Botox lip flips are a quick, nonsurgical cosmetic procedure during which a medical professional uses a small amount of Botox to make your upper lip look fuller.

This article will go over what the lip flip procedure involves, how it differs from a dermal lip filler, and potential complications that you should remain aware of.

A lip flip is a quick, in-office cosmetic procedure that lasts about 10 to 20 minutes. It involves the injection of Botox into your Cupid’s bow, which is the middle of your upper lip, and into the corners of your mouth.

The injection temporarily relaxes the muscles around your lip. This causes the part of your upper lip that’s inside your mouth to “flip” upward and outward, giving your lip a fuller appearance.

To decide whether a lip flip is the right procedure for you, it’s helpful to see pictures of real people before and after the Botox injections. Ask your doctor for before-and-after photos at your initial consultation.

Keep in mind that if the photo is taken immediately after the procedure, the lip may be swollen and look more enhanced than it will once swelling subsides.

People who opt for the lip flip procedure include those who:

  • are hoping to achieve fuller lips without a dermal filler
  • think their upper lip “disappears” when they smile
  • want their smile to appear less gummy, which is when your smile shows more of your gums than you’d like

Generally, the effects of the procedure last for 8 to 12 weeks. If you’re looking for a more permanent option, lip lifts or dermal lip fillers might be better for you.

Lip flips and dermal fillers both result in fuller-looking lips. But the procedures differ.

While lip flips only appear to make lips plumper, dermal fillers actually do make lips fuller. In this procedure, a medical professional will inject your lips with a substance made mostly of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid helps give your skin structure and a hydrated appearance.

Lip flips, on the other hand, use a small amount of Botox to relax the muscles around your upper lip so it turns upward. This makes your lip look fuller, but its actual volume doesn’t increase; it just gets rearranged.

If you want to truly change the shape and volume of your lips, dermal fillers or lip implants may be a better choice for you.

Before the procedure

For 3 to 4 days before the procedure, you’ll need to avoid alcohol and blood thinners like aspirin, which can make swelling worse.

During the procedure

Here are a few things to know about the lip flip procedure itself:

  • It should take only around 10 minutes.
  • The doctor likely won’t numb your lips beforehand, because the procedure isn’t very painful. Some people have compared it to the sensation of having a pimple on your lip.
  • The doctor will inject Botox into the center and corners of your upper lip.

After the procedure

Following a lip flip, you’ll be able to resume most daily activities, though your upper lip may feel slightly numb and look swollen. Here are some post-procedure tips:

  • Avoid smoking in the days after the procedure because it may increase the risk of infection.
  • Keep from rubbing or massaging your lips, which can cause the Botox to spread.
  • Try to sleep on your back for a few days so your lips don’t press against your pillow.

Following a lip flip, you should begin to see results within a few days and continual improvement for several days after that. You’ll see the full effect of the lip flip approximately 10 to 14 days after the procedure.

It’s important to note that lip flips are not permanent. Results last around 2 to 3 months, since only very small amounts of Botox are injected into your lips. Once you start to notice that the effects are wearing off, you can choose to maintain your results by having additional Botox injections.

If you’re looking for a more permanent option, Botox lip fillers last longer — around a year.

Lip flips are generally considered a safe, low-risk procedure, especially because they use such a small amount of Botox. Minor bruising or swelling may occur at the injection site.

If a larger dose of Botox is injected, it may cause your lips to relax too much. This might make it hard to close them. It could also result in:

  • drooling
  • difficulty forming certain words
  • the inability to spit or whistle
  • trouble keeping fluids in your mouth after drinking
  • drooping on one side of your mouth, similar to the appearance of a stroke

These symptoms will subside as the Botox wears off.

In rare cases, Botox can cause headache, fever, and chills. Botulism is an extremely rare side effect of Botox. See your doctor immediately if you experience any signs of botulism. These include:

  • trouble swallowing
  • difficulty speaking or slurred speech
  • difficulty breathing
  • blurred vision

A lip flip is an elective cosmetic procedure, so it won’t be covered by insurance. But because it generally uses very few units of Botox, it’s a more affordable option than dermal fillers.

A lip flip generally costs between $80 and $500.

Even though a lip flip is a nonsurgical cosmetic procedure, it should always be performed by a trained medical professional or a plastic surgeon who has been certified to perform the procedure.

It’s always a good idea to meet with the doctor beforehand, so they can explain what they’ll do during the procedure and show you before and after photos of other patients.

At the initial consultation, here are some questions you can ask:

  • Can this procedure help me achieve the look I want?
  • How should I prepare for the procedure?
  • What should I avoid (like smoking) after the procedure?
  • How should I care for my lips post-procedure?

A lip flip is a nonsurgical cosmetic procedure that can help people achieve a fuller upper lip without dermal filler. The procedure involves Botox injections into your upper lip to relax the muscles and “flip” your lip upward.

It’s a less expensive option than a dermal filler because it uses very few units of Botox.

It’s important to find a qualified cosmetic surgeon to do the procedure. At your initial consultation, ask for before and after pictures and discuss what you’re hoping to achieve.