So you’ve arrived at home after receiving a dermal filler treatment for your lips and all you want to do is curl up on the couch and relax with a nice glass of wine, and maybe an ice pack. Is that glass of wine a good idea?

No, not yet it isn’t.

“Oh darn” you think, “but when can I drink alcohol after getting lip fillers?”

Don’t worry, it’s just a matter of time – we have details on the when and why for you. Your beautiful soft lips and full pout are just a few days of healing away.

The good news is that you should also avoid strenuous exercise, and it’s not the worst thing to have to take a break for a few days, doctor’s orders!

Your qualified practitioner has likely provided you with general aftercare advice, but we’ve found some experts to comment on exactly how long you should avoid alcohol after lip injections and why it’s important to create the best possible healing environment for your lips. The results of your treatment depend on healing up, so kick back and relax with an ice pack, while we try to convince you to skip the beer for now so you can enjoy your future full lips.

Tilted head of a tanned woman with blue eyes wearing lots of gold blush and bronze eyeshadow, with rose pink lipstick on her lips.

How Do Lip Fillers Work (The Short Version)?

Lip augmentation treatment uses injectable fillers, most often hyaluronic acid, to add volume to lips. Hyaluronic acid (HA) does this by trapping water. Think of those gels that swell to many times their size once water is added – that’s basically how they work. Hyaluronic acid is something that your body produces naturally, and it breaks down due to vitamin C and iron. As you age, your natural hyaluronic acid production rate slows, which can cause skin to lose its natural volume, become more dry and brittle, and wrinkles and fine lines start to develop.

There are quite a few dermal fillers, but with different purposes and they work in different ways. The one that everyone already knows is Botox treatment injections. Botox injections are used for anti-wrinkle injections, migraine treatments and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) jaw pain, and it works entirely differently than HA. Other, much less popular, options for lip fillers include fat or collagen injections.

Cosmetic treatments like lip augmentation prefer to use HA because it allows easily controlled volume and it is very malleable, with results lasting eight to twelve months. Just like with naturally produced HA, your body breaks down the injections over time.

Your skin clinic or medical clinic professional will start by applying a local anesthetic, usually a topical cream, then determining the best injection sites. They will inject lip filler using a needle several times, and move the needle around while it is inserted to ensure symmetry and even application. They may also gently massage the treated areas to further disburse the dermal filler injections.

Can You Drink Alcohol Before Lip Filler Treatment?

Before you head to the clinic, you should avoid consuming alcohol for the 24 hours prior to your appointment. Instead, drink plenty of water and hydrate, so that your recovery time is minimized and your body is positioned to heal as quickly as possible. Alcohol consumption thins your blood.

Preparing for your Filler injections does not have to be a burden, it is merely a way to keep you safe and helps you get the most out of your treatment with minimal downtime.

 You should avoid drinking alcohol at least 24 hours before your scheduled treatment. 

Alcohol can sometimes act as an anticoagulant (blood thinner).What this means is it prevents our blood cells from clumping together. When the blood is “thinned” by alcohol or medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin, it may increase your risk of bleeding and bruising during and after your treatment. 

Kyra Forte, PA-C
Director of Timeless by Vantage Medi-Spa NYC

Other things you will want to avoid for the day leading up to your appointment:

  • Caffeine – Reduce your consumption prior to your appointment.
  • Ibuprofen, Motrin, Asprin and Paracetamol
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Flax Oil
  • Cod Liver Oil

If you are taking prescription medications or natural supplements, consult with your pharmacist prior to your treatment. They will be able to advise which medications and supplements you should avoid, and for how long, before and after any cosmetic injections.

Of note, we learned that there are no studies backing the recommendation to avoid alcohol before lip fillers specifically, only more general studies around alcohol and surgery.

There are no scientific studies that support this recommendation but we do recommend not to drink alcohol for 24h before lip fillers.

Viktoryia D Kazlouskaya, MD, PhD

Can you Drink Alcohol After Lip Filler Injections?

Yes! Great news, you can.

With a big caveat – not right away.

What will happen if I drink alcohol after getting lip fillers?

Drinking alcohol after lip filler injections causing your blood to thin and potentially an “alcohol flush” that pushes blood to your skin. You’ve probably experienced it at some point before, where your cheeks are bright pink and a dead giveaway in picts. The medical term is vasodilator, meaning the blood vessels expand, so more blood gets close to the surface of your skin.

This rush of thinner blood to the expanded blood cells increases the likelihood of burst blood vessels, as you’ve also just jostled them when you got your injections. That blood rush and bursting vessels produces bruising, plus increased blood flow contributes to painful swelling – no thanks!

The lips are a very tender area on the face. Have you ever bitten your lip even just a tiny bit? Then you know how it can swell up and bruise! Alcohol can make that swelling and bruising last even longer. Alcohol affects the blood by preventing your platelets from coming together, taking effect within 10-20 minutes of drinking alcohol and lasting for several days.

Andy Wongworawat, M.D., board-certified plastic surgeon and co-founder of Advanced Institute for Plastic Surgery

So What’s the Answer to How Long To Wait to Drink Alcohol After Lip Filler Treatment?

You should avoid heavy drinking for the first two weeks after hyaluronic acid fillers, or other lip filler treatments, for best results.

“That sounds like a long time” you might say.

Note the use of the word heavy drinking. You can bust out your cocktail shaker a bit earlier than two weeks, if you limit yourself to a drink or two, not a big night of booze.

Can You Drink Alcohol Two Days After Lip Filler Injections?

Also no, it is not a good idea. After two days, you may start to feel like the swelling has gone down and you can begin to return to normal, but you should still avoid alcohol for 4-5 days to ensure your body heals up quickly with minimal bruising.

Be sure to take your own medical history and alcohol reaction history into account when you’re deciding how soon and how much to drink.

If you begin drinking earlier than two weeks post-treatment, you will hinder the healing process and put yourself at increased risk for infection, common side effects, but perhaps worst of all, drawing out the healing process.

Hold off on the alcohol for a couple of days, to have an all-around better experience.

If you’re having lip fillers done and you’ve had some alcohol, it’s not the end of the world. Just like aspirin, ibuprofen, Vitamin E, garlic, and many other substances, alcohol just makes the bruising and swelling worse. So if you’re wanting to have a glass of wine, and are okay with being more swollen the next few days, go ahead and give yourself (and your lip injector) a toast!

Andy Wongworawat, M.D., board-certified plastic surgeon and co-founder of Advanced Institute for Plastic Surgery
Side view close up of a white woman's face with a silver nose ring, white teeth and pink lips.

What to Avoid After Lip Fillers & Basic Lip Filler Aftercare Tips

Before and after fillers take Arnica 30x (easy to find at Whole Foods) to help with bruising and swelling. Bruising can also last 14 days in some patients. Be gentle to them while they are swollen and bruised. 

Michele Garber, C.A.C Certified Aesthetic Coach

Exercise – Don’t let your heart rate get up too high, as that will increase your blood pressure and contribute to swelling of the lips. Ahem, there’s some other high-heart rate things you should probably avoid, too.

Kissing – Your lips are going to be tender and will easily bruise. Give it a few days before you try out your new pucker.

Lipstick, Lip Gloss & Lip Balm – Try to avoid touching the area as much as possible, which means avoiding all makeup and even lip moisturizers for at least 24 hours.

Direct Cold – Do not apply ice packs, ice cubes, cold packs or heat packs directly to the skin. This is true for all skin, but especially true for very sensitive skin like lips, even before you’ve sought injectable treatment and are recovering from it.

Spicy Foods – If something can make your lips tingle on its own, you’ll want to avoid it.

Hot Drinks – You are at increased risk of burning yourself, as well as increasing the likelihood of swelling if you consume hot drinks. Stick to cool and lukewarm or room temperature drinks.

Straws – Using a straw puts a lot of pressure on your lips. Doing so right after treatment is a big no no.

Smoking – Similar to a straw, with the additional negatives of a higher risk of infections, do not smoke.

Do Not Fly – If you’ve ever flown with an ear or sinus issue, you’ll understand this one. Changes in pressure in the cabin will make flying unpleasant, as well as the dehydrating affect of planes.

That’s a Wrap – Time to Drink Alcohol After Getting Lip Fillers

Now that you’ve waited two weeks, of course.

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