Which Fillers Are Right for Me? Here’s Your Complete Guide.

In 2016 alone, over 7.3 million injectable treatments were performed in the United States—and more and more men and women are interested in seeing what these increasingly popular anti-aging treatments can do for them. But with dozens of products flooding the market, how do you know where to start?

While the best way to learn which injectable filler is best for you is to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon (or qualified provider working under physician supervision) who has extensive experience with a range of fillers, if you’d like to acquaint yourself with your options before making an appointment or are simply wondering, “why are there so many fillers?” or “why are they all called VOL-something?!”—read on to get all the details.

What’s Bothering You? Your Concerns Matched to Fillers

Fillers 101: Types of Fillers + How They Work »

What’s Bothering You? Your Concerns Matched to Fillers

“My face looks sunken in.”

As we get older, loss of subcutaneous facial fat can result in a gaunt, aged appearance. You’ll want a filler that provides a subtle lifting, firming, and plumping to restore a more youthful look.

Ask your provider about:

  • VOLUMA XC
  • Sculptra
  • Radiesse

“Where did my cheeks go?!”

Full, rosy cheeks are a signpost of youth—and with age, it’s common for this volume to be diminished or for the cheeks to “fall.” Improving the fullness and contour of the cheeks can make a large difference and take years off of your look.

Ask your provider about:

  • VOLUMA
  • Perlane/Restylane Lyft

“My nasolabial folds are deep and noticeable.”

Nasolabial folds, also known as “parentheses lines”, run from the bottom of the nostrils to just below the mouth and deepen with age. The best injectable options for filling these lines will be both soft and durable.

Ask your provider about:

  • VOLLURE
  • Belotero
  • Bellafill
  • Sculptra
  • Perlane/Restylane Lyft

“I have creases around the corners of my mouth.”

Smile lines can be a nice reminder of all the happy times—but they can also make you feel self-conscious. These creases can appear right at the corners of the mouth or even run down vertically to your chin (marionette lines). Because this part of your face moves a lot, a flexible but stable filler is your best bet for successful, long-lasting results.

Ask your provider about:

  • VOLLURE XC
  • Juvéderm Ultra Plus XC
  • Bellafill

“I have fine lines or ‘crepey’ skin.”

It’s normal to notice a feathering of fine lines on the skin as you age. While eliminating these lines entirely can be tricky and treatment may include skin resurfacing procedures, fillers are a great option for improving the suppleness of the skin and softening lines.

Ask your provider about:

  • VOLBELLA XC
  • Juvéderm Ultra XC
  • Bellafill
  • Radiesse

“I want fuller lips”

Voluminous, shapely lips are definitely on trend—and our options for providing safe, beautiful lip enhancement have improved greatly over the years. Depending on the look you’re going for, fillers can plump up the lips, subtly improve definition and shape, or gently correct age-related volume loss.

Ask your provider about:

  • VOLBELLA XC
  • VOLLURE XC

“I have vertical lip lines”

Your mouth gets quite a workout every day—and the repetitive motions of smiling, eating, sipping on a straw, and even playing certain instruments can have a lasting impact. Small, vertical lines just above the upper lip can give you a constant puckered appearance, but the right filler can help smooth the area and restore your youthful smile.

Ask your provider about:

  • VOLBELLA XC
  • Juvéderm Ultra XC

Fillers 101: Types of Fillers + How They Work

Unlike botulinum toxin injectables—such as BOTOX®, Dysport®, or Xeomin®—which impact the way muscles move in your upper face, dermal fillers are meant to “take up space” just under the skin to fill in lines and restore volume lost to aging.

Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers

Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are well-loved for their long-lasting, natural-looking results. Here’s the lowdown on hyaluronic acid fillers like the Juvéderm® family of fillers, Belotero Balance®, and Perlane®/Restylane® Lyft.

For the science buffs: hyaluronic acid (HA) is a glycosaminoglycan found in epithelial, neural, and connective tissues in humans. For the rest of us: HA is a carbohydrate that naturally occurs in the body. Because it attracts water, HA helps keep skin lubricated, supple, and youthful-looking. The dermis (deepest layer of skin) is composed of hyaluronic acid and collagen—and as we age, our reserves of both are naturally depleted.

The reason HA makes such a powerful ingredient in dermal fillers is the way it interacts with the moisture in your skin. In gel form, HA will swell when combined with water, which ultimately smooths and fills lines and wrinkles while restoring natural-looking volume. The HA used in dermal fillers is either synthesized using bacteria or derived from animals, such as rooster comb. Because it mimics the HA already in our bodies, there is very low risk of adverse reaction.

Thanks to advancements in our understanding of the aging process, how hyaluronic acid works, and the quality of available dermal fillers, we are able to provide more consistent, longer-lasting results. Often, the hyaluronic acid in dermal fillers has gone through a crosslinking process, where the molecules have been chemically bonded to help them last in the body for longer periods of time.

Not all hyaluronic acid fillers are the same, and certain products are better-suited to addressing certain concerns. The consistency, size of the hyaluronic acid molecule, and how the molecules are bonded all impact where a filler works best and how long results will last.

Non-hyaluronic acid fillers

While hyaluronic acid fillers may be popular, they’re not your only option—and sometimes an alternate product will provide you with better results. Non-hyaluronic acid fillers are composed of a variety of ingredients ranging from collagen to mineral compounds. Often, these products provide a two-fold benefit: they physically fill in lines and plump up the skin in addition to helping your body make more collagen for a fuller, healthier look.

While you can likely expect nice looking results from any of the products, it’s important to be open with your provider and provide clear information about your expectations and any allergies you may have. It’s also worth your while to ask what can be done if you do not like your results—unlike hyaluronic acid fillers, the above fillers cannot be “undone” by anything other than time.

Popular dermal filler brands

The Juvéderm family of fillers include multiple formulations specifically designed for treating different areas of the face and addressing a variety of concerns. All Juvéderm products contain lidocaine to help ensure treatment is as comfortable as possible.

  • Juvéderm XC instantly softens the appearance of moderate to severe creases on the mid- and lower-face for up to a year.
  • Juvéderm VOLLURE® XC is a firmer, crosslinked gel that is ideal for smoothing deeper wrinkles around the nose and mouth for over a year. It uses Juvéderm’s patented VYCROSS technology (a particular ratio of large and small HA molecules) to create a very smooth result that is still durable enough to handle the movements of the lower face beautifully. VOLLURE is great for treating smile lines, marionette lines, and nasolabial folds.
  • Juvéderm VOLUMA® XC is used to restore volume in all three areas of the cheeks and create a youthful contour in the midface. It provides a subtle lift, helping patients look noticeably younger, for up to two years.
  • Juvéderm VOLBELLA® XC can subtly enhance lip volume, improve lip definition, and soften vertical lip lines. It has a lower concentration of HA in differently weighted particles to ensure it is soft enough to provide very natural results but durable enough to last at least a year.

Like Juvéderm products, Belotero Balance is formulated with hyaluronic acid and designed to fill in creases and correct age-related volume loss. What makes these two products different is their crosslinking, how cohesive the product is, and the firmness of the gel. Belotero is less viscous and thus able to spread to all the small areas of the dermis, which is why it is often recommended for treating “etched in” creases.

Perlane/Restylane Lyft, on the other hand, is a denser hyaluronic acid gel with a higher molecular weight, meaning it’s a good option for treating deeper nasolabial folds, filling in severe lip lines, and adding volume to the cheeks.

Bellafill® fills in lines and improves the appearance of scarring for up to five years. It contains a mixture of collagen gel and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres to improve wrinkles in two ways: it physically restores volume and plumps deep wrinkles and scars as the product rests under the skin and it provides an internal support structure to prompt your body’s natural collagen production. That means that while you’ll see see instant results, your skin will look and function better long-term and results will improve with time.

Radiesse® contains calcium hydroxylapatite, which is a mineral compound found naturally in human bones and cartilage. When injected, it quickly acts to replenish lost volume while simultaneously prompting collagen production for lasting improvement. Radiesse can be mixed with lidocaine to reduce discomfort during injection. In addition to correcting facial wrinkles, Radiesse is often favored for hand rejuvenation.

Sculptra® is an injectable poly-L-lactic acid that works by stimulating collagen production, restoring your skin’s inner structure, and increasing volume subtly and gradually over time. Sculptra is unique in its ability to provide improvement for at least two years after a treatment course of three to four injection sessions.

The right filler + an exceptional provider is a winning combo

The final step in getting the right filler is to consult with an experienced, knowledgeable provider to ensure you get gorgeous, natural-looking results. Avoid inexperienced providers who have simply added injectable services to cash in on this trend and instead look for a doctor with a great eye for results and extensive knowledge of injectable products. Dr. Gregory Buford performs all cosmetic injections at BEAUTY by BUFORD so you can get optimal results, reaping the benefits of a doctor’s deeper knowledge of facial anatomy.

In addition to his many years of experience and training in administering injectable treatments, Dr. Buford is also one of just a few designated Allergan Master Facial Injectables Trainers in the United States. He often trains other medical providers in the safe and successful use of facial fillers.

So, if you’re looking to look a bit younger and are hoping to explore your Denver injectable filler options, contact us online today. Dr. Buford would be happy to help you understand your options during a private consultation.