The elusive natural-looking lip

November 5, 2019

Two physicians talk over-filled lips – why they happen and tips for more natural treatment results. 

In their presentations at the recent Global Aesthetics conference in Miami, Florida, both Ben Talei, M.D., a dual fellowship trained Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon and Patrick Bitter, M.D., a Stanford Medical School graduate and Stanford trained Board Certified dermatologist in California, discussed the topic of unsatisfactory lip fillers and the reasons why badly filled lips continue to plague men and women in the U.S.

In Dr. Talei’s presentation, “Lip Fillers – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Forever,” he discussed the natural vs. unnatural lip and how you simply shouldn’t create a shape that isn’t seen in nature.

“Follow the normal [lip] anatomy and don’t try to create something different,” Dr. Talei said during his session.

He explained what he thinks injectors should be cautious of or completely avoid when using fillers: be careful when using fat, and never use silicone, threads, Radiesse or Sculptra. Instead, he suggests using the Silk, Refyne and Defyne forms of Restylane, Versa, Vollure, Volbella or Belotero.

Dr. Bitter’s presentation, “Why Lips Often Turn Out Bad with Fillers and a Four-Step Technique for Attractive, Natural Lips,” detailed 5 reasons that lips with filler can turn out badly.

“It is a misconception that a woman who walks around with over filled lips or lips that look nothing like what nature or God [intended] wants it that way,” says Dr. Bitter.

One of the reasons this happens is because the injectors may not have an aesthetic eye.

“In the US, probably the vast majority, at least 70% of injectable fillers, including fillers in the lips, are done by non-physicians, and the majority being done by nurses,” he says.

And even if an injector understands what is attractive and has had sufficient training, if that training doesn’t translate to the hand, the lips are going to be unsatisfactory, he says.

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“No matter what product you give [some injectors], they can't take lips and make them look attractive. They just don't have an artistic gift,” Dr. Bitter says.

Another reason is ineffective or substandard injection and/or product training and then assuming that it’s the way everyone does lips.

Greed can also factor into poor lips filler results, according to Dr. Bitter, and he says that it comes with the territory. 

“If you’re injecting twice as much product, you make twice as much money,” he says. “Some practitioners will tell a woman that she needs two syringes of filler in her lips when maybe she only really needs half a syringe to look attractive.”

Only recently realizing the final reason on his list, Dr. Bitter says that when the people around you all look the same way, even if it’s not natural, it becomes a beauty “ideal.”

It happens when you have a group of people who all have over-filled lips done by the same injector. “So, when all of your peers look that way, you begin to think that it’s the new normal.”