How Much Is Too Much Lip Filler? 

Saturday 04th Dec 2021 |

As Love Island’s Faye Winter has her lip fillers dissolved and reduced, aesthetics expert Dr Martyn King answers the question on everybody’s lips – how much is too much lip filler? 

Faye Winter’s lips were a topic of conversation both in and out of the villa and the reality TV star has once again hit the headlines again for having hers dissolved. Faye, who it’s reported originally had 4ml of lip filler injected into her lips and has now had this dissolved down to 1.5ml has described how she dislikes how she looks without filler despite fans telling her she looks younger without.  

The Love Island star isn’t alone, it was reported that online searches for ‘lip filler appointments’ increased by 37% following the last series of Love Island. But the question on everybody’s lips is – ‘how much is too much, when it comes to lip fillers?’ 

Here, Dr Martyn King GMC registered doctor, internationally accredited and award-winning aesthetics expert, ACE Medical Director, Vice Chair of the JCCP and Cofounder of the Cosmedic Skin Clinic, offers his answer along with an expert opinion on how to avoid complications with lip fillers.  

How much is too much lip filler? 

‘I don’t tend to inject more than 1ml of any filler into lips because of safety complications, and also small changes can feel quite dramatic on your face. If somebody asked me for 4ml as it’s been reported that Faye had, it’s an awful lot, I think most reputable practitioners would refuse that. Often patients will come in and say I want big lips, but you might put 1ml in and they will take a look and say that’s plenty.  

“If they do want them bigger then I would probably do it in stages. I would add 1ml then get them to go away and come back after a few weeks, then if they do want more I would put a little bit more in then.  

Faye is also reported to have said her lips are shrivelled and saggy without her signature fillers, just when does sagging occur, is it treatable?

 You can create huge lips but it’s not aesthetically pleasing and can often look very stiff so can look quite abnormal with movement of the lips. They are products that are really quite dense and should be used in the cheek area and they are putting them in lips because they want to create excessive volume. That’s where you will get issues such as sagging when you dissolve them. 

“Whether you can actually stretch the lips so much that they won’t go back in size, I don’t know if that is true anatomically, because once things dissolve, they will get better. The filler will wear off before the skin tightening will occur, so it is probably a short-term issue. It should get better over time.”  

Are there any dangers? 

“It’s really just caution and common sense that’s needed. People overdo lips and I think they can look a lot worse for it. Obviously as well, the more you put into lips the greater the risk of complication. If you are injecting a lot of volume, you certainly run a higher risk of vascular occlusions, which is where blood is restricted from flowing through a blood vessel.  

“That’s not necessarily from injecting into the vessel, if you think that when there is a lot of filler, you will have a lot of tension in the lips then you are going to restrict the blood flow there. The other thing to say is that if you put a lot of volume into the lips and restrict the blood flow, this can change the colour of the lips and it’s the rich blood flow that gives them the reddish colour that people want.” 

What type of filler should be used in the lips? 

Different brands of filler will have a range of products with different levels of viscosity. So, for example within the UTH product range (https://uthaesthetics.co.uk/) there are four products: Hydrate, Fine, Deep and Sub Q. Other well-known brands will have similar product range and they will be progressively thicker and longer lasting, as each should be used for different purposes and should be injected into the correct anatomical plane.  

So, for example the UTH Sub Q has the thickest properties. This would be used for tissue augmentation or facial contouring and non-surgical rhinoplasty. I suspect that when we see people with lips with huge volume, they are using a similar product to this, but it isn’t made for the lips and that is where issues will arise.  

What are the current trends you’ve noticed, should people go with the latest trend? 

“Aesthetics is a great industry when it is done properly, and my message would be that you want to look better but you want to look like yourself. Younger, fresher is good. Certainly, with lips there have been lots of fads and lots of trends, so for example devil lips where they created little ridges on the top, so it was almost like a crown – there are some really strange things that people want to do with lips. Personally, I think it is the worse area that’s treated. For me, it should really be about adding a small amount of volume in the vermillion border to redefine the shape of the lip or in older patients restoring lost volume. 

What’s the most important thing to think about when having lip fillers? 

“It is really important to do your research and seek a practitioner who is medically trained and experienced in dermal fillers and a member of an organisation such as ACE Group, JCCP, BACN or BCAM.  More than 70% of dermal filler complications which the ACE Group help manage are related to lip filler treatments so choosing a practitioner working in an aesthetic clinic who can diagnose and manage a complication is essential. It is also wise to ask which product your practitioner is using and why.” 

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