You can’t go anywhere nowadays without a pouting pair of lips popping out of a magazine or TV screen, but some look more natural than others. So, how do you achieve those understated yet perfectly plump lips, and what should you know before getting lip fillers? Here are the 10 things you should be thinking about before booking a lip filler appointment.
10 Things to Know Before Having Lip Fillers
1. Is your practitioner medically qualified?
Choosing a medically qualified practitioner is super important, regardless of what treatment you are having done, but particularly when a solution is being injected into your body. Check out your practitioner's qualifications, experience, reviews and even their lip filler before and after shots to make sure you like their work. There have been so many stories recently about botched lip fillers by people who are not qualified. So, don’t be tempted by cheap prices at salons; if you’re going to get it done, it needs to be done by a professional. There’s no hiding behind a trout pout!
2. What are the most common types of lip fillers?
In the past, collagen was the big star of pouty lips. But the problem with this is that it’s a permanent solution - which, while that might sound great, is not so cool if you don’t like the final result or you decide later down the line that you don’t want them. Instead, hyaluronic acid (HA) is generally used nowadays. HA is a naturally occurring substance found in the body that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it a great plumping agent. It’s also temporary, and can be dissolved if needed - which is great in the case of a complication (they can happen but are greatly minimised if you see a medically qualified practitioner who is trained in complications) or if you really don't like the look following your lip augmentation.
Popular types of hyaluronic acid lip fillers include Restylane and Juvederm.
3. How soon do you see lip filler results?
When you first have lip filler injections, your lips will likely be swollen for around the first 24 hours or so, so your first glance at them won’t reflect how they will eventually look. If they do look bigger than expected straight after your treatment, this should go down as the swelling decreases. A good practitioner will generally ask you to come back for a post-treatment consultation to see how your lips are doing and to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
4. Are lip fillers safe?
Hyaluronic acid fillers are FDA-approved, and as long as they are performed by a medically qualified practitioner, they are safe. If you do experience any issues with your lip fillers, contact your practitioner, who will be able to best advise you on what to do. HA fillers can be dissolved if needed, but it’s far more complicated to remove collagen lip fillers.
Your practitioner's skill, level of training and medical background will have an impact on how safe the treatment itself is. If they have a medical background - i.e. is a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist prescriber - they will have a much great understanding of facial anatomy, and will know where it is safe to inject. Lip augmentation can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and can lead to vascular occlusions, which you can read all about here. It's important to know that dermal fillers are not regulated in the UK, so anyone can pick up a syringe and buy some dodgy filler on the internet. Be careful about who you get your lip filler treatment done by because your face is way too precious to put in the hands of someone who doesn't know what they're doing.
5. Do lip fillers hurt?
Pain tolerance varies from person to person, but for a lot of people out there, lip fillers are more uncomfortable than painful. Practitioners use a variety of numbing techniques, as the lips are very sensitive. Some use dental block - injections into the gums which numb the mouth - while others use numbing cream. Speak to your practitioner about what options are available to you. After the lip filler treatment, your lips will likely feel swollen and sore for a few days, which is totally normal.
6. How much filler should I have?
The amount of filler you have really depends on the look you’re going for and what your practitioner suggests. But in general, 0.5ml to 1 ml of filler is often plenty enough for your first treatment, giving you a natural look. If you then decide you want to go bigger, speak to your practitioner, who will advise you on the safest, most appropriate amount to give you that natural-looking pout. Don’t become a caricature of yourself. Less is definitely more - at least for the first appointment.
7. How long do lip fillers last?
Dermal fillers generally last around 6-10 months. But it really depends how long it takes for your body to metabolise the HA. For some people, this will be less than 6 months; for others, it will last longer.
8. How much do lip fillers cost?
The price of lip fillers will depend on the type of filler used and where you go, but on average, lip fillers price varies from around £200 -£500. Be aware of really cheap lip fillers, as there are tonnes of dodgy brands out there that are available online. A medically qualified, well-trained practitioner will likely be using a reputable, safe brand of lip filler - such as Restylane®, Perlane®, Radiesse® and Juvederm® - but it's always a good idea to ask. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
9. What are the main lip filler side effects?
As I mentioned above, because your lips are so sensitive, they’re likely to feel pretty swollen and sore for the first few days post-treatment. For some people, this feeling only lasts a day but, for others, it might take 2-3 days. Because HA is injected using a needle or cannula, bruising and redness is common, and you might also notice pin-prick marks. And, like with any treatment, there is the chance of an allergic reaction. Speak to your practitioner for a full list of side effects.
10. Is there anything I should or shouldn’t do before lip fillers?
About a week before having lip filler injections, avoid taking aspirin (of course, speak to your GP or practitioner if you are taking any medication that contains aspirin), ibuprofen, vitamin E and fish oil supplements, as these are natural blood thinners, which might cause you to bruise more. You can still take paracetamol in this time though. Alcohol is another no-no too. Don’t be tempted to have a tipple the night before as this can lead to bleeding and extra bruising.
Bonus tip: what can/can’t you do after lip fillers?
Once you’ve had your lip filler treatment, there are a few things you should and shouldn’t do. For example, avoid exercise for the first 24 hours - I know, what a shame! You might find that an ice pack helps reduce the swelling, so try this if it feels uncomfortable. Also, if you experience any pain afterwards, try taking paracetamol to ease it. If you find you have any prolonged or extreme bruising or blistering, or any other prolonged reactions, get in touch with your practitioner who will advise you on what to do.
Interested in finding out even more about lip fillers? Here’s everything you need to know about the lip plumping treatment.
And if you're looking to book a lip enhancement treatment, check out the hundreds of medically qualified aesthetic practitioners listed on Glowday. Simply type in the name of the treatment you want and where in the country you want the treatment, and we'll show you the clinics and experts offering lip fillers there.
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