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All Your Filler Questions, Answered

Filler: It's not just for lips.

February 15, 2022

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’ve heard of injectable fillers. These products have two main purposes: either to restore lost volume, or to change a feature. If you’ve always had thin lips or a weak chin, fillers can literally change your face. But if you’ve simply noticed volume loss due to aging, fillers help you get back what time has taken away. Whatever your beauty goal is, fillers offer you transformation without going under the knife. 

So now that you know what fillers can do for you, you might be wondering how they work and what to expect. There are a few different types of fillers, each one formulated to target different areas and concerns. Read on to learn more about the different types, how they work, and what to expect if you get them.

What is filler and how does it work?

“Filler” is a generic term that refers to a product category. Each brand has their own suite of fillers, and each formulation works a little bit differently. Fillers work by temporarily restoring or adding volume to an area of the face. There are a few types out there, but today we’re going to focus on three of the most common types.

An important thing to know is that each pharmaceutical brand has its own named product for each use case: hard for jawline and bone, in-between for cheek and chin, and soft for lips. Each pharmaceutical brand (Restylane, Juvederm, etc) makes equally effective versions of each type of filler.

  1. Hyaluronic Acid

The fillers used in your lips are almost always made out of hyaluronic acid. You may have heard of hyaluronic acid as a hero skincare ingredient. Check your moisturizer–it’s probably on the ingredients list! HA is a gel-like substance that your body naturally produces, and it holds over a thousand times its weight in water. This water-loving property hydrates your lips, while also adding volume. HA-based filler is also temporary, so if you decide you don’t like the results, you can get it dissolved with a special enzyme, or you can just wait and your body will absorb the filler over the time period of several months. HA fillers can also be used on other areas of the face, like the cheeks or chin. For those areas, the filler has a thicker consistency compared to the one used for lips.

  1. Calcium hydroxylapatite

Injectable calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) filler improves the appearance of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as the nasolabial folds. Calcium filler works by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. It’s approved to treat smile lines, marionette lines, chin wrinkles, and pre-jowl folds. Because it has a thicker viscosity, it can also be used on the jawline, cheekbones, and chin. Calcium filler lasts as long as two years.  

  1. Polylactic Acid

Polylactic acid works differently than other fillers because it doesn’t give you quick results. It’s a stimulator, so you inject it into an area in order to get your body to produce more collagen there, over a period of about three months. It works particularly well to fill in wrinkles on the lower area of the face, and it’s considered semi-permanent.

How much filler do I need for which area?

Note: these are estimates, and you may need more or less depending on your unique goals and the type of filler recommended for the area. For most types of filler, a syringe contains 1 milliliter of the product.

Lips: .05-1 syringes

Jawline: 2-3 syringes

Chin augmentation: 1-2 syringes

Cheeks: between 1-4 syringes depending on age

Smile lines: 1 syringe

Nose correction: 1-2 syringes

What are the possible side effects?

Swelling, redness, tenderness, and bleeding at the injection site are the most common side effects. These should resolve in a matter of days. Rarely, more serious complications are possible, like occlusion. This is when filler is accidentally injected into a blood vessel, which results in tissue loss. That’s why it’s extremely important to get filler from a qualified, reputable provider like a dermatologist or nurse injector. Going to a qualified provider makes these side effects much less likely. 

How long do results last?

It depends on the formula you choose, but results typically last six to twelve months. Some formulas, like Radiesse, last longer. In order to maintain your results, you will have to return for additional treatments. One of the factors that can affect how long your results last is your age. Younger people typically absorb the filler a little bit faster. 

Where can I get filler?

Like we said before, it’s incredibly important to go to a medical professional for fillers. In the Upkeep app, you can choose from several providers, because we’ve carefully vetted each facility to make sure everyone is qualified. And we have a rewards system where you earn 2 rewards points for every dollar spent, which you can apply to future treatments. 

Whatever your beauty goals may be, fillers can help you achieve them. Are you ready for fuller lips, bouncier cheeks, or a more defined jawline? Book an appointment with Upkeep now!

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