With 1,000 pouting selfies posted to Instagram every 10 seconds, is it any wonder that cosmetic lip fillers are on the rise? Reality TV personalities, Instagram stars and beauty gurus on YouTube have made contoured, sculpted and heavily made-up faces the new norm; but is this a bad thing, or should we fight for the right to express ourselves and enhance our looks?
Let’s examine why lip enhancements are rising in popularity, and whether it’s safe to join the movement.
Lip Enhancements and the Instagram Generation
A study from The American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows that the use of lip fillers increased from 1.8 million procedures in 2010 to 2.6 million in 2016, and is rising all the time. Similarly, the Independent reported that UK clinics had seen a 70% rise in lip filler inquiries after Kylie Jenner’s cosmetic surgery confession in 2015. The majority of lip enhancement patients are women. However, it is not unusual for men to get lip fillers too.
‘Certainly, I’ve noticed a distinct rise in enquiries for lip filling procedures over the last few years,’ commented plastic surgeon Elena Prousskaia from her Bristol clinic. ‘Modern technologies allow for noticeable but natural enhancements which a number of the top social media starts are wearing to powerful effect. So that’s going to have a knock-on effect.’
It stands to reason that if social influencers are getting lip enhancements, their subscribers will want to follow suit. One of the problems with the “selfie” generation is that we have an array of clever tools at our disposal to make us look different in photos than we do in real life. What may look like a successful lip enhancement may instead be lip liner, clever photoshopping and a flattering angle.
What’s more, there is little to no regulation on Instagram advertising, which means young people are often exposed to adverts for “quick” lip fillers and at-home solutions, which is where the danger lies.
Are Lip Enhancements Dangerous?
It’s important to note that most lip enhancement procedures are performed in a safe and regulated way with very few adverse effects. However, complications are possible, which is why it’s recommended to visit a qualified surgeon for the procedure rather than a beauty therapist.
Lip enhancements are minimally invasive and incredibly safe if performed by a surgeon or dermatologist, although there are some rare complications. The danger lies in unqualified beauticians and even hairdressers administering lip fillers rather than qualified doctors. Alarmingly, this happens often in the UK because there are few regulations in place.
Lip Enhancements: The Bottom Line
Both men and women get lip enhancements for a variety of reasons. They may feel self-conscious about their smile, want to reconstruct their image following an accident or simply enhance their natural beauty. Whatever the reasons, lip enhancement is fine if it is performed in a safe and regulated way by a qualified surgeon, and on someone who has considered his or her options carefully.
If you’re thinking about undergoing a lip enhancement, but you’re not convinced you’ll like the result, you can opt for a temporary injection like an HA (hyaluronic acid) filler. HA fillers will add volume to the lips as well as a natural sheen, and the procedure is reversible if you don’t like what you see in the mirror.