You can’t turn back time unless you’re Cher. But you can reverse the signs of aging and delay the need for a facelift by decades with fillers, especially when you combine them with other nonsurgical procedures (such as the neurotoxin Botox). Here are details to help you decide which fillers are best for you.
Beyond the Chipmunk, Pufferfish Look of Fillers 1.0
The wind-swept, overly-pulled facelifts of yore are a relic of an era where the subtleties of how a face ages were less understood. The tools were also less equipped to reverse the physical markers of time. Passé now too is the duck-lipped, chipmunk-cheeked, overly-filled look of the early aughts. As we age, our facial fat shifts and loses mass. The bones in our face also lose volume.
Filler techniques, products and aesthetics have evolved beyond just puffing up specific areas of your face. Now a more naturally youthful look is achievable. You’ll look like yourself, but a younger version. Results last from about six months to two years.
Which Filler Is Best For You
Various companies sell their versions of FDA-approved fillers that can be used in the same areas. For example, Allergan Inc. makes the Juvéderm collection of fillers including Voluma, Vollure and Volbella. Galderma Laboratories makes Sculptra. They also make the hyaluronic acid–based fillers Restylane Silk, Restylane Lyft and Restylane Refyne.
FDA-approved fillers are made with a variety of products, including your own fat. Fat is surgically removed from one area of your body (such as your thighs, bottom or stomach) and then injected in another area. Collagen wrinkle fillers can be both animal and synthetic based but often aren’t as long-lasting. Calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) filler such as Radiesse is usually thicker than popular hyaluronic acid fillers and is often used for deeper wrinkles. Poly-L-lactic Acid fillers, known as “collagen stimulators,” include Sculptra. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) synthetic fillers such as Bellafill take the form of tiny balls. The most popular category of wrinkle fillers is hyaluronic acid, which is made out of a molecule naturally found in our skin. They include Belotero Balance, Hylaform, Juvederm Voluma, Juvederm Vollure, Juvederm Ultra XC, Juvederm Volbella XC, Prevelle Silk, Restylane, Restylane-L, Restylane-Lift, Restylane Silk, Restylane Refyne and Restylane Defyne.
This is a lot of information to take in. Do your homework and have a thorough consultation with your doctor before your first procedure. Ask your doctor if the suggested filler can be easily reversed if you don’t like the result. Dermal fillers can be injected in less than an hour and require little to no downtime afterward. The side effects are usually minor and include bruising and swelling.
Different fillers have distinctive thicknesses and are better for different parts of the face and body. But note that various providers administer fillers in distinct ways. Here are areas where select, popular fillers are often used:
Lips: There isn’t just one filler for the lips. Think about the results you want. Perhaps you want to address just the vertical lines above the lips or you want your lips a little more defined around the edges, but you don’t want to change their shape. Fillers used for the lips are usually softer.
Cheeks: For plumping but also lifting. A good cheek filler can lessen the appearance of nasolabial folds. These fillers are usually sturdier, thicker fillers.
Under eye: Can reduce puffiness, permanent hollowness and wrinkles.
“Parentheses”/”Marionette” Lines/Nasolabial Folds: Can soften the appearance of lines and creases.
Hands: Soften the appearance of hands and plump up sagging skin.
As with any procedure, consult and carefully consider your options before moving forward. With the help of a skilled practitioner, the result can often be a more rejuvenated look.