Full lips are becoming an increasingly more important ideal of beauty, according to data from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
Hyaluronic acid lip filler treatments saw a 27% increase in 2015, with more than two million procedures performed across the US. Here at Ocean Clinic Marbella, we too have noticed an increase in the number of patients requesting lip enhancement.
Indeed, it is now one of the most popular non-surgical procedures for younger women, with large pouts popularised by reality TV stars and social media personalities.
However, lip filler is not only for creating celebrity-style looks, it’s an effective way to replace lost volume in thinning lips and banish those ageing ‘smoker’s lines’.
Why lips thin as we age
Young lips are full because young skin contains plenty of collagen and naturally occurring hyaluronic acid.
Because of the degradation of collagen and elastin over time, all lips lose volume as we grow older. Lips thin and narrow, the amount of ‘red’ showing decreases and the white roll that navigates around the lips starts to disappear.
This results in less definition and you may notice your lipstick starts to bleed over the edges of your lips, while vertical lines (known as perioral lines) begin to appear on your upper lip.
When this starts to happen depends on three factors. It is primarily dictated by genetics, but sun exposure and smoking can also greatly accelerate the process.
Maximum upper lip thickness is reached in girls at the age of 14 but lips begin to thin after age 16 and loss of volume is a common complaint in women in their 30s and 40s.
|Ageing lips lose volume and develop lines|
How lip fillers work
Lip fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane contain hyaluronic acid – the substance produced naturally by the body, which is responsible for nice plump lips (alongside collagen).
When injected into the lips, these soft gel fillers feel absolutely natural and move normally, with minimal potential for nodularity.
Hyaluronic acid lip fillers are a temporary, non-surgical treatment. How long the results last for depends on the product used and your body’s rate of absorption. Around 6-9 months is typical, however a longer lasting lip filler is now available.
Juvederm Volbella has been found to effectively increase lip fullness and soften the appearance of lines in most patients for in excess of one year. The formula blends different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, which contributes to the gel's duration.
Although it was already approved for use in Europe, Juvederm Volbella now has approval from the FDA in the US following a clinical trial. Nearly 170 subjects were treated with the filler and observed for more than a year.
Approximately two-thirds of subjects saw improvement in lip fullness and perioral lines around the mouth that lasted longer than one year.
A permanent solution
As an alternative to hyaluronic acid, a patient’s own body fat can be used as a lip filler. As well as being completely natural, one of the key benefits of this lip enhancement technique is its longevity.
The fat is carefully transplanted into the lips so that it can gain a blood supply and therefore become permanent tissue. Although patients experience some initial reabsorption of fat – and again this differs from person to person – that which persists after six months can remain for many years.
If a patient desires a plumper effect, a second injection of fat can be carried out at a later date to increase ‘take’.
Creating a natural looking result
Whether you opt for hyaluronic acid or fat lip fillers, we advise you to go for a natural looking aesthetic – plump, youthful and kissable, but not an over-inflated ‘trout pout’!
Research has shown that thin lips can be more detrimental to a person’s perceived age than wrinkles and grey hair.
We aim to give you your full teenage lips back, restoring volume where it has been lost and filling out lines. This way, we can take years off your appearance without it being obvious you have had a surgical procedure.