Duck lips have replaced fake boobs as everyone’s favorite cosmetic-surgery joke (not to mention celebrity rumor), but that may end soon. Restylane Silk, a new, softer form of Restylane, the hyaluronic-acid wrinkle filler approved by the FDA in 2011 (and again in 2012, when lidocaine was added for pain), will be widely available throughout the U.S. next month.
Restylane Silk was approved by the FDA last June for injection in lips and perioral lines (smoker’s lines or pucker lines to you and me). This is the first product approved for these fine wrinkles. Because of changes in corporate ownership, the introduction of the filler was delayed, and only a small group of physicians in a pilot program had access to it. By February, that will all change.
The product’s softness is its defining feature. Fillers can be manufactured with different viscosities, and Restylane Silk is composed of smaller and smoother particles than its siblings, which allows practitioners to use of an ultrafine needle. The lip is perhaps the most sensitive area of the body, and the combination of the tiny needle and the inclusion of lidocaine in the formula provides a more comfortable patient experience. “It’s wonderful to have a product that is approved specifically for lips and the lines around them that gives a natural, supple look,” says Diane Berson, a Manhattan dermatologist, who has found that a little goes a long way. “In most patients, I only need one syringe.”
Because the lips are in constant motion, longevity has always been a problem for fillers in the area. Previous products often lasted only three to four months in lips versus six months in smile lines, says Berson. In the FDA trial of Restylane Silk, which involved 221 mostly female patients, 98 percent had visible improvement 14 days after injection, and 76 percent still had lip improvement at six months. Study participants were offered an optional second injection at two weeks, and some took advantage of it. Some patients may not even bother to test Restylane Silk’s longevity, says Jeanine Downie, a dermatologist in Montclair, New Jersey. “I think the majority of women getting this procedure will not wait the full six months, because they will enjoy the results so much, they will want to have it redone before their lips go back to baseline.”
If Restylane Silk lives up to its promise, comedians will need a different augmented body part to make fun of. Fortunately, the butt is coming on strong.