Goldie Hawn in The First Wives Club and THOSE LIPS… In the movie, the doctor said to her: “Elise, if I give you any more collagen you’re lips are going to look like they got stuck in a pool drain”. Possibly one of the greatest send-ups of Hollywood and it’s legion of nipped and tucked actresses, EVER. Hard to believe that movie came out in 1996!

18 years later and we are still seeing pumped-up, distorted lips as the result of cosmetic lip enhancement gone wrong. Patients me, “Those actresses with huge lips? I’m so scared I’ll turn out like that.” The fear of looking “done” or ending up with “duck lips” is very common, and I spend a lot of time with patients trying to explain WHY “trout pout” happens, and why it WON’T happen in the hands of a skilled cosmetic doctor…. It’s time for me to blog a post on the subject!

Aging lips

As we age, we lose volume in the lips and around the mouth. Unfortunate deflation occur. The mouth thins out and lip lines (aka “smoker’s lines” or “barcode wrinkles”) begin to develop and deepen. Previously plump and juicy lips appear to dry out like a prune.


Once you’ve exhausted the plumping lip-glosses and the meticulously applied lip-liner is no longer cutting it, there are procedures that can help to restore a more full and youthful smackers. Did you know that doctors were experimenting with lip enhancement techniques in the early 1900’s? Starting in the 1980’s, bovine collagen injections became the standard for lip augmentation, but again, times have changed and so have the products. Afterall, who wants cow collagen in their lips.

Nowadays, patients have the option of choosing either a a number of excellent dermal fillers specifically synthesized for lip augmentation. Non surgical lip injections using hyuralonic acid products such as Juvéderm Smile, Teosyal Kiss or Restylane Lipp have proven to yield excellent results. The injections can be performed in the office with minimal downtime. Because hyuralonic acid is a compound naturally found in human tissue, these products are metabolized by the body over time and provide a temporary result that usually lasts 6 to 12 months.

Lips can also be plumped using fat grafting– a surgical procedure that involves harvesting the patient’s own fat and then using it to shape around the frame of the mouth and add fullness. The very long lasting result is a softer, more youthful lip contour.

Another treatment I like using for fine lines that form around the mouth as we age is PRP. “Smoker’s lines” can be very difficult to treat, mainly because the skin is so thin and this area. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections use your own blood to naturally stimulate the production of new collagen in the skin. Increased collagen improves skin quality overall, which in turn helps to soften lines around the mouth.

Trout Pout

There are a couple of reasons “trout pout” happens. It comes down to the product being used, and the skill of the injector. In the case of modern day trout pout? Lack of foresight about product behaviour once inside the lips is frankly no longer a viable excuse. Over filled lips can be blamed on improper injection technique and too much in the wrong level. There are many of us who wish we had Angelina Jolie’s beautiful, luscious lips – but the hard truth is that you can’t put another person’s lips on your face and expect to look good! A good cosmetic doctor will help you to see that lip rejuvenation is about restoring lost volume and careful accentuation of your natural lip contour. It’s about subtlety and aesthetic balance, and YES! Less is definitely more.

A Beautiful Result

Lip augmentation is not a simple procedure. The injection technique that I use is the result of years and years of experience, artistry and careful study of facial aesthetics. I usually spend 45 minutes to an hour with the patient, always taking the time in between each step to really sculpt those lips to suit your face. It’s about maintaining the balance between the other features.”

Ultimately, you have to know and trust your cosmetic doctor enough to go ahead with any procedure. If you are interested in lip augmentation, bring it up at your next appointment with me. Till then,keep smiling!

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