Dermal fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, and Belotero are the number one cosmetic procedure performed in the U.S., and for a good reason. They’re often thought of as a no-surgery face lift option to create a more youthful appearance, without the need for anesthesia, scalpels, or downtime. Facial filler injections are typically performed in an office setting and most patients can return to daily activities quickly after the injections. The use of various fillers in the skin can create excellent cosmetic results lasting an average of 1-2 years.
How Facial Fillers Work
Basically, fillers are injected underneath the skin to relax and “fill in” wrinkles. Various types of fillers are also quite effective at plumping up and re-contouring facial features, including hollows under the eyes and cheeks, as well as reducing the appearance of sagging skin.
Here’s how they work, in a nutshell: The skin is composed of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and subcutaneous fat.
The epidermis is the top layer of the skin, which produces melanin that gives your skin its color and protects your skin against environmental toxins. Some parts of the body have a thinner epidermis, such as the eyelids, and other parts of the body have thicker parts such as the soles of your feet.
The dermis is the middle layer of skin. Hair follicles and glands that produce oil to keep your skin smooth are found in the dermis. This layer also contains blood vessels that feed the skin and remove toxins.
The subcutaneous fat layer is the bottom layer of skin. It has connective tissue that attaches the dermis to muscles and bones, and pads muscles and bones to protect them from bumps or falls.
Each layer of skin is affected by genetics, bone structure, aging, plus environmental and lifestyle factors. The layers tend to become thinner with age when tissue production slows. Thinner skin begins to show wrinkles and lines when it’s no longer filled with collagen and fat cells.
This is where dermal fillers come in. Fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, and Belotero plump the layers of the skin to diminish the appearance of hollows, wrinkles, and dark circles. There are many different consistencies within each type of filler, all designed to achieve specific results.
Types Of Fillers & How They’re Used
Juvederm, Restylane, and Belotero are all hyaluronic acid fillers, which is almost identical to the hyaluronic acid found naturally in the human body. Fillers are good for static wrinkles, meaning wrinkles that are present when the face is at rest, including the hollows under the eyes. They are also effective for dynamic wrinkles, which are those that are visible when the face is in motion, such as when smiling or frowning.
Fillers are commonly used in the nasolabial folds, which are the two skin folds that run from each side of the nose to the corners of the mouth, the glabellar folds, which are the vertical lines that develop between the eyebrows, and for providing volume to the midface cheek area and under the eyes. They can also be used to increase volume in the lower eyelids in an area commonly known as the tear trough, and some fillers are approved for use in the lips to help increase lip volume and fullness.
Juvederm is most often used to smooth and fill moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, and it’s available in a range of consistencies to add volume and contour the face as needed. Juvederm Voluma is particularly effective for adding volume to hollows under the eyes and cheeks.
Restylane is typically used for filling moderate facial lines and wrinkles rather than lifting and contouring purposes. Restylane is often used in conjunction with Botox to enhance and extend the life of results.
Belotero is effective for fine line reduction and is sometimes used as a top layer filler and on top of deeper fillers. Belotero can also be used for very subtle results, which may be useful for people who have very delicate or thin skin.
Each main brand of dermal fillers has several different types of fillers which are indicated for use in various areas. For example, Juvederm Vollure and Restylane Refyne and Defyne are all commonly used in the nasolabial folds—the skin folds that run from each side of the nose to the corners of the mouth—while Juvederm Voluma and Restylane Lyft are more commonly used to provide lift and contouring of the cheeks.
Due to the significant difference in skin types and facial appearance among individuals, many patients choose to have several different fillers from one brand or multiple brands injected in a single session, depending on the patient’s treatment goals. Fillers can also be used in conjunction with various surgical procedures to provide the optimal cosmetic outcome, tailored to each individual patient.
What To Expect From The Procedure And Afterwards
Regardless of which type of filler is used, here are some factors all fillers have in common, and what you can expect from the actual filler injection procedure:
- Fillers provide volume, giving a more youthful appearance to the face, without having traditional incisional surgery.
- The injection of fillers is fairly quick and can usually be completed in 10-15 minutes or less.
- There is minimal downtime with fillers after the procedure.
- Most fillers have some lidocaine in them to make the injections more comfortable.
- Fillers can be injected with either no anesthetic or topical lidocaine based creams if someone is concerned that it may be painful.
- Fillers can be used for static wrinkles, the ones that stay with the face at rest.
- Fillers can be used in conjunction with Botox (botulinum toxin, Xeomin, etc), which works on dynamic wrinkles that are present with facial animation.
- While Botox lasts 3-4 months, fillers last longer, typically 1-2 years depending on the type of filler.
- Many fillers have subtle differences making different fillers better for different locations on the face and also between different patients. Each patient would benefit from an individualized treatment plan after a discussion of his or her goals of treatment.
- Although fillers are relatively safe, they should be given by experienced injectors after a thorough discussion of the risks, benefits, and alternatives.
How Long Do Facial Fillers Last?
How long each filler typically lasts can vary depending on the type of filler used along with the individual patient anatomy, but they typically last from 1 to 2 years. The following fillers can last up to 1 year: Juvederm Ultra XC, Ultra Plus XC, Restylane silk, Restylane Refyne, Restylane Defyne, Belotero Balance
Juvederm Vollure XC has shown to have lasting results for up to 18 months, and Juvederm Voluma XC and Restylane Lyft last up to 2 years.
A skilled oculoplastic surgeon can assess your skin and bone structure to determine which filler, or combination of fillers, would help you achieve the most natural results for a younger-looking you, not like you’ve had something “done.”
If you’re curious about fillers like Juvederm or Restylane, we’re happy to provide more information and answer all your questions. At Baptist Eye Surgeons, Dr. Anzeljc performs both functional and cosmetic procedures including blepharoplasty and ptosis repair to lift eyelids and reduce eye bags, Botox for wrinkles, filler injections, and brow lifts.
Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice dedicated to providing quality eye care to patients whose needs range from routine comprehensive eye examinations to the treatment of complex eye diseases. To request an appointment or get directions to our Knoxville and Morristown locations, visit our website. Call us at 865-579-3920 for more information or visit us online to schedule an appointment.