Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have plump, Kardashian-style lips?
Those of us with thin lips know that those “lip plumpers” from the drug store beauty aisle are only a gimmick. They made add a 3D look for those who already have round lips, but they pale in comparison to the real thing.
If you have ever thought about lip fillers but don’t know if you want to commit, there’s good news: you don’t have to.
Lip fillers are designed to look good now, but they don’t last forever. How long do lip fillers last, and are they right option for you? Here’s what you need to know before you go under the needle.
Lip fillers are also known as dermal fillers, and most of today’s products consist of a substance called hyaluronic acid (HA).
Hyaluronic acid is an injectable filler used for several cosmetic purposes including to reduce the appearance of wrinkle and to add volume to your face and lips. Dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons love hyaluronic acid because it occurs naturally in your body. Most of it occurs in your joints, skin, and eyes, but you can find it throughout your body.
The hyaluronic acid that occurs naturally in your skin attracts water, which keeps your skin hydrated.
When you inject HA into your skin (via a derma filler), you see the results immediately. But because it occurs naturally, your body also absorbs it.
Because your body metabolizes HA (and the rest of the injection), your lip fillers won’t last forever.
On average, lip fillers only last six months. However, the length of time they last for you also depends on:
As you can see, your dermal filler timeline will differ from others. After yours disappear, you ca top up the filler to keep the desired look.
Although six months may not sound like a long time, it works in your favor, especially if you’re new to injectibles. If you choose to continue using dermal fillers, you can tweak your look to make your lips fuller or reduce their size based on your personal preference.
Essentially, if you go “too big,” you’re not stuck with it forever. Nor do you need to spend a ton of money to get rid of them. And for most of us, that’s a good thing.
The downside: injectibles cost around $800 a vial (depending on your city), so it can be quite an expensive semi-annual expense.
For some, six months is too long. Maybe you got fillers on a whim, or perhaps you chose a size that makes you feel self-conscious.
You don’t have to wait for them to dissolve on their own.
A good doctor will save some of your formula to give you in a few weeks if you decide to go bigger.
If you want to do the opposite, you can make an appointment to dissolve your lip fillers. Because all of today’s fillers are HA-based, your doctor can dissolve them with hyaluronidase.
Did you get fillers within the last few days and feel panicky about the size of your lips? Give it a few days. It takes a few days for the swelling to go down completely and your lips to appear in the shape they’ll be for the next few months.
If you’re still unhappy in a week or two, make a second appointment.
If you don’t like injections or you finally found your perfect lip size, then you can opt for permanent lip fillers.
A permanent lip filler is also known as lip augmentation. It lasts for ten years.
There are two options if you want to keep your lips plump permanently:
Permanent dermal fillers
An autologous fat transfer involves taking a small amount of fat (using liposuction) and transferring it to the lips. Although all lip filler procedures technically fall under the category of “minor surgery,” fat transfers are a type of major surgery that requires anesthesia. They involve liposuction to your stomach, hips, or thighs and then a second procedure to move it to your face.
Temporary HA-based lip fillers are a cosmetic procedure, but one that is largely deemed to be safe (when completed by a reputable cosmetic specialist).
Permanent lip fillers of both types come with more risks in comparison.
Infection is a greater risk with both types of fillers. Your doctor will give you prophylactic antibiotics to try to avoid infection, but it remains a risk. And if your filler gets infected, it can set deep within the filler and last until you remove the filler.
Your body can also attack permanent fillers, which can create nodules within the filler. Because the filler goes into your lips, it is impossible not to notice the nodules.
Additionally, if you choose the fat transfer method, most doctors recommend doing this over more than one session. They will harvest the fat once, but your lips will undergo the trauma repeatedly.
Your doctor’s technique also becomes more critical with permanent fillers, or you risk things like asymmetry, over-filling, under-filling, and lumps. Correcting them isn’t as easy as making a second appointment. It requires a second surgery with a second risk of infection.
How long do lip fillers last? Around six months – or around the amount of time it takes to decide if it’s a look you want to commit to.
Lip fillers aren’t for the faint of heart – they are a minor surgery – but they can give you an extra boost of confidence in a way that lip liner just can’t achieve.
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