Millennials love a full lip. Some blame it on Kylie Jenner, others on Instagram. But the reality is that a lip augmentation with fillers is increasingly popular among 20 – 29 year olds. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there was a 32% increase in dermal fillers in this age group between 2010 – 2017. That’s a big jump. Even if not all of those dermal fillers went into the lips, a good portion of them did.
I am a firm believer in the lip augmentation procedure. I have been placing dermal fillers in the lips for a long time, and was one of the first in Boston to use nano fat grafting and micro needling to reverse the signs of aging around the mouth. My concern, however, is that when a specific beauty trend becomes really popular on social media, two things can happen. First, patients will go to a less expensive, less qualified doctor without the training or experience to deliver a safe, beautiful result. And second, they will often want to push the boundaries of their natural anatomy in order to achieve this new “hot” look. The end result always winds up looking strange. While these two things can happen with patients at any age, the risk of it happening with millennials is much greater. Here are a few things to consider in order to avoid committing a folly of youth.
Plastic Surgeon Best Option for Lip Augmentation with Fillers
The problem with fillers is that any physician, physician’s assistant, nurse or nurse practitioner is legally allowed to administer dermal fillers. This does not, however, mean that they have the same deep understanding of facial anatomy as a plastic surgeon. Every feature in the face works in harmony with one another. So, if you change your lips by increasing the volume with dermal fillers, this may:
- Change the look of your jaw
- Diminish the size of your nose
- Alter the look of your eyes
This is why it can be best to see an injector who has studied the underlying bony structure and how the lips balance with the rest of the face. Furthermore, plastic surgeons have a lot of experience with dermal fillers. I use them everyday on patients of all ages so I know the pros and cons of each one as well as the best way to combine dermal fillers to give a patient his or her ideal lip.
Dermal Fillers for Lip Augmentation
The great thing about dermal fillers these days is there are so many of them. And each one does something slightly different. When it comes to a lip augmentation with fillers, the right combination is going to depend on a patient’s:
- Unique anatomy
- Desired outcome
Age is definitely a consideration. With my older clients, I am assessing not just the amount of volume loss in their lips, but also:
- The distance between their nostrils and upper lip
- Whether or not they have vertical lines above their lip
- If there are deep grooves on the sides of the mouth
Most millennials, unless they are heavy smokers, don’t have significant fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth. For them, it’s about volume. The fillers that I use in my lip augmentation procedures typically include a combination of:
- Juvéderm Ultra
- Juvéderm Volbella
- Restylane Silk®
- Restylane Refyne®
Fillers with a heavier “weight” are best for providing structure to the vermillion border of the lip while the lighter weight fillers are better for pumping up the volume. Volbella, which was specifically designed for the lips, provides definition to the Cupid’s Bow, but also delivers an over-all smooth, hydrating appearance — almost like permanent lip gloss. The end result is quite lovely.
Work with Your Anatomy
My personal aesthetic is to deliver a natural looking result for my patients. The best compliment that I can get as a plastic surgeon is when someone does not recognize my work. But not every patient wants a natural looking result. This is especially true with millennials. They tend to want an Instagram worthy result. And that’s their prerogative. But while it is ok for an injector to push the boundaries in order to deliver on a patient’s goals, you always want to be safe. For me, this means working within the confines of a patient’s actual anatomy. I am never going to deliver overblown “duck” lips. Not only is it universally unattractive, but placing that much filler in lips is actually aging. Over time, the filler stretches out the skin on your lips. This means that you will need more and more filler as time goes on to take up this space or be left with wrinkled, sagging lips.
So, be smart. See a plastic surgeon or other highly trained professional for your lip augmentation with fillers. Lush lips are lovely, but you always want to embrace your unique anatomy.