Lip Lift

Raise your upper lip to a more youthful position, at any age.

The upper lip lengthens with age and is longer in men than in women. The bones in our bodies and the face retract and diminish causing skin to sag. Both the soft tissue and fat of the face atrophy with age and sun exposure, to some extent, so the skin on the face itself also falls. The pink outer part of the lip also thins so a “resting” smile may no longer show teeth. The ideal youthful lip is often full and slightly pouting.

When does this usually happen?

We most often notice that our upper lip has lengthened some time in our 50’s and after, but even younger people in their 20’s and 30’s have a longer distance than average and may benefit from this procedure or may simply prefer the look of a shorter upper lip distance. A lip lift raises the upper lip into a more youthful position, giving you a more prominent vermillion border and a better view of the upper lip and a fuller, more aesthetically pleasing appearance.

What does a lip lift do?

An upper lip lift shortens the distance between the upper lift and the base of the nose. The ideal length for females ranges from 1.0 to 1.2 cm., based on the location of the individual’s surrounding facial features. A length longer than that may appear too long for that person’s facial features. The space for males is usually from 1.3 to 1.5 cm. A lip lift increases the amount of “pink lip” that is seen, exposing the teeth a little more, giving you fuller, more youthful looking lips.

Candidates for an upper lip lift may be experiencing:

  • Teeth not showing when smiling
  • A long space between nose and upper lip (greater than 1.5 cm)
  • Thin flat lips
  • Lip fillers resulting in “duck” lips because the upper lip does not have room to expand vertically

Corner Lip Lift

A corner lip lift involves only the edges of your mouth and is designed for the men or women who feel they have permanent frown.

Candidates for a corner lip lift may have:

  • A permanent frown
  • Turned down corners of the mouth

How is a lip lift performed?

The lip lift is performed in our facility under local anesthesia . Dr. Gray will present the options to you and you can make the decision. The procedure is comfortable and well tolerated.

Dr. Gray shortens the distance between the nose and the top lip by making an incision just under the nose. Muscles or nerves are not cut so that facial elements can remain in their natural state. This permits the upper lip to roll up and out in order to provide a better projection in addition to shortening the distance of the upper lip.

The result is a more feminine and better balanced upper lip.


Photo credit to Dr. Joe Niamtu

How is a corner lift done?

A corner lift is also an outpatient procedure and is performed under local anesthesia or with just numbing. A corner lift is also well tolerated and comfortable. A small wedge of skin at corner of your mouth is excised or removed and the muscle releases. Muscles or nerves are not cut so that the smile will be natural looking.

Patients have asked Dr. Gray if lips can be lifted using dermal fillers. Yes, they can, sometimes. But, if the space above the lip is too long, fillers will push the lip out instead of up, for a “duck lip” appearance. The space between the upper lip and the nose can only be shortened with a lift. Fillers can be used after a lip lift, when the lip is in its proper position. The result is a beautiful, younger look.


Photo credit to Dr. Randal Haworth