THE HISTORY AND RISE OF LIP FILLERS

Updated: Sep 14



Would you believe it if I told you lip fillers have been around for over 100 years. Well it’s true but the method used in 1906 probably isn’t one you would be too happy to have done now we’re in the 21st century. Surgeons injected their test subjects with paraffin – and if that isn’t enough to put you off, they used, what was described as ‘powerful metallic syringe, which, together with its contents, was immersed in hot water’. Now if you happen to be hanging around a naked flame after the treatment, the term ‘wow your lips are on fire’ would take a much more literal meaning – let’s hope that this never happened to one of the poor unsuspecting test subjects.


Lip fillers are now relatively inexpensive and affordable for nearly everyone but this hasn’t always been the case. You probably needed a bank balance of a small country to justify the expense of lip fillers treatments in the past and the likelihood of getting a result that matched the justification of such a large expenditure was very unlikely. So, whilst having lip fillers would be a great status statement it really wasn’t done by many people. But fortunately, in the last couple of decades, with the advent of non-surgical treatments and improved techniques with accompanying results that are equally impressive, the number of people seeking aesthetic treatments has grown exponentially.


This growth has been contributed to by increased attention to facial aesthetics in the press and on social media. Non-surgical treatments are now not only more accessible but affordable and quicker to obtain too with minimal downtime and minimal trace of their occurrence. With this, unsurprisingly, one of the most popular, effective and sought-after treatments today is that of lip fillers.


The History of Lip Fillers

So where did the surgeons of yesteryear go after the first attempt of really giving those lips that were on fire…..

Let’s wind the clock forward from 1906 a little - Liquid silicone was first used for lip augmentation in the 1960s (I know a 54 year jump is quite a leap in a few seconds and one that is normally reserved for Dr Who and his beautiful blue police telephone box mode of transportation) – it should probably have been kept for sealing around the bath tub rather than plumping up the lips. Concerns about the safety of silicone on general health meant that this method of lip enhancement was abandoned. So where did they go then – well, surgeons began using bovine collagen instead. Bovine collagen (which sounds pretty awful) was deemed safe to use and became the standard product for lip augmentation. However, for all of you lovely ladies and gentlemen who love the swollen look immediately after treatment and just don’t get around to booking your appointment until a couple of days before your big event, this method of treatment would not be particularly great for you. An allergy test was required three weeks prior to treatment and patients would have to wait for weeks after treatment before any effect could be seen – that would certainly put a dent in the 100s of 5 start reviews we have if we were still using this method.

So another leap forward in time - currently, fillers containing hyaluronic acid are the go-to products for aesthetic practitioners around the world. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring in your bodies. It is able to combine with water and swell to varying capacities (depending on the product used) when in a gel form, causing the sought-after filling effect. Hyaluronic acid fillers last between 6-15 months and, if injected by a professional with the correct up-to-date training, have very little risks compared to other methods of lip augmentation.

The Explosion of Lip Fillers

People are wanting fillers, the demand is growing and people are changing the contours of their faces, improving the onset of lines and generally making themselves look better (well at least in most cases) But the demand for lip fillers surpasses that of all other treatments. This is undoubtedly due to the role of social media and the belief that larger lips are more physically attractive. With celebrities also admitting to (and almost celebrating), having had lip fillers and other cosmetic procedures, the culture around these treatments has changed to become more mainstream and accepted. It may not be quite as common as a visit to the hairdressers but it is becoming a more common treatment alongside other facial contouring such as jawline and cheeks.


As the UK doesn’t regulate non-surgical procedures there are no reliable statistics available for lip fillers in the UK and their use. However, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), more than 27,000 Americans had lip augmentation treatment in 2015 (one every 20 minutes)! Everyday people take to Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to share photos of the results of their latest aesthetic procedure and a search for #lipfillers on Instagram produces almost 300,000 results! Women (and an increasing number of men) proudly post photos of their freshly-filled lips accompanied by hashtags such as #lipgoals #poutylips and #kyliejennerlips. The 'Kylie Jenner Effect' – god love her

It could be argued that the demand for lip fillers really exponentially increased back in May 2015. Following much media speculation about her plumped-up pout, Kylie Jenner confirmed suspicions that she’d received lip fillers. Some clinics reported an immediate 70% rise in enquiries for lip filler treatment and Jenner’s lips still remain the subject of discussion even today.

Although Jenner’s lips prompted the publication of information about how to safely receive lip fillers, there was also a worrying number of botched and dangerous procedures being reported. As a younger demographic of patients sought out cheap treatments there was (and still is) an increasing number of people turning to unqualified providers who have not received proper training. Unfortunately, without appropriate background checks in place and in such an unregulated industry, the evidence of these unqualified providers only became apparent upon treatment and after the complications arose. Contour Couture – The Lip Filler Masters

We are the masters at lip fillers, our business has grown on the back of producing, arguably, the best lip enhancements in the South West and more recently Birmingham in the Midlands. We have the most sought-after practitioners. All are exceptionally experienced in all filler treatments and always make sure their customers look amazing.


It is really important that for your lips you need to find a practitioner that knows all of the latest techniques. No two set of lips are the same so if you go for a one size fits all practitioner, most of the time you will not get the results you really want. At Contour Couture, all of our practitioners have been on advanced lip technique training and can carry out all of the latest techniques.


So what are some of these techniques?

Natural - Subtle but noticeable enhancement giving you a little more volume and shape along your existing lip line

Russian - Perfect if you are looking for those big, high impact full volume results

Micro-droplet - Ideal for small or thin lips to ensure you get a beautiful result and avoid those dreaded 'duck lips'

Tenting - Used if you want to uplift your lips to give a beautiful larger surface area to top and bottom lip


We run clinics in Bristol, Birmingham, Swindon, Bath, Malmesbury and Cheltenham and if you would like to see our prices and availability please follow this link here

©2018 by Contour Couture.