Back in 2016, the number of lip injection procedures in the US rose a whopping 43%, mostly thanks to Kylie Jenner. In the past, doctors usually saw older generations (65 and up) come in for lip injections but now, the procedure is incredibly popular among teenagers and 20 somethings. With that being said, lip injections aren’t for everyone.

Today, we’re discussing all you need to know before going under the needle.

What are lip injections?

Lip injections (or lip fillers) are a cosmetic procedure to give the lips a fuller, plumped-up look. Lips injections also work to reduce the appearance of fine lines on the lips and mouth area.

Most modern-day lip injections are made from hyaluronic acid which is a naturally occurring substance found in your body. Since hyaluronic acid is found in our systems naturally, there’s a low chance it will be rejected by our bodies. It also means that it will break down easily over a few months. Hyaluronic acid is ideal for lip injections because it’s able up to hold a lot of moisture. Popular types of injections include Restylane and Juvéderm. They’re all fairly similar but just talk to your doctor first to see what will work best for you.

Lip injections usually last around 6 months before they start to break down.

Are lip injections safe?

Lip injections are considered generally safe as long as you’re getting them done by a licensed doctor. As with any cosmetic procedure, there are always risks. Common side effects from getting injections include swelling, bruising, redness, and tenderness of the lips. It’s also possible to develop more severe side effects such as infections, scarring, allergic reactions, and lumps in the lips.

If you’re getting lip injections repeatedly, you’re essentially stretching your skin which can cause sagging once the filler starts to breakdown. What’s most important is that you go to a cosmetic doctor for injections and not a salon. A doctor is licensed to discuss the possible risks with you and make an educated decision on if the procedure is right for you.

How much do lip injections cost?

Depending on where you live and the doctor that’s performing the procedure, lip injections can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000 per session. Since lip fillers tend to dissolve within four to six months, you’ll need to go in for touch ups two to three times a year. This means that you could be spending upwards of $6,000 per year on lip injections!

Although it may be tempting, don’t be fooled by beauty spas that offer lip injections for a lower price. Most of the time, their filler is cut with water or saline which could result in a botched injection and that’s the last thing you want!

How to prep for your injections

Because lip injections are a cosmetic procedure, there are some crucial steps you want to take before your appointment:

Consultations are extremely important. Before committing to injections, you should schedule a consultation with a cosmetic doctor to review your medical history, what you’re looking to get out of the procedure, and how to prep for the appointment. A consultation can determine if lip injections are right for you and also give your doctor a better feel of what you’re looking for.

Don’t be afraid to ask for example photos of past lip injection procedures done by the doctor to make sure they really know what they’re doing.

Pro tip: If the cosmetic doctor is available for same-day appointments, it’s usually a sign they’re inexperienced.

There are certain things you should avoid before the procedure. Avoid blood thinners (this includes aspirin, Motrin, ibuprofen, and Aleve), fish oil, and vitamin E for two weeks before your appointment. A few days prior to the appointment, avoid any anti-aging products such as retinoids and glycolic acid. 24 hours before the appointment, don’t drink any alcohol. All of these things can increase bleeding and bruising.

Show up bare faced. Come to your appointment with you skin clean and without any makeup on.

What to expect when getting injections

If it’s your first time getting lip injections, here are some things you should expect during the procedure:

  • Lip injections usually take less than an hour.
  • First, your doctor will apply a topical numbing cream or inject a numbing agent like lidocaine to help ease any discomfort. Even with the numbing agent, you should expect to feel a level of discomfort. Think of it like a bee sting.
  • Next, your doctor will mark the areas that they want to inject into. Then using very fine needles, they will inject the lip fillers.
  • After the procedure, your doctor may give you some ice to lightly apply to the area to control swelling and pain.
  • You’ll be able to see immediate results with lip injections, but they will look different once the swelling goes down after a few days.
  • You may notice some small bumps or lumps on your lips following the procedure—this is totally normal and should go away within a week or two. If they don’t dissolve on their own, go back to your doctor and they’ll be able to take care of them.

How to care for your lips after the injections

There are some important steps you need to take to cut down on swelling and bruising.

  • Apply ice to your lips regularly after your appointment.
  • Avoid alcohol and blood thinners for 24 hours following your appointment to lessen bruising.
  • Try sleeping with your head elevated on two pillows to help decrease swelling.
  • Do not put any pressure on your lip for a least a week after the procedure.
  • Don’t apply any makeup to the area for at least 12 hours after.
  • Avoid intense heat that can come with tanning, hot tubs, and saunas to keep redness and swelling at bay.
  • If you have any adverse symptoms such as fever, increased pain, or discolored blotches in areas that weren’t injected, call your doctor immediately.