What is a Botox Lip Flip? The Honest Perspective From a Cosmetic Surgeon

Written by Dr. Allan Wulc
On September 22, 2022

The short answer to this question is…. No one knows.

Why should a lip look better flipped upside down? Is that a good name for a procedure? And what does it represent?  And where is it described?

The next question I have is—if this procedure exists, why is it not written up anywhere in the scientific literature and why are the only pictures of it on social media—where you can filter and say just about anything without being held accountable?

Botox lip flip procedures are gaining a lot of ground online thanks to social media, but it is important people understand what a lip flip might be and what it isn’t.

A lip flip is the injection of a small amount of botulinum toxin into the lip at the vermilion border, where the white part of the lip meets the red part at the cupid’s bow –according to websites.

The lip doesn’t stretch as much when you smile and so it can remain fatter when you draw your face into a smile when paralyzed or weakened. But the price you pay is that you can’t show your teeth as much. As someone who has injected Botox around the mouth since 1986, I can state categorically that this procedure doesn’t warrant any attention and doesn’t beautify the lip. It makes a lip into a flaccid, dead thing.

We’ve seen the results from other practitioners.

If you search for ‘Botox Lip Flip’ online, what are you seeing?

It’s Botox for a gummy smile.

Every picture I have seen on the internet that shows an attractive result of lip flips is an injection for a gummy smile. A gummy smile shows gums –too much gum display is not considered attractive.  Botox, when administered to the elevators of the lip –at the sides of the nose—weakens the elevators of the lip and thereby makes the smile more balanced. 

But you have to be careful when you inject the elevators of the lip that you don’t overdo it—otherwise instead of improving your smile you look like your toothless—you lose dental display—your teeth don’t show because your lip no longer elevated (or at least for three months… .)

But Botox for a gummy smile, if that’s the lip flip, is actually an incredibly useful technique for making the smile prettier.  And it doesn’t flip the lip.

So calling it the lip flip is technically inaccurate.

A minuscule amount of botox injected by the nasolabial folds improves the smiling lip—but is that a lip flip?

Let’s be honest here…

We talked to the local reps for both the neurotoxin companies and the filler companies—and the national reps—from Allergan and Galderma and Merz, the companies that make and market products such as Botox, Dysport and Xeomin.

No doctor—or provider– is willing to share the technique. It’s an unsolved mystery. 

Surgeons, and injectors in general, need to document their techniques in evidence-based fashion—publications in journals, or at least at meetings.  Instead, you see “the Botox lip flip” on social media.  Every patient with a good result has actually had filler to augment their lips.

The Botox lip flip, like Big Foot, is a myth. And a harmful one. Until there is documentation of a technique of Botox injection where filler isn’t used to actually create that beautiful volumized lip, I don’t believe in the lip flip. Filler around the mouth can make the lip more beautiful. It can make it larger. It can make it so that smiling doesn’t thin it as much. It can create projection, definition, and make it more beautiful. A lip lift can elevate the lip and make the lip appear more voluminous and sexy.

But filler or surgery can’t make it flip upside down. And neither can Botox.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways for us to help (as previously mentioned above). Dr.Allan Wulc is a quadruple certified plastic and cosmetic surgeon with 25+ years of experience and would be pleased to help you achieve your aesthetic goals. Fill out the form below to schedule a personalized consultation or call (610) 828- 8880.

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