January 18, 2022

Cl Youth Theatre

Fashion, The needs of women

The Cost, Pain, and Before and After Pics

So, you’re thinking about getting face fillers. I love that for you. As a beauty writer of several years who’s borderline obsessed with the fascinating world of cosmetic injectables, I fully support your decision on all things filler—whether you’re getting under-eye filler, cheek filler, lip filler, chin filler, nose filler, whatever—as long as you do your homework with the academic rigor of an A+ student. After all, getting face fillers isn’t the same as getting your brows waxed; it’s a legit medical procedure that should be taken seriously. And that’s where I come in.

Even though face fillers are becoming more and more mainstream, there’s so much to learn before you try them for the first time, which can feel hella overwhelming. So to make it as digestible as possible, I’ve created this comprehensive guide to all things face fillers, broken down into the many (!) different areas of your face in which you can get filler. And for expert insight, I tapped three professionals: two board-certified dermatologists and one plastic surgeon. But first, let’s start with the very basics.

What are face fillers?

Face fillers (aka dermal filler or wrinkle fillers) are an umbrella term that refers to substances injected beneath the skin into specific areas of the face, such as your lips, cheeks, under-eyes, chin, etc., to increase volume. That means they can plump thin lips, soften wrinkles, and enhance facial symmetry, boost shallow contours, and improve the appearance of indented or pitted acne scars.

If you want to get more literal, board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss, MD, defines face filler as gel-like physical substances, usually made of hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring substance already found in your body. So when hyaluronic acid is used as a filler, the body eventually absorbs it without problems. You may have heard this type of filler referred to by one of its brand names: Juvéderm or Restylane.

You can also opt for a non-hyaluronic acid-based fillers, which are known as a bio-stimulatory filler (popular brands include Sculptra and Radiesse). Unlike HA injectables, these injectable contain an ingredient called calcium hydroxylapatite, which board-certified dermatologist Corey L. Hartman, MD, describes as a “white paste” that’s most ideal for “mimicking bone structure.” These types of fillers aren’t as fast-acting as hyaluronic acid-based ones, and can take up to 12 weeks to see the full effect of the product.

Can you get fillers removed?

Yes and no, depending on the filler you get. Biostimulatory filler can’t be removed once it’s injected, which is kinda-sorta scary if you hate them (just being honest!), but it’s unlikely you will if you go to a reputable dermatologist or plastic surgeon you trust. And even if you do hate them, rest assured they won’t stick around forever (more on that below).

Hyaluronic acid is the only type of filler that dermatologists can remove if you’re unhappy with the results. To remove your HA filler, Dr. Idriss says experts can inject something called hyaluronidase enzymes into your skin to dissolve the filler. But, FYI, it can be somewhat painful, which is why it’s so important to do your research and go to a reputable dermatologist (not a med spa!) if you’re considering face fillers.

How long do fillers last in the face?

No matter if you choose hyaluronic acid fillers or biostimulatory fillers, neither is totally permanent. Dr. Idriss says that “facial fillers last on average five to six months,” adding that in some cases, “they last up to a year or more.” Ultimately, this timeline varies considerably based what type of filler you choose, where it was injected, and how fast your body metabolizes the filler.

Now, let’s get to the specific types of filler, shall we?


LIP FILLERS

What are lip fillers?

Ah, lip fillers. Arguably one of the ~hottest~ types of injectables rn, they’re as misunderstood as they are popular. For starters, lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure in which filler—usually hyaluronic acid-based— is injected to make your lips plumper and/or correct lip unevenness. What many people don’t know is that lip filler is entirely customizable: You can get super-plump lips like your favorite reality star, or you can go low-key and subtly enhance your natural lips (think: your lips, but a lil fuller).

Dr. Idriss says the most common lip fillers are Volbella, Belotero, Juvederm, and Restylane—all of which are hyaluronic acid fillers of different densities. Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, you and your doctor will discuss the various options to determine which one best suits your goals.

How much do lip fillers hurt?

Dr. Idriss warns that anybody who tells you lip filler doesn’t hurt “isn’t being 100 percent transparent.” Fun! She compares it to the “feeling of cutting your lip,” while one of my lip filler-loving BFFs (hi, Grace) compares it to a bee sting. The good news is that each syringe (along with most dermal fillers) contains lidocaine anesthetic, which is why my friend says it “hurts when it’s initially injected, but the second it’s out, your lips feel numb.”

How much do lip fillers cost?

Lip fillers cost anywhere from $550 to $2,000 per treatment, depending on where you live. But pls keep in mind that facial fillers aren’t a beauty procedure in which you can expect to find a low price for a job well done. Consider Dr. Shafer’s analogy: “It’s not like you’re buying an item from the grocery store, and one store charges more and another charges less for the same item,” he says. “Filler is just the tool, but the result is entirely based on the person who’s doing it.”


      CHEEK FILLER

      What are cheek fillers?

      Similar to lip augmentation, cheek fillers most commonly utilize the power of hyaluronic acid. “Cheek fillers can deliver both structure and support to augment the cheekbones and also provide lifted structure to prevent sagging,” says Dr. Hartman. In other words, if your cheeks appear sunken or droopy due to volume loss, you might be a perfect candidate for cheek filler (if that’s what you want).

      What should I expect during the procedure and after?

      Ahead of a procedure at Dr. Hartman’s practice, he starts patients off with a topical numbing cream before administering injections. In terms of how much cheek filler hurts, he says, “You feel the needle stick, and then it just feels like pressure,” adding that patients don’t usually complain about discomfort when treating the area.

      The injecting process, on average, takes 20 minutes from start to finish, but for a “fast injector” like Dr. Hartman, it might take even less, like 15. As for what to expect after, swelling and minor bruising is normal but should subside within a few days.

      How much does cheek filler cost?

      On average, cheek filler costs between $600 to $1,200 per syringe, and Dr. Hartman notes that most people need two to three during one treatment (so, you know, do your math).


      CHIN FILLER

      What is chin filler?

      The purpose of chin filler is to enhance the appearance of an unpronounced chin to make it project more. Dr. Shafer notes that it can also “change the ratio of the face,” which is a popular request, especially after two years spent staring at our faces via Zoom. For example, patients with round faces can get filler “lower down on the chin to make the face a little bit longer.” Or, those with long faces can get injected “more anteriorly to give a better proportion to the face.”

      The FDA just recently approved Juvéderm Voluma for use in the chin, which is one of the reasons why Dr. Shafer says the aesthetic industry’s buzzing about them right now. Nonetheless, he’s been using filler in the chin for a long time. As a plastic surgeon, he’s no stranger to doing chin implants, but also recommends the injectable version to patients looking for something less invasive and permanent.

      What should I expect during the procedure and after?

      Believe it or not, getting face filler is v fast. “Once you actually start injecting, it’s literally a five-minute procedure,” he says, adding that “it’s the kind of procedure that you can have and go right back to work,” because there’s virtually “no downtime.” One thing to note: “Even though you see results right away, they will get better over about one to two weeks as the filler is integrating into the skin,” he explains.

      How much does chin filler cost?

      Dr. Shafer notes that chin filler usually requires between one to three syringes, which run an average of $750 to $1,500 each.


      JAWLINE FILLER

      What is jawline filler?

      Jawline fillers (nonsurgical jawline contouring) are similar to chin fillers. The FDA approval is technically for the chin, but off-label plastic surgeons and dermatologists also use the same fillers to inject along the jawline to give you that snatched and sculpted look that even the best contour kits could never.

      How much do jawline fillers hurt?

      Ugh, sry, but Dr. Hartman says jawline filler is going to hurt—not necessarily during, but afterward. “Tenderness lasts longer in this area than any other; up to four days,” he says. “It’s not unbearable, but it’s discomfort that you notice.”

      How much does jawline filler cost?

      Prices for jawline fillers vary greatly depending on your desired result and your face shape (plus, obviously, where you live). Dr. Hartman approximates that the average jawline filler costs around $3,000.


      UNDER-EYE FILLER

      What are under-eye fillers?

      Under-eye fillers are injected in the deep hollows beneath the eyes or along the tear troughs to give the eye area a fuller, less-sunken look. No sooner than a few seconds after inquiring about under-eye fillers, Dr. Shafer confidently stated, “Volbella.” Per the pro, this type of hyaluronic acid filler is on its way towards earning FDA approval for the under-eyes, but is currently used off-label (as many filler procedures are).

      What should I expect during the procedure and after?

      The thought of getting something injected into your under-eyes might sound straight-up traumatic, but Dr. Shafer assures it’s doable. He notes that it’s standard to use a ~special~ kind of needle called a cannula—a blunt-tipped tool that only requires the derm or plastic surgeon to make one hole for filler insertion, rather than a bunch of little ones. Dr. Shafer says this also lends itself to a smoother result.

      The actual under-eye filler injection process takes 10 to 15 minutes (not including your initial consultation), but because the skin around your eyes is thin and prone to swelling, Dr. Shafer says he has patients “hold ice on the area for about five to 10 minutes afterward, before they leave.”

      How much do under-eye fillers cost?

      At Dr. Shafer’s New York City-based practice (so potentially more expensive than a rural Midwest practice), one syringe of under-eye filler costs $1,200 and will take care of both under-eye areas.

      Does under-eye filler treat dark circles?

      Yes and no. Dr. Shafer says under-eye filler is ideal for treating those with visible shadows caused by hallowed under-eyes. Yup, you read that right. When the area above the cheeks loses volume, you can get a shadow-y effect that resembles dark circles that, sure, a good eye cream or concealer can minimize, but ultimately not fix.

      One caveat: Under-eye filler is not a quick fix for pigmented dark circles, most common in those with darker skin tones. If you’re unsure if you’re working with shadows or hyperpigmentation, it’s best to consult a trusted practitioner (which, you know, is the only person who should be giving you filler in the first place).

      In the meantime, start slathering on an eye cream until you’re ready to book an appointment, like one of these below. Pick one for the morning (a.m.) and one for before bedtime (p.m.) and live your smoothest life.


      NOSE FILLERS

      What are nose fillers?

      If you’ve spent time on beauty TikTok, there’s a reasonable chance you’ve binge-watched videos about nose fillers (aka liquid rhinoplasty or a liquid nose job). It’s an off-label alternative to rhinoplasty that, in Dr. Hartman’s words, “utilizes dermal fillers to alter the shape of the nose” without actual surgery.

      The cosmetic procedure is most commonly performed by injecting hyaluronic acid fillers into areas of volume deficit to help smooth “irregularities” (like a bump on the bridge of the nose) to provide a more streamlined look, or to lift the tip of the nose to make it more prominent.

      Are nose fillers dangerous?

      Important: Nose filler is very dangerous in the wrong hands. “No filler is approved by the FDA for injection into the nose,” says Dr. Hartman. “Because the nose has a limited blood supply and few overlapping vascular supplies, an occlusion in this area can lead to serious and disfiguring ischemia and tissue death.” Basically, it can be a very, very bad thing. “The procedure should only be performed by an experienced injector with a mastery of the anatomy of the nose,” he says.

      What should I expect during the procedure and after?

      Dr. Hartman says that injecting nose filler “typically takes less than 15 minutes, depending upon the scope of the job.” And since the nose isn’t a mobile area of the face, he says that most of his patients’ nose filler can last up to 15 months.

      How much do nose fillers cost?

      Dr. Hartman says the price of nose fillers varies widely by the practitioner and where you live, but you can expect to pay “in the range of $750 to $1,500” per syringe for nose filler. For comparison, an actual rhinoplasty costs, on average, $5,500, so if you’re willing to go the temporary route, it’s definitely more affordable—at least, for a few years.


      SMILE-LINE FILLER

      What are smile-line fillers?

      Smile lines (formally known as nasolabial folds) are wrinkles that span from the base of the nose to the outer corners of the mouth. Dermal fillers can be injected into the area to soften these lines, which are most noticeable when you laugh or—you guessed it—smile. “Hyaluronic acid fillers and biostimulatory injectable products like poly-L-lactic acid [Sculptra] are great in these areas to improve the cosmetic appearance,” says Dr. Hartman.

      How much do smile-line fillers cost?

      Not to sound like a broken record, but the cost of smile-line fillers depends on a bunch of factors. But Dr. Hartman estimates that you can expect one syringe to cost anywhere from $750 to $1,500.


      Got all that? Feeling like it’s finally time to try out face fillers like everyone else in your social media life? Re-read this guide again, research the hell out of a good dermatologist or plastic surgeon, and make that appointment.

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