What Is a Lip Flip and How Does It Work?

A female patient getting a botox injection above the lips
Reading Time: 4 Minutes
Author: Patricia Pezzano

Some people are born with thin lips; for others, they thin naturally with age. But read our lips—whether they’re on the thinner or plumper side—both are beautiful, it’s all just a matter of preference and personal aesthetic goals! 

While fillers are undeniably a popular choice when it comes to lip enhancements, not everyone is looking to alter the shape or size of their lips in order to achieve results. This is why understanding and offering a variety of injection techniques is important.

In this article we discuss how the process of a lip flip works, who makes a great candidate, what types of results you can expect, and more. 

What Does a Lip Flip Do?

First, we have to answer the question, “What is a lip flip?”

A lip flip is a non-surgical procedure for making the lips appear fuller. Unlike fillers, this procedure uses Botox to relax the muscles above the lips. This results in the lip turning slightly upward, creating the illusion that they’re fuller and plumper. 

It also prevents the lips from turning inward when the person is talking or smiling and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the upper lips.

 A close-up of subtle, upturned lips

Who is a Great Candidate for a Lip Flip? 

Since a lip flip does not add volume, it’s recommended for people who already have a bit of volume in their lips but not enough to make them “pop.” It’ also can slightly improve a gummy smile.

So does the procedure offer three-for-one value? For some people, yes! In the hands of a trained practitioner, a lip flip can improve a person’s facial harmony, make them appear a few years younger, and amplify their confidence. 

People who are not great candidates include those that speak a lot for a living, play any kind of musical instrument that requires a person to purse their lips, singers or people who like to whistle for their dag or drink through a straw. As the muscle around the mouth is being relaxed, it lessens that ability to fully purse the lips. 

A lip flip does not work on everyone.  If you do not “curl your lip in” when smiling, a lip flip will not have any effect because the muscle around your mouth is not restricting movement. A thorough consultation with a trained practitioner will give an accurate assessment. 

Where to Inject Botox for Lip Flip

During a lip flip, a trained practitioner will inject Botox above the upper lip. This will relax the orbicularis oris, the muscle surrounding the mouth. The injection specialist may also target the lip elevator muscles along the sides of the nose to help correct a hyperactive upper lip.

Botox Lip Flip: How Many Units 

For a lip flip, a practitioner typically injects four to six units of Botox, but may inject up to eight units if the patient has excessive gingival display.

As each person is unique, these recommendations may not apply to all patients. Some patients may need as little as two units, while others may need ten to achieve maximum volume. A trained practitioner will be able to determine how much is ideal for each patient so that their enhancement looks as natural as possible.

Common Lip Flip Side Effects 

A patient who has undergone a lip flip may experience:

  • Swelling at and around the injection site. This is normal and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. If bothersome, a patient may relieve the pain with a cold compress. 
  • Bruising, but this usually subsides in two to three days.
  • The lips can feel “ strange” for a few days.  This is because as the muscle is relaxed around the mouth, it can take a few days for it to feel natural.

How Soon After Treatment Will Patients See Results? 

Most patients will notice visible effects within three to four days, but on average, it takes about a week to see the full and final result.

For patients intending to get a makeover before an important event, it is best to do this procedure two weeks prior. This will allow any swelling or bruising to fully subside so the patient can enjoy the full effect on the day of the event.

Patients planning on travelling after their procedure should wait 24 to 48 hours before travelling so they can quickly return for an examination in case side effects or allergic reactions occur.

An injection expert working on a patient procedure

How Long Does a Lip Flip Last? 

A lip flip may last up to five months, depending on a person’s metabolism although 3-4 months is the average given that the dosages need to be conservative in this area.

Typically, patients with a high metabolism may notice their lip flip wearing off earlier and experience the full benefits for two months. Athletic people may also notice their lip flip fading earlier than expected as exercise can increase blood flow and metabolism, which can break down Botox faster.

The Secret to a Natural Pout 

Patients looking to get optimal results should seek a skilled practitioner trained in administering lip flips. While many physicians are able to inject Botox, not everyone has proper training to provide patients with beautiful results.

When lip flip injections are done incorrectly, a patient might experience difficulty drinking and talking, or might drool excessively.

Trained physicians are also better able at assessing a patient’s eligibility for a lip flip. They can recommend other procedures in addition to or in place of a lip flip if they believe it would serve the patient better.

World-Standard Botox Injection Training at APT 

APT Injection Training specializes in Botox and Dermal Injection Training. Our internationally-recognized teaching facility is the only training centre in Canada that offers both certificates of attendance and true certifications

We work with both the Medical and Aesthetics Training Academy (MATA) and OTHM—a U.K.-based awarding organization to provide up-to-date training courses and professional certifications that are in line with British and global standards.

This includes closely monitored, hands-on training to ensure learners are capable and ready when they graduate, which also helps promote the safety and satisfaction of their clients.

If you’re a medical professional looking to get trained and accredited for lip flip and Botox procedures, get in touch with APT Injection Training now. Improve your practice and your patients’ experiences even further with our next-level courses.

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