What's A Lip Flip & How Is It Different Than Getting Fillers?

While a good lip plump or lip liner can take your look up a notch, let's face it, nothing delivers volume quite like filler. But if you're not ready to make the commitment, there's a new cheaper, cosmetic procedure on the market that may be worth your while: Lip flips. Lip flips are the newest alternative to traditional lip fillers, a popular cosmetic procedure that creates fuller-looking lips with a few easy injections of neurotoxins like Botox.


Rather than using high levels of neurotoxins — or chemicals that help breakdown nerve tissue — to physically make the lips larger, lip flips involve using a small amount of neurotoxins to help prevent muscle movement. This naturally relaxes and accentuate the top lip, giving it a fuller appearance without creating such a dramatic or obvious change. According to cosmetic surgeon Dr. Ivona Percec, lip flips are a great first step for everyone interested in lip fillers without the commitment. "It's really great for patients who want to try a little additional volume in their lip without actually having a filler," she explained to Today.

In comparison to fillers, lip flips cost significantly less money, won't drastically change your lip shape, and show results in just a few days. We've rounded up a comprehensive guide to lip fillers, what to consider, and any potential cons. Let's get started.


What happens during a lip flip procedure

During the process of a lip flip, a low level of Botox is injected around the upper lip area. "You inject one to two units of a neurotoxin to each half of the lip, depending on where their movement is," Dr. Percec explained to Today. "Because the muscle is relaxed, it naturally (turns the lips outward)." The process isn't invasive and can be done alongside traditional lip fillers.


Depending on the physician administering the lip flip, you may be offered an numbing cream prior to the procedure, though some say the process is quick enough to wear it's not necessary. In fact, one of the big draws for the lip flip is that it is less painful than the lip filler procedure because the needle doesn't go directly onto the lip, but around it. Moreover, some lip fillers may require small incisions to inject large amounts of Botox, whereas the lip flip is a totally non-invasive procedure.

Similar to fillers, a lip flip takes several days for results to be visible. Keep in mind that the difference may be subtle, especially on those who already have full flips. 

Lip flips are more accessible than fillers

Before deciding on a lip flip, it's important to consider the necessary factors: cost, time, and deciding whether you're a good candidate. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jessie Cheung, lip flips are great for people with thin upper lips or gummy smiles. "The botox lip flip keeps the upper lip from thinning, or 'disappearing' when you smile, and can also prevent excess teeth [showing], or the 'gummy smile," she explained to Byrdie. If you've never experimented with Botox but want to add more volume to your lip area, lip flips may be an excellent start.


In terms of costs, the numbers are significantly lower than the cost of lip fillers. Since lip flips only use a few units of Botox, the procedure typically costs around $150-$200. On the other hand, lip fillers can cost up to several thousand dollars. Of course, one has to consider upkeep, too. Where lip fillers can last up to a year, the lip flip doesn't last as long, with results being visible for around two to four months.

But if you're looking for a short-term solution, this can make them a great option, especially if you've never had a cosmetic procedure before. Depending on your personal status, the choice between flips and fillers is up to you.

However, they still come with risk

Just like most enhancement procedures, there are few cons to keep in mind when it comes to lip flips. For example, even though lip flips require fewer neurotoxins, getting them too often can come with risk. "Too much Botox can weaken your upper lip too much so that your smile looks flat," Dr. Cheung. explained to Byrdie, listing examples of her own. "You can't use a straw or kiss, and [it] may even affect how you speak." Since Botox comes with its very own set of precautions, it's important to find the right provider to reduce the likelihood of any danger.


You may also experience a few days of redness, swelling, and bruising as your lip flip heals, although it won't last too long. It's best to find a long-time provider with awareness for the dangers of Botox. Per Medical News Today, you'll also want to be careful about muscle overrelaxation, as they can lead to symptoms mentioned above such as inability to pucker lips. Like any cosmetic procedure, there is also the risk of allergic reaction. This is why it's important to be aware of whether you have any Botox allergies before booking a lip filler or lip flip appointment. The other thing to consider is that while fillers can be dissolved, a lip flip cannot be reversed, and if you're unhappy with results, you'll have to either wait for it to go away or get other procedures to fix it.


However, for the most part, lip flips are a generally safe and successful treatment. If lip fillers aren't for you, you may want to give lip flips a shot.