Move over filler — the Botox lip flip is the latest cosmetic procedure getting all the attention.

By Renee Cherry
May 03, 2021
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Credit: Getty Images

When you hear the words "lip injections" lip filler likely comes to mind. But another minimally-invasive lip-enhancing procedure is having a major moment in the spotlight. Have you heard of the "lip flip"?

As the name suggests, a lip flip makes the top border of your upper lip roll upward ever-so-slightly. This can make the lip appear a bit more full, says Austin Marie Jacobus, N.P., clinical and operations director at Evolve Med Spa in Hoboken, New Jersey. "It prevents your upper lip from tucking in when you smile," explains Jacobus. "So your lip kind of sits upright, giving it a fuller appearance." (Related: I Got Lip Injections and It Helped Me Take a Kinder Look In the Mirror)

And what is a lip flip appointment like? Injectors use a neuromodulator (a drug, such as Botox or Dysport, which prevents nerve signals that tell muscles to contract, resulting in a relaxation of the muscle) to achieve the lip flip. Specifically, they're typically injecting one to two units of the injectable drug just above the edge of the upper lip, says Stafford Broumand, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon at 740 Park Plastic Surgery. Botox, for example, is injected into the orbicularis oris muscle, which is what allows you to purse your lips or roll your lips under, according to Dr. Broumand. "It softens the orbicularis by the vermilion border [the border of your lip], allowing other muscles in that area to tighten, and that slips the lip up."

While you might just be hearing about lip flips thanks to social media, they're actually nothing new. "It's something that now has a term or a moniker — the lip flip — but we've been using them for years," says Dr. Broumand. (Related: How to Decide Exactly Where to Get Fillers and Botox)

Speaking of the cosmetic procedure's presence on social media: Some people have been raving about their lip flip before and afters on the internet, yet others have been providing a word of warning. While there are plenty of videos captioned "This Is Your Sign to Get a Lip Flip" on TikTok, there are also a significant number of "Things You Can't Do After Getting a Lip Flip" posts. (Drinking out of a straw is a common complaint in the latter group.) But done correctly, the procedure won't affect your straw sipping abilities or prevent you from closing your mouth completely, says Dr. Broumand, who recommends visiting a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist if you're interested in a lip flip. Performed correctly a lip flip won't cause any of those awkward "just had dental work done" side effects such as drooling or slurring your words, he adds. (Related: Why You Shouldn't Try DIY Cosmetic Fillers At Home)

Provided you go to the right injector, lip flips are relatively low-stakes in the grand scheme of cosmetic procedures. It takes about 10 to 14 days to see the full results of a lip flip, and the results last about eight to 10 weeks, according to Jacobus. The typical Botox lip flip cost ranges from $350 to $600, says Dr. Broumand. RealSelf places the typical cost of a lip flip at around $200, noting that it'll vary depending on where you live (e.g. $50, according to Jacobus, who's based in NJ).

Botox has a multitude of uses beyond wrinkle prevention, from treating migraines to TMJ. If you're after a more pronounced upper lift, it might help with that too.

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