Advice on Injecting Lip Filler Safely

Injecting lip filler safely and effectively to create beautiful, reproducible results is both a science and an art form. 

New aesthetic medicine students are often keen to get involved with lip augmentations yet this can be a tricky area, especially for beginners. 

We asked a selection of Harley Academy aesthetics experts for their advice, from the best technique to start with and how to avoid lumps from filler forming to why you should never inject over old filler. 

Here, five of our faculty give you the benefit of their wisdom when it comes to getting started with lip filler as a new injector… 

Advice for Medical Aesthetics Beginners on Injecting Lip Filler Safely - Harley Academy Aesthetic Medicine Training Courses Level 7 Injectables

Get really good at reproducing results using one straightforward technique

Dr Tristan Mehta, founder and executive chairman of Harley Academy; aesthetics specialist at and co-founder of STORY Marylebone.

As a new injector, don’t try to experiment with lots of different techniques. Try one that’s straightforward – retrograde linear thread technique – don’t worry about Russian lips or using a cannula, necessarily – and just get really reproducible results before venturing onto more weird and wonderful techniques.

Avoid lip filler lumps through product selection and a slow approach

Dr Marcus Mehta, creative director at Harley Academy; aesthetics specialist at and co-founder of STORY Southwell.

When you’re a beginner, to avoid lumps forming from your lip filler there are a few tips to follow. 

Firstly, choose a product that’s really, really soft. When you start injecting lip filler, you’re probably treating people who are not your ideal patient in order to practice – friends and family, for example. Always use a softer product than you think you will need to create the perfect lips. 

For example, in the Juvéderm Vycross range it’s Volbella, Volift, Voluma, Volux as it gets thicker. I might use Volift in the lips because it gives a really good projection but I could use Volbella. It’s a bit thinner, a bit more watery, it’s less rigid and less thick, so it’s less likely to cause lumps to start with. 

Using a thinner product than you wish you could to start with is a good way to avoid lumps forming as a new injector.

Secondly, always keep moving when you’re injecting the lips – never stop moving when you’re injecting lip filler – whether it’s a retrograde linear thread or however you’re injecting, just always keep moving the needle very slightly to avoid any formation of lumps in the lips. 

Lastly, make sure you use small amounts of product; when you’re treating lips I would say to initially start with 0.5ml of a very soft product under the lips, keep your needle moving and use small volumes and small injections per site, then you’re in a good place to avoid lumps forming.

3 Tips to Avoid Lip Filler Lumps:

1. Use a very soft filler like Volbella or Volift.

2. Never stop moving when you’re injecting lip filler.

3. Use small volumes of product – start with 0.5ml.

– DR MARCUS MEHTA

Avoid the vermillion border and consider product carefully

Dr Kalpna Pindolia, director of education and aesthetics specialist at STORY Marylebone.

Don’t treat the vermillion border if the patient has a lovely, structured one already!

Stick to 1-1.2 ml per treatment, you can add more after 4 weeks if required.

Lips are the decoration, treat them last, the scaffold of the face is much more important when considering the pan-facial aesthetic. 

Product selection is key. A dynamic filler will move with the mouth and lips which is important for a natural lip result.

Aspirate and don’t follow trends

Dr Joanna Hackney, senior clinical trainer and aesthetics specialist at The Academy Clinic.

My biggest piece of advice here would be to not be tempted to follow “faddy” filler fashions.  Stick with the principles learnt in your Foundation Training and mentoring sessions: layer 2 injections in a retrograde linear thread using small aliquots (0.1ml maximum per thread). Remember to maintain constant movement of the needle through the layer and avoid bolusing as a beginner.

Aspirate prior to each injection.  Aspiration is a contentious issue due its poor sensitivity as a test, however, the specificity of a positive aspirate is high, and for this reason we recommend all beginner injectors utilise it as an additional safety measure.

Assess thoroughly and never inject over previous filler

Dr Mariam Michail, clinical trainer and aesthetics specialist.

Always add small volumes at a time. Gradual build up of lip volume is always preferable!

Always carry out a thorough assessment of the lips before injecting. Never inject over previous filler that is not ideal (lumpy or migrated). 

Assess lips in relation to the whole face, especially chin shape and projection.


Injecting Lip Filler Safely New Injector Training Harley Academy Mannequin practice in Foundation Training - Lip Fillers

Lip filler training

Students taking the Level 7 Diploma in Botox and Dermal Fillers learn how to inject lip filler safely, effectively and in ways that will produce beautiful results for their patients. This involves theory as well as practical mentored learning sessions, as a solid foundation of anatomical and facial ageing knowledge is required if you want to excel as an aesthetics specialist.

For those who want to expand their knowledge and refine their technique, or even just become really confident in their lip filler skills, one-to-one training is your golden opportunity.

1:1 Training in Perioral and Lip Filler provides personalised, tailored tuition in this area. An experienced Harley Academy clinical trainer will put you through your paces, focussing on your areas of interest or concern. You will treat your own patient and have the opportunity to hone your entire lip treatment patient experience, from consultation to aftercare advice, as well as gaining expert insights on how to improve your approach to injecting.

To qualify for either the Level 7 or our 1:1 Training in Injectable Treatments, you must be a licensed doctor, nurse, dentist or midwife in the UK. If you are unsure as to which option is right for you, let us help you. Book a call with our head of student recruitment, Deneal Basi, who will be happy to discuss your needs and advise accordingly.

We hope you find these expert tips useful. Do let us know if you try any of them on the private Harley Academy Comma if you are a student, otherwise leave us your feedback via our Instagram account

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