Injectable facial fillers, more properly known as ‘dermal fillers’ because they are injected into the skin, add volume to the face. Injected into cheeks that are becoming hollow with age, they will restore volume and softness. They can be used to plump up thin lips, reshape a weak chin, define a jawline, soften hollows and dark circles under the eyes and enhance features by correcting asymmetry in the face.
Pain level: Low
Cost from: £500
Recovery time: 1-3 Days
Where is it used for:
Cheeks, temples, nose-to-mouth (naso-labial) lines, tear trough, jawline, chin, lips, nose-reshaping
How does it work:
Fillers are injected into the skin through a thin needle or cannula. They are usually made of hyaluronic acid which holds many times its own weight in water, and this hyaluronic acid is ‘crosslinked’ to keep it stable within the skin, thus providing soft volume under the skin which plumps up deflated cheeks or thin lips, or hollow temples, or sharpens the jawline.
Fillers comes in different thicknesses depending on what they are to be used for – you need a firmer filler to provide structure in the face and, say, augment the jawline, while you want a fluid one for use around the eyes.
The filler stays in place and integrates with the skin tissues over the following three months.
It lasts for 3-18 months depending on the viscosity /density of the product.
How long does it take:
15-30 minutes, depending on the extent of the work being done
Numbing cream available for anyone who needs it; many brands of hyaluronic acid filler now contain local anaesthetic so they numb the area as they go in.
Instant, though there may be some localised swelling from the injections, so the true results show through in three or four days.
Depending on the viscosity of the product, and the area in which it is placed, from 3 months to 18 months. A small amount of a thin, pliable filler in the lips, which are mobile and constantly in use, will be broken down much more swiftly than a thicker filler used in the temples.
After treatment/down time:
As with any injections, there may be some swelling and redness at the injection sites, and bruising is always possible. Some people just do swell up more after fillers than others, but you should look fine to, for example, go back to work the next day.
Things to bear in mind:
In the UK, the regulations around dermal fillers are loose, so anyone can inject anyone else with anything.
Fillers are classed as ‘medical devices’ and so are required to have a CE mark, which is a guarantee of quality, but this does not set the bar very high. Whereas few brands of filler are cleared by the American FDA which has stringent standards for safety and efficacy of medical devices, there are some 200 types of filler available in the UK. You must always ask a practitioner what filler they are planning to use on you, and you want it to be from one of the major brands that has good clinical studies to prove its effectiveness and safety, such as Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero, Teosyal, or Ellanse. Also check your practitioner has plenty of experience with the fillers that they are planning to use on you. There is more information on fillers in the book, The Tweakments Guide.
Fillers can help you with these concerns: