What Exactly Is A Liquid Nose Job?

Rhinoplasty — or as we like to call them, nose jobs — are everywhere. Oceans of ink have been spilt trying to dissect the changing faces of Hollywood celebrities whose noses have gone under the knife, including Michael Jackson, Kim Kardashian, and Bella Hadid. The teenage girls from the iconic 1995 movie "Clueless" joked about nose jobs during tennis class. There was even a plotline in "Friends" where Rachel admitted to a nose job due to her "deviated septum" (which turned out to be based on Jennifer Aniston's life, per Mya). 


What's more, nose jobs are still all the rage. A 2018 survey of cosmetic surgeries in America found rhinoplasty to be the third most popular procedure only topped by breat augmentation and liposuction. In 2020, The Cadogan Clinic reported a 90% rise in requests for surgical and non-surgical rhinoplasty procedures. Yes, you read that right, there are non-surgical nose jobs, and they are all the rage on TikTok. Dubbed "liquid nose jobs," there are endless TikTokers singing the praises of the quick procedure. But what is it, and is it right for you?

How is a liquid nose job different from surgical rhinoplasty?

So how is a liquid nose job different from traditional surgical rhinoplasty? Well, there's no scalpel involved, no slicing into skin and bone, and a very quick recovery! According to PopSugar, a liquid nose job involves injecting hyaluronic acid fillers into your nose to even out bumps, and give you that much-sought-after ski-jump nose, in a method that basically gives you the same results as the surgical procedure. The outlet reports that, unlike rhinoplasty, where patients are often left with black eyes, bruising, and swelling for days, liquid nose jobs only come with slight redness and swelling, with those receding after a few hours, leaving the results noticeable in the same day. 


Not only is the procedure quick, but it's also easier on your purse strings. According to WebMD, while traditional surgical rhinoplasty can cost you around $5,000, liquid nose jobs tend to average in the $1,000 range.

The results won't last forever, however

As we all know, once you get surgical rhinoplasty, it's permanent. If you're not happy with the results, you either have to live with it, or you could end up on an episode of "Botched." However, with a liquid nose job, the results don't last forever. PopSugar reports the fillers injected into the nose only last anywhere from nine months to two years. The Cut spoke with plastic surgeon Dr. Rod Rohrich, who said that liquid nose jobs are a good dress rehearsal for those who aren't sure they want to commit to full-on surgical rhinoplasty. "Younger patients want to sometimes try it to see how they like it, kind of like driving it before you get it," he told the outlet. It's almost like taking a nose job for a test drive!


You might be required to attend a follow-up two weeks after receiving the procedure with your plastic surgeon, however, in order to determine whether more filler is needed for the desired shape, or to double check that the amount of filler used was right for you, per PopSugar.  

Are the risks worth it?

Like any procedure, surgical or not, there are risks, and in unskilled hands, a liquid nose job can devastate your health. "You can lose the skin of your nose. You can go blind. It can be very dangerous if not done correctly," plastic surgeon Dr. Rod Rohrich told The Cut. In a lawsuit filed in the British Columbia Supreme Court, a Vancouver woman alleged that a liquid nose job performed by a local naturopath "fractured her upper jaw bone, caused some of her teeth to die, and led to headaches, blurred vision, post-traumatic stress disorder and insomnia," per CBC


If complications are caught early, an injection of Hyaluronidase can dissolve the hyaluronic acid, per Body and Soul. However, Dr. Rohrich told The Cut that liquid nose jobs should only be performed by board-certified plastic surgeons, not your local naturopath. Dr. Andrew Dargie concurs with this assessment, telling CBC, "This is a high risk treatment area for dermal fillers and typically one that should be reserved for people who have been injecting for many years and have lots of experience."

It's popular, especially on TikTok

While the liquid nose job has been around for a while, it's gaining a lot of steam on everyone's favorite social media platform, TikTok. A quick search of the term delivers a whole host of videos. Some users gleefully extoll the virtues of the procedure, like this one from user @protoxaesthetics, which graphically depicts the process, while also highlighting the before and after results.  There are even doctors on the platform, like this one who calls herself a "facial artist to the TikTok stars," and she gives her best tips to achieve the perfect liquid nose job look.  


Another popular search term on the platform is #LiquidRhinoplasty, which has more than 72.5 million views and counting, per The Cut. The outlet reports that the related hashtags picked up steam after Dr. Daniel Barrett uploaded an April 2020 video where he hypothesized that Jennifer Lopez had a liquid nose job. That video now has more than 675,000 views as of this writing.

It's not without controversy

In April 2022, supermodel Bella Hadid revealed that she regretted getting her nose job at the early age of 14, per CNN. Hadid, who's half Palestinian, said, "I wish I had kept the nose of my ancestors." Many people are echoing those sentiments, asking questions, and raising concerns about how liquid nose jobs and other facial cosmetic procedures can effectively erase all diversity and ethnicity from our appearance in favor of a more Caucasian look, which could be rooted in racism. 


ABC Australia spoke to different women of diverse backgrounds, and found that some were influenced by the changing shape and look of celebrity noses, like Kim Kardashian, and that influenced their decision to get their noses done. The outlet spoke to a 14-year-old girl of Indian heritage who wondered, "Why can't my nose be slimmer? Why can't my lips be bigger? Why can't my face have more of a structure to it instead of being so round?" When she used filters to achieve that look, she commented, "I looked like a white person."

The Cut also reported on what it called "ethnic plastic surgery," and the author recounted that a plastic surgeon said to her, "You've got some nice Caucasian features. You inherited a Caucasian nose. Your nose is nice."