The Botox lip flip - an off label use for this versatile product

lip flip close up
lip flip close up

What is the Botox lip flip?

The lip flip is very small injections of botox into the top lip. They are placed just under the skin above the border of the lip. Relaxes the muscle to make the lip look slightly fuller. Helps to treat fine lines and the gummy smile


Very small, carefully placed injections of Botox just under the skin in the top lip help slightly relax the orbicularis oris muscle that runs in a circle around the top and bottom lip. When we contract this muscle it acts like a purse string and pulls the lips together in a pout. So when you are next sucking, whistling, blowing and kissing you will be using your orbicularis oris. As we age and with repeated action of this muscle it starts to leave tell tale fine lines, sometimes referred to as bar code lines or smokers lines. With the loss of collagen and volume in this area, lines become deeper and more established so they start to become present all of the time. Another feature of the loss of volume in the ageing lip is that it thins and with smiling the lip turns under. The Botox lip flip injections gently relax the superficial fibres of orbicularis and turn the lip outwards making them look slightly fuller.


How long will the effect last?

A skilled injector will know exactly how much to inject into the lip, but as one has to be careful not to over treat, the effect generally only lasts eight to twelve weeks. It is definitely an area where we avoid ‘topping up’ as more may not make any difference and can quickly create side effects.

What are the side effects with the lip flip?

Too much Botox in the top lip will start to affect movement which could make your smile look flat and may affect things such as sucking through a straw. People where phonation is particularly important are strongly advised against having the lip treated so our celebrity actors and TV presenters are steered away from this treatment. If you want to imagine what it sounds like to have too much Botox in your lip just press your fingers against your top lip and try to talk! Another group of people who need to avoid Botox in the lip are those that sing professionally or play wind instruments like the trumpet or trombone.

The lip flip also helps the gummy smile

For those with a gummy smile the Botoxlip flip slightly reduces the upwards pull on the lip when smiling thus helping to reduce the amount of gum on show.

Who is suitable for a lip flip?

  • Someone who wants a subtle more prominent ‘pout’ to the lip
  • Those that feel their lip shrinks when they smile
  • Somebody that is getting fine lines above their lip
  • Those that are interested in age prevention around the lip
  • Someone who suffers from a gummy smile

Those that really don’t want fillers…….yet

Botox lip flip vs fillers

  • The Botox lip flip is cheaper than lip fillers
  • Botox lip flip is subtle and will have to be repeated
  • Fillers tend to last much longer, typically over a year
  • If lines are deep or the lip has lost volume fillers are better
  • In many cases the Botox lip flip and fillers can be combined

The injection team at Woodford Medical are very experienced at delivering the very best aesthetic outcomes and are based in Chelmsford Essex, London, Cambridge, Leamington Spa and Belfast.