Lip Injections – Something Better Than Juvederm and Restylane for the Full Lips You Want?

Lip enhancement, for full lips before and after lip injections by Dr. Mitchell Blum, facial plastic surgeon, San Francisco East Bay California

Women want full, attractive lips.  But we’ve all seen people – actresses and others – whose lip injections clearly fell short of their goal.  Many use Juvederm and Restylane fillers to plump their lips, often with good outcomes.  But I’ve found in my practice that a new filler gets even better results.  Let’s consider some facts about the lip enhancement process.  Then we’ll discuss what my experience leads me to conclude is even better than Juvederm and Restylane for beautiful full lips.

Editor’s Note:  Dr. Mitchell Blum is a highly experienced expert facial plastic surgeon in California’s San Francisco East Bay area.  Board certified in both Facial Plastic Surgery as well as Head and Neck Surgery, he has performed more than 7,000 facial plastic surgery procedures in his career.

Are lip injections right for you?

While plastic and facial plastic surgeons perform lip enhancement surgery, many women prefer the quick results and substantially reduced downtime offered by lip filler injections.  However, before meeting with a doctor, it’s wise to consider why you want to enhance your lips.

Studies found that people who had procedures to improve their appearance felt a greater sense of well-being and self-confidence than similar others who had not.  But it’s important to note that looking your best is just one factor in your overall quality of life.  It’s unrealistic to expect that having beautiful, full lips will, by itself, dramatically improve your existence.  See “Everyone Says I Look Great – Why Don’t I Feel Better?” on this website.

lip injections, before Refyne lip filler by Dr. Mitchell Blum, facial plastic surgeon, San Francisco East Bay CaliforniaTo be a good candidate for lip enhancement you need to be a healthy nonsmoker.  This procedure may not be for you if you have:

  • An infection such as oral herpes
  • Diabetes
  • Lupus
  • Blood-clotting problems

If you have ever had a cold sore (oral herpes) in the past, you should tell your doctor before having the procedure.  At the same time, tell your doctor if you have any known allergies or are allergic to lidocaine. Also, let him or her know about any medications you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements.

Are Facial Fillers like Restylane, Juvederm and Radiesse also effective lip fillers?

lip injections, after Refyne lip filler by Dr. Mitchell Blum, facial plastic surgeon, San Francisco East Bay CA
After Refyne lip injections (results similar to Defyne) by Dr. Mitchell Blum

Doctors seeking to enhance their patients’ faces and lips have used a number of different substances over the years, with varying degrees of success.  After looking at results, how long they last, side effects and patient comfort issues, two classes of fillers have emerged.  Both are essentially substances found in the human body.  Patients normally tolerate them quite well.

The advantages of using body-based substances also include reversibility.  If, for example, your cheeks or lips are plumper than you want, in time your body will absorb the filler and they’ll become thinner.  The disadvantage of this is that to maintain your beautiful new lips, you’ll have to schedule injections every 6-12 months, depending on the filler.  But are fillers that work well on the face also good lip fillers?  Not necessarily.

Hydroxyapatite is a key component of bones and teeth.  The best known hydroxyapatite-based filler is Radiesse.  In many parts of the face, these fillers produce natural-looking results, don’t migrate and rarely produce side effects.  But for a number of reasons this class of fillers is not often used for lip enhancement.  Another bodily substance has become the gold standard for beautiful, full lips.

lip injections, Before and After Refyne injection by Dr. Mitchell Blum, facial plastic surgeon, San Francisco East Bay California
Before & After Refyne (similar to Defyne) lip injections by Dr. Mitchell Blum

Hyaluronic Acid is found in soft tissue and in the fluid surrounding your eyes.  It also is an important component of the fluids that lubricate some of your joints.  In fact, it is often injected into joints to ease the pain of arthritis.  Hyaluronic Acid is synthetically manufactured, which avoids problems of injectable medications derived from animal sources.


This highly useful substance is processed into a gel that can be injected into areas of the face where volume has been lost due to aging.  It also does an outstanding job in plumping lips.  Juvederm and Restylane are two of the most popular and best known hyaluronic acid fillers.  They are both widely used in lip enhancement.

A new filler proves superior for beautiful, full lips

Defyne is a new product that represents an important advance in hyaluronic acid fillers.  It is specially formulated to provide flexibility and support, remaining natural-looking through the many expressions people form with their lips and mouth.  In my practice, I have found that Defyne is much less likely to become lumpy, which is a concern with some fillers.  In addition, it can be molded with less effort than other injectables.  This makes the beautiful, naturally full lips you want much easier to provide.

lip injectections, Before and After Defyne lip filler by Dr. Mitchell Blum, facial plastic surgeon, San Francisco East Bay CA
Before and After Defyne lip injections by Dr. Mitchell Blum

Lip Enhancement is both a science and an art

As we stated at the outset, lip injections do not always bring satisfactory results.  This can be a result of the filler used.  But as fillers have been refined and improved, a major key today to getting the results you want is the skill of the injector.

Facial plastic surgeons like me understand the complex anatomy of the lips.  Years of experience can translate knowledge of lip structure and of specific fillers into beautiful results.  An experienced plastic or facial plastic surgeon should never leave patients with the over-filled, unnatural results that some people clearly display after lip injections.  Instead, with the right filler and the right doctor you can get the beautiful, full lips you desire.

About Dr. Mitchell Blum, MD, FACS

Dr. Michell Blum is a highly experienced expert facial plastic surgeon. He is board certified in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. In his career, Dr. Blum has performed more than... ( read more )

Articles by Dr. Mitchell Blum, MD, FACS

Liquid Rhinoplasty – A Reversible, Instant Nose Job with No Downtime

Imagine getting a quick, painless nose job with no downtime. Expert San Francisco Bay Area facial plastic surgeon discusses liquid rhinoplasty with photos. [Read More]

The Skinny on Volumizing: From Fillers like Restylane, Radiesse and Juvederm to Sculptra to Fat Transfer to Cheek and Chin Implants

Restoring volume with fillers like Restylane, Radiesse and Juvederm along with injectables like Sculptra, fat transfer or even cheek or chin implants can provide an ideal finishing touch. [Read More]

Lip Injections – Something Better Than Juvederm and Restylane for the Full Lips You Want?

A San Fransisco East Bay expert relates how a new lip filler can provide the beautiful full lips you want better than Juvederm and Restylane. [Read More]

Otoplasty: Ear Surgery to End Taunts and Repair Self-Esteem

Many born with protruding or big ears endured years of taunts and bullying when they were children. Otoplasty, ear surgery to reshape the outer ears, can make an enormous difference in their lives. [Read More]