Top supermodels and Hollywood A-List types all have one thing in common: full, pouty lips. Done properly, a lip enhancement can turn thin scarecrow lips into kissable plums and has been a beauty secret in the entertainment industry for years. It has also been more accessible, an affordable, than ever to anyone wishing to enhance the look and fullness of their lips. There are many options with lip enhancement procedures. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2009 Fact Sheet, lip enhancement procedures increased 16% from 2000-2009 with more than 21,000 procedures performed.
Lip enhancements are a custom-tailored procedure specifically designed to each individual patient. There are two primary ways to complete a lip enhancement: surgically and minimally invasive. Minimally invasive techniques are the most popular largely because they have immediate results with very little recovery time. Minimally invasive enhancers usually involve injectable transdermal fillers into the lips to fill and plump around the mouth. The primary advantages of injectable fillers include fast recovery, low pain, quick recovery, and temporary effects. This option is great for candidates who want to “try before they buy” enhancement. In the minimally invasive category, over the counter cosmetic pharmaceuticals have been growing in popularity. These DIY (do-it-yourself) products are generally very expensive and yield disappointing results. In fact, a 2005 University of Washington study found that an unnamed over the counter topical lip enhancer resulted in zero net gain in fullness. It is worth noting that pharmaceuticals specifically manufactured for cosmetic purposes and do not have drug properties are either not regulated or very lightly regulated by the FDA. The other option for lip enhancement is a cosmetic surgical procedure. A cosmetic lip enhancement generally involves placing solid implants under the skin. The major advantages of a cosmetic procedure include semi-permanence and less frequent pain from injection. The implants can be custom designed and may be removed at the patient’s request. To achieve the best result from a lip enhancement is to visit a cosmetic surgeon to discuss the options.