As you age, you lose volume in your face, and this loss of volume emphasizes wrinkles and sagging, causing you to look older and maybe even haggard. You also develop wrinkles and folds in areas of your face that have a lot of muscle action, such as smile lines around the mouth and creases around the eyes.
Luckily, it's not that difficult to fight these signs of aging. Scientists have developed a number of facial fillers that can plump up the wrinkles and sags, making your face look fuller and younger. Learn about the different types -- what they're made of, how they work and how long they last -- so you can make an educated decision when choosing a facial filler.
What Facial Fillers Do
All facial fillers are injected into targeted areas of the face -- wrinkles and folds, the cheek and chin, or in and around the lips. The injected filler plumps the targeted area, visibly reducing wrinkles and sagging. Depending on what the filler is made of, this plumping effect can last from a few months to a few years.
Types of Facial Fillers
While the original facial fillers were made of animal-based collagen, the only product on the market today with bovine collagen is Bellafill. The other facial fillers are made from synthetic substances.
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring sugar that attracts and binds with water in your skin to restore fullness. Hyaluronic acid is the most common type of facial filler and is the basis for Juvéderm's XC, Voluma XC and Ultra XC, and Restylane's Silk and Lyft. The effects of hyaluronic acid injections last six to eight months on average.
Collagen Stimulating Fillers
Like hyaluronic acid, collagen stimulating fillers increase volume, but they also stimulate your body's natural collagen production, improving the longevity of the volumizing effect.
Radiesse uses calcium hydroxylapatite as its collagen stimulator. This filler is used for wrinkles and folds, jawline contours and full facial lifting. It is even recommended for returning volume to aging hands. Radiesse can last a year or more.
Sculptra Aesthetic uses poly-L-lactic acid to stimulate collagen, and it's used mainly for nasolabial folds (smile lines), wrinkles and contours. Results can last more than two years.
Both Radiesse and Sculptra are eventually reabsorbed by your body, and the volumizing effect is lost.
Bellafill is a collagen stimulating filler that is not reabsorbed by your body. It contains polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres, which remain in place to create a matrix that helps your body produce more collagen and retain volume for a longer time. Bellafill also contains bovine collagen for immediate results. This facial filler is useful for treating wrinkles caused by volume loss, such as nasolabial folds, and studies show that the filler remains effective for at least five years.
Regardless of the main ingredient, each facial filler is formulated for specific areas of your face:
- For wrinkles and folds: Restylane Lyft, Juvéderm XC, Sculptra Aesthetic, Radiesse, Bellafill
- For contour and lifting: Restylane Lyft, Juvéderm Voluma XC, Radiesse, Bellafill
- For lip augmentation: Restylane Silk, Juvéderm Ultra XC
How Treatment Works
Facial filling is an in-office treatment that takes very little time and requires no recovery, although there may be some slight swelling. Some brands contain lidocaine to make the injections almost pain-free. Specialists screen you for allergies and contraindications to ensure your chosen filler is safe for you to use.
If you feel that your face makes you look older than you are, you can fairly quickly and easily do something about it. Depending on the results you are looking for, you have a number of facial fillers to choose from. Remember that whenever you're considering a medical procedure, even a minor one, you should consult your doctor.