If you’ve been looking at non-surgical enhancements online and through social media, you may have heard about the lip flip procedure, an enhancement that focuses on the appearance of the lips. 

So, what is a lip flip procedure and how is it performed? 

Essentially, a lip flip procedure involves injecting a neuromodulator, like Botox, into muscles around the upper lip. The lip flip relaxes the muscles so the upper lip projects outwards, looking larger and more defined. 

A lip flip can help address a gummy smile and enhance the appearance of your lips, but like any non-surgical enhancements, it can have side effects if not performed properly. 

We’ll cover more about the lip flip procedure and it’s potential benefits below, as well as advice on the best candidates for the treatment. 

What Is A Lip Flip Treatment?

A lip flip is a non-surgical aesthetic treatment used to produce a fuller lip. A practitioner will inject Botox (botulinum toxin A) inside the upper lip to give the appearance of a larger lip. 

Botox will relax muscles above the upper lip, so the lip flips upward. A lip flip treatment does enhance the lips to make them appear larger, but the lips do not actually increase in size. 

How Does A Lip Flip Treatment Work?

The lip flip procedure involves administering botox injections or a variation of abobotulinumtoxin A, like Jeuveau, into the muscles above the upper lip. 

The aim is to slacken the orbicularis oris muscle, which shapes and forms the lips. The injection relaxes the upper lip so it ‘flips’ outward, appearing like a fuller lip.

Lip flips are quick treatments that can take a few minutes, so they are a good alternative for people concerned about more invasive procedures, like a surgical lip lift. 

The lip flip procedure involves administering botox injections into the muscles above the upper lip. The upper lip then ‘flips’ outward, appearing fuller as a result. 

Good Candidates For Lip Flip Procedure

A lip flip procedure can be a good treatment for people who have the following:

  • Desire fuller lips without lip filler.
  • Believe their upper lip disappears as they smile.
  • Want to reduce a gummy smile, when the smile reveals more gum show than you would prefer.

Results from a lip flip procedure generally last between 8 and 12 weeks. If you’re searching for permanent effects, lip fillers or surgical lip lifts may be a better option.

A lip flip procedure can be a good treatment for people who desire fuller lips without lip filler or who want to reduce a gummy smile. 

Lip Flip or Lip Filler?

If you’re wondering what is a lip flip procedure, you may have considered getting dermal lip filler too. Both lip fillers and lip flips can create the appearance of more defined, fuller lips, but both these treatments are different. 

Lip flips create the appearance of fuller lips, but lip filler actually changes the size of the lips to make them fuller. Lip filler treatments involve a practitioner injecting the lips with a dermal filler, usually made from hyaluronic acid. 

Lip flips, however, relax muscles around the upper lip with Botox, so the lip turns outwards. The lip looks fuller, but its size doesn’t actually change - it becomes restructured instead. 

If you’re wondering whether you should go for lip flip or lip filler, consider whether you want lasting, more invasive results.

Lip filler is best for patients who want to change the actual size and shape of their lips, while a lip flip is best for those looking for a non-permanent lip enhancement. 

If you’re wondering whether you should go for lip flip or lip filler, consider whether you want lasting or more temporary results. 

Benefits of A Lip Flip

A lip flip procedure has several advantages which may make it the preferred treatment over other procedures, like a surgical bullhorn lip lift

Here are some of the main benefits of a lip flip.

1. A Lip Flip Creates Subtle Results

The main advantage of a lip flip is the natural results on the upper lip. The lips receive a ski-jump appearance that defines the edges of the lip, known as the vermillion border. This makes it look like your lips are fuller. 

2. No Downtime

Another one of the benefits of a lip flip is that the procedure is non-surgical, so it doesn’t have much downtime.

Unlike surgical lip lifts, which require adequate aftercare and recovery time to heal properly, you can resume normal activities once your Botox injections are done. 

3. Targets A Gummy Smile

If you have a gummy smile, where the gums show when you smile, lip flip injections can relax the muscles that pull the lips upwards, reducing gum show when you smile. 

By the same token, if your top lip curls under when you smile, a lip flip can reduce this, so you show more of your upper lip as you smile. 

4. Temporary Results

If you’re experimenting with non-surgical aesthetic treatments to your lips, you can try a lip flip without committing to permanent results. 

Lip flip results tend to wear off in three to four months, which is ideal if you’re not satisfied with the results. 

Reasons To Avoid A Lip Flip Procedure

The lip flip procedure can have great results in the right candidate, but there are some reasons why you may want to opt for alternative treatments. 

1. Results Are Too Subtle

A lip flip targets the appearance of your upper lip, so the edges roll outwards a little. This is a very subtle effect, particularly when the patient doesn’t smile. 

If you prefer more visible results or want to make distinct changes to your lip size, it’s best to look at more permanent changes. 

2. You Have Difficulty Pronouncing Words

Botox injections prevents the muscle from moving as it normally would, which can make the following more difficult:

  • Whistling
  • Using a spoon to eat
  • Using a straw to drink
  • Spitting after cleaning teeth
  • Pronouncing certain syllables or words 

People who speak in public for a living, like teachers, singers, or lecturers, should assess the advantages of an enhanced lip against the risks related to impaired lip function before a lip flip procedure. 

If you do choose to get a lip flip, it’s important to go to a skilled, qualified injector who knows what they’re doing. 

3. The Effects Wear Off

Lip flip effects can look great, but like all Botox treatments, they will wear off. Botox treatments to other areas, like the forehead, last longer, but a lip flip usually wears off in two months. 

This is because we move the upper lip muscles more than other facial muscles during the day, as we speak, eat, and drink. These continuous movements bring about shorter results, so you’ll need to get top-up botox injections to keep seeing the effects. 

Lip filler results, on the other hand, can last over a year, while surgery can have lasting effects. If you want lasting results, you should look into procedures like these, unless you’re experimenting with a lip flip to assess how fuller lips may look on you. 

4. Results Aren’t Immediate

Botox lip flip results take a while to set in, around a week in most cases. This means that your aesthetic practitioner won’t be able to assess your results instantly as you are treated. 

This isn’t the case with filler, as an injector can immediately see if they’ve injected too much or too little, increasing the likelihood of satisfaction with the results. 

Lip Flip Risks

Lip flips, like any non-surgical treatment, aren’t without risks. When gone wrong, lip flip risks include excess muscle relaxation, lopsided results, or severe complications, like botulism, in some cases.  

It’s also important to have reasonable expectations. Lip flip results should be subtle - they aren’t a replacement for dermal lip fillers. If your practitioner attempts to replicate filler results with a lip flip, you could increase your risk of complications. 

You can reduce the risk of complications by choosing a professional, skilled, and qualified practitioner to deliver your lip flip treatment. Always follow the practitioner's Botox aftercare advice and report any unusual changes or effects as soon as you notice them. 

There we have it! We hope this post helped answer what is a lip flip procedure, including what a lip flip involves and whether it’s the right procedure for you. 

How We Can Help

At You Can Clinic, our Botulinum Toxin training courses cover several techniques to give practitioners confidence in delivering injections.

Our Lip Masterclass courses also give aesthetic professionals dermal filler training to deliver natural lip enhancement results. 

With courses suitable for beginner and more advanced practitioners, you will receive an understanding of facial anatomy and how to inject botulinum toxins like Botox safely, so you can give your patients stellar results. 

We conduct our botulinum toxin training courses in Cardiff and Swansea, and our lip masterclass courses in Cardiff, Swansea, and Bristol. To find out more about our courses, give us a call at +44 (0)2921 678747 or check out our other training courses to find out more about what we do. 

June 10, 2024 — Jemima Thomas