Published on 24 May, 2022Our lips are a central attribute of our faces; enabling us to express our emotions, influencing how we aesthetically age through dynamic expression and lending proportion and balance to our other facial features.Our approach to lip filler treatments is guided by:the individual’s natural lip anatomymuscle activity around the mouth, which will impact how filler sits or moves within the lipsthe patient’s face shape, chin projection, philtrum length and profile all of which are facial landmarks that should guide sensible injecting practice to avoid imbalance or exaggerated proportions.Dermal fillers can alter lip shape and size, over-filling or mis-treating the lips can also have a reverse effect, making the face look unnatural. Over-filling also increases the risk of complications occurring, which can be explored in detail here.It is for this reason that our clinics do not offer lip packages; one individual’s lips may require 0.5ml of filler while another may need 2ml for their final result. During the treatment process it is important to pause and take not of lip changes, to accurate agauge whether more filler is needed.Lips are incredibly unique, and it is rare to find two people with exactly the same lips, just as there will always be minor asymmetries and irregularities in each set of lips. There are, however, common categories of lip shapes that we see when patients present seeking lip filler procedures, with different lip shapes requiring a different treatment plan and approach.Lip anatomy Unlike other parts of the face, lips have no cartilage or bone, making them very dynamic and pliable in their movements.This anatomy plays a large role non the facial expression that convey how we are feeling, such as pursing our lips when we are stressed or concentrating, or turning down our mouth edges when we are sad or scared. Lips also do not have sebaceous glands (small glands within the skin that maintain hydration) leaving them more susceptible to sun damage and dehydration. An experienced injector will take all elements of your lip anatomy into account, including their natural attributes, when planning your injectables treatment. What are the common lip shapes?Full lipsThese lips are full in volume, with the volume of the upper lip almost matching the volume of the lower lip. The volume is also even across the upper and lower lips, with no obvious areas of volume loss. Thin Lips: These lips are narrow; they have very little volume and often sit slightly inverted, or curled under. Sometimes there will be good definition along the lip border, or there will be none. Lips that are thinner on the sidesThese lips have good volume in the central aspects of the upper and lower lips, but the volume tapers off, with the lateral part of the lips inverted under and not showing much of the pink lip body. Wrinkled LipsThese lips may be small or large in volume, but have loose lip tissue and dehydration lines. This can come as a result of sun exposure, poor hydration or collagen and elastin depletion. These lips can have static upper lip lines above the lips as well, as a result of smoking or pursing the lips. Dehydrated lipsThis lip type looks dry and dehydrated, even when they are internally well hydrated! In this case, rehydrating, plumping fillers are used. What treatments can be performed?Muscle RelaxantsThese can be used to relax the muscle under the lip (orbicularis oris) from pulling harshly when pursing the lips, leading to a reduction of upper lip wrinkles. However, this only lasts 3-4 months and will not take away static upper lip lines already in the skin.Muscle relaxants can also be used to the lip muscle to limit how inverted the lip is as rest, and how much tucks under when smiling. This is colloquially known as a ‘lip flip’ and creates a fuller lip when smiling and subtle change in the lips at rest. This will not add any volume to the lips, rather just show more of your own natural lip tissue that may be tucked under.Dermal FillerLip filler is used to add hydration, volume, structure, and projection to the lips. Softer fillers will simply add hydration whilst thicker fillers will improve volume, projection and provide structure to improve asymmetries. Fine lines around the mouth or upper lip lines can be treated with dermal filler to improve the appearance by directly filling the wrinkle with a hydrating skin booster filler that is made purely for fine lines within the superficial layer of the face. A cannula and/or fine, sharp tipped needle are used. above: before and 2 weeks fter lip filler treatment at The Sharp Clinics, using 1ml filler (L) and 2 ml filler (R)To find out more about lip injections or dermal fillers, book a complimentary consultation with our clinicians by calling 3202 4744.