The year was 2015. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk. The Conservatives won the General Election. And it was also the year that Kylie Jenner, then 17, revealed she had been getting temporary lip filler in her teens.
That November, Jenner launched the lip kits that would go on to make her a billionaire.
“I had my one lip insecurity thing, so I got lip filler, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done,” she later said in an interview.
In January 2020, she sold 51% of Kylie Cosmetics to beauty giant Coty and shortly after cemented her status as the youngest billionaire in history.
But maybe the most beauty culture-altering effect Jenner had wasn’t how much money she was making; it was the love for a big, beautiful pout that filtered down to everyday women around the world.
Gone were the days when filler was just the secret beauty tool of Hollywood’s finest. Now, you could see plumped lips on your local high street, with a cheeky deal in most salon windows.
In 2019, at the height of lip plumping, 4.3 million people paid to have hyaluronic acid dermal filler injected, which is used to artificially enlarge the lips. And a 2019 survey of 51,000 young people in the UK found that 68% knew someone who had undergone the procedure.
Fast forward to today, and with the ’clean girl aesthetic’ and ’Notox’ trending on TikTok, plus ‘lip filler dissolving’ gaining 19.6 million views, there’s been a pivot towards embracing natural beauty once more.
Jenner herself has reportedly had her lip filler dissolved, while her former sister-in-law, Blac Chyna, has been documenting the removal of everything from her bum injections to her breast implants to her facial filler.
So, what is lip filler dissolving?
It’s a treatment that can be used to quickly break down dermal filler safely and comfortably and it involves having hyaluronidase injected into the lips.
It’s an enzyme that exists naturally in your body already, but by injecting it into the lips where the filler was placed, it helps to speed up the process of breaking the filler down.
The medication used to do this is prescription-only, so it’s important to do your research and find a registered, qualified practitioner.
Why are ‘lip resets’ trending?
Nina Prisk, aesthetics expert and independent nurse prescriber at Update Aesthetics, has witnessed a 15-20% increase in enquiries relating to what she calls ‘lip filler resets’ in the last year.
“Many of the people I’m treating are seeing celebrities sporting more natural-looking lips after having fillers dissolved and wanting to follow suit,” she says.
“A lot of the people I’m seeing have had treatment carried out by unqualified practitioners which has then resulted in lumps or asymmetric overfilled lips which they are trying to rectify.”
What happens when filler is dissolved?
First, numbing cream or a dental block is applied to the area to reduce the stinging sensation, according to Prisk.
“Hyaluronidase is then injected into the lips to dissolve the fillers. It begins to work immediately, but takes approximately between three and seven days for the post-treatment swelling and possible bruising to resolve completely,” she says.
“The treatment itself is not completely pain-free. The lips have lots of nerve endings in them, which makes them extremely sensitive, so for this reason numbing cream is used.”
Prisk is keen to convey that one of the main reasons people want filler dissolved is to “remove lumps from badly filled lips”.
“It’s important to reiterate that when fillers are done properly and by an experienced practitioner, they can add gentle and subtle volume which look natural, not over plumped,” she adds.
Dissolving can also work to balance lip filler out and even out asymmetrical lips, says the nurse.
“I think that the increasing trend for people wanting Botox and filler removal is largely due to the fact that more and more people are having these treatments performed by unqualified and inexperienced practitioners who are over-filling and plumping their lips and faces,” she says.
“There is a huge trend-shift away from this artificial, over-plumped look and people are now seeking more natural, subtle results.”