There is an art to lip enhancement. Who you select to do your injections can mean the difference between getting a fuller, natural-looking pout or the dreaded over-filled “duck look.” The key to a natural, beautiful lip enhancement is in the injector’s approach. Patients at every age have different goals and motivations. For patients in their 20s, it can be the desire for fuller lips and better facial balance. For an older patient, an enhancement can address volume loss, a blurry lip line and wrinkles around the mouth. We reached out to New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD, to find out which issues patients are facing in each decade and how she approaches lip enhancement at every age.
For Patients in Their 20s:
According to Dr. Peredo, patients in their 20s most often have issues of genetic lip imperfections like asymmetry, thin lips, a gummy smile or their expression might appear sad or angry. “It’s really about enhancement,” says Dr. Peredo. “Patients this age tend to love the look of fuller lips. My job is to make sure they look proportionate to the face. I look at the whole person sitting in front of me to bring balance to the entire face. Sometimes the most important decision I make is what NOT to do. I always seek a natural look that will be barely noticeable to all but the patient.”
Treatment: Two syringes of Restylane Silk in the upper and lower lip.
In Their 30s:
Lips are at their fullest at the ages of 16 to 18. In the 30s, a fairly noticeable thinning begins to happen. “At this age the biggest issue is the loss of collagen and elastin, which results in thinning and drying of the lips,” says Dr. Peredo. “Lip lines, which are caused by a combination of sun exposure and the natural aging process, can also appear. Increased muscle activity from daily facial expressions also contributes to upper lip wrinkles. I look to fill the lighter wrinkles so that they don’t become ingrained into the skin and inject a small bit of filler into the lip to retain its fullness.”
Treatment: One syringe of Juvéderm Ultra in the upper and lower lip.
In Their 40s:
Patients in their 40s may experience even more drying and thinning of the lips. “In the 40s, the area around the lips, such as nasolabial folds (laugh lines) and oral commissure (corners of the mouth) also change,” says Dr. Peredo. “They may become deeper and more pronounced, so that area needs to be treated as well to support the lips. The overall expression of the patient appears to change. So for patients in their 40s, it’s all about restoration. I use fillers to not only maintain lip fullness, but also to diminish wrinkles that have already begun to set in.”
In Their 50s:
For patients in their 50s, Dr. Peredo’s approach is to look at the overall facial structure. “Oftentimes, a loss of collagen, fat and bone in the mid-face will greatly affect the shape of the mouth. For these patients, the distance of white between the nose and the vermilion border at the top of the upper lip gets longer, so a lot of times I need to recreate the Cupid’s bow and the philtral columns (the vertical grooves above the upper lip) to restore the youthful anatomy of the lip. Through the artful application of fillers and neurotoxins to these areas, the natural shape and volume of the lips can be restored,” says Dr. Peredo.
Treatment:One syringe of Juvéderm Ultra in the lips and one syringe of Restylane Silk in the perioral lines (vertical lip lines).
In Their 60s:
For patients in their 60s and above, Dr. Peredo addresses the same issues found in patients in their 50s. “At this age, it’s mainly about lip restoration. I focus on restoring fullness, addressing perioral lines and restoraing facial structures around the lip,” she says.
Treatment:One syringe of Juvéderm Ultra in the upper and lower lip.