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What to know about the Botox Lip Flip

What Instagram model hasn’t talked about the lip flip?! It’s everywhere and here’s what you need to know, the good, the bad, and the (hopefully not if I have anything to say about it) ugly.

How do Lip Flips Work?

A lip flip is a Botox (or other neuromuscular blocking agent) procedure that is meant to help the upper lip appear larger. This is accomplished by injecting a small amount of Botox into the muscle that circles the mouth, the orbicularis oris.

When we use this muscle by smiling or speaking, it tightens or contracts and this motion pulls the upper lip inward, causing it to appear smaller or hidden. The Botox injections work by preventing or diminishing the ability of the orbicularis oris muscle to contract and pull the lip inward, this relaxation helps the upper lip curl outward, stay more relaxed, and appear fuller.

Now let’s circle back to those Instagram influencers. Everyone (and their mother) has spoken about their lip flip treatment and how wonderful it was for them, but-and I’m sorry to tell you this-chances are they had beautiful full lips before getting a lip flip. Or, perhaps they said they had a lip flip when they actually had HA filler injected. I do not mean to sound doubtful and lip flips do work, but not for everyone.

"Lip flips do work, but not for everyone."

Not everyone is a candidate for a lip flip.

I have turned patients down from getting lip flips done because they are not an ideal patient for a lip flip. I would hate to tell them otherwise and waste their time and money. The appropriate candidates are those whose lips truly appear smaller and hide when they smile or contract their orbicularis oris muscle.

Many patients are disappointed in their results because

  • A lip flip will not add volume to your lips, it just allows the muscle to relax enough to allow more pink of the lip to show while smiling.

  • Lip flips provide a super subtle result, and is unnoticeable to many while they are not smiling.

Things to keep in mind: We are placing a neuromuscular blocking agent to the muscle that controls the tightness of your mouth. After this procedure, patients often have trouble whistling, holding straws, spitting, and pronouncing certain words. Actors and singers are discouraged from getting the lip flip.

How long do lip flips last?

Results appear 2 weeks post treatment and last about 2 months.

Is filler a good alternative to a lip flip?

A small amount of HA filler can be a great alternative treatment for those who are not a candidate for the lip flip but want to see a subtle difference in the volume in their lips. Filler treatments in the lips can actually be very subtle and last approximately one year.

The two treatments together, filler and Botox in the lip, are a fantastic way to allow the upper lip to show more while smiling and add a touch a volume you didn’t have before!

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