Lip Filler: The Good, the Bad, and the Gorgeous

Lip fillers experienced an explosion in popularity, with Kylie Jenner and her dramatic lip look leading the way. However, that’s not the look most people want to achieve. We’ve had people hesitate to get lip fillers out of concern that their lips will look overdone or fake. Have no fear: a dermatologist like Dr. Zena Gabriel has the skill and knowledge of anatomy to achieve beautiful, natural-looking results. 

How a Dermatologist Looks at Lip Filler

When someone has overly inflated lips, you notice immediately because those lips don’t fit their facial features. Dr. Zena and all the injectors at ZENA Medical are trained to analyze your entire face as a canvas when assessing how to enhance your lips. Dr. Zena considers several aspects of lip anatomy to achieve natural-looking lips rather than just adding size

  1. The vermillion border:  this is the lip line or border. It may look more defined or blurry or muted on different people. Using a thicker filler on someone with an already defined vermillion border can cause a duck-like projection but it can help to define and enhance a more muted border. 
  2. The shape: lip shape involves the structure of the lip and the cupid’s bow. This may look rounded, pointed, or flat. A well-defined cupid’s bow is a sign of youthfulness and femininity. And the overall length of the lip and undulating curvy shape can be perfected. 
  3. Effacement: this is the quality of lip show…meaning how much of your lip is curled in or out of your mouth is the effect created when the lip curls slightly outward instead of inward. The aging process can cause lips to turn inward, but lip filler can create an effacement that makes lips look fuller and curls them open.
  4. Volume: This is the size of the lip and is only one factor in creating a youthful, defined lip. More volume can make your entire face look more youthful and sexy.
  5. Texture: This is the smoothness of the lips that can look crinkly and wrinkled. Some people just need hydration and smoothness and hyaluronic acid fillers can add significant hydration because they absorb water and fluff the tissue with natural hydration. 

Dr. Zena also considers factors such as the anatomically correct dimensions of the lips.
Lips have natural curves, undulations, and asymmetrical areas that require artistry and skill. A beautiful, full lip is not just two sausages on top of each other…but natural lips have curves and a flow. 

Which Type of Lip Filler Do I Need?

Choosing the correct lip filler is a process, and Dr. Zena and all the ZENA Medical providers will choose the right filler or fillers for you. Counterintuitively, thin lips do not require a thinner filler. Instead, they typically need a thick filler such as Juvederm Plus to add robust shape and girth. Thicker lips benefit more from a thinner, more delicate filler like Belotero® and Restylane®. Filler thickness and quality is a palette that allows an injector’s artistic eye to create plump, natural-looking lips. Combining lip fillers, a few different ones for one lip injection, is a common trade secret that lets experts like Dr. Zena create an even, smooth, defined look. 

Will My Lip Filler Look Natural?

To make lip filler look natural, your injector needs to consider the correct proportions of a natural lip. The lower lip should be 1.6 times larger than the upper lip and have a small pout in the center.  When looking at the face, about 70% of the lip volume should fall between your nostrils. When these anatomical features are considered, you can achieve natural-looking results. 

Why See a Dermatologist for Lip Filler

Dr. Zena and her team take lips very seriously. As a dermatologist, she has an extensive knowledge of facial anatomy that lets her create a balanced, harmonious appearance. Simple mistakes like overfilling the upper lip can make you look older instead of younger. Dr. Zena respects the anatomy of your lips, so your results always look natural.  Plus, anatomy is critically important and vessels and other structures can be damaged and tissue necrosis (death) can be caused by improper injections. Being in the hands of an experienced injector is paramount. 

As a dermatologist, Dr. Zena frequently sees people who had adverse effects after lip fillers.  When people have a problem they usually go to the top person – an expert in dermatology. Dr. Zena and her team deal with complications and improper injections done at other clinics frequently.  Inappropriate filler placement can cause many problems and providers that know how to handle complications raises the bar and provide that extra layer of know-how that is lacking in this industry. 

What is Recovery Like After Lip Filler?

Swelling after lip filler typically lasts three days. About 15% of people will have minor bruising, which should fade after about five to seven days. Since the lips are not highly vascular, they do not bruise as easily as other areas. Dr. Zena and her team will schedule a complimentary follow-up appointment to adjust and perfect your results.  

Take the Next Step

If you’d like to explore lip filler, we encourage you to schedule a private consultation at ZENA Medical in Newport Beach, California today. Our doctors, nurse practitioners are expert injectors and will make sure your outcome is optimal and safe. Call us at (949) 200-8222 or fill out our convenient contact form on We look forward to meeting you!


*Individual Results May Vary

Zena Medical