Changes in facial appearance are usually a sign of the natural aging process. As collagen depletes, hormones change, and a lifetime of making similar facial expressions begins to take its toll, deep facial lines and wrinkles naturally develop. These issues are then further exacerbated by natural fat loss, which can cause changes to facial shape and “fullness”.
However, while the above facial changes are natural, a simple consequence of the aging process, that is not to say that they are accepted. For most people, visible signs of facial aging can be hugely upsetting, leading to a significant loss of self-confidence and – in the most severe cases – greatly harming overall mental well-being.
The Solution: Facial Fillers
The fact that the signs of aging can impact an individual’s self esteem is nothing particularly new. For decades, people purchased skin care creams or tried facial exercises in order to try and turn back the clock and restore youthful vigour to their face – but without significant results. Eventually, surgical procedures were developed, many of which genuinely could help to reduce issues such as crow’s feet, brow lines, and deep wrinkles, but these procedures carried significant risks due to their more invasive nature, and often led to long recovery times.
Thankfully, a solution was eventually found: a treatment that could be accessed with little more stress than purchasing a skincare cream, but without the need for long recovery times and the risk of general anaesthesia. Facial fillers have now been in popular use for close to 40 years, and significant advances in the field have allowed injectable fillers to continually improve both in terms of safety and effectiveness.
What Are Facial Fillers?
Facial fillers are solutions that are injected into facial skin. The administration of facial fillers has two main goals:
- Reduce the signs of aging – such as wrinkles, folds, or a “sunken” appearance – by injecting a supportive solution beneath the skin.
- To stimulate collagen production naturally, leading to long-lasting improvements with continued use.
Facial fillers have been proven to be incredibly efficient at achieving these goals, providing lasting results for those concerned about the most common signs of facial aging. Fillers can help to smooth the texture of skin, reduce fine lines, and – in some cases – resolve stubborn and deep wrinkles.
How Do Facial Fillers Work?
Facial fillers are usually a liquid solution, with hyaluronic acid a particularly common ingredient, which are administered via a syringe. For administration, blunt-tip microcannulas are preferred to standard sharp hypodermic needles. Blunt-tip microcannulas are known for their ability to provide an effective injection with minimal pain, while also reducing the risk of breaking blood vessels or bruising the nerves surrounding the injection site.
Are Facial Fillers Painful?
While pain tolerance varies between individuals, facial fillers are generally well-tolerated. The procedure itself is usually painless as numbing agents are used during application, though you may experience some mild discomfort following the procedure. Your practitioner will usually advise you on the best aftercare techniques, so you can return to normal activities as soon as possible.
Are Facial Fillers Permanent?
There are two types of facial fillers: permanent and temporary. However, the usage of the term “permanent” does not necessarily mean that these fillers will last forever – most will require continued applications in order to achieve the best results. Some temporary fillers will usually last for between six to 12 months, though some can last for up to a year.
How Effective Are Facial Fillers?
Facial fillers as a whole are considered to be very effective, but it is important to note that there is no singular “facial filler” product. There are a number of different types of facial filler, all of which are capable of achieving the same basic goal – “plumping” the skin in order to reduce the signs of aging – but using slightly different formulations in order to achieve the desired results. Here’s an overview of some of the most popular options currently available, and the particular benefits each can provide:
Perhaps the most well-known brand of filler currently available, Juvederm has long established a reputation for providing incredible results for even the most severe of facial wrinkles. Juvederm uses hyaluronic acid in combination with HylaCross technology – which helps the solution to flow easily into the skin – in order to achieve these impressive results. The results are seen almost instantaneously, and each treatment is FDA approved for up to a year.
Voluma, which is produced by Juvederm, is a type of filler that has shown particularly strength in treatment loss of volume in the cheeks and cheekbones. When administered, Voluma can help to restore a youthful “full complex”, and is capable of lasting for up to two years.
Voluma is created using hyaluronic acid; a long-established facial filler ingredient that occurs naturally in the body. The Voluma formulation, however, expands on the existing use of hyaluronic acid, with the solution developed specifically to ensure it is able to spread easily – which helps to facilitate impressive, but natural-looking, results.
Volbella is another Juvederm filler which offers particular benefits for those seeking to target the lip area. Volbella also uses hyaluronic acid, but has been especially formulated to absorb as little water as possible. The purpose of this low-absorption is to ensure a faster recovery time and reduce problematic facial swelling, while also ensuring outstanding improvements to the lip contour or creases in surrounding area.
Bellafill – which is sometimes known as Artefill – is a permanent facial filler that has demonstrated particularly efficacy in the treatment of nasolabial creases, facial lines, and facial wrinkles.
Each injection contains a mixture of bovine collagen and biocompatible microspheres. The collagen is able to provide immediate benefits, helping to create “fullness” in the face and diminish lines, while the microspheres work to support and strengthen the body’s natural collagen production – a two-for-one benefit that helps to produce truly long-lasting results.
Both the efficacy and safety of Bellafill injections have been researched in-depth, resulting in FDA approval and demonstrating results for up to 12 months.
Restylane, Restylane-L, and Restylane Lyft
Restylane, Restylane-L, and Restylane Lyft are from the same family, with Restylane-L and Restylane Lyft including slight variations on the original Restylane formula.
- Restylane-L includes lidocaine, a local anaesthetic, to reduce discomfort during both application and recovery.
- Restylane Lyft has larger particles on average and can be injected at a greater depth, making it a particularly good choice for those with severe, stubborn wrinkles and folds.
The above variations, along with the original Restylane, use hyaluronic acid to create an appearance of “fullness”, and are noted for being particularly effective at combating moderate to severe wrinkles and nasolabial folds. The formulas also naturally break down in the body over time, with a single treatment likely to last for between six to 12 months.
As we have discussed earlier, Juvederm have created a specific product for use around the lips, with “Volbella”. Restylane Silk performs the same function in the Restylane family; a specially-designed filler that helps to improve both the volume and definition of the lips and surrounding area.
What Are The Best Fillers For The Face?
Unfortunately, there is no way of naming any single facial filler as the “best” in its class. Facial fillers are variable; some are temporary, some are permanent, and some are formulated for use on specific areas. As a result, the filler that is “best” for one individual may not actually be the “best” for another.
However, what we can advise is that some brands – such as the ones we have covered above – are generally considered to be the best on the market. The fillers we have mentioned are all produced by reputable, recognizable brands with a long-established history of providing quality products.
How Do I Decide Which Type Of Facial Filler Is The Right Choice For Me?
When choosing your facial filler, you will need to consider:
- How long you want the filler to last between treatments
- Compatibility with the ingredients used, particularly in regards to any potential allergies you may have
- Which types of filler are suitable for your intended goal; for example, if you are looking to address issues around the lips, then choosing a filler specifically tailored to this area will always produce the best result
However, by and large, it is best to follow your chosen practitioner’s recommendation. Your practitioner will be able to assess your skin, note your intended treatment goals, and then make a recommendation as to which type of filler is most likely to be suitable for your needs. Given the importance of your practitioner’s opinion in this decision, it is imperative to ensure you choose a practitioner who is highly-skilled and experienced, so you can be sure of the best possible service and results.
If you are looking for long-term improvements to your facial skin’s appearance, but without the need for potentially invasive surgery, then facial fillers are likely to be the right choice for you. By working with a highly-qualified and skilled practitioner, you should be able to find the perfect filler for your needs, allowing you to achieve a more youthful appearance while subsequently boosting your self-esteem and confidence.