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Lip fillers vs Botox

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

In a world filled with pouty celebrities, we’re all about the lips. From Kylie Jenner’s perfect pucker to the TOWIE girls’ commitment to plumper pouts, lip enhancements are high on the wish list for plenty of ladies out there.

Making the lips look fuller is super easy these days and it’s pretty affordable too. It’s one of our most frequently requested treatments here at True Face and something we particularly enjoy thanks to the amazing results possible.

But, when it comes to perfecting that pout, there is more than one way to get it done. Two of the most commonly used treatments are lip fillers using hyaluronic acid, or Botox. We’re going to take a look at HA lip fillers vs Botox, to help you understand the differences between each treatment.

What are fillers?

Also known as dermal fillers, facial fillers are used to prevent or reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles and creases. As we age, the amount of natural elastin and collagen in our skin reduces, causing it to become dryer and less springy. This can cause sagging which leads to wrinkles beginning to form.

Fillers use a product called hyaluronic acid (HA) which is a substance naturally produced by our body. HA is a gel like substance which can hold 1,000 times its volume in water. By injecting HA into the skin at the site of wrinkles, the area instantly becomes plumper, adding subtle volume and smoothing out the wrinkles.

The addition of HA to the skin can also encourage collagen production at the injection site. This can help boost the skins natural glow and enable it to better repair itself too. Results can be seen immediately after treatment, although some swelling may be present for a day or so.

What are fillers? Botulinum toxin, to give it its full name, is a manufactured protein which, when injected, has the ability to temporarily relax the muscles. There are several variations of this product out there, but Botox is the original and best known variant.

Rather than plumping out the skin, Botox works by relaxing the muscles which are causing the wrinkles. It works particularly well in areas of dynamic wrinkles. These are wrinkles which only appear when the face is moved, or certain expressions made, such as smiling or frowning.

Unlike HA fillers, the results of Botox are not seen until several days after the treatment. The full effects are usually visible after two weeks.

Fillers in the lips: what you need to know

Lip fillers use hyaluronic acid to plump up the lips. These fillers add shape, structure and volume to the lips by injecting HA into specific spots. The hyaluronic acid grabs and holds on to moisture molecules, making the lips appear fuller, smoother and healthier instantly.

HA lip fillers are much more easily controlled by the practitioner. The HA is injected slowly using very small needles, so that a perfect shape and symmetry can be achieved. Unlike Botox, the results of HA can be seen pretty much right away, making it easy for your practitioner to perform minor corrections then and there.

If you’re new to lip fillers, you can choose to have HA injections over the course of a few days or weeks. This can help plump your lips more slowly, letting you get used to each new stage before adding more, if you wish.One of the most attractive things about HA lip fillers is that they are fully reversible. Should you suddenly decide you hate your lips, a further injection of an HA removing enzyme can be administered, which will put everything back the way it was in a matter of minutes.

Botox in the lips: what you need to know

There’s a new trend in lip beautification, which is being dubbed by the fashionable as ‘the lip flip’. Rather than relying on fillers to plump up that pout, the lip flip uses Botox, administered in the muscles around the mouth to help make the lips appear more pronounced.

It’s interesting to consider this as an alternative to lip fillers, as the results can be pretty impressive. The procedure involves using Botox to relax the muscles around the mouth, causing the upper lip to ‘flip’, giving the impression of a fuller mouth.

Botox can also be used to correct a gummy smile. If your top lip is very thin and you have a gorgeously big smile, you could expose a lot of gum when you grin. To stop this, your practitioner will inject Botox into the middle of your top lip, similar to how they would for a lip flip. This will make your muscles relax, causing your lips to appear fuller and cover more of your gums when you smile.

There are some downsides to using Botox as a lip filler, which you should be aware of when considering lip fillers vs Botox. Using too much Botox around the mouth can mean your mouth no longer moves properly, causing difficulty with speaking and things like sucking on a straw.

An experienced practitioner will know this and will minimise the amount of Botox used to ensure thus doesn’t happen.

Lip fillers vs Botox

Putting these two treatments side by side will help you to understand the differences and the similarities between the two, to help you choose which is right for you. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Administration: Both treatments involve multiple injections in the lip area. HA fillers are injected into the lips themselves, and then massaged for even distribution. Botox is injected around the mouth to reshape the lips. Both treatments use a numbing cream so that the procedure is not painful.

  • Composition: Lip fillers use hyaluronic acid to plump up the lips. Botox is a toxin which relaxes the muscles around the lips.

  • Results: The results of lip fillers are apparent right away. Botox, on the other hand, takes around five to seven days to start working, and two weeks to see the finished result. Results can be similar, although Botox does not add volume to the lips. HA lip fillers actually fill out the area, whereas Botox simply reshapes what is already there.

  • Longevity: Botox lasts from three to six months, depending on the area treated. Lip fillers usually require a top up after four to six months.

  • Side effects: Both treatments can leave bruising, swelling and redness immediately following treatment, but this usually subsides within a day or two. Botox has been known to cause headaches and flu like symptoms in a few rare cases.

  • Other risks: HA is known to cause allergic reactions in just 1 – 3% of people. In the rare event that a reaction does occur, it’s usually limited to itchiness, redness and swelling. Botox tends not to cause allergic reactions, although occasionally contaminated product or mistakes when injecting can cause complications.

  • Reversal: Lip fillers using HA can be reversed through an injection of an enzyme which breaks down the HA within a few minutes. Reversal of Botox is impossible.

  • Cost: The cost of both treatments will depend on the number and type of injections you want to have. The best way to find out the cost for yourself is to book a free consultation with an expert at True Face.

Want to have your cake and eat it too?

If you’re in two minds about Botox vs lip fillers, be aware that they are not mutually exclusive. You can combine lip fillers with Botox, or vice versa, for a good all round treatment with excellent results. In fact, studies have shown that by using Botox in conjunction with lip fillers, the HA tends to last longer, extending the period between top ups.

As with any cosmetic treatment, there is always a small amount of risk involved. However, if you are tempted to use an unlicensed practitioner or someone who is not medically trained, you unnecessarily increase this risk to yourself.

Remember Lesley Ash of TV’s ‘Men Behaving Badly’? She became the poster girl for lip fillers gone wrong after getting a wife of a friend to do a back room treatment on her. Thankfully technology has moved on a lot since then, and you now have access to amazing products administered by experienced practitioners.

For more information on lip fillers or to discuss which treatment is better for you, talk to the experts at True Face today.

Image credit: Instagram

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