In case you haven't noticed, lip plumping treatments have seen a major rise in popularity over the past few years — a trend arguably re-ignited by Kylie Jenner now seems like a more reasonable and viable option for anyone who's looking for a fuller pout. But if you're considering taking the plunge, there's more to them than you might think. There are three main types of lip injections, and each has a distinct "look" it can give.
"The common fillers used for lip augmentation are Restylane, Juvéderm Ultra XC, and Juvéderm Volbella XC," says top celebrity dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler. "Others are used off-label, but these are the most commonly used in my practice."
While it may seem like a lip injection is a lip injection, there are different ways to get to your desired results. "Each filler is defined by its ability to augment volume, add lift, or change the shape of the lip. The feel of the lip is also of paramount importance," says Wexler. "The thinner the filler, the more it will conform to the surrounding tissue, and the more viscous, the more it will maintain its shape."
Your derm will, of course, talk to you about the best options for you, but going in armed with some knowledge about what each one does can help inform your final decision. Here's a breakdown of the three main types of lip injections to consider.
Restylane is a hyaluronic acid filler with a high affinity for water, says Wexler, which essentially means it's good at retaining moisture (read: plumper lips). "It has a high G prime [elasticity], which means it has a great ability to give definition and lift to the lips, and it has a high viscosity, which means it maintains its shape. The lips are natural looking and slightly more firm to touch then the Juvéderm family," she says.
It has about one percent cross-linking of hylauronic acid chains, which relates to how long it lasts, says Wexler — with Restylane, you can expect to keep your results for six to nine months.
Best for: "Giving definition of shape, lift, and subtle volume correction for six to nine months," says Wexler.
2. Juvéderm Ultra XC
Juvéderm Ultra XC has a higher concentration of hyaluronic acid than Restylane and Volbella (the next filler up). "The G prime is lower than both Restylane and Volbella, giving the lips a softer feel and a more horizontal spread of direction," says Wexler. And because there's a greater percentage of cross-linking thanks to its Hylacross technology, says Wexler, it'll last longer, about nine months to a year.
Best for: "A softer, plumper lip with a more horizontal spread than lift, but more volume, for up to a year," says Wexler.
3. Juvéderm Volbella
"Juvéderm Volbella is the newest of the lip plumpers," says Wexler. "It has the lowest concentration of hyaluronic acid and the lowest affinity to water. It gives a subtle volume augmentation that is soft and natural." However, even though the results are less dramatic, that doesn't mean they diminish more quickly than the others.
"It has a new Vycross technology which increases its longevity by mixing different lengths of hyaluronic acids chains, increasing its stability," says Wexler. Expect to see results for up to a year.
Best for: "Giving a soft, subtle, plump lip with a long-lasting effect. The skin appears to have a translucent, radiant appearance, making it look more youthful and rejuvenated."
What You Can Expect After The Treatment
"All the fillers are prone to some bruising, swelling, and asymmetry until the final result," says Wexler. "Restylane may be slightly more prone to bumps or bruising, and Juvéderm Ultra XC may be more prone to swelling due to its affinity to water." You might experience some tenderness with all three, too.
No matter which one you go with, though, the good news is that recovery should only be a few days.
After that, take care of your plumper pout with products you normally would. Whatever you use on them, though, have fun with your "new lips" while they last — whether you decide to do it again or not in six to 12 months, there's no denying it's a fun way to mix up your look.