All Your Lip Filler Questions, Answered

image of woman smiling on the beach (model)

It’s fair to say lips are having way more than a moment. Lip filler is one of the most popular treatments we perform at our med spa, and it shows no signs of slowing down. And, despite what you might have heard, fillers provide many more benefits than just creating an Instagram-ready, pillowy pout.

Many of our younger patients just want a little bit of natural-looking fullness. Older patients may have a different motivation—they want to boost thinning lips or smooth lines. The range of lip fillers available at our La Jolla practice means our expert injectors can give you just the lips you’re looking for.

We made this guide to help you navigate some of the most common (and quirky) questions about lip fillers, including how long lip fillers last, do the treatments hurt, and even how long after getting lip fillers is it okay to kiss.

I’m not an Instagram model. What can lip filler do for me?

If you seek lovely lips, you probably want just the right amount of volume, along with shapely contours that complement the rest of your facial features without looking “done.” Some of the ways lip fillers can enhance your look include:

Support your philtrum columns: You know those two lines that extend from the nose down to your upper lip? Those are called philtrum columns, and they tend to get flatter with age. A touch of filler helps give them a lift.

before and after lip filler
Before & After Lip Filler – Lifted Philtrum

Define the vermillion border: Who knew the lips had so many interesting parts? The line that separates the pink part of your lip from the surrounding skin is the vermillion border. Filler can create more definition to enhance the lips.

before and after lip filler
Before & After Lip Filler – Enhanced Border

Smooth vertical lip lines: The right filler in the right amount injected by the right filler artist softens the lines that develop with age.

before and after lip filler
Before & After Lip Filler – Smoothed Lines

Moisturize the lips: Some people endure chronically chapped lips, especially if they spend a lot of time in the San Diego sun. The hyaluronic acid in lip fillers binds to water and gives the lips an attractive hydrated appearance.

before and after lip filler
Before & After Lip Filler – Moisturized Lips

What are lip fillers made of?

Most lip fillers used today are made of hyaluronic acid (HA), a substance your body naturally produces that attracts and holds water. It gives your skin—and your lips—a plump, hydrated appearance. In fillers, this substance takes a gel form that adds temporary volume (6-ish months ’til you need a touch-up) when injected just below the skin. Because HA is naturally occurring, it’s safe to inject, and you won’t need any allergy testing before your treatment.

What is the best lip filler?

It seems like a different filler arrives on the market every other month. That can make it difficult for patients to know which is best for them—even if they’ve been getting injections for a while. But don’t worry, we’re here to guide you. The product lines from JUVÉDERM® and Restylane® are known for excellent, natural-looking results. Some of the lip fillers we prefer include:

Choosing the best lip filler is only part of the equation, though. As with other cosmetic treatments, the injector’s expertise is the key to getting the results you want.

How much do lip fillers cost?

At our locations in La Jolla and Carlsbad, the cost of lip fillers ranges from $376 to $995, but pricing is subject to change. The cost of your treatment will depend on the amount of filler needed to create your dream lips. Fillers are typically priced per syringe, and we customize each treatment based on your goals.

Do lip fillers hurt?

No pain, no gain…NO WAY! We’re 100% on board with a stress-free, comfortable lip filler treatment. To do that, we offer different options to help you stay relaxed during your treatment. These include:

  • Topical numbing cream: About 20 to 30 minutes before your treatment, we apply a cream to numb your lips. This is typically all that’s needed. Additionally, almost all fillers are pre-mixed with lidocaine, a local anesthetic that numbs you even more.
  • Injectable nerve block: Not everyone has the same levels of tolerance, and numbing cream may not do the trick on its own. In those cases, we can inject lidocaine around the nerves to really desensitize the area.  
  • PRO-NOX™: This optional nitrous oxide (laughing gas) addition is great if you’re nervous around needles and need a little extra help to relax. You control the flow, and its effects wear off quickly, so there’s no need to have someone drive you home. That’s true of the other local anesthetics, as well.

Are lip fillers used for a ‘lip flip’?

A lip flip is a popular, nonsurgical treatment that uses BOTOX® Cosmetic to create the appearance of a fuller upper lip. BOTOX injections relax the muscle just above the lip, preventing the lip from curling under when you smile. Instead, it “flips,” or turns outward.

Can you get lip fillers when you’re pregnant?

You deserve some pampering during your pregnancy, but we recommend something other than fillers. The effect of fillers on a developing fetus is not fully understood. It’s best to wait until after your pregnancy and breastfeeding.

How long after lip fillers can you kiss?

This is a popular question—of course you want to try out your new lips! But it’s important that lip fillers (and fillers injected in other areas) have a chance to settle in so they don’t end up moving. We recommend waiting at least 24 hours before you start smooching.

Ready for your dream lips?

If you’d like to meet with one of our San Diego lip filler specialists to talk about your goals, please click to book a free virtual consultation or in-office treatment or contact us at (858) 788-7989 with additional questions about the procedure.

To see how our experts administer lip filler or for more dermal filler talk and content, please check out our YouTube series:

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