Diamonds, aestheticians, dogs, your ride or die chick... all must-haves on the list of a girl’s best friend. If you’re skincare-obsessed like I am, there is one more essential item that must be included in the top five spots… FILLER.
When it comes to restoring and maintaining a youthful appearance (and isn’t that exactly what we’re all trying to do with our skincare game?!) FILLERS. ARE. LIFE.
Even if you’ve never had cosmetic injections it’s likely that you’ve seen Kylie Jenner’s lips, the changing faces of the other Kardashians, Real Housewives, and countless other celebrities. Fillers are everywhere. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons there were 2.6 million soft tissue filler procedures done in 2018. Despite this big number, many of us are afraid of fillers because we think they will result in cartoonish big lips or (as my husband likes to call over-done cheeks) panther face.
Some people do go overboard with filler and the resulting look is unnatural. But that is not the norm or the desired result. If you’re working with a qualified and experienced injector your result will not only look natural but will take years off your appearance. I’ll say it again, FILLERS. ARE. LIFE.
WHAT IS FILLER AND WHY DO WE NEED IT?
Fillers are not one thing. There are several different types of fillers and within each type there are lots of different filler products. One of the main factors in choosing a filler product is the area of the correction. The different filler products have different textures, densities, and depth of injection guidelines. Some fillers work better in areas like the in lips or under the eyes, while others are better suited for the cheeks or jawline. Although there are lots of different choices, it’s the job of all fillers to create volume.
Naturally occurring in our bodies are substances like hyaluronic acid and collagen that work to create volume. When we are young our bodies are producing a ton of these substances and the result is that we had lovey full lips and nice plump cheeks. As we age the production of these substances slow, they break down quicker, and we end up with sagging cheeks, deflated lips, and an undefined jawline. It’s very sad.
Luckily we live in the time of fillers! Fillers are products that can be injected into the skin that restore volume and (with some products) stimulate our body to create more collagen. Introducing volume back to where it has been lost can give us a more youthful and refreshed appearance.
The laws dictating who is allowed to perform cosmetic injections can vary from state to state. Some states require that the injector be a physician or nurse practitioner, while other states may allow anyone under the supervision of a medical director to perform cosmetic injections. You can look deeper into the laws in your particular state by visiting the American Med Spa Association. The most important thing is that your injector be a licensed, qualified, experienced professional.
The filler landscape is large and growing. Your injector will make the decision as to which product to use for your treatment. As long as you know that you’re receiving an FDA-approved brand name product, you don’t have to be overly concerned with knowing the details of every option available.
You might, however, want to be familiar with the filler landscape so that you are aware of the most common types of fillers and the products that your injector is most likely to recommend.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Fillers
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in our bodies and is capable of binding up to 1000 times its weight in water. Fillers made with hyaluronic acid make up the largest collection of filler products. Most of the products in this category will typically last between six to twelve months. Something unique about HA fillers is that hyaluronic acid can be broken down by a substance called hyaluronidase, which is also naturally occurring in our bodies. Hyaluronidase breaks down hyaluronic acid so, if you don’t like the result of your treatment, hyaluronidase can be injected in the treatment site to breakdown the filler. Although you would not want to do this except in extreme cases of unhappiness, it’s nice to know that you have this option should you really not like your results. This can be an especially comforting when you’re getting filler for the first time.
Examples of Hyaluronic Acid Filler Products
Galderma collection of Restylane products: Restylane, Restylane-L, Restylane Silk, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Refyne, Restylane Defyne
Allergan collection of Juvederm products: Juvederm XC, Voluma XC, Volbella XC, Vollure XC, Ultra XC
Belotero Balance by Merz Aesthetics
Versa by Revanesse
Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) Fillers
Calcium Hydroxylapatite is a naturally occurring substance found in our bones. This type of filler tends to be thicker than hyaluronic acid filler and typically lasts longer. Patients often see results lasting up to twelve months. CaHA fillers not only add volume with the product but also stimulates additional collagen production. This type of filler is most often used for in areas of deeper lines and wrinkles.
Examples of Calcium Hydroxylapatite Filler Products
Radiesse by Merz Aesthetics
Poly-L-lactic Acid Fillers
Poly-L-lactic acid is a biocompatible and biodegradable synthetic substance. Biocompatible means that it is safe to use in the body. This substance is not only used in filler but has a history of being used in medical devices like dissolvable stitches. This type of filler works differently from other fillers. The actual product dissolves within a few days after injection and works by stimulating the body to produce its own collagen. Results for this type of filler are seen gradually over a few months instead of instantly as with other types of fillers. Poly-L-lactic acid filler is most often used in areas of deeper lines and wrinkles and results can be seen for up to two years.
Examples of Poly-L-lactic Acid Fillers
Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) Fillers
Polymethylmethacrylate filler is a biocompatible (meaning safe to use in the body) synthetic substance. This type of filler takes the form of a microsphere (or tiny ball), is injected into the skin, and remains beneath the skin indefinitely providing long-term support. This type of filler is considered to be a semi-permanent filler and is used when longer term results are desired. PMMA fillers also contain collagen and are typically used for very deep wrinkles and acne (or other types of pitted) scars.
Examples of Polymethylmethacrylate Fillers
Bellafill (formerly known as Artefill)
HOW MUCH DOES FILLER COST?
The cost of filler varies greatly depending on the type of filler you get, the person doing your injections, the geographical area, and a number of other factors. When getting pricing information be aware that filler is priced per syringe. This means that while the price per syringe of a particular filler may be $700 (just an example), your treatment may require more than one syringe. The number of syringes needed depends on your individual facial anatomy and your desired result. More volume (bigger lips, more contoured cheeks) will require more product. The only way to accurately determine the number of syringes needed for your treatment is to have a consultation. Your injector will be able to give you an idea of how many syringes it will take to get your desired result. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average price for the types of fillers we’ve discussed are listed below. The price you see listed is the average price for one syringe of filler based on 2018 data.
Hyaluronic acid filler - $682
Calcium Hydroxylapatite Filler - $691
Poly-L-lactic Acid Fillers - $915
Polymethylmethacrylate Fillers - $889
Like all cosmetic treatments, fillers are not for everyone. The information here is only meant to be a guide so that you can make the decisions that are right for you! We are all on our own individual skincare journey, how we get to our destination is up to us!
CONNECT WITH ME!
I’d love to answer any questions you have or hear about your own experience with filler. SkinCrush is meant to be a community so please join in the conversation! Reach out to me here or connect with me on social media. The SkinCrush Podcast and The SkinCrush Channel are more ways to connect and get more from my expert guests! If you have an idea for a future blog, podcast, or video, please let me know!
Until next time, SkinCrushers, take care of your skin and take care of each other!