If you visit Seoul, South Korea not as a typical tourist, but with a dermatological interest, you will notice that not only Korean cosmetics, but clinical procedures as well make Korean locals look younger, with well-conditioned skin, shiny and healthy. And, definitely, injectables are one of the most popular procedures.
ALLURE TECHNIQUE. MAY PHARM.
Three procedures, in particular, came up no matter which clinic you explore: Skin Botulinum Toxin, cherry lips, and lift edge filler. The first one smooths skin for instant glass skin, while the other two are paired together for a full, upturned lip shape. Cherry lips focus on the center of the lips. (I’ve already done a deep dive on this filler trend.) Lift edge filler, on the other hand, targets the outer corners of your smile, and it’s incredibly popular right now.
Lift edge filler gets its name from its literal Korean-to-English translation and alludes to what exactly the procedure does. Lim Ee Seok, the head dermatologist at Theme Dermatologic Clinic in Seoul, describes lift edge filler as the “lifting of the smile.” This is not to be confused with a lip lift, though. (More on that later.)
To get those edges lifted, a hyaluronic acid filler is injected into the outer corners of the, well, outer corners of the lips at an upward angle to cause them to go upwards, according to dermatologists in Seoul. The result is slightly upturned lips at all times like a semi-permanent smile.
Typically, the same filler used for the center of the lips is added to the edges, so patients aren’t paying for an additional type of injectable.
Some dermatologists prefers to use filler with hyaluronic acid particles, like Kiara or Rejuran . “The smaller caliber particle will leave the lips smoother and softer,” she explains. “You are less likely to see bumps or feel unevenness.”
LIP LIFTING. MAY PHARM.
As for side effects, Doft notes swelling can happen for two to three days after getting the fillers done. “You may also feel small bumps at the beginning, which are often easy to massage to flatten them,” she adds. “More serious complications include skin breakdown and scarring, which can occur if fillers are injected accidentally into an artery or vein.” With this in mind, I highly recommend visiting a board-certified dermatologist for lift edge filler.
Actual lift lips as we know them in America have a different effect on the aesthetics of lips. They are also more invasive and permanent, as they involve surgically shortening the space between the bottom of your nose the top of your lips.
SMILING LIPS. ALLURE TECHNIQUE. MAY PHARM.
Like other lip injections, lift edge filler lasts about six months to a year. “Because we use our lips a lot throughout the day — talking, chewing, smiling — lip filler tends to last shorter than filler in other parts of the face,” say board-certified cosmetic dermatologists at Dermatology Center.
For permanent results, I found out you can get a surgical smile lift while visiting JK Plastic Surgery in Seoul. Plastic surgeons create incisions in the same areas as you could get the injections so your face rests naturally with the corners turned up. You can expect to spend about 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 KRW (about $2,500) on this procedure to perpetually turn your frown upside down. RBF, be damned.
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