When considering lip treatments, it’s important to remember that sexy lips come in many different shapes and sizes — from natural to the full va-va-va-voom Hollywood starlet pout that demands the attention of everyone in the room. The question is: How far are you willing to go to make your lips more beautiful?
Whether you’re in search of basic lip repair and protection, a new lip color, enhancing lip treatments, or more substantial augmentations like lip injections and fillers, implants, or laser rejuvenation, there are plenty of options to choose from.
For basic lip needs…
- During the day, soothe dry or cracked lips with lip balm. Look for conditioning ingredients like shea or cocoa butter, almond, castor, or jojoba oil, or beeswax. Choose a lip balm with a minimum SPF of 15 to protect your lips from sun exposure.
- By night, soften up your lips with stronger stuff, like petroleum jelly, Aquaphor healing ointment, or another emollient lip treatment.
For a little extra glamour…
- Give yourself a little boost of beauty with color. Choose from tinted glosses, lip stains or traditional lipsticks.
- Plump up your pucker without collagen or Restylane injections by using a lip plumper. These plumping products claim to stimulate collagen production in your lips. They typically range in price from $16 for drugstore brands to over $50 for luxury brands.
For more substantial lip augmentation…
- Injectable fillers are more effective and longer-lasting than lip plumpers, if you’re seeking a bigger-is-better aesthetic. Your doctor will most likely use liquid collagen, fat (known as Autologen) from another part of your body, or a filler like Restylane or Juvéderm to inject into your lips.After your first visit, your lips will already look more like Angelina Jolie’s, but the effect is still temporary. Injectable fillers require return visits. Each visit will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes, and your new lips will last a few weeks to a few months. Costs vary depending on the materials your doctor uses.
Other potential materials may include Dermalogen (an injectable material from deceased human donors, also known as human tissue matrix), Fascian (another injectable donor tissue, but this one is made from connective tissue and can also be used as a surgical implant), Hylaform (an injectable gel), and Radiance (calcium hydroxylapatite).
- Implantable materials, such as AlloDerm (natural collagen sheets made from donated skin) or synthetic materials (like Gore-Tex, SoftForm, and soft expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, or ePTFE), can be inserted into the lips through tiny incisions for a more permanent effect. Procedures can take up to two hours and usually require local anesthesia. Normal recovery time ranges from a few days to a couple of weeks with minor bruising and swelling.
- Laser lip rejuvenation uses laser therapy to tighten the natural collagen and elastic tissue in your lips.
If you do decide to get a lip augmentation with lip injections or other implantable materials, do your research and schedule a consultation with your doctor to discuss which options are right for you. Cosmetic surgery is still surgery, and it should be contemplated with seriousness. Finally, be sure to alert your doctor if your medical history includes conditions like oral herpes, diabetes, or lupus, or if you have blood-clotting issues, circulation problems, or if you’re a smoker, since they may interfere with your procedure.
Finally, experts at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery suggest considering the following: Allergic reactions to these procedures are possible, including redness, itching, and swelling. Other complications may include firmness of the lip, bruising, bleeding, lumping, scarring, asymmetry, and migration/extrusion of an implant. Lip augmentation is not recommended for people with certain kinds of allergies.
Although surgical lip treatments and augmentations are certainly possibilities when considering a new look, they aren’t for everybody. Sometimes a tasty lip balm and a flirty gloss are all you need to bring a little lusciousness to your lips and sparkle to your smile.