The Surgeon Minute

Improve Your Lips Using Non-Surgical Options

Improve Your Lips Using Non-Surgical Options

Let’s talk about lips. The craze these days seems to be a fuller pout, what with celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Angelina Jolie making a fuller lip the go-to look right now. What’s the best way to achieve a plumper pout? Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jason Cooper discusses several options to achieve the fuller pout you’ve always dreamed about, not matter your age.

Tackling the Lips

When you scroll through Instagram, there are plenty of pictures of celebrities with full lips. It makes you want to pucker up! Still, achieving a fuller look in the lips isn’t that simple, according to Dr. Cooper. “‘The lips are probably one of, if not the, hardest areas to improve. They are very humbling,” said Cooper. Cooper, who practices in South Florida, says lips can be tricky to improve even when a patient is getting a facelift. “There’s no question that when you do a facelift, you are not really improving the upper lip,” he admits. Cooper says it’s important to pinpoint the upper lip and discuss specifics with the patient.

“The upper lip really requires a very detailed anatomic discussion with the patient,” he begins. “We talk about things like how deep are your lines, what does the texture of your upper lip look like, do you have a lot of sun damage, do you animate a lot with your upper lip, do you always drink through straws, and were you a smoker?” Cooper says these questions will help him answer what the best course of action will be to improve the look of the lip.

Lip Filler, Devices, and Lasers

There’s an assortment of solutions to improve aging lips; some are temporary, some are just kind of effective, and some offer more permanent lip augmentation. Cooper says for those patients with just a touch of wrinkling, there’s an effective, minimal approach. “When someone has very fine lines and minimal wrinkling of the upper lip, we recommend a topical device called ThermiSmooth, that uses radiofrequency,” he eplains. “This seems to really help with the fine lines and wrinkles. It builds up collagen through heating topically over the skin.”


A filler may be the answer for those patients with deeper lines, according to Cooper. “When someone has really deep, course lines, you need to have some type of small or medium particle hyaluronic acid filler. We like to use Vobella or Vollure to try and fill in those areas and then air brush the deep creases.”

The effects can last up to six months. After that, it will likely need to be repeated. Laser treatment may also be required to improve the texture of the skin, Cooper indicates. “Often times the deep creases coincide with poor texture and we will layer in a resurfacing laser at the appropriate time.”

Too Much is Never Good

When it comes to filler or other lip treatments, it’s wise to remember that more isn’t always better. “It’s really important not to overfill the upper lip,” shares Cooper. He says that overfilling creates an unnatural look and isn’t pleasing. “Filling the upper lip to fill in deep lines is one thing, but creating volume or puffiness of the white portion of the upper lip is undesirable and it’s not cosmetically appealing.” We have all seen photos or video of the ‘overdone look’ on television or in magazines. It prompts a second glance and sometimes a gasp. You don’t want that kind of look.

The best way to ensure a natural outcome is to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who is skilled in lip augmentation. Don’t fall for the cheap pitch; in plastic surgery, it’s almost always true that you get what you pay for. Volumizing lips requires skill and technique. Be sure to request to see before and after photos and ask plenty of questions. You should feel confident that you are picking a doctor who understands your needs and goals.

“This is why you need a cosmetic surgeon who focuses on the face,” concludes Cooper. “It’s good to incorporate other areas, like the lips and ears, neck and chin, because they are a whole approach to the face and facial appearance. The surgeon must understand the relationships and the ratios and the anatomy and convey the different treatment options to each person.”

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