Even though the past year has been anything but standard and the move to wearing masks may make it sound counterintuitive, Bay Harbor Islands, FL dermatologist Stacy Chimento, MD says lip enhancement is most certainly having a moment. “We’ve been seeing a rise in everything aesthetics—with a big concentration on achieving that ‘natural approach.’” Dr. Chimento recently chatted with us to share the steps that go into what she pegs as a popular procedure, the trending “lip flip.”
How do you perform a lip flip?
“In a nutshell, the lip flip is a great, nonsurgical, barely invasive procedure that we do through the use of neuromodulators. It’s very quick and easy and I like it because it just gives you that very natural, kind of poutier lip without doing anything extensive. Obviously, it’s one of those things that is not permanent, so patients should look at it as a very temporary treatment—something that might last about three months but, because around the mouth is a very high-traffic, high-movement area, you’re most likely looking at about six to eight weeks of longevity for most people, which is still a great thing.
What I do is put the smallest amount of neurotoxin—either Dysport or Botox—right above the Cupid’s bow and sometimes on the corners of the mouth, depending on how much lifting the patient wants. With just a very few units of neurotoxin, it will affect the orbicularis oris, the muscle that’s around the lips, and then it relaxes it. By relaxing that muscle, it gives the lips a very subtle lifting effect, which creates a little bit of a pout.”
Is there any downtime involved or any post-instructions?
“As with any instructions post-neurotoxin injection, we recommend that the patient doesn’t manipulate the area or start pushing the area—even if they see a little swelling—because you don’t want to move the neurotoxin around. There’s really no strict aftercare involved, but I do always remind patients that they have to have a little bit of patience, since this treatment can take a few days and sometimes up to a week until you see maximum results.”
Were you surprised in the past year that patients were still interested in lip treatments?
“It’s a bit twofold: I think, at first, I was asking myself, ‘Why are people coming out and getting treatment?’ But listen, I’ve been there. I’m on the other end, I’ve done the Zoom calls, and I have seen myself a few times and said, ‘Wow, I could benefit from a few different things!’ Honestly, I think people are just really tired of being locked up in a mask and these treatments are more of a self-care thing—we need to take care of ourselves and make ourselves feel better. There’s a big mental component to it all.”
Is there a certain type of patient or a demographic that is getting the lip flip?
“It’s not so much a demographic, but the trend has shifted over the past few years to patients wanting a much more natural approach. We see this even in our cosmeceuticals. Patients are looking for things that are natural, GMO-, paraben-free, botanical-based. Likewise, people are looking for gentler approaches to cosmetics and enhancement—something like the lip flip is one of those types of things that’s really geared toward that.
I don’t want to say just women get it, because men come in and request it for the same reasons—they want a little bit more of a poutier, juicier lip, without looking overdone. I would say the most popular age group is younger women, in their 20s and 30s; occasionally, you will get that woman in her 40s or 50s, who has never done lip filler and is interested in doing a little bit of enhancement. What I really like about the lip flip is that it goes away in a few weeks to a few months, so you can kind of play around with it and see if you want to progress into doing a hyaluronic acid filler—which is something that will provide more longevity.”