What Lip Filler Is Best?
More than a dozen different dermal filler formulations have passed the rigorous FDA approval process and can be administered in clinical settings by trained plastic surgeons, registered nurses, and other medical professionals with appropriate licensure.
For prospective patients looking at the list of fillers offered at their preferred medical aesthetics practice, it’s all a bit overwhelming. This is notably the case when it comes to lip fillers, which must have the finesse to obscure fine lip lines and the heft to durably increase lip volume.
No wonder many patients ask which lip filler is best. As we’ll see, the answer isn’t so clear-cut.
What Lip Filler Is Best?
This is a trick question. Most patients and providers have a “favorite” type of lip filler, but there’s no single best fit for every situation.
All lip filler brands add volume to the lips without invasive plastic surgery or serious side effects. They can temporarily or permanently reduce the appearance of lip- and lip-adjacent lines and wrinkles as well.
Ultimately, there’s no one “best” lip filler because there are so many different types of lip fillers. But because each brand and formulation is a bit different, there is a “correct choice” in many cases. Patients (and providers) need to understand the differences not only between specific lip filler brands but between the main lip filler substances as well.
Key Types of Lip Fillers & Their Indications
Let’s review the major types of lip fillers and the common brands and formulations of each type.
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
Hyaluronic acid filler is the most popular type of lip filler and the most popular type of dermal filler overall. Its effects generally last 6 to 18 months and may require touch-ups to sustain.
The best HA lip filler brands include:
- Juvederm® Ultra XC: Appropriate for general lip augmentation and volume enhancement.
- Restylane® Silk: Used to smooth lip lines and achieve sleeker, natural-looking lips.
- Juvederm® Volbella XC: Used to smooth lip lines and modestly add volume to the lips.
Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers (CaHa) can mitigate facial volume loss and reduce the appearance of vertical lines on the face, including nasolabial folds. They may also reduce the appearance of lip lines and add volume around the mouth. However, they’re not FDA approved for lip enhancement specifically.
CaHa filler effects last 1 to 2 years. Radiesse is the preeminent brand authorized for use in the United States.
Lip Fat Injections
This is an entirely different type of lip injection that often isn’t included in discussions of lip fillers. But it should be, because lip fat injections fulfill the same basic purpose as the options above: to achieve fuller, more shapely lips.
Lip fat injections take your own body fat (usually from your abdomen, thigh, or buttocks) and add it to your lips, changing their shape and volume. The risk of rejection is minimal because your own body fat is used, and the results are very long-lasting. But as a more invasive procedure than HA or CaHa fillers, the risks are greater as well.
Be aware that standard medical training for administering dermal fillers doesn’t cover lip fat injections or cosmetic lip surgery. If you’re considering lip augmentation with body fat, make sure your provider has extensive training and experience in this procedure.