After getting dermal fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm, most people feel more refreshed, youthful, and even more gorgeous than before. Dermal fillers are a great way to restore volume to your cheeks, chisel your jawline, and add a plump to your pout. They have little downtime and do not require you to go over the knife. The only downside is, they don’t last forever. Before investing in a dermal filler treatment, it is a good idea to understand how long dermal fillers last and what factors influence their longevity.
How long dermal fillers last depends on a handful of factors.
In most cases, you can expect your dermal fillers to last between 6 and 18 months.
Type of Dermal Filler Used
Many of the dermal fillers available are made from hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is something the body naturally produces in the deep layers of the skin, known as the dermis. It helps to create a hydrated, soft, voluminous look of the skin. As we age, our production of hyaluronic acid decreases. Exposure to the sun can also reduce hyaluronic acid production. Dermal fillers, such as Restylane and Juvederm, which made from hyaluronic acid, replace this in our skin and can create volume and structure, as well as plump up areas like the lips.
Since hyaluronic acid is something the body makes naturally, our bodies also naturally metabolize it (break it down). This means that our body will also breakdown the hyaluronic acid from dermal fillers.
On average, hyaluronic acid dermal fillers last from 6-18 months.
Other types of dermal fillers are made from different substances such as Radiesse, which is made with calcium hydroxylapatite. Calcium hydroxylapatite actually stimulates your body’s production of collagen. So over time, the calcium hydroxylapatite breaks down and leaves behind your body’s own collagen.
Radiesse, therefore, works differently than hyaluronic acid fillers and leaves behind collagen after it breaks down.
Differences in Dermal Filler Breakdown Rate
How long dermal fillers last for varies from person to person. Some people naturally break down dermal fillers faster than others. Some of these factors are our of our control, such as genetics, while others are more within our control.
Sun exposure is notorious for breaking down both collagen and hyaluronic acid. It creates photo-aging, which means the sun-rays cause damage to the dermis, where the collagen and hyaluronic acid are made – and injected!
Another factor is exercise. People who commonly exercise vigorously tend to have a higher metabolic rate and may breakdown their dermal fillers quicker.
Each person is a bit different in how their body metabolizes dermal fillers. However, the area of your face makes a difference as well as the injector’s technique.
Where On the Face Dermal Fillers are Injected
Dermal fillers can be used in many areas of the face – the lips, around the mouth, the chin and jaw, the cheeks, and more. Some areas tend to last longer than others. For example, the lips and around the mouth typically last 6-9 months, whereas the cheekbones tend to last closer to 9-12 months (on average).
The reason that different areas of the face last for longer than others is that movement increases dermal filler breakdown and absorption. The cheekbones are not an area that moves much. On the other hand, the lips and around the mouth are continually moving to speak and eat.
The more an area moves, the more it will stimulate blood and lymph flow, which encourage dermal fillers to be broken down at a faster rate.
Depth of Dermal Filler Injection
Different fillers have different consistencies. Some fillers such as Restylane Lyft ® are much more structured like Jello, while Restylane Silk ® has a texture closer to water.
Thicker, more structured fillers can be injected deeper into the face, sometimes right over the bone. Here they provide a framework to create definition and projection. On the other hand, finer particle, softer fillers, are made to be placed right beneath the skin’s surface. Here, they can create an airbrushed look and ease fine lines, wrinkles, and smooth out the appearance of your lips and around your mouth.
If the more structured fillers are injected deep, they can do their job just fine. In contrast, if a more delicate, softer dermal filler is injected too deep, you may not notice much of a change in your appearance. Or, when you leave the office, you may see an improvement, but over the next few weeks, the filler can become “squished” and compressed by the overlying tissue, and the dermal filler may seem not to last as long. Keep in mind the dermal filler is still there, it is just not creating the desired look.
Injecting dermal fillers at the right depth is key to having them last.
Dermal fillers are a great non-surgical approach to looking younger, more refreshed, and can help to balance out the features of your face. There are quite a few factors that determine how long they will last – some are within your control, some are within your injectors control, and some are not in anyone’s control, such as genetics.
Working with an injector who has a comprehensive understanding of what type of filler is best for specific areas of your face, and the ideal depth injections are key to ensure you get the most longevity of your dermal fillers.
At Onyx Integrative Medicine & Aesthetics, our focus is on helping you achieve a natural, balanced, beautiful look with dermal fillers. From cheeks to jawlines, to lips, to a full-face refresh, we can help you look and feel your best!