Facial Fillers – Reviews by a Plastic Surgeon
A Plastic Surgeon Reviews Five Popular Facial Fillers
If you aren’t happy with the facial wrinkles that the mirror shows you each morning but you aren’t ready for a surgical procedure, facial fillers may offer you a safe and effective option. There are many fillers on the market, and each one offers its own benefits and drawbacks. Some are better at volumizing and plumping the face, while others are ideal for filling in very fine wrinkles. You must also take into consideration the varying life of each filler. While some only last a few months, others can last nearly a year.
I recommend and use a variety of different facial fillers at my practice depending on a patient’s goals and the specific landscape of his or her face. Patients considering facial fillers can benefit from learning about the basic characteristics of the most popular fillers on the market. This will help them to be better educated when they consult with their cosmetic surgeon about starting a filler regimen.
Restylane is the most versatile filler I use in my practice. It isn’t highly dense like certain other fillers or extremely fine. As Goldilocks would say, “It’s just right.” That means it can be a good choice for filling in many different areas of the face. It is my preferred filler for addressing under eye hollowness as well as lines around the lips and mouth area. It provides great results in wrinkles, depressions, nasal flat areas, and lips. However, it is not dense enough to provide significant facial volume, so I look to other fillers to enhance cheekbones and plump the jaw and chin. Another significant benefit of Restylane is its longevity. In most areas of the face, it lasts about six months, though lip treatments tend to require re-application in three to four months.
Juvéderm is denser than Restylane and works to smooth out deeper wrinkles in the face. Juvéderm is a good option to fill in the nasolabial fold, more commonly known as laugh lines, (which is no laughing matter for many of my patients). I also use this filler with good results to add volume to the larger areas of a patient’s face, including the cheeks, chin, and jowls. As we age, the fat that naturally plumps out our face begins to break down, leaving our cheeks and chin looking more hollow and saggy. Juvéderm can add back the volume the years took away. I also use Juvéderm to enhance lip volume by injecting it into the pink parts of the lip. In my opinion, Juvéderm is too dense to enhance the lip border or to be used for fine wrinkles.
Restylane Silk is the newest filler introduced in the Restylane line. It is much less dense than standard Restylane, making it an ideal option for filling in very fine wrinkles and smaller areas of the face. I like to use Restylane Silk to fill in small lines around the mouth and vertical lip lines. I also use it to enhance the lip border, helping lips to become more visible and plump. Since this filler is much less dense than other options on the market, it flows easily into small lines and produces very smooth results. Expect four to six months of longevity for this product.
Juvéderm Voluma® XC
One of the densest fillers on the market is Juvéderm Voluma XC. Voluma was developed specifically to provide volume to the cheekbones and cheek regions of the face. This filler goes deeper into the tissue than other fillers, giving the face a fuller, more youthful look. In my practice, I’ve found that Voluma typically lasts around nine months. Voluma should never be used to fill in small or fine lines in the face or be used around the eyes or in the lips.
The biggest direct competitor to Voluma is Radiesse, a calcium-based filler that can provide overall volume or be used to fill out moderate to severe lines and folds in the face. I often use Radiesse in the cheekbones to give the face a fuller, more youthful aspect as well as in the nasolabial folds (laugh lines). I usually recommend Radiesse over Voluma, because it is far more cost-effective for my patients. The only drawback is that Radiesse tends to last six months, while Voluma can last up to nine. Both fillers provide excellent results for my patients.
If you are considering trying fillers for the first time, I strongly urge you to seek the care of a board certified plastic surgeon. Many high-end spas offer filler injection services, but they often only provide one or two filler options, and their practitioner likely doesn’t not have the in-depth training to understand all the factors that lead to ideal facial symmetry. Consult closely with your plastic surgeon to determine the best filler protocol for you. Depending on your goals, your cosmetic surgeon may recommend the use of more than one type of filler to address different areas of your face.
If you live in the Los Angeles area, please contact my office at (818) 981-3333 to schedule a consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for fillers.