Lip Injections vs Lip Fillers

Lip injections vs fillers: What's the difference and what you need to know for a natural look with optimal results.

Lip injections vs lip fillers: What's the difference between the two?

  • Lip injections: This is the name of a cosmetic procedure to increase the volume of your lips.
  • Lip fillers: This is the product (dermal filler) injected into the lip to create a fuller appearance.

Lip fillers can be placed in the upper lip, lower lip, or both.

Lip injection vs lip filler. Woman holding lip injection syringe in her mouth.

What should I know about lip fillers?

Lip fillers, also called dermal fillers, are a quick and easy way to a beautiful mouth.

Fillers can provide a fuller, supple appearance, a poutier lip, enhance the shape of your lips, or define the cupid's bow.

The use of dermal fillers is regarded as safe and highly effective, provided the injector or cosmetic surgeon is skillful and experienced with cosmetic injections and lip augmentation treatment.

Fillers are also used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines around the mouth and lip area.

What type of filler is best for lips?

Different types of dermal fillers used

The type of injectable dermal filler used depends on your what you're trying to achieve, your skin type (thin or thick skin), and the size and shape of your lips. For example, do you:

  • desire fuller or plumper lips
  • wish to accentuate the vermilion border which makes lips roll outwards a bit, enhancing definition and shape without adding volume
  • want to accentuate the cupid bow to enhance just the upper lip
  • want to lift the corners of the mouth to correct droopy mouth with injections to the oral commissure
Vermilion border of the lip.

Here is a quick breakdown of the most common fillers and their uses.

Restylane and Juvederm:

Restylane is granular and more cohesive while Juvederm has a smoother texture. These texture differences give both fillers different strengths and uses.

Juvederm Volbella XC , Juvederma Voluma, and Juvederm Ultra XC

The lips and the area around the mouth are the focus of Juvederm Ultra XC and Volbella XC. Juvederm fillers make the lips appear fuller and more supple because they retain water and have a gel-like consistency.

Additionally, they can be utilized to eliminate asymmetry and restructure the mouth by lifting the corners (oral commissure) to correct droopy mouth corners.

Restylane and Restylane Silk

Similar to Juvederm, Restylane fillers give the lips moisture, fullness, and flexibility.

While original Restylane is more granular and thicker, Restylane Silk was created specifically to revitalize the small areas like the vermilion border and cupids bow.

It's also used to erase wrinkles around the mouth and lips.

Your provider or injection will determine the best type of filler or fillers for you speicific needs.

What are lip injections?

Lip injections: A non-surgical procedure to enhance or augment the shape and size of the lips.

Lip injection involves using a syringe with a needle or cannula to inject collagen or any type of dermal filler into one or both of your lips.

Hyaluronic acid fillers (a natural substance) is one of the most popular filler substances used in lip injections today. It is a naturally occurring substance in the human body, similar to collagen.

Do lip filler needles hurt?

Do lip injections hurt, and how long does it take?

The injector or provider applies a topical anesthetic like a numbing cream around the injection sites and most fillers contain lidocaine, a numbing substance, so pain is minimal.

Here are some tips for less pain:

  • Ask your provider if they can cover the numbing cream area with a plastic wrap. The heat makes it absorb better, and the pain is much reduced. My dermatologist did this for me and the pain was very little!
  • The initial "prick" of the needle is the worst part. If you're getting several injections, replacing the needle after a few injections also helps. The more times it's used, the duller the point and the more painful it will be.

However, is different and have different pain threshold levels. If you're concerned, discuss this with your provider.

The time required for this efficient procedure is approximately 20-30 minutes, and there is no downtime.

Side-effcts of lip injections.

What can you expect after lip injections:

  • bruising
  • swelling
  • cold sore reactivation
  • vascular occlusion

Good candidate:

A good candidate for lip filler injections are those who:

  • do not smoke
  • are not prone to cold sores. If you are, your doctor may prescribe Valtrex prior to lip injection treatment
  • do not have any chronic health issues like diabetes

What can I do instead of lip filler

What can I do instead of lip fillers to enhance the size of my lips?

Fat Grafting

Some patients prefer to plump up their thin lips with injections made with their fat taken from other parts of their body.

This is called fat injections or fat grafting. The fat is often taken from the abdomen, purified, and then injected into the lips.

However, this procedure is usually twice as expensive as standard lip injections and there's a 50% or more loss of fat due to reabsorption, especially in areas of the face with much movement - like the mouth.

For this reason, most physicians and injectors prefer to use standard cosmetic dermal fillers like Juvederm or Restylane for lip enhancement due to less side effects and longer lasting final results.

Is there a permanent solution for bigger lips?

Permanent Solution for fuller lips: Surgical options

Lip implants are a great option for those tired of having to return to the doctor's office every 3-6 months to get lip fillers. This lip augmentation procedure can give you full, plump lips permanently.

This treatment option involves implanting a tiny silicone implants (usually made of gortex) inside the lip pocket. The implant size can be custom-made to fit the size of your lips if necessary.

How do implants work?

About this cosmetic surgery

  • Small incisions are made at the corners of the mouth, and a tunnel is created following the shape of the lip using a curved clamp.
  • Once the clamp reaches the other end of the lip, the clamp is opened to create a pocket. Then the implant is pulled through the lip tunnel.
  • After the implant is properly aligned, the incisions are closeup.

An implant can be used to add lip volume in the upper, lower, or both. Lip implant surgery can be under a general anesthesia, but most are done using local anesthetic.

Recovery and Healing:

The procedure only takes about an hour and there is minimal downtime, usually about 3 days to heal. But it can be uncomfortable for a few weeks.

In the first few days, you'll need to sleep with your head elevated, use cold compresses to reduce swelling and pain medication for any discomfort.

Then, for the next week or two, you have to be very careful how you eat and drink. You should not to open your mouth too wide or put pressure around the mouth area, as the implant can move or shift.

After about 14 days or so there should be enough scarring which helps hold the implant in place, and you can resume normal activities.


The cost of this permanent lip augmentation procedure can range from $2000-$5000.

Summary: Lip injection vs lip filler

A lip injection is a procedure used to get the lip filler into your lips. This is the most popular, least expensive non-surgical procedure to enhance or augment your lips.

This very popular, non-surgical lip augmentation can enhance the appearance of your lips and last anywhere from 3 to 12 months.

Many people noticed that the more often they get lip fillers within the first year, the longer they seem to last.

So, for your first time getting filler injections, you made need 4 treatments in a 12-month period. However, after that, you may only need 2-3 treatments per year to maintain the same results.

Good news about lip injections and lip fillers

Good News: Cosmetic companies are coming out with newer, improved, and longer lasting lip fillers almost every year. And over time, the lip injection process becomes easier and less painful.

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