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Published on June 8, 2016 by

“Lipstick? I have 30 lipsticks. I keep on trying them and then wiping them right off. None of them make my lips look any better….”

Perhaps unconsciously, Natalie pursed her lips.

When she came to see me last year, she was agitated about what she called her “thin, dry and wrinkly” mouth. She was only 42, but felt her lips made her look old. No lipsticks looked right – it was impossible to stay within the lines – and no lotions and potions had helped.

“My lips seem to have become worse in recent years,” she told me. “When I smile, they disappear….”

What Natalie described is a source of frustration for many women, given how central lips are to our face.

Unfortunately, lips thin with age, losing their fullness and even some of their redness.

After 35 you are more susceptible to dehydration & shrinkage of natural fat pads and consequently, wrinkles. Lips start to turn inwards, they also lengthen and you might develop a “mouth frown” – a very ageing sign.

In your 40s you might start to suffer from smoker’s lines (even if you’ve never touched a cigarette) – and your lipstick can start ‘bleeding’ into these fine lines, leaving your face looking a mess.

So what can you do to restore lost volume and colour, and get rid of those lines?

Many of my patients want to improve the appearance of their lips but are petrified that treatments will leave them looking ‘over-filled’…. or more like some top shelf glamour model!

Part of the fear comes because once upon a time, stars used permanent, silicone lip fillers which show poor results. Nowadays, we used hyaluronic acid-based fillers such as Emervel.

This ingredient is something your body already produces, and it is present in a large proportion of your skin care products, because it helps your skin stay elastic and retain its moisture. We can inject it in and around the lips to make it even more effective. It’s also not permanent.

The key is to keep the lips in proportion to the rest of the face, for natural-looking results.

At Riverbanks, the first thing we do is carefully consider the shape of your face, so that your lips will end up looking balanced from all angles.

Depending on exactly what you want to accomplish, there are a few different options. We use Emervel Classic if you’re looking to fix moderate wrinkles around your mouth, such as laughter lines. If you’re looking for volume or to define the contour or border of your lips, we use Emervel Lips, injecting small amounts of hyaluronic acid and then following up with a gel.

The treatment takes just 15 minutes and effects are pretty much immediate. Both Emervel Classic and Lips contain an anaesthetic, so the discomfort is minimal. We also apply some numbing cream to the area if you prefer and some patients request a gentle anaesthetic injection to make the lips completely numb.

While this is one of the few treatments we offer at the clinic that I haven’t tried myself (!), I do teach technique to other practitioners across the world, most recently in Oslo & Bangkok – and we even have patients flying in from abroad to get this treatment at Riverbanks.

Oh, and Natalie? The next time I saw her, for her top up 6 months later, she was smiling widely.

“My face feels completely different with my softer, fuller lips,” she told me. “It’s like everything’s exactly the right size. I no longer feel self-conscious about it.”

And for the first time in several years, she added, she was enjoying her lipsticks.

“Instead of drawing attention to an area I hate, they actually make my lips look better!” she said.

If these are the kind of results you’re looking for, hit ‘reply’. We can get your lips looking just the way you’ve always wanted them – in less than an hour.