While Queen Bey is never far from the spotlight, recently social media has been obsessed with Mrs. Knowles Carter and the images she has posted on Twitter and Instagram. The attention, however, has not been focused on her “baby bump” or her figure, but the changes in her face. Her lips have garnered much attention and have led some to suggest, even accuse, the diva of getting lip injections during pregnancy. So, has she?
While we all are aware of the glamorous (and some not-so-glamourous) changes a woman’s body undergoes during gestation, facial changes are just as common, and can be just as dramatic. Ask any Mom!
Facial pigment changes are common. There is melasma, the so-called “mask of pregnancy” that can produce patches of hyperpigmentation with splotchy spots on forehead and cheeks. Moles may change color and darken due to hormonal stimulation, and increases in broken capillaries and skin redness are common. Rising progesterone levels during the first two trimesters can increase breakouts. Hormones may drive oil production, and increased blood levels, blood flow, and blood pressure may contribute to that “pregnancy glow.”
But facial changes aren’t just limited to the skin. Cheeks may be rounder due to healthy weight gain and normal fluid retention that accompanies the second and third trimester. Even the nose can appear swollen, and lids can appear puffy! Eyelashes and eyebrows may thin. The good news is that many pregnant women can celebrate their hair, as high levels of estrogen can extend the growth phase of follicles. As shedding is diminished, hair feels thicker, fuller, and more luxurious.
So, has Beyoncé had fillers injected into her lips recently? Probably not. The most common injectables used for lip augmentation are hyaluronic acid products, such as Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero, and Volbella, and the safety of HA’s during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established. The likely policy of most Board Certified plastic surgeons and dermatologists is to decline injecting any patient who is or may be pregnant. We emphasize a healthy lifestyle with exercise, a thoughtful diet, and a medically supervised skin care regimen, to help women address their facial concerns during pregnancy.
So why do Beyoncé’s lips look so full and voluptuous? Likely they are swollen from pregnancy, and perhaps she has had other forms of enhancement. YouTube is replete with instructional videos on how to gain larger lips, offering techniques such as tooth brush exfoliation to create swelling or massage with cinnamon and cayenne to cause inflammation. Devices are marketed that help develop suction around the lips to create engorgement and improve the pout. Makeup artists have their tricks, too, and certainly Bey has access to Hollywood’s elite cosmetologists. Injections? Probably not, but only Beyoncé (and maybe Jay-Z) know for sure.
By: Larry H. Lickstein, MD, FACS
George Bitar, MD, FACS is an award-winning, board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, the Founder and Medical Director of Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Virginia. He specializes in the latest surgical and minimally invasive techniques to scar management and reduction. Dr. Bitar is involved in groundbreaking research and education in plastic surgery and has authored numerous articles, abstracts, and chapters.