For many women who put their make up on before they go to work or before an evening out, the application of lipstick draws attention to the natural shape and symmetry of their lips on a daily basis. It’s no secret that the lips are an important part of facial beauty…and whether you’re 18 or 80, it’s now very easy to improve the shape, size and symmetry of your lips with a wide range of different injectable lip filling products available in cosmetic clinics.
However, with over 160 different injectable brands available in the European market – many practitioners cannot keep abreast of the differences between the products available in order to choose which one might be the best for their clients, and it’s virtually impossible for non-medical people to research this objectively to choose a brand for themselves.
Having used dermal fillers for lip shaping for many years, and trained hundreds of doctors and nurses in the use of these products – here are my thoughts about which product to use and where to go for treatment:
Before and after using Juvederm Ultra Smile to reshape lips and reduce lips lines in one of my clients
With over 160 fillers available – which one should you choose for lip shaping?
Although there are many different filler products available, I would only ever personally use a non-permanent filler in someone’s lips as, over the years, I have been referred people who have unfortunately had problems with permanent fillers that have been used by some practitioners. These have resulted in distortions, swelling, or nodules - which, in my experience, can be very difficult to treat. This is why I advise my clients not to seek a permanent treatment for lip shaping as they can end up with a long term problem, or lips that they don’t like if the practitioner is not highly skilled.
For me, the only products that I would currently consider are tried and tested hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers. We have been using these in the UK since 1998 – and the two brands that are most widely used are the Restylane and Juvederm product ranges.
Personally, I have graduated towards Juvederm following clinical studies that I have been involved in where I have used a new version of Juvederm in a lip study that we performed at MediZen. Juvederm ULTRA SMILE was developed specifically for natural smooth looking results in the lips with the added advantage of containing a local anaesthetic to ensure that the treatment is as comfortable as possible – and we have been getting rave reviews from our clients using this product.
How do you choose a clinic and/or practitioner?
Unfortunately this question is not as easy to answer as it should be!
Due to lack of regulation by the government, anyone can seemingly pay a few hundred pounds for a training course and start to advertise that they are an “expert” in the use of fillers for lip enhancement; and there are literally thousands of people now offering this service in the UK.
So – how do you find someone who can provide the results that you want in a safe environment?
Well, you can shortlist clinics offering the “cheapest deal” on a voucher website (which is not the way to promote any medical treatments - in my humble opinion) or one with the glossiest website or brochure (which may also not guarantee a good result). Or, you can choose a clinic based on the following criteria which should help to filter out providers where you may not get the best treatment or service in the event of any problems.
1) Although there is no formal regulation – choosing a medically led clinic that is both registered with the Care Quality Commission (check using this site : http://www.cqc.org.uk/ ) and the voluntary self regulation scheme for cosmetic injectable treatments – Treatments You Can Trust (http://www.treatmentsyoucantrust.co.uk) will direct you to a clinic that adheres to certain standards of medical practice.
2) Only accept treatment from a practitioner who is medically qualified – if you perform the check above, you won’t need to worry about this.
3) We would highly recommend that you don’t opt for a permanent filler – ensure that whatever brand is recommended that it contains only hyaluronic acid.
4) The tricky bit – how do you know that the practitioner is any good?! – Its not a bad idea to ask how long they have been using these products, how many clients they have treated – and to always ask them to show you before and after photographs of clients that they have treated themselves. If you don’t like their work (ie you think that the lips look too exaggerated), don’t have treatment with them as its likely that you won’t like the results.
If you take heed of the first four points above – you should hopefully be very happy with the results as studies, and my experience show that fuller lips and well-defined borders are widely considered to be attractive and appearance enhancing. The “art” is, however, knowing when to stop, as there is a very fine line between a subtle, natural looking result and one that belongs more in certain Glamour magazines.
Before and after using Juvederm Smile to improve lip symmetry in one of my clients
Occasionally I am asked by (usually younger women) for enhancements beyond what I consider to be natural, and spend my time trying to dissuade them from the “Katie Price” look.
Personally, I prefer to give women and men the fullness back in their lips that they may have lost (due to ageing) and also enhance the symmetry of lips in women who may never have been happy with this aspect of their mouth – as in the example photos that I’ve included of two of my clients in this article.
Whatever the reason for – the right lip filler in the right hands can give safe, long lasting (up to a year) lip shaping results for just a few hundred pounds, often resulting in women enjoying using their lipstick for the first time in a while.
For more information visit The MediZen website