By Justin Boutilier

Lip flip cosmetic procedures have grown in popularity over the past few years, primarily due to the influence of social media. As more and more people post their results on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, their friends and followers have taken notice and booked appointments of their own.

I see the growing popularity of lip flips as part of a larger trend in which influencers sharing their cosmetic procedures has made society increasingly comfortable with these services in general. While before-and-after photos have always been an important way to reach potential customers, the rise of social media has helped our industry demonstrate the compelling benefits of injections and plastic surgery in a new, more organic way.

My facility started receiving more requests each month for lip flips since this procedure became the latest rage. At presstime, we’ve given lip flips to about 2,000 clients. In the process, we’ve noticed a few patterns and established best practices. I share them below.  

Defining a ‘Lip Flip’

Also known as a “mouth tuck” or “smile lift,” a lip flip is a nonsurgical cosmetic procedure. The provider injects Botox®—the most famous variety—or another brand, like Xeomin®, around the edges of the lip, as well as in the corners of your mouth. This makes the lips appear slightly bigger, can make them look fuller, and gives patients a more youthful appearance.

Each session only takes about 15 to 20 minutes, and the effects of lip flips appear after about a week. However, these effects are temporary, lasting only about six to eight weeks.

Lip flips are different from lip fillers, in which the nurse injects a patient’s lips with hyaluronic acid. Lip fillers boost the lips’ volume immediately and can change their shape. The effects of this procedure also last a lot longer—generally, 12 to 18 months. Finally, lip flips are much less expensive than lip fillers. While the latter can cost $750 for a single injection, the price of the former can be as low as $100.

Why Clients Seek Lip Flips

Different clients can have different reasons for seeking lip flips. But in my experience, most people who come in for one want to highlight their upper lip so that when they smile, it won’t disappear.

It’s also common for clients to try the lip flip procedure as a no-risk way to start experimenting with injections. Since lip flips are temporary, they provide a safe, rational first step for those contemplating longer-lasting changes to their lips, but who aren’t ready for a lip filler. In my experience, clients with fuller lips usually find lip flips sufficient to meet their goals and keep coming back for them. Those with thinner lips, however, tend to opt for lip fillers in the end.

Setting Patients’ Expectations

Lip flips have gained popularity due to their ease, affordability, and speed of treatment, but they may not be suitable for everyone. That’s why it’s imperative to help clients set realistic expectations before they book a procedure.

Toward that end, the staff at our facility always emphasizes that a lip flip is a minimal change. We tell clients that they won’t give you a plump look or transform the shape of your lips, so the effect is more natural. We also emphasize the temporary nature of lip flips. Maintenance is required to keep this look, and it’s best for patients to understand that from the beginning.

Giving People More Confidence, Self-Esteem

In my experience, clients tend to be very happy with their new lips once their two-week results kick in. They report positive outcomes, like feeling more confident and having better self-esteem. Being able to help people in this way is a powerful source of gratification for me and my staff.

Due to the growing popularity of this procedure, every plastic surgery practice should consider offering lip flips. This is one trend that isn’t likely to go away soon.

Justin Boutilier is owner of LightTouch Med Spa Orlando and has more than 19 years of experience growing aesthetic practices.