What is a Botox Lip Flip?

If you’re considering adding more definition to your smile but are hesitant about getting lip filler, there’s a new injectable treatment that might be your perfect match. The Botox lip flip involves injecting small amounts of Botox right above your upper lip to subtly and temporarily enhance its shape–and it’s gaining popularity fast.

Here, we’re exploring the Botox lip flip: how it works, the benefits you can expect and what makes it a preferred option for those seeking natural-looking lip enhancement. Whether you’re new to cosmetic treatments or considering adding to your beauty routine, this guide will provide you with a clear understanding of what to expect from a Botox lip flip.

What is a Botox Lip Flip?

The Botox lip flip is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that uses strategically placed injections of botulinum toxin to subtly enhance the appearance of your upper lip. (Botox Cosmetic is one brand name, but Dysport, Jeuveau and other FDA-approved neurotoxins can be used, too.) 

Unlike traditional lip fillers, which add volume directly to the lips, the Botox lip flip works by relaxing a specific muscle group around the mouth. This relaxation allows the top lip to naturally “flip” outward, creating the illusion of fuller-looking lips with a slight pout.

How does a lip flip work?

Botox works its magic by temporarily blocking the nerve signals that tell muscles to contract. In the case of a lip flip, tiny injections target the orbicularis oris muscle, which encircles your mouth. When relaxed, this muscle allows the upper lip to roll slightly outward. This subtle outward movement creates the appearance of a fuller, poutier upper lip with more defined edges.

What to Expect at Your Botox Lip Flip Treatment

Curious about the lip flip process? Here’s a quick peek: 

Consultation and assessment

It all starts with a consultation. This is your chance to discuss your lip goals with a qualified injector and see if it’s the right choice for you. They’ll evaluate your facial structure, natural lip shape and skin quality to ensure the lip flip aligns with your goals–plus, review your medical history to ensure Botox is safe for you.

Be prepared to share your goals. Do you want a subtle enhancement or a more dramatic change? And don’t hesitate to inquire about the procedure, risks and expected results.

Lip flip procedure

The lip flip is a fast and easy in-office procedure, typically lasting just 10-15 minutes. Here’s what happens:

Your injector uses a tiny needle to deliver precise Botox injections into key points along the vermillion border–the edge of the lip–at the cupid’s bow and corners of your mouth. These areas target the orbicularis oris muscle, responsible for lip and mouth movements.

The goal is to slightly relax this muscle, reducing its tightening effect. This allows your upper lip to naturally “flip” outward, creating the illusion of fuller lips without adding volume.

You’ll feel a slight pinch during the injections. In most cases, topical numbing cream isn’t necessary–however, you can always request it.

Immediate aftercare

Avoid rubbing or massaging the treated area to prevent the Botox from spreading to unintended muscles. Mild swelling or bruising may occur but usually subsides within a few days. Stay upright for several hours post-treatment and to avoid strenuous activities for at least 24 hours.


The initial effects of the lip flip can start to be noticeable within a few days, with a gentle outward roll of your upper lip. Within about two weeks, you’ll see the full effect of the procedure. Your upper lip will appear fuller, with a more defined border and a subtle pout, enhancing your overall lip shape.

Remember, lip flip results are designed to be natural-looking. You won’t experience a dramatic change in lip size, but rather a subtle enhancement that complements your unique facial features.

Good Candidates for a Botox Lip Flip

The Botox lip flip is a great choice if you have:

  • A desire for subtle upper lip enhancement without dramatic volume increase
  • A gummy smile caused by a high upper lip
  • Vertical lip lines on the upper lip
  • Realistic expectations and understand the lip flip offers natural definition, not a drastic change
  • Healthy, supple skin, as good elasticity allows for the upper lip’s subtle outward movement
  • No known allergies to botulinum toxin or other injection ingredients

However, you may want to consider fillers rather than a lip flip if you have severe lip asymmetry, very thin lips or drooping corners of the mouth.

How Long Does a Lip Flip Last?

The lip flip’s natural-looking fullness and subtle pout typically last 2–4 months. However, several factors can influence this:

  • Metabolism: A faster metabolism breaks down neuromodulators quicker
  • Muscle Activity: Frequent movement of the lip muscles can shorten results
  • Dosage: Fewer units of Botox will create a subtler, shorter-lived enhancement
  • Individuality: Just like fingerprints, everyone’s body reacts differently

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Botox is considered highly safe, but some temporary side effects can occur. These might include minor swelling, redness, bruising or tenderness around the injection sites, usually clearing within a few days. 

In rare cases, slight asymmetry, temporary drooping of the upper lip or a reduced ability to move your lips may occur. These are not permanent and will resolve within weeks. To minimize risks, choose a board-certified plastic surgeon, licensed aesthetician or other highly qualified provider who is experienced with Botox lip injections specifically.

Botox Lip Flip vs. Dermal Fillers

While the Botox lip flip is an excellent choice for subtle enhancement, lip fillers offer a different approach to beautifying your lips. They involve the injection of a hyaluronic acid-based gel directly into the lip tissue. This not only adds volume but also shapes and contours your lips for a more pronounced effect. Like a lip flip, they can address fine lines around the lips as well.

Popular brands for lip injections include Restylane SIlk, Restylane Kysse, Juvederm Ultra XC and Juvederm Volbella. Each offers slightly different results and should be chosen based on your goals.

Choosing between a lip flip and lip fillers depends on your aesthetic goals. If you prefer a slight enhancement and are focusing primarily on the definition rather than volume, a lip flip might be right for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more dramatic lip augmentation or which to increase the size of your lower lip, lip fillers could be the better option. 

Lip Flip vs. Lip Lift: What’s the Difference?

While the Botox lip flip is a minimally invasive, temporary treatment, a lip lift is a type of plastic surgery offering a more permanent solution. It involves removing a small strip of skin from under the nose, which lifts the upper lip to expose more of the pink tissue and create a fuller, more youthful appearance. 

This procedure can significantly decrease the space between the nose and the upper lip, enhancing facial proportions and offering a permanent enhancement compared to the temporary results of Botox.

You might choose a surgical lip lift over a lip flip if you are looking for a lasting solution and are comfortable with undergoing cosmetic surgery. The lip lift is particularly effective for those who desire not just subtle enhancement but also a noticeable reduction in the length of the upper lip for a more pronounced smile. It’s important to consult with a qualified surgeon to understand the implications of the procedure and ensure it aligns with your aesthetic goals.


The Botox lip flip offers a natural-looking pout and fuller upper lip without added volume. This minimally invasive treatment is quick, with minimal downtime and temporary results lasting 2-4 months. It’s safe and effective when done by a qualified professional. 

Considering a lip flip? Consult a licensed professional to discuss your goals and see if it’s right for you!

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