Lip injections have long been a thing in Hollywood—lately, more than ever, I’ve noticed even the most natural beauties in this town with a suspiciously fuller pout. Admittedly, it could be the handiwork of some artfully applied lip liner, but it got me thinking long and hard about the uptick in the look. I, for one, am not opposed to fillers and invasive cosmetic procedures (you do you!)—I just don’t think it’s something I’m interested in at the moment. (Ask me again in 20 years, and I might have changed my tune.)
On a quest to seek alternative options purely out of curiosity, I came across a treatment called Exilis—I discovered it on Instagram (where else?) and immediately contacted the doctor who’d received rave reviews from happy clients. Dr. Gregory Mueller heads up a practice in the heart of Beverly Hills that’s one of Exilis’ premier partners, so he and his team house a wealth of information on the topic. Read on to learn about this cutting-edge non-invasive lip treatment—and what happened when I tried it myself.
So what exactly is Exilis Ultra (the treatment's technical name)—and how could it possibly mimic the results of injections? We turned to Dr. Mueller for answers. Here, he explains.
What is Exilis?
"Exilis Ultra Elite is a radio frequency/ultrasound device that works anywhere on the body to tighten and tone the skin," Dr. Mueller says. "It's equipped with two handsets: One is specific to the face and neck, and the other is for the rest of the body. The body handset has fat reduction options as well.
"Exilis Ultra Elite works by targeting existing and 'tired' collagen and elastin in the skin, inciting the body to create new reserves of these materials, causing the skin to take on a more taut, youthful appearance. These procedures are comfortable with zero downtime and few post-procedure instructions. This device was recently recognized as the best skin-tightening one on the market."
Why is it good for the lip area in particular?
"Exilis Ultra Elite may be used on the lips and around them to help smooth fine lines and add subtle fullness to the lips themselves. Again, it is a comfortable treatment, and this area is also quick to work on, [taking] a mere 10 minutes."
What kind of results can people expect?
"Patients will see an initial softening of fine lines and mild plumping of the lips. These results are immediate after treatment but continue to progress over the course of six months or approximately how long it takes for the rebuild of collagen and elastin in the body."
What is the recommended number of treatments?
"We recommend four treatments per area. After the initial four sessions, it is recommended that patients return for maintenance treatments every six to eight months." (The treatment on the lip area runs around $200 per session, but varies by practice.)
why is this a great option for people who don’t want to do fillers?
"This is a great option for those who want a subtle plumping of the lips instead of a more dramatic change that occurs with fillers, making it ideal for patients looking for soft and natural enhancement of their lips without the use of needles or the downtime associated with fillers. It's also a great bridge procedure that will plump lips that have been previously injected."
#LipGoals. Photo: Getty Images
After a consultation with Dr. Mueller, where he explained more about the technology and its results, I knew I wanted to give it a shot. Let me be clear that my intent was not to end up with Kylie Jenner's lips—but adding a subtle plump to my pout sounded enticing.
Dr. Mueller is absolutely right when he says it's a comfortable treatment—it's not at all painful. (Thank goodness! There's already enough pain in beauty.) The technician applies ultrasound gel to your lip and chin region, then guides what feels like a warm rollerball all over the area in specific patterns in four- and six-minute increments. It's often equated to feeling like a hot stone massage, which I found to be true. While it does increase in heat throughout the treatment, it never got to the point where I felt irritated—and that's saying a lot, as I have quite sensitive skin. I had very minor red marks that went away within minutes, so it's safe to say the downtime is very minimal.
After my first treatment, I noticed my lips appeared smoother—some of the fine lines seemed to be immediately plumped and had an overall shinier appearance. I underwent two additional treatments that spanned the course of a month, and I am very pleased with the results. Again, the effect is very subtle, but my lips continue to feel and look smoother, and my bottom lip especially seems more plump. It's one of those things where people wouldn't be able to immediately put their finger on what's different about you—it just looks "better."
My boyfriend and friends that I told about the treatment initially didn't notice any major changes, but over time, unprompted, they all admitted that they did observe a subtle difference in my appearance.
I'm curious to see how the results continue to develop—as Dr. Mueller mentions, the collagen and elastin rebuild occurs over the course of six months, so additional progress is yet to come. For the time being, it achieved exactly what I wanted it to—no needles required.
Have you tried Exilis or any other non-invasive plumping treatments? Let us know in the comments below.