Are You Considering Non-Invasive Facial Fillers?

Cosmetic surgery can seem like a big step to take in the name of anti-ageing wellness. I mean, we all want to look young and gorgeous, but are we really willing to put our wellbeing at risk and go under the knife to do it? According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, about 80% of board-certified facial plastic surgeons have now reported an increase in non-invasive cosmetic procedures, meaning that you can lift your cheekbones, eliminate under-eye bags and dark circles, and replicate the results of a nose job, without facing the dreaded scalpel.


The new non-invasive procedures all have one thing in common; replacing volume. Fredric Brandt, a New York City and Coral Gables, Florida, dermatologist and founder of Dr. Brandt Skincare, asserts, ‘Nothing makes people look more youthful than filling in volume, and as we get more and more experience with the newer injectables, it seems like we are able to achieve better results without surgery.’ Patricia Wexler, a New York City dermatologist, adds, ‘What I see most in my practice is a large amount of volume loss in the face, which tends to happen in your early 40s, and that is when you replace a surgical procedure with a non-surgical one.’


Fardad Forouzanpour, founder of the Beverly Hills Cosmetic Surgical Group, points out, ‘For the past few years, the trend has been more natural looking lips, [and] injectables can give lips more volume and correct lines and wrinkles that form around the mouth.’ For the most natural-looking results, Brandt believes Restylane and Perlane hyaluronic acid-based fillers to be your best bet as they provide a cumulative effect. Wexler agrees, ‘I love Restylane and Perlane for the tear troughs, cheeks, and jawline because of the volume and lift they give to the face.’


However, Forouzanpour notes that the more important thing to consider is your physician’s injection technique and the amount that is injected, rather than what the kind of filler is. Wexler comments, ‘If you have cracks at the corner of your mouth or above the lip line, collagen works well to replace structure in the skin. People don’t think about collagen anymore because they are so into hyaluronic acid. Although I use Restylane to add volume, I need collagen to create a border around the lip [cupid’s bow].’


So which fillers are the best, then? Wexler explains, ‘Doctors pick certain ones and get proficient at using them. In 2003, we had collagen — period. To do the right kind of filling now, one syringe of anything won’t be complete.’ As it stands, the AAFPRS states that there are almost 20 FDA-approved cosmetic injectable drugs on the market, so how do doctors choose their favourite filler? ‘Besides filling in volume, we need to think about surface irregularities,’ Wexler says. ‘Even the most plump face won’t be pretty if the skin isn’t in good condition.’


So when considering getting fillers, you first need to make sure your skin is right for it. Wexler argues, ‘If a 68-year-old woman who has never taken care of her skin and spent a lot of time in the sun comes to me, injectables won’t give her enough of an improvement if she has loose skin and sun damage. There’s a point when you have to start from a new baseline, and if the person is healthy, she would need a face-lift.’ If your skin is filler-ready, however, you need to do your homework before getting any procedure. This means checking out your doctor’s background and reputation before you get injected. Wexler warns, ‘A lot of my work is fixing other people’s work.’

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