Fillers have become one of the most common facial aesthetics procedures. Still, for many people, fillers and other aesthetic treatments are an unknown area and there are many misconceptions and a certain amount of confusion regarding the different treatment modalities. Here we’ll sort out the most common misconceptions regarding fillers.
Aesthetic treatments with fillers look fake
People who are not familiar with aesthetic treatments may have the misconception that fillers look fake. Maybe they have seen inexpertly performed treatments and think that’s simply what fillers always look like.
The fact is that most people desire a natural-looking result. A natural-looking result is also what qualified healthcare practitioners prefer. But what is a natural-looking result when it comes to facial aesthetics?
What do experts say about natural-looking results?
Luiz Avelar is a plastic surgeon based in Brazil and a leading expert in facial aesthetics. This is how he described a natural-looking result when interviewed at an international congress in aesthetics and anti-aging medicine:
“A good result in my opinion is a result that nobody knows that the patient did any kind of treatment. A kind of result that gives them the rejuvenation they are looking for, but without anyone knowing that they have undergone any kind of surgery or even procedures. So, this is the natural result that I’m looking for.” *
Why would all these people, who desire natural-looking results, choose a product if it would only produce fake-looking results? They wouldn’t of course. The truth is fillers, used correctly, will become one with the face and will not be noticeable, other than that they will provide a rejuvenation or slight natural enhancement of facial features.
Fillers contain poison or synthetic materials that are bad for you
Horror stories in the media and general confusion regarding facial aesthetics are likely the reasons why some people think fillers contain poison or bad synthetic materials.
Fillers are, as the name indicates, used to fill – to fill out a wrinkle or add a bit of volume in the face, for example to compensate for the volume loss that often occurs with age. The question is however, for those of us new to aesthetic treatments, what material do you use when you fill?
In the early days of facial aesthetics, in the 1940s and 1950s, doctors injected silicon.1 At that time, 60-70 years ago, they actually did use synthetic materials as the major component. But that was quite some time ago.
What are fillers made of today?
Today, almost all fillers are based on hyaluronic acid, a natural water-binding molecule that can be found in our skin, joints, eyes and other tissues. It keeps our tissues lubricated and flexible.
In 1996 something revolutionary happened in the budding world of facial aesthetics. RESTYLANE®, the original non-animal stabilized hyaluronic acid filler was launched.2 The hyaluronic acid in RESTYLANE® was derived from bacterial fermentation, instead of from cockscombs. This set a new standard and since then, most fillers for aesthetic use are of non-animal origin.
Although fillers are based on a natural substance, there’s still a small part that is synthetic – the crosslinker BDDE (1,4-butanediol diglycidyl ether). If you inject hyaluronic acid as it is, the body will degrade the filler gel in a few days. To make the filler gel last longer, it must be stabilized using a crosslinking technology. For this, the synthetic crosslinker BDDE is used.
What about BDDE, is it bad for you? This has been studied, as well as how the hyaluronic acid in fillers is broken down by the body. The studies found that the filler (including BDDE) is broken down into harmless byproducts or byproducts that are identical to substances already found in the skin.1
Remember that you could still get a side effect from a filler treatment. Therefore, you should always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner who can explain expected results as well as potential side effects.
Aesthetic treatments with fillers are permanent
Another misconception, or fear, is that fillers are permanent so that if you’re not happy with your treatment you’ll be stuck with it forever. As has been explained above, the body will eventually degrade the filler, even if it has been crosslinked.
How long it will last can differ from person to person, and also depends on where the filler is injected (it tends to degrade faster in moveable areas such as the lips) as well as on the type of filler. In general, a treatment will last from several months to up to a year or two. For example, the filler Restylane® LYFT™ lasts up to 24 months with one retreatment.3
Fillers are only used to treat the lips and cheeks
If you are new to aesthetic treatments, you might associate fillers with lips and cheeks. On the contrary, fillers are very versatile, perhaps the most versatile of all facial aesthetics procedures there is.
Fillers can be used to create shape and structure, for example in the chin. They can be used to enhance facial contours and to add soft volume and fullness to our facial features. Fillers can also be used to fill out wrinkles and folds and to reduce hollowness under the eyes.
Now that all these misconceptions have been answered, maybe you feel inclined to learn more about fillers and what they can do for you? Read more about RESTYLANE®, one of the world’s most versatile filler brands4,5, here.
*AMWC Aesthetic & Anti- aging Medicine World Congress, 2019
- De Boulle K et al., A Review of the Metabolism of 1,4-Butanediol Diglycidyl Ether–Crosslinked Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Fillers, Dermatol Surg. 2013 Dec; 39(12): 1758–1766.
- Data on file (MA-39680)
- Andriopoulos B et al. Poster presented at AMWC 2019
- Data on file (MA-33939)
- Öhrlund A. Poster presented at AMWC 2019.