The Ultimate Guide To Men’s Lip Filler
Men tend to metabolize filler faster than women, but that’s not the only thing guys need to know about this increasingly popular treatment. Here, a top dermatologist and patient break down the ins and outs of lip filler for men.
A plump pout — it’s a sign of youth that has become a highly sought-after look across the globe. For men and women alike, lip volume loss is a natural part of the aging process, but, for some, Tom Hardy or Idris Elba-level plushness may not have been in the genetic cards to begin with. This is where aesthetic intervention comes into play. Enter: lip filler.
Now, we don’t need to harp on the rise of male-centered aesthetic advancements other than to say that in-office cosmetic ‘tweakments’ and procedures aren’t gender exclusive. But, when it comes to lip filler, there is a thing or two that men looking to augment their pout should know before going under the needle. Here, a top dermatologist and patient break down the ins and outs of lip filler for men.
The Differences Between Lip Filler for Men & Women
There are a few distinct biological and anatomical differences between men and women that make treating them with injectables unique. Men, for instance, have larger facial muscles that may require more neuromodulators (read: Botox®, Dysport®, Jeuveau®, and Xeomin®), and they also tend to metabolize injectables at a quicker rate. “In most men, their metabolism is a lot faster, so hyaluronic acid-based filler dissolves sooner,” explains Jason Emer, MD, a board certified cosmetic dermatologist in West Hollywood.
For Dr. Emer, whose clientele is approximately 50 percent male, treating men with lip filler is an everyday occurrence. As he’s observed, “men tend to have a smaller upper lip that can get covered with facial hair, so they don’t want to feel like they’re losing it.” The solution? He employs the “one-third or two-third rule, where the bottom lip stays bigger.”
The Anatomy of the Lip:
While Dr. Emer says some men are looking “a subtle enhancement” and others “want shaping and defining,” most guys “don’t want to look like they’ve had anything done.” Regardless, it’s not just about giving the patient a singular result. Instead, it’s about considering the entire face. “I’ve had men come in looking for contouring and definition and asking what they should do,” Dr. Emer shares. “I tell them you can’t ignore the lips because if everything looks structured but the lips, it can be a giveaway of your age.”
And for guys who are tired of carrying around a lip balm or are dealing with age-related dehydration, hyaluronic acid (HA)-based lip fillers can actually prove to be the ultimate multitasker. They “provide the hydration to give you a softer look that is not necessarily voluminous,” Dr. Emer says. “Restylane® Kysse, Restylane® Silk, and Juvéderm® Volbella can give a subtle hydration like an internal chapstick.”
What Men Can Expect from Lip Filler
For those unfamiliar with dermal fillers, there are several to choose from depending on your aesthetic goals, preferred treatment area, and anatomy. Hyaluronic acid fillers are considered temporary, while others offer longer-term results. Either way, the treatment itself is quick (think: 30 to 45 minutes) and relatively painless.
As with any injectable, bruising and swelling are common side effects. Both tend to resolve in about a week. While the results of HA filler are immediate, it takes one to two weeks for the area to fully settle. At that point, it may be time to revisit your provider to assess. Because many patients are seeking a natural-looking result, Dr. Emer advises augmenting the lips gradually over the course of a few appointments. While hyaluronidase is an enzyme that can be injected to dissolve HA filler, it is far simpler to add volume than it is to subtract it. Depending on the type of filler you receive, it generally lasts six months to two years
Immediately after treatment, applying an ice pack to the lips will help reduce bruising and swelling. Dr. Emer designed his Emerage Lip Injectables Post Care Package to further reduce the probability and longevity of those side effects. It includes arnica-bromelain supplements that can be taken pre- and post-procedure to thwart swelling, a light-emitting device to relieve pain and bruising, and a lip treatment that enhances results by increasing blood circulation for a plumping effect. Speaking of lip plumpers, he also recommends the Nudestix Hydra-Peptide Lip Butter, a peptide-infused balm he developed with the brand for a naturally fuller pout.
What to Ask During a Lip Filler Consultation
Got your pen and paper out? Here’s what you should ask before going under the needle:
- What is your male clientele? When going in for your first appointment, Dr. Emer recommends learning about the provider and their experience with men’s faces. When looking for a provider who specializes in treating men, ask friends and family for referrals, look at before and after photos, and inquire about the provider's patient population.
- Do you have before and after photos? Speaking of before and after photos, viewing them will give you a sense of the provider’s aesthetic (and whether it aligns to yours) and if they have experience working with patients who have similar features to you.
- What types of filler do you offer? As we mentioned earlier, there are numerous injectable fillers on the market. Your desired result and budget (each lip can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000), in addition to the preferences of your provider, will all play a role in determining what’s best for you.
- How much filler do you recommend? “When men go in for the first time, I suggest half a syringe to one syringe maximum because you don’t know how much water you will hold,” Dr. Emer notes. Remember, you can always return for a touch up (more on that below).
- How else can I enhance my face? While lip filler alone is enough for some patients, others may benefit from injections in other areas of the face to create a more balanced result. “If your lips are volumized but everything else is not, everything is off balance,” he explains. “I suggest considering doing subtle amounts to start and considering overall facial harmonization with treatments on the chin, jawline, and folds in the face.”
- Can I schedule a follow-up appointment? A follow-up appointment allows you a chance to discuss the results with your provider, address any asymmetries, and/or top off your treatment. “I’ve always noticed that, initially, people might think it’s overdone, but once the swelling goes down, two weeks later they come back and want more,” Dr. Emer says.
Now that you have a better sense of how lip filler for men works, it’s time to hear from a patient about everything from what led him to go under the needle to how he feels about his results.
Kenneth, 26, Portland, OR
Kenneth always wanted to add volume to his lips. At the encouragement of his friends, he achieved subtle plumpness with Restylane® Kysse in 2020.
The AEDITION: What made you want to get lip filler?
Kenneth: I wanted nice juicy lips that would not disappear when I smiled. Before I got the treatment, my injector told me that I was starting off with basically nothing. I have a toothy smile, so my upper lip tends to disappear, and I wanted to change that. After hearing about the positive experiences of my friends, I was looking at Restylane® and Juvéderm®, and my specialist helped me narrow down which one would work for my goals.
The AEDITION: How did you like the results?
Kenneth: I got both the upper and lower lip done with one syringe and love the results. I have noticed natural plumpness to my lips and have been incredibly happy with my appearance.
The AEDITION: Is this something you will continue to do?
Kenneth: Definitely. I have gone back every six months and gotten more, as my body has metabolized it pretty quickly. For the sake of maintenance, it was something I want to continue to do and maybe see what other treatments I want to try.
The AEDITION: What do you recommend for other men considering lip filler?
Kenneth: Just be honest about what kind of look you want to get so you’re happy with your results. Pinpoint what you want and work with a specialist to ensure you get what you’re looking for. There’s no shame in it. We all have things we may want to tweak or enhance, so go for it.
Whether you are dealing with age-related volume loss or were not born with naturally bee-stung lips, there is a myriad of enhancement options. Lip filler is among the most popular because of the versatility of the treatment and the ability to create highly personalized results. Consulting with a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specializes in men will help you to develop the best treatment plan for your needs.
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