Lip Flip: Procedure, Recovery, Results & Cost

Non-surgical lip augmentation procedures are becoming more and more popular because they have minimal or no downtime. The most common way to enhance the shape of lips is with dermal fillers, but people are also using Botox for a lip flip. 

Before deciding on a treatment for lip augmentation, it’s important that you understand how the procedure works and the kind of results you can expect. While both fillers and Botox can make your lips look fuller, the results are significantly different. 

What Is A Lip Flip?

A lip flip is a minimally invasive, non-surgical cosmetic procedure that makes the upper lip look fuller using Botox. This procedure paralyses and relaxes the muscles around the mouth, resulting in “poutier,” flipped lips. Keep in mind that a lip flip will not increase the volume of your lips. 

Lip flip

Botox is a neuromodulator that works by blocking the release of the neurotransmitter that signals the muscles to contract. It only affects the area where it is injected. Since muscles are not able to contract, they relax and look fuller and more voluminous. 

A lip flip is offered as an off-label treatment, but it’s safe as long as your practitioner is experienced and licensed. The results are very subtle and can differ from someone else’s. For a more dramatic effect, you can consider getting a Botox lip flip with a dermal filler treatment. 

Who Is A Lip Flip For?

You can benefit from a lip flip procedure in the following instances: 

  • Upper Lip Definition – Many people do not like that their upper lip “disappears” or diminishes in appearance when they’re smiling. A lip flip can give more definition to the upper lip and keep it from thinning. 
  • Gummy Smile – By relaxing the muscles around the mouth, it is possible to make a smile less “gummy” with a Botox lip flip. 
  • Fuller Lips – If you have naturally thin lips or they have thinned out with age, it is possible to make the lips look fuller with the help of a lip flip. 
  • Vertical Lip Lines – A Botox lip flip can smooth out the creases and wrinkles formed by vertical lip lines or smoker lines that appear above the upper lips along the vermillion border

Before getting the procedure, it is important that you are in good physical health, with no active skin conditions. Additionally, you need to have realistic expectations. 

How To Prepare For Botox Lip Flip?

Before getting a lip flip Botox, you need to make the following preparations: 

  • Avoid drinking alcohol as it can slow down healing. 
  • Discontinue the intake of blood-thinning medication, supplements, and tobacco products as they can also make recovery difficult. 
  • Inform your practitioner about the status of your health and any active treatments that you’re on.
  • If you have a cow’s milk allergy, inform the doctor beforehand, as some manufacturers add albumin to the Botox injections to stabilise the product. 
  • Remove any piercing around the mouth as it can come in the way of the injection. 

What Is A Lip Flip Procedure? 

A lip flip is a painless procedure, so there’s no need for numbing cream or local anaesthetic.

The practitioner injects Botox into the corners of the mouth (oral commissures) and the centre of the upper lip (cupid’s bow) near the vermillion border.

The injections aim to relax the orbicularis oris muscle complex that surrounds the mouth around the upper lip. 

If you’re getting a lip flip for a gummy smile, you may need anywhere between 2 to 8 units of Botox. The injections target the levator labii superioris or lip elevator muscles that help in the movement and elevation of the upper lips.

The injection allows the muscles to relax, flipping or curling them outward, which makes them look fuller. The whole procedure takes about 20 minutes. 

What Is Lip Flip Recovery Time? 

The lip flip procedure has no downtime. You can resume your routine activities once you leave the clinic. However, there are some things that you need to be careful about during the lip flip recovery process: 

  • Sleep on your back for a few days. 
  • Do not wipe, rub, or massage your lips, as it can result in the migration of Botox to unintended areas. 
  • Do not put pressure on your lips by puckering, pouting, or kissing. Smoking and drinking from straws should also be avoided. 
  • Avoid drinking alcohol even after the Botox lip flip, as it can thin the blood and delay healing. 
  • When brushing your teeth, it is important to be extremely careful not to graze your lips or the skin around them. 
  • Avoid wearing any lipstick for a few days after the procedure. 

Botox Lip Flip: How Long To See Results?

It can take 1-2 weeks for you to see the final results of your Botox lip flip. However, your muscles will start relaxing a few days after you get the injections.

The results are not immediate as the neuromodulator will take some time to work. 

How Long Does A Lip Flip Last?

The lip flip results last from anywhere between 2 to 6 months. It’s not a permanent procedure, and you’ll have to get the injections again in order to maintain the results. 

How long the Botox at the injection site will be metabolised by the body will largely depend on the lifestyle of an individual.

Keep in mind that it’s not possible to reverse a lip flip procedure. Once you see the results, you need to wait for the Botox to get metabolised by the body to get rid of its effects. 

What Are the Lip Flip Side Effects? 

Following a lip flip procedure, you may experience some temporary side effects: 

  • Numbness 
  • Sensitivity 
  • Bruising
  • Redness
  • Swelling 

In general, the American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery advises that if you “sing, teach, talk, or lecture for a living” it’s best if you weigh the pros and cons of the lip flip procedure because it can affect your ability to perform these activities. 

It is important that you find a qualified healthcare provider for this injection. That’s because if it’s injected into the wrong area or too many units of Botox are used, you may end up experiencing the following problems: 

  • Inability to close the mouth
  • Difficulty spitting/whistling 
  • Problem forming certain words 
  • Difficulty drinking (even with a straw)/swishing liquid

You may also end up with a droop on one side of the mouth, which can cause asymmetry. You will have to wait for the Botox to get metabolised for this to go away.

How Much Does A Lip Flip Cost?

Lip flip is a cosmetic procedure, so it won’t be available on the NHS or health insurance. You will have to get it privately. In the UK, a lip flip can cost anywhere between £80-£200.

However, the price can vary depending on the number of Botox units you require, the location of the clinic, and the experience of the provider.

It is more affordable than dermal fillers, which can cost you anywhere from £250 to £1,000. 

However, since Botox doesn’t last for as long as dermal fillers, you’d need a Botox lip flip procedure more often in order to maintain the results.

Therefore, make sure to factor this in when deciding on a non-surgical lip augmentation procedure. 

Lip Flip vs Filler: What’s The Difference? 

Both lip flip and lip fillers aim to enhance the shape of the lips. However, the results are different. It’s important that you discuss your needs and expectations with a provider before proceeding with any of the treatments. 

Additionally, you should check our lip flip before and after photos and compare them with that of lip fillers. It will give you a better idea of the kind of procedure that’ll better meet your needs. As far as the differences between the two procedures are concerned, they are as follows: 

Lip Flip BotoxDermal Fillers 
Procedure Botox is injected into the corners of the upper lip to relax the muscles and flip the lip outward Hyaluronic acid filler is injected into the upper and lower lip to increase their volume 
Treatment Goal Give more definition to the upper lip, make the smile less gummy, and smooth out wrinkles above the upper lipIncrease the volume of the lips so that they look bigger and fuller. It can also help with a gummy smile and improve any wrinkling of the lips 
Procedure Time 10-20 minutes Less than 30 minutes to 2 hours 
Results Visible after 2 weeks Immediate 
Longevity 2-6 months 6 months to 2 years 
Appearance Subtle, outward flipping of the upper lip Noticeably plumper lips 
Side Effects Slight and temporary swelling, bruising, and numbness (barely noticeable) Relatively significant but temporary swelling, bruising and tenderness (looks like you were stung)

Concluding Remarks 

Lip flip is a non-surgical procedure that can subtly change the appearance of your lips. Keep in mind that this procedure will only relax the muscles around the upper lip and won’t increase its volume. 

If you want more dramatic results, you can consider getting a lip flip with lip fillers. It’s better if you first discuss your needs and expectations with a medical professional, as they’ll be able to provide you with a suitable treatment plan. 

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