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Lip Flips: Everything You Want to Know

Have you ever seen a trendy celebrity with lips that seem impossibly lush? Chances are good that they’re not just relying on genetics. You don’t have to, either!

Many people who want a Hollywood-quality pout, even up here in Calgary, are turning to a quick and minimally invasive procedure that can add some major volume to your smile. These are known as “lip flips”, and they’re an offshoot of the same cosmetic neuromodulator injections that people use in their eyebrows, forehead, and jowls. So, here's everything you need to know about lip flips!

What is a Lip Flip?

The 'lip flip before and after smile' has been gaining traction on social media so we figured we should tackle the topic for everyone. A lip flip is a cosmetic procedure in which a medical professional injects a small amount of neuromodulators, such as Dysport or Xeomin, into the upper lip's orbicularis oris muscle. (This is a lip flip without filler, which actually puts additional voluminous material such as hyaluronic acid into specific areas.)  

The orbicularis muscle surrounds the mouth and controls lip movement. The neuromodulators relax it, allowing the upper lip to flip outward slightly and almost immediately creating the appearance of fuller lips (though it doesn’t actually make your lips bigger, like fillers do). People use lip flips to hide gums, to show more teeth, and to fix “gummy” smiles. It’s fast and it’s cost-effective – here at Bardöt, they start around $40!

lip flip calgaryWhen were lip flips created?
The concept of using neuromodulators for cosmetic purposes dates back to the early 1990s, not long after their first uses for therapeutic relief. However, the lip flip procedure itself is a relatively new beauty trend, gaining massive popularity over the last few years (with much of it thanks to Tiktok, and influencers like Kylie Jenner) as a quicker and less invasive alternative to lip fillers.
Want to know more about how these injectables work? Take a look at our thorough blog about them, which discusses different types of neuromodulators and how they’re used.

What to Expect During a Lip Flip Procedure?

One of the main advantages of a lip flip is that it's fast and convenient, only around 10-20 minutes in total. It's perfect for people who don't have a lot of time to spare or don't want to go through a lengthy recovery process. You can put on makeup and return to work or social activities right after the procedure, though you are likely to notice a bit of reduced mobility in your upper lip as the injection begins to work (more on that later).

At Bardot, we apply a numbing cream to the area before treatment to minimize any discomfort. Once you’re ready, we inject the neuromodulator into the superficial layers along the top and side of your lip – just enough to relax the muscle fibers, but not affect the function of the muscle itself. You may feel a slight pinch or a few seconds of discomfort during the injection, but generally, the entire procedure is over in a matter of minutes.

How long does a lip flip last?

This depends on your metabolism and your body’s specific circumstances, but you can generally count on 2-3 months of noticeable effect from a lip flip. If you’re comparing a lip flip vs. lip filler, the lip filler will last longer – the lip flip injection has to be intentionally weaker so that you can still eat and speak in your daily life.

Aftercare for a lip flip procedure

After the treatment, you should avoid touching or rubbing the treated area for at least 24 hours to prevent the neuromodulator from migrating around the injection site. This means no messy food, smoking, or drinking from straws!

Try not to have any intense physical activity or exposure to heat for the next few days after the treatment as well, as this can increase the risk of swelling or bruising. Applying a cold compress to the treated area can help if you do experience this.

We also recommend avoiding alcohol and other blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, for at least 24 hours after the procedure. These substances can increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.

Don’t forget to follow up with your practitioner in the weeks ahead to ensure that you're happy with the results and address any potential concerns. If necessary, we can schedule additional appointments or check-ins.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of a Lip Flip?

Like any cosmetic procedure, a lip flip may have some potential side effects. These are usually temporary, lasting only a few hours to a few days, and tend to be on the mild side. If you experience any of these to an extreme degree or they persist longer than two weeks beyond your initial appointment date, let your practitioner know!

Temporary loss of lip dexterity

Temporary loss of lip dexterity is a common side effect of a lip flip. Once the effect of the botulinum compound in the neuromodulator starts to work on the orbicularis oris muscle, you may have difficulty spitting while brushing your teeth, sucking from a straw, or eating from a spoon for the first week or two.

Difficulty with labial sounds

Struggling to produce labial sounds is another potential side effect that many people experience. Specifically, you may have difficulty pronouncing sounds like p, b, oo, w, and m due to the muscle relaxation effect on the upper lip.

Aesthetic effects

Aesthetic effects are possible after a lip flip, such as redness, swelling, or bruising. These side effects are typically mild and should clear up within a few days. You can help minimize them by applying a cold compress to the treated area for 10-15 minutes several times over the first 24 hours.

Uneven lips

In very rare cases, the appearance of the lip may be lopsided, where one side seems fuller than the other. While this is very unlikely, it can happen due to specific circumstances, such as minor differences in the anatomy of the face. If you notice any uneven results, contact us right away and we can set up an appointment to have a look and fix it if required.

Allergic reactions

Finally, allergic reactions are extremely rare but possible side effects of any cosmetic procedure. The most common signs of an allergic reaction are:
  • swelling
  • Itching
  • hives at the injection site
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • cough or dizziness
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact us as well as your family doctor for the best advice on how to proceed.

A lip flip is a great non-surgical option for those who want to supercharge their smile, but it's essential to find a skilled (and licensed) practitioner to do a consultation and chat about any concerns before getting started. We’re proud to offer our services to people all over Calgary, from New Brighton to Nolan Hill. So, if you're interested in learning more about lip flips, don't hesitate to contact our team of experts – our medical estheticians can provide you with everything you need to make an informed decision. Get in touch today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards the perfect pout!

lip flip before and after smile

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