According to a 2016 study from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of people getting lip fillers is increasing. Everything you need to know about earlobe fillers This trend has crossed the Atlantic, and thanks to the vast influence of celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Charlotte Crosby, the procedure is becoming more and more popular in the UK too. While I don’t have a problem with cosmetic surgery myself – if it’s your body, it’s your choice – I do wonder whether it’s actually worth the money, pain and general faff. I visited the very glamorous Dr Padda at Westcombe Park Dental Practise to find out.
What are lip fillers?
Different practitioners will have different preferences when it comes to dermal fillers, but Dr Padda used Juvederm, which is constructed of hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally produced and broken down by the body. Juvederm also contains a local anaesthetic, which means that after each injection the lips begin to numb, reportedly minimising the pain. This can be combined with a topical anaesthetic, which is applied 10 to 20 minutes before the treatment. This is me before the treatment.
How long do they last?
Juvederm lasts between three and six months, but exact duration varies from person to person. Factors that are said to affect the longevity of lip fillers can include your metabolic rate, how often you use things like sun beds and steam rooms and how often you go to the gym.
This is me before the treatment (Picture: Tristen Lee)
Although I was keen to go all in and get lips like Kylie, I was advised to go for 1ml of filler in the first instance and to build it up slowly, to avoid any unwanted results. You can top up your fillers once the initial swelling has settled. You will first have a consultation where your practitioner will take pictures of your lips, and discuss where you feel needs more shape and volume. You will also be able to show pictures of your ideal results – saving some Instagram or Pinterest pictures beforehand can be very helpful. After your consultation, your practitioner will clean your lips, apply a topical anaesthetic and prepare the syringes – each 1ml dose equates to two syringes. Now, I’m not going to lie and tell you it doesn’t hurt – even with the topical anaesthetic and breathing techniques suggested by Dr Padda, I was still reeling around and trembling like Gemma Collins in the helicopter on the way to the Jungle. Each injection feels like a sharp pinch and at times you wonder whether the needle is going to come out the other side. Your lips are also massaged every few minutes to smooth out any lumps and bumps, which does feel a bit weird. Luckily, the pain does lessen throughout the treatment and by the end, I was pretty much entirely numb.
The swelling appeared about an hour after the treatment, and the bruising became noticeable the following day. With plenty of ice packs and antihistamines, the swelling had largely reduced by the second day and the bruising was easily covered with my usual industrial strength concealer and nude lipstick. Despite the trauma of getting them done for the first time, I absolutely loved the results and was pleased to see that my ever-disappearing top lip had decided to come out of hiding. My cupid’s bow and vermillion borders – where the lips meet the skin – were now really defined and my lips a lot fuller. This is me one month after the
This is me one month after the treatment (Picture: Tristen Lee)
Is it worth it?
The treatment with Dr Padda takes around half an hour and costs £250 for 1ml of filler. Although procedures can vary in price from between around £215 all the way up to £1,500, the average cost is around £300. Make sure you research your practitioner beyond price though. There is almost no regulation around who can perform the treatment in the UK, but it’s always preferable to go with a medical professional as opposed to a beautician, who may not be able to dissolve the lip fillers if something goes wrong, nor prescribe medication. However, Save Face is a Government-approved register where you can research treatments and find a practitioner. Their information on lip fillers is here. For those looking to book in for lip fillers, I would strongly advise undergoing the treatment on a Friday, so that you’re ready to go back to work on the Monday, swelling free. This is something that I did not do, resulting in me sat at my desk with a bag of peas stuck to my face, trying to avoid questions from unknowing co-workers. All in all, for me it actually was worth it. Dr Padda really looked after me and put up with my constant whinging. I was also really impressed with the results, which had given me a much-needed confidence boost. Although I’m told it gets easier with the more treatments you have, there is also the option of having a local anaesthetic. You may be dribbling on yourself for a few hours, but it does mean no pain if you’re a wuss like me.