Here’s What You Need to Know About Lift Edge Filler, The Latest Lip-Filling Technique from Korea
Korea is already well-known for being at the forefront of anything and everything cutting-edge beauty. But K-beauty extends beyond topical products; many popular Korean cosmetic procedures are also making their way stateside. Case in point: lift edge filler, a new way of injecting lip filler to (as the name suggests) lift and fill the edges of the lips, raising them ever so slightly and creating the appearance of a perma-smile.
How does this differ from traditional lip injections?
The name “lift edge filler” comes from the direct Korean-to-English translation. While doctors here don’t necessarily refer to it as such, they are practicing this injection method. “Whereas traditional lip filling concentrates on adding volume to the whole lip, this technique aims to change the shape of the lips by making the edges upturned,” says New York City plastic surgeon Dr. Melissa Doft about the difference between this and standard lip injections.
How is the lift edge filler performed?
Hyaluronic acid fillers are the choice in this circumstance, given that they can be dissolved if a patient is unhappy with the results or if a complication ensues, says Dr. Doft; she uses Restylane Refyne or Juvéderm Volbella because their small particle sizes ensure a smoother result. Small amounts of the filler are injected at an upward angle, in both corners of the mouth. While this can be done on its own, the treatment is often performed in tandem with additional filler, used to add volume to the center of the lips and/or to fill the lip lines around the border of the mouth. The filler also pairs well with an injectable neurotoxin, such as Botox, a small amount of which is injected in the space between the bottom corner of the mouth and the jaw. “The Botox weakens the muscle that causes the corners of the mouth to fall in the first place. In combination with the filler, this is very effective yet still delivers subtle results,” says NYC board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Alan Matarasso, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. As is the case with most other injectable fillers, expect results to last from 6 to 12 months. Possible side effects include swelling for a few days post-injection and some small bumps, which usually can be massaged out.
How is this different from a lip lift?
Much like a traditional lip lift, lift edge filler is intended to reshape the edges of the lips in order to create an enhanced appearance. However, the two treatments are completely different. While lift edge filler uses strictly injectables to get the desired result, a lip lift is a surgical procedure that removes a small section of skin below the nose in order to raise the top lip. So instead of creating upturned edges on the lips through added volume, a lip lift corrects sagging or naturally thin lips through surgery. Downtime is also much more intense than with lift edge filler, since it takes about a full week for stitches to be removed post-procedure and a few more days after that for swelling to completely subside. However, results are permanent with a lip lift, whereas injectable results will last only up to a year.
Are there any other perks to getting lift edge filler over traditional lip injections?
While many Korean patients are seeking out this treatment in order to appear happier—as an antidote to “resting bitch face,” as it were—age appears to be an additional motivating factor for patients in the U.S. “The corners of the mouth are anatomically predisposed to drop down as you get older,” says Dr. Matarasso. “In a youthful-looking lip, the outer corner is two to three millimeters above the inner corner,” he says, citing many of his patients’ requests for quick and easy treatments that will make them look younger. Dr. Doft agrees, noting that the upturn of lips creates a more youthful appearance and that patients also appreciate how it gives them the appearance of a slight smile instead of a frown.
This was the case for Merit Weinfeld*, 65, one of Dr. Matarasso’s patients. “It bothered me that as I got older, my mouth started to droop and the corners of my lips turned down,” she says. I’m known for being positive, and I didn’t look like myself. The injections made me feel like myself again, and people constantly mention how happy I look.”
Unsurprisingly, Weinfeld isn’t the only person to seek out help for lifting a droopy mouth. Many of our readers have asked us have similar concerns, which is why this new filler technique is so exciting for those looking to resolve this issue. After all, nonsurgical treatments like this are a great place to start for those not ready to go under the knife just yet—plus they’re usually cheaper as well.
*Name has been changed
By Melanie Rud
This article first appeared in Real Self.