Love them or hate them, the Kardashians have highly influenced the cosmetic injectable trend. There are reports that suggest when Kylie Jenner admitted to having lip augmentation in 2015, it led to a surge in clients looking for fuller lips.
The most common dermal fillers (used for lips and other areas) are hyaluronic acid based. This is a substance naturally found in your body (skin, joints, eyes), and in the skin it acts as the skin’s hydrator, binding many times its weight in water. Dermal fillers are cross-linked, meaning the strands of hyaluronic acid are bound together to give them a certain “thickness” and longevity. While natural hyaluronic acid in your skin breaks down in 1-2 days, dermal fillers are designed to last between (average) 6-12 months.
Lip fillers have become increasingly popular with the early 20s crowd, who wear large lips like a badge, openly talking about it with friends, and their Instagram/Snapchat followers. This is in contrast to the crowd in their 30s and beyond who seem (mostly) to prefer a more subtle, enhanced look, and often keep their treatments to themselves.
Lip fillers are a treatment that have caused me some concern. I see a lot of clients (and consult for a lot of clients) who don’t understand the risks of undertaking this medical procedure. And it’s important to be reminded that this is a medical procedure, not a beauty treatment. With the increase in social media exposure and the way chain clinics advertise these treatments, one could be mistaken for thinking that lip fillers are no more difficult or risky than getting a haircut or eyelash extensions. In fact, complications from having lip filler treatment (or any other filler) include infection, necrosis, ulceration, blindness, stroke, and inflammatory responses that present months to years later.
So my tips to consider before undertaking lip filler (or any other filler treatment) include the following:
- Think of your motivation behind wanting filler, and if it’s necessary. If you have great lips, why risk them?
- Ask how much experience does the injector have. You’ll be shocked to know that many only have 1-2 weeks of experience
- Ask about the products they use. Why the particular brand, where does it come from, how safe is it. It’s incredibly easy to get non-TGA approved products from overseas
- Don’t shop solely on price. If the treatment is cheap, consider reasons why
- Ask to see qualifications
- Take time to think about it. If the injector tries to pressure you to get treatment, incentivise you (offers a discount to get it done right then), or you feel
- uncomfortable, don’t go through with it
- Find out what they do if something goes wrong. Will they charge you to fix it? Can they fix it? If they aren’t a Doctor, do they have a local one to refer you to?
And always consider a second opinion. I’m always happy to provide complimentary consultations at my clinic.