-1.5ml total of filler is used for most patients.

After the injections, patients are given aftercare instructions to promote healing. Icing the area, gently massaging the lips, avoiding strenuous activity, and using over-the-counter pain relievers can help minimize swelling, bruising, and discomfort.

Initial results are visible right away, but swelling will peak in the first few days before gradually resolving. While lip fillers offer temporary results lasting around 6 months to a year, regular touch-up injections can help maintain your desired lip fullness.

How to Prepare for Lip Injections?

Here are some tips on preparing for your lip filler appointment:

Pre-Treatment Instructions
Discontinue blood thinners like aspirin, ibuprofen, fish oil, vitamin E.
Avoid alcohol for 24 hours pre-procedure.
Hydrate well by drinking extra water.
Have a good night’s sleep.
Wash your face thoroughly and don’t apply makeup/lip products.
Numbing cream may be applied before.
Arrange for a ride home as your lips will likely be swollen.
Plan to take it easy the rest of the day.
Apply ice packs and Arnica post-treatment to minimize swelling and bruising.

What are the Risks and Side Effects?

As with any cosmetic procedure, there are some risks and side effects to consider with lip fillers, including:

  • Swelling: Expect swelling for the first few days up to a week.
  • Bruising: Bruising may occur and can last about a week.
  • Tenderness: Mild tenderness or discomfort may be felt for a few days.
  • Lumps: Visible lumps can form if the filler is not properly distributed. These can be massaged.
  • Asymmetry: Uneven results may occur if filler is not injected skillfully.
  • Infection: In rare cases an infection could develop if the area is not properly cleaned.
  • Numbness: There may be temporary numbness that resolves within a few hours or days.
  • Allergic reaction: Those with allergies to ingredients in the filler could have reactions.
  • Stroke: Ischemic strokes have been reported in very rare cases from fillers.

Get Natural-Looking, Luxurious Lips with Ethos Spa Skin and Laser Center

lip filler practitioner

At Ethos Spa Skin and Laser Center, we believe healthy, beautiful lips reflect your inner radiance. Headed by Dr. Soni, our caring medical aestheticians have an artistic eye for facial balance and harmony. We’ll work with you to understand your cosmetic goals and develop a customized filler treatment plan just for your lips. Contact us today to schedule a private consultation and lip enhancement tailored just for you.


What is the Main Ingredient in Lip Fillers?

The main ingredient in most lip fillers is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body that provides volume and hydration when injected into the lips. There are different formulations of hyaluronic acid fillers.

Are There Different Types of Hyaluronic Acid Lip Fillers?

Yes, common brands of hyaluronic acid lip fillers include Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero, Teosyal, Perlane, and others. They vary in thickness, smoothness, and longevity. Dr. Soni and the Ethos Spa Skin and Laser Center will select the best filler type for each patient.

Do Lip Fillers Contain Any Toxic Ingredients?

No, reputable lip fillers from FDA-approved manufacturers contain non-toxic hyaluronic acid gel and safe additive ingredients like lidocaine. Legally approved dermal fillers in the U.S. must meet regulations for safety and efficacy, so they should not contain any toxic substances.

How Long Do Lip Fillers Last?

Lip fillers typically last 6-12 months depending on the type of filler and where it is injected. Hyaluronic acid lip fillers, the most common type, last about 6-12 months in most cases. The lips lose volume faster than other areas because of constant muscle movement from talking and eating.

Who is Not a Good Candidate for Lip Fillers?

Those with certain medical conditions may not be suitable for lip fillers, including autoimmune diseases, blood clotting disorders, active skin infections near the mouth, uncontrolled diabetes, facial nerve disorders, allergies to filler components, use of blood thinners, previous complications with fillers, use of certain medications like steroids, and more.