What is the best lip filler on the market? That depends on your treatment goals, but Juvederm Ultra remains a universal favorite. At H-MD Medical Spa in Oklahoma City, OK, we love the ease with which this filler glides into tissues. Similarly, patients love the tailored results we provide courtesy of Ultra’s versatile nature. As a bonus, results are long-lasting.
How Long Does Juvederm Ultra Last?
The results of this cosmetic treatment can last up to a full year. Surprised? Most patients are when they learn this, but the Juvederm brand is synonymous with longevity.
Whereas some injectables last three to four months, those under the Juvederm umbrella can persist for much longer. Juvederm Voluma, for example, routinely lasts for two years. It’s injected into the cheeks to increase volume, while Ultra plumps and shapes lips. Your lips experience much more repetitive movements than the cheeks, which causes the latter to break down a little more quickly.
A Lesson in HA Crosslinking
Every product with the Juvederm name is formulated with hyaluronic acid (HA). We’ll discuss this substance in greater detail momentarily, but HA is critical to plump, hydrated, and youthful skin. To convert these molecules into a stable, quality filler, they must be specially bonded (crosslinked) together and suspended in a gel solution.
Crosslinking is important to a filler’s integrity; the tighter and closer the molecules are bonded, the greater the concentration of HA. And with this greater concentration comes longer-lasting results.
To further this biology lesson, HA molecules exist in different weights and sizes. When a manufacturer crosslinks molecules of the same weight, they develop a filler that is thin, medium, or thick in consistency. Crosslinking molecules of different weights creates a dermal filler with the properties of both a thick and thin gel.
Hylacross technology is proprietary to Juvederm and used to develop Ultra. Hylacross accounts for the gel’s smooth, malleable texture; it also incorporates molecules of the same weight for a gel that plumps lips without bumps, lumps, or granules. Thanks to its unique formulation, Ultra seamlessly flows into lips and can then be shaped to create the perfect size and protrusion.
Defining the Perfect Pout
As long as we’re on the subject, let’s describe how we achieve the right pout for your face. It’s true you can bring in a picture of someone’s lips you admire, such as a celebrity, but we likely won’t deliver that exact look. Instead, we’ll ensure proportionate lips based on your other features and overall face shape and size. Lip injections require more artistry and finesse than, say, injections to smooth a wrinkle.
We’re not going just for more fullness. We want to accomplish several goals with every injection, including:
- Balance between your upper and lower lips
- Symmetry between the left and right sides
- Center volume that tapers at the corners
- Corners that turn slightly upward
- Well-defined vermilion border (outer edge)
- Pronounced cupid’s bow
The Golden Ratio
So, we know that lip fillers require skill and an artistic eye. A provider must similarly understand lip shape and anatomy. A mathematical concept known as the golden ratio may also come into play.
The golden ratio asserts that an aesthetically pleasing proportion exists between two objects, and that ratio is 1:1.618. This is not a new ideal but rather can be traced all the way back to Greek mathematician Euclid. Throughout time, this ratio has been used in a number of famous buildings and art pieces, including those by Leonardo da Vinci.
More Than Myth
If it seems unlikely that math could factor into beauty, consider this: the golden ratio can be found throughout nature, including leaves, flower petals, and the patterns on snail shells. And, as you might have guessed, it can similarly apply to human lips:
- Ideally, the bottom should be 1.618 times larger than the top lip
- The top should protrude 1.618 times more than the bottom lip
- Both lips should be 1.618 times wider than the nose
Of course, these are just guidelines and don’t serve as hard and fast rules when it comes to fillers. But you see how using math and natural proportions are important to your lips. We do far more than place random injections and hope for the best. Instead, we add a precise measurement of filler in exact locations, such as the philtral columns to improve the shape of your cupid’s bow. In turn, you see a younger and juicier pout.
Avoiding Duck Lips
Most of us are familiar with the term duck lips: overlarge, exaggerated lips that go beyond the pouty, sensuous look you want. These are easier to avoid than you might think, starting with clear goals for your lips. Do you want them more defined, volumized, hydrated, or all of the above? Convey these goals to us during your consultation so we understand exactly what you hope to achieve.
We’ll also ask how much volume you want to see, which will help us determine where your injections should be placed. For slight enhancement and/or more pronounced shape, we may deliver more filler to your borders than directly into lips. If you want a more dramatic pout, we’ll focus on injecting Ultra right into lip tissues. What we won’t do is inject into the corners of your mouth, which contributes to an unnatural look.
A Few Final Techniques
Lip fillers are one of those treatments where less really is more. It’s better to have a series of sessions, using small amounts of Juvederm Ultra each time, than to go all-out on your first appointment. This allows us to build until we achieve the desired volume. Finally, with the golden ratio in mind, we’ll ensure the upper and lower lips have different degrees of fullness so you don’t look overdone.
Earlier, we mentioned Juvederm products are made with hyaluronic acid, a substance you’re likely familiar with. HA exists naturally in the skin, meaning it’s well-received when injected and therefore a low-risk filler. Like collagen and elastin, however, HA gradually declines with age. This explains why the lips grow thinner and flatter over time.
Injecting HA below your skin’s surface layers is like quenching your thirst with a long, cold drink of water. The acid draws in and attracts water molecules that naturally hydrate and plump tissues. Your lips quickly appear fuller with a more accentuated curvature.
Juvederm Ultra works double duty, instantly plumping and smoothing lips. It is the softest of the Juvederm fillers and therefore ideal for delicate lip tissues, where a hard filler would be difficult to work with and likely provide too much volume. And because of the extra water brought to the skin’s surface by the HA, Ultra imparts supple texture and a fresh, glowing radiance. This explains why many patients say their lips look glossier after treatment.
Yet another aspect of HA is that it induces collagen synthesis. You may think this protein isn’t important to your lips, but just the opposite is true. Collagen gives your lips the shape and structure you see every day. By ramping up levels – which decline with age, starting as young as 25 – your lips become naturally more prominent.
After Care Tips
Once your treatment is complete, you might think that’s the end of it and you’re free to go about your day. This is largely true, but we recommend you follow some after care tips to help your lips heal. This means:
- Avoiding excessive exercise for 24 hours
- Staying out of the heat for 24 hours
- Drinking plenty of water to hydrate tissues and flush away toxins
- Skipping excessive salt for a day (salt dehydrates)
As far as eating, you can certainly do so on the day of your injections with a little more care than usual. Stick to foods that are easy to chew so you don’t have to wipe your lips and disturb your filler. Tender meats, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, hummus, and baby carrots pose little to no mess and are easy to eat. Foods to avoid include anything spicy, hot, or requiring a lot of cleanup that will force you to repeatedly touch your mouth.
More Lip Advice
You want to be gentle with your pout immediately after fillers, meaning you shouldn’t exfoliate for about 24 hours. Also avoid kissing, massaging, or otherwise rubbing your lips for a full day. This allows the filler to settle into place. Last but not least, skip alcohol and drinking through a straw for about 24 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Patients tend to ask if their lips will feel different after treatment with Juvederm Ultra. The good news is that after the initial injections, they won’t feel any different at all. You may be more conscious of them for a day or two, but that will quickly subside.
Patients also ask if lip fillers cause permanent changes to tissues, and the answer is a resounding no. HA is completely safe and naturally dissolves over time. And as long as you seek treatment from a well-qualified provider, your session will go smoothly and your lips will turn out beautifully.
Do Fillers Cause Lips to Shrink?
Again, the answer here is no. You can maintain your Ultra results with periodic touch-up sessions, but if you choose not to, your lips will gradually return to their pre-treatment shape and size. It’s true they’ll look smaller than while you used filler, but they won’t lose their natural volume.
Say Hello to Sexy
Fuller, glossier lips can be yours with Juvederm Ultra. This highly-respected filler provides dependable results that last up to a full year. And with an eye on precision, we can plump your lips so they remain proportionate to the rest of your face. Schedule your consultation today by calling H-MD Medical Spa in Oklahoma City, OK.