Is it possible to have your lips enhanced without ending up with a trout pout? If you are middle-aged, like me, the idea of lip treatment is very appealing to restore fullness and counteract the general collapse that is the hallmark of older lips – but I want my mouth to look in keeping with the rest of my face. I don’t want my lips to look startling, or enormous.
For this week’s Tweak of the Week, I went to see Dr Kate Goldie, one of the best aesthetic doctors in the UK. Dr Goldie teaches lip injection techniques to audiences of doctors worldwide, and I wanted to learn how she approaches lip treatment, which products she uses, and to see what she could do for my lips.
Dr Goldie used two injectable products on me – BELOTERO® Lips Contour and BELOTERO® Lips Shape, which are hyaluronic acid fillers specifically designed for the needs of the lip area.
Did it hurt? How long did it take? And what do the results look like?
You can watch the video to see how it went, or read the transcript of our talk, below.
This video is sponsored by Merz Aesthetics UK&IR
Date of Preparation: February 2020
Alice Hart-Davis: This week’s ‘Tweak of the Week’, is a lip treatment, a lip injection treatment using a product called BELOTERO® Lips. I have come to Harley Street to meet Dr Kate Goldie, who is one of the leading practitioners in this area and I’m going to have my lips done now, so come along and see how it goes.
AHD: So Kate, I’m really excited to be having my lips done today, I know lip treatment is a very emotive area, and its one that people are quite scared about so how do you as an expert practitioner begin to approach the whole area of lip treatment?
Dr Kate Goldie: In my practice, my experience is that for most people, it puts them off when they see really full lips. So I think it’s up to us to be able to describe to people that it is possible to just do these little adjustments that add small amounts of hyaluronic acid in the lip, which create structure and architecture, which creates hydration. Done in the right amount it can be really positive thing to have lip treatment done.
AHD: The lips are collapsing that little bit with age, we’re losing structure, we’re losing fullness?
KG: There’s a really interesting study that was done. They said, ‘OK, when people get older, do they really lose volume in their lips?’, and then they actually measured the square millimetres in the lips, and they realised that, no we don’t lose volume but what we lose is position.
AHD: I can see my lips look like they’ve – they look a bit like dried earthworms – they need something, but I won’t suit a big lip – what do you see when you look at my lips, what would you do?
KG: You have a little break so that when you move your lips, the vermillion border which is the edge of it, would be better to be a little bit stronger. You have a few creases that are coming and are dynamic and when you purse your lips you can see them. What we want to do is create a curve, just reposition them back, very slightly, little bit of a “J” shape and a bit of strengthening of the border so that when you speak it will be a bit more protected and not crease. It helps to structure and makes it hydrated and over time it helps to produce a bit of collagen, and people who have repeat treatment look better than people who haven’t had treatment at all.
AHD: Now the products you like to use in the lips are using BELOTERO®, and there’s a particular contour product, is that one that you’ll be using today?
KG: So we will use the using BELOTERO® Shape . And use a very specific technique. Sometimes you see on YouTube or wherever, you see people putting bobbles [of filler] in people’s lips, and there’s a risk to that because there are important vessels there, it tends to blow up generally. When we do these superficial injections, so it’s just tiny, tiny amounts they’re just designed to take the border of the lip, take it out and then from that point build it forward very delicately, very specifically. It means we can do one side a bit more, turn it up and recreate a little bit of the Cupid’s bow here. It’s like a very specific brush. It’s really defined and dynamic but you can be really accurate in how you bring this one back, not so much that side…
AHD: Goodness, this is such painstaking work. How long does it take to do a lip treatment?
KG: 30 minutes roughly, it would be no more than that. Usually you have some anaesthetic cream and some people do injections and…
AHD: But one question people always want to know is how much it hurts?
KG: A bit ‘burny’ I think that is how you would describe it.
AHD: Well I’m so looking forward to having my lips re-built, can’t wait.
KG: We are going to start on this side here, which will be the right side. We’re just going to build a bit of structure and symmetry first and then we are just going to add a subtle curve and shape to the rest of your lip.
It’s almost not just a cosmetic thing, when you put the hyaluronic acid in its quite a healthy thing to do to your lips. The squeezing and holding and moulding is just as important as the injection you make it all one smooth area, you join up the little bits – so they all connect together.
AHD: You’re merging..
KG: You’re merging them, that’s a nice way of putting it actually.
KG: So, then you’ll see – like it’s a little bit more symmetrical here
AHD: Wow, yes, amazing.
KG: You see the Cupid’s bow now is a little bit more even.
AHD: And still looks perfectly natural.
KG: So we have to do a little bit on this side just to balance some of the fullness but not as much.
KG: The treatment will last about 6-9 months, quite often nine months depending on how much product you put in the first place. Top tip, for technique, it’s all in the last bits – you do it like scaffolding. You do structure roughly across the area, and then it’s what you now do that makes it good. The first bits are a little bit of structure so then you stand back, let me have a look. What I see is, it’s almost there. There’s a tiny bit of evening that I am going to do here and then a tiny bit underneath here, that lip. With these products you have to try and use them to their best advantage. What you want is a hyaluronic acid that has specific properties rather than a general one. If it has specific properties, then you can use specifically designed techniques to have a specific outcome.
AHD: So what I see is this lovely crispening up of the edge of the lip and the clever way you’ve lifted this side, I know they look swollen now just because of all those needle points and this will go down over the next few days – and it’s exciting because this is so they used to look, so thank you.
KG: So if you look around the border there’s only 0.3ml and that’s a small amount and in the body of the lip its 0.6, 0.7ml, also a very small amount. We’ve just brought this side up and when it settles it evens up even more.
KG: So, for the next few hours don’t touch them. Don’t put make-up on them that’s absolutely key. For the next few days you don’t want to go to saunas or anything with a lot of heat. What you would expect is just a little bit of swelling and over the next few days they’ll be tender, all we did was place it in there. We did shape it and sculpt it but we just placed it in there. That’s just the first stage and then the next stage is, it will be in your tissues. We know by a month it [the product] is entirely integrated with your own tissues. The swelling goes down but as the swelling goes down, it’s going to come back like this, it’s not like the swelling keeps the shape as it goes down. So imagine we put it in just now, we created the shape and all that’s a little bit forward, and then as the swelling comes down it comes down like this, so it keeps the shape but the swelling goes down and it will even more be like, “Oh, that’s my lips”.
AHD: So, here’s me and my refreshed lips, I know they’re a bit swollen now. I’ll drop in a picture of what they look like in a week or so when the swelling has gone down. So, that was this week’s ‘Tweak of the Week’, thank you very much for watching.