Everything You Need to Know About Natural Lip Fillers


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When it comes to plumping your lips to their maximum potential, there are multiple paths you can take. One road will lead to a medspa or your derm’s office, where you can choose from hyaluronic-acid-based injectables ranging from Juvederm to Volbella and Kysse. Or, you could go the non-invasive route, using a needle-free method to plump up your pout—the choice is yours.

However, if you do decide to go the natural lip filler route, you should be armed with everything you need to know before you begin your journey toward the fullest, most pillowy lips possible. Thankfully, we turned to the pros to learn about the best alternative methods to injectables, plumping products you can use at home, and why you should never go near a hyaluron pen. Ahead, read natural lip fillers and more.

Hyaluronic acid is the star of the show.

If you’re looking for a topical path to pillowy lips, look for a lip product that contains hyaluronic acid (HA). After all, it’s the same ingredient most injectable lip fillers are made of, and many lip treatments, oils, and plumping complexes are infused with the hydrating ingredient.

“HA is found in many products formulated to plump lips,” notes Brooke Jeffy, an Arizona-based board-certified dermatologist. “In these products, HA attracts water, hydrating the lips and leaving them feeling smoother and softer and looking subtly plumper. These temporary effects may happen within just a few minutes, but longer lasting results can only occur with continued long-term use.” She recommends The PCA Hyaluronic Acid Lip Booster and Revision Skincare YouthFull Lip Replenisher.

Georgina Ferzli, an NYC-based board-certified dermatologist, says her go-to product for a burst of HA to the lips is Byroe Black Cherry Plump Lip Oil “In addition to having tons of antioxidants and moisturizing ingredients, it contains a complex of eight different hyaluronic acids that work together to volumize the lip and lock water into the skin,” she says.

Aesthetic physician Dr. Gendai Echezona, MD, recommends Dior Addict Lip Maximizer for a fuller pout. “This lip plumper contains hyaluronic acid spheres to hydrate and plump the lips, giving them a subtly fuller appearance,” she says. “The results won’t be dramatic.” Plus, it comes in a range of hues, from holographic lavender to sheer raspberry and sparkling bronze.

Echezona is also a fan of the Jan Marini Hyla3D Lip Complex, which is infused with hyaluronic acid, peptides, and retinol. “It provides both immediate and long-term benefits, reducing fine lines and wrinkles while enhancing lip volume,” she says. “It’s perfect for day and night use.”

Needle-free lip treatments are available at Medspas.

You can also get your plumping fix at a medspa. “Non-invasive, needleless lip treatments have become increasingly popular for those looking to enhance their lips without the use of injections or surgery,” says Lindsay Holdorf, Dermstore’s resident esthetician. “These treatments often focus on hydration, plumping, and smoothing, offering a less intimidating option for lip enhancement.”

If you’re looking for a more professional, needleless treatment for plumped lips, in-office options include:

LED Therapy for Lips

“LED therapy utilizes different light wavelengths to reduce inflammation, boost collagen, and enhance healing, leading to smoother and fuller lips,” Holodorf notes. Though the treatment is on the menu at Medspas, you can also try it out at home. Sephora, Nordstrom, and other retailers stock FDA-cleared lip masks that use red light to improve your pout.

“Red light promotes cell renewal, decreases inflammation, increases collagen production, boosts radiance, and helps regenerate skin to keep it looking young and hydrated,” says Ferzli. An FDA-cleared lip mask “focuses solely on the lips in a safe, effective way, making it a game-changer in the lovely-lips department,” she adds.

Skin LED Lip Perfector

Currentbody Skin Skin LED Lip Perfector

DRx SpectraLite LipWare Pro LED Device

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite LipWare Pro LED Device

Lux Collection Lip Care LED Lip Plumping Device at Nordstrom

Revive Light Therapy Lux Collection Lip Care LED Lip Plumping Device at Nordstrom

HydraFacial Lip Perk

You can also combine your lip plumping with a Hydrafacial. “HydraFacial has an add-on service to help plump the lips—it’s called the HydraFacial Lip Perk,” says Echezona. “It uses a special device with a technology called ‘roller-flex’ that exfoliates and smooths the lips while infusing them with a serum containing hyaluronic acid, peppermint oil, and peony extract. This will gently exfoliate, hydrate, and plump the lips. The effects of the treatment may be short term, lasting a few days, but a take-home serum is available to help maintain results.”

A few more medspa therapies you might consider are:

  • Microcurrent Therapy: This technique sends tiny electrical currents to the lips to stimulate muscle activity and collagen production. Holodorf notes that it’s ideal for improving contouring and firmness around the lips.
  • Radiofrequency (RF) Treatments: Using an electromagnetic device that generates heat to boost collagen and skin elasticity around the lips, this treatment can smooth fine lines and subtly plump the pout.
  • Ultrasound Therapy: Typically used in facial treatments, ultrasound therapy can be adjusted to focus on the lips. “It stimulates collagen and tightens tissue for subtle lip enhancement, targeting aging signs like fine lines and elasticity loss,” Holodorf explains.

Steer clear of the Hyaluron Pen!

You may have heard of the hyaluron pen, a home device that’s touted as a needle-free, painless alternative to dermal fillers. A word to the wise: Our experts say to run away from the hyaluronic pen.

Hyalruon pens use highly pressurized air to deliver non-medical-grade HA into the skin on the lips. Sound sketchy? There’s more: “Uncontrolled, non-prescription devices, like the hyaluron pen, in non-medical hands is a recipe for disaster,” says Jeffy. “Think bleeding, bruising, scarring, infection, and damage to your eyes from the excessive pressure needed to attempt this. If you want HA in your lips, see a medical professional.”

Injectable Lip Fillers: Juvederm & Restylane

Of course, you could always go the injectable route. “Lip filler injections are a relatively non-invasive way to add volume to the lips,” says Ferzli. “Almost all fillers used in the lips are comprised of hyaluronic acid, a molecule that binds water. In fact, one molecule of hyaluronic acid can bind up to one ton of water! These fillers will differ mainly in their G-prime, which refers to the viscosity and elasticity of the product. The G-prime determines how runny or how pliable a filler is. A thicker filler will provide more structure and is usually used when someone is looking for more shaping or contouring to their lip. A runnier filler will provide a ton of hydration, and a more velvety filler will yield a more pillowy pout.”

Ferzil describes the texture of the most popular types of injectable lip fillers as such:

  • Juvederm: Thick & Firm
  • Juvederm Volbella: Runnier
  • Juvederm Vollur: Velvety
  • Restylane Kysse: Fimer
  • Restylane Silk: Average

Baby Lip Fillers

Don’t forget: You don’t just have a choice of what kind of filler to get—you can also weigh in on the amount. (Think baby Botox—but make it lips.) “Most of my patients prefer subtle and natural-looking lip filler results,” says Dr. Rachel Reyes-Bergano, the SkinSpirit Pasadena medical director. “The half syringe of HA filler is a popular choice, especially for touch-up sessions. The majority of my patients see me once or twice a year for lip filler.”

Before- and After-Care for Dermal Lip Fillers

If you do go the injectable route, you’ll have to give your lips a little TLC—not only in the days after the service, but in the time leading up to it. “Prep care at home in the days leading up to a lip filler procedure significantly affects healing,” says Reyes-Bergano. “I often advise my patients to steer clear of blood-thinning agents such as aspirin for one week to cut down on the risk of bleeding. It’s also important to mention to their clinic if they have a history of cold sores because medication might be required prior to the procedure to prevent a flare-up afterward. Some of my patients like using Arnica, an herbal supplement that helps reduce bleeding & bruising a few days prior to their procedure.”

After a procedure, Reyes-Bergano recommends using a petroleum jelly-based balm to lock in moisture. “This is important, especially post lip-filler,” she says. “I keep a tube in my purse to keep my lips hydrated throughout the day.” She also recommends using reparative lip products infused with antioxidants such as Vitamin E and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

Meet the Experts

Why Trust ELLE Beauty?

As a leading publisher of fashion, lifestyle, and beauty content, ELLE.com is committed to highlighting the best products in various categories by personally testing the latest and most innovative products, interviewing countless experts, and vetting customer-loved items. For this piece, ELLE.com contributor Jenny Berg interviewed dermatologists and other skincare experts about injectable fillers and needle-free alternatives for achieving plump, pillow-soft lips.

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