We don’t know how good we’ve got it until we look back at those old photos of ourselves, do we? As you scroll through your high school photos, you wonder why you ever judged yourself so harshly. There it is, plain as day, soft, supple, and youthful skin.
For some of us, we might even look largely the same but for a slight maturation of the face. Others though might look much older, even when they’re the same age as us.
That’s because your skin grows with you as you age. Sometimes it’s at a much quicker pace while other times, you might be blessed to look ageless, at least thus far.
Facial muscles start to age in the 20s though and for those lucky enough, it’s not going to be noticeable until you’re older. Others will need to do more work to keep that aging from showing.
For all of us, the hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin that your skin produces start a stage of decline until it dwindles completely.
Regardless of your age, you might not want to roll over and surrender to the ravages of aging. You’ll want to preserve that plumpness in your skin that those key proteins and acids are responsible for.
You can take care of your health and your skin which will help, but it might come down to going for facial fillers to help smooth things out, pardon the pun.
How Long Does It Take for Fillers to Settle?
The process of fillers settling into place only takes about a month. Though each type of filler is administered differently, some are injected deep beneath the skin while others are applied on top, they all tend to go through similar processes as they blend in with your body’s own fluids.
Fillers are mostly water-based liquids that actually mimic your body’s natural fluids to fill in the gaps between skin and tissue to help reduce signs of aging. It is these extra gap areas that create the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
After the filler material is injected, it begins to harden and become your skin’s new shape. Once this has happened, there is little you can do to reduce their effects.
Though fillers are considered safe treatments with few side effects, some people might experience a minor amount of pain during the injection process. That should be it though, and recovery from a filler procedure is quick and easy.
It’s normal to feel some swelling, redness or tenderness at the site shortly after a treatment. This usually clears up quickly with minimal discomfort, though you can alleviate any issues by applying ice packs to your face.
You might also notice your face feels puffy or full after a treatment, but this sensation should go away within 24 hours. Minor swelling is normal for around 48 hours following the procedure.
It can take anywhere from two weeks to five months for you to see the full effect of each filler brand and type, so try not to be discouraged if you don’t notice much of a difference immediately after having your procedure.
Most people start seeing their permanent results within 4 weeks, but it can sometimes take up to six months for the effects to become visible.
Decades ago, the only option for correcting an aging face was to go under the knife, but today, we’re quite lucky. We’ve got plenty of options in the way of face fillers. Not everyone will be a candidate for it, however it might be something to consider.
Facial fillers work by inserting the missing acids back into your skin to help restore that plumpness and elasticity to it. You need no downtime and you can see instant results, though the full effect will be visible after 4 weeks. As the filler integrates into your tissues, you’ll be even happier with what you see staring back at you in the mirror.
There are different types of fillers like ones with hyaluronic acid and ones that stimulate collagen production. Sometimes, you may need more than one treatment over the course of a few months to get the results you desire.
All of these things should be discussed with your dermatologist. You’ll want to go to someone experienced in administering face fillers to get your best results.
But before you dash off there, keep reading. You’re about to find out how long it takes for each face filler to work and which one you might be better off using.
While they’re much safer than plastic surgery, there is still much to know and being informed will always lead you to the most beautiful decision for you!
What is a filler?
A filler is simply when a naturally-occurring component in our bodies is injected back into our skin. Your body already makes hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin, so it’s not like you’re inserting something foreign into it.
Unlike plastic surgery, fillers give a more natural appearance. And if you hate how it turns out or decide to age gracefully, your body produces an enzyme called hyaluronidases that degrade hyaluronic acid naturally.
You can also have it injected to break it down faster. However, the latter may pose a risk for an allergic reaction and is something that must be discussed with a medical professional. You’ll likely be advised to let it just peter out on its own for the best results.
Most people that have fillers are pleased with the results, particularly if they go to someone licensed and experienced in administering them.
They will last from 6 to 12 months (some of them even longer, depending on the filler), though ones made from hyaluronic acid will break down by your body’s natural processes and you will have to schedule appointments to top it off every now and then.
We love lotions and creams with hyaluronic acid. They really smooth out and plump up the skin, so imagine having that expertly injected into those problem areas! Wow! You’ll still need to keep up your skincare routine on the outside, but this could be the answer you’re looking for to really restore your youthfulness.
Injected into the skin, hyaluronic acid plumps it up and makes for a dewy appearance. It’s gel-like and adds volume into your skin. Once injected, they integrate into your skin. Hyaluronic acid naturally attracts water molecules from the atmosphere to hydrate your tissues.
Many people like the low risk of hyaluronic acid fillers because they will eventually deplete and can be restored with no troubles. Other fillers are non-reversible which isn’t a problem if you love the way it enhances your appearance, however if any complications arise, you won’t be able to do much.
Botox isn’t a filler, just in case you were wondering. Fillers add volume and plump up the skin. Botulinum toxin, or Botox as it’s known by brand, uses a temporary block on the nerve signals for your muscles in the spots where you have it injected. This restricts movement and helps soothe those expression lines.
Dermal fillers go below the wrinkle and smooth things out while Botox keeps your face from making the kind of movements that form wrinkles. Talking to a professional about which is right for your specific needs is something we advise if you are interested in smoothing things over on your appearance.
Are dermal fillers safe?
You know, everything has a risk to it. Every time you eat, you risk choking to death. Every time you drive, you risk getting in an accident. Even when you walk, across a room, you risk tripping and falling on your backside.
That being said, dermal fillers are relatively safe though there are risks you need to be aware of. Just because some are reversible doesn’t mean they’re safe. Not everyone will be a candidate for them either. Knowing the risks and talking to an expert in administering fillers will help you make the right decision.
The key is choosing well-tested dermal fillers and a good practitioner. However, you can be at risk for swelling, rashes, itching, bruises, infection, or in some cases, having the filler move from the area it was intended for and causing lumps under the skin.
That last one is a lot rarer, but it’s still a good idea to know what you’re up against. Much of this can be avoided by choosing wisely with the filler type and the medical professional that is injecting it into your skin.
Even rarer, the filler could block a blood vessel and cause the tissue in the area to die, cause you to go blind permanently, or even lead to a pulmonary embolism. Again, very rare stuff, but it has happened and you should know the risks you could incur for the sake of smoothing out your face.
If it helps, these things have happened to those who weren’t properly assessed for the risks. Some of you won’t be eligible to have fillers for certain reasons (we’ll fill you in, again pardon the pun, on that below).
Others didn’t choose a qualified professional and tried to save a few bucks going to some back-alley salon where the fillers came from unreputable sources.
In the right hands, dermal fillers can be very safe, though do be aware of credentials. Do your homework which could take MONTHS to sift through.
Look into every doctor’s background and read more than the reviews you find. Remember, a lot of people pay good money for glowing reviews on the internet for everything from products on Amazon to restaurants in your neighborhood.
You should be very aware of what requirements need to be fulfilled where you live for someone to legally inject facial fillers.
Now that you know this, before you start looking up potential professionals to do your injections, you should read on about who can use face fillers and which fillers you should consider if you go through with it!
Can everyone use dermal fillers?
No, not everyone can or even should have dermal fillers. For starters, you must be over 18. If you’re not, don’t beg your parents to sign you up. Your body is still developing and it would be a terrible idea. You’ll only regret it.
In fact, here’s a quick list of who should avoid face fillers:
- Anyone under the age of 18
- Persons with skin diseases or skin inflammation
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- Anyone with compromised immunity
There’s a few more too, so read on!
Dermal fillers should never be used where you have a skin disease, inflammation, or any related problems to your skin, past or present. Please discuss any of these concerns with your dermatologist.
Also, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or you are actively trying for a baby, it’s not a good time to experiment with face fillers. None of them have been tested on pregnant or nursing moms and you likely don’t want to be a guinea pig, do you?
If you have any medical conditions that compromise your body’s immunity in any way or you’re going through immunosuppressive therapies, you may be more likely to get an infection from dermal fillers.
The best way to know is to fully disclose your medical history during the pre-treatment consultation. To conceal anything in the hopes of being approved for the procedure would be foolish and could be extremely dangerous.
Mostly though, fillers are considered a safe way to a more youthful appearance. You may not be a candidate now, but you could be in the future.
For example, if you have a sinus infection, you might be told to wait until that has cleared up. And obviously, if you’re pregnant or nursing, you shouldn’t go in for fillers. Wait until another time.
One of the least obvious reasons to wait though is a trip to the dentist. If you have a dental appointment coming up, even for just routine teeth cleaning, you should schedule your filler injections at least a week after any dental visit.
That’s because your dentist requires you to open your mouth and stretch your face, not to mention the pressure applied to it, which could affect how your fillers look afterward.
What are the best dermal fillers to use?
It really depends on what area of your face you need to be treated as to which filler your practitioner will suggest. In some locations, there may not be many restrictions or regulations, like in the UK. In the US, the FDA must approve the pharmaceutical company’s safety and efficacy.
It’s a good idea to begin your research on the FDA list first so you can rule out anything that isn’t approved. Once you have an idea about the fillers that are approved by the FDA, talking to your chosen practitioner is the best course of action.
Remember, you shouldn’t be looking for the bargain-basement price here. You should be looking for a medical professional that has experience using fillers, certifications, and accolades behind them that go beyond Yelp reviews you found online.
While a professional will know best, you’ll be able to spot a phony if you do your research. So if you wanted to smooth your lips for example, you’d want to find a filler that would give a natural smoothness while keeping the natural movement that lips go through, something that is soft and elastic.
If anything seems off to you, get a second opinion. Getting fillers isn’t like buying a pair of jeans you don’t like. You can always take jeans back when you have a change of heart but with fillers, it is much more difficult to go back.
The Time Needed for Different Fillers to Settle
It really depends on the facial filler you choose for the length of time it takes to see a result. Generally, you will notice a difference right away but it will take about a month, sometimes more, for the fillers to fully settle and the results to really show themselves.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular and best-performing FDA-approved fillers and what you can expect:
- Juvederm – Juvederm is best for reducing lines and wrinkles. With a base of hyaluronic acid, it gives you instant volume that you’ll notice when you leave your treatment. The best results from it though should show themselves in around 2 weeks.
- Restylane – Restylane is also an injectable with hyaluronic acid. It’s best if you have facial folds (even severe ones), and it can be ideal for plumping up your lips. Like Juvederm, it also takes about 2 weeks for it to completely settle into your skin.
- Radiesse – What we love about Radiesse is that it’s ideal for your hands and your face with immediate results. You’d want this if your face and hands are revealing your age or worse, making you look older than you are. Radiesse works immediately and what’s more, it encourages your body to produce more collagen for up to a full year. In general, you may find it takes a week or two for the product to settle in.
- Sculptra – Sculptra is one of the most powerful facial injections for stimulating collagen. It can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months to see the final results. While that’s a long wait, do consider that the effects from Sculptra last much longer than the others, as long as 3 years!
- Botox – As we mentioned, Botox isn’t quite the same as facial fillers since it reduces the underlying muscle activity that leads to wrinkles. Still, it’s a popular choice, especially if you have lines around your eyes or on your forehead. After getting Botox injections, it takes about 5 to 7 days to notice the effect. Your best results should be visible within 2 weeks.
Why does it take so long for fillers to settle?
In our modern world, it can be frustrating to not see the full results immediately. You will definitely notice a difference when you get face fillers, but they need time to settle into place. That’s because some of them are gel-like, particularly those made with hyaluronic acid.
Once they are injected into your problem areas, they start the process of breaking down and mingling with your dermal tissue. They bind water molecules and hydrate your skin from within.
Thus, it can take a few days, maybe even a couple weeks, for those results to fully fall into place. With each passing day, you’ll notice a naturally plumper looking appearance to your skin.
You should also know that many dermal fillers can leave you with slight bruising and swelling where they were injected. Your skin might feel firm and full, which is very common. This will dissipate in a few days as the injection integrates into your skin matrix. Once the swelling subsides, you’ll start seeing a whole new you!
How to improve fillers recovery time
Something you should know about fillers is that there is a recovery time you need to endure, though it’s not the same as downtime like after plastic surgery. You can still go to work and do many of the things you normally do.
Following the doctor’s orders is important after injections, however if you work an office job, you can easily have them done on your lunch break and head back to work without anyone noticing.
Everyone that gets fillers is prone to side effects which are different than reactions. You may experience redness, swelling, and tenderness, all of which are normal. A good practitioner will discuss this fully with you before the treatment so you know what to expect.
A little discomfort and bruising is also relatively normal. These things can take place immediately after the injections or it might take a few days. However, after several days, if the pain and swelling persist, you should contact the medical facility that administered your injections.
Generally though, there’s no way to make your body heal faster, but you can do some things within your control to help make your recovery healthy and smooth while bringing about the best results from your face fillers.
- Keep exercise to a minimum – It’s certainly good to stay active, but avoid heavy workouts and activities. Walking is ideal until about 3 days post-injection.
- No alcohol – Sorry, ladies! Make sure you postpone that happy hour fun until you’ve healed. It can make you bruise and swell more, causing your body to take longer to heal.
- Stay out of the sun – The rays of the sun are a huge enemy to those who have face fillers. They can break down the hyaluronic acid in your fillers. Avoid trips to the pool, beach, or lake until you’ve healed. For day to day random exposure such as when sitting in your car, be sure to use sunscreen and keep your face shielded with a hat.
- Don’t take anti-inflammatories – Any painkillers before or after your procedure can thin your blood, causing more redness, swelling, bruising, or even bleeding. You definitely don’t want to take aspirin or ibuprofen, however, if you’re on medication for another condition, you should disclose this first to be sure it’s safe to take it when going for dermal fillers.
Often, the practitioner will apply a local anesthetic cream to make you feel more comfortable during the injections. It’s very normal to feel the pain come on as the cream’s effects wear off. You can get around this with a cold compress to help bring the swelling down.
In addition to staying out of the sun, it’s wise to stay away from all forms of heat for a week after your injections. No steam room or sauna for you! And if you live somewhere hot, stay indoors with the air conditioning running.
Conversely, if you live somewhere cold, you need to take similar precautions for a week afterward. It’s definitely not the time to head out on that ski trip!
Immediately after your injections, you should keep your hands off your skin and leave it be for a minimum of 6 hours. Once that time passes, you can very gently cleanse your skin and even apply makeup very lightly.
You’ll help things along an awful lot if you drink lots of water afterward, especially if you’ve selected a hyaluronic acid-based filler. It will help improve your results.
One more thing… don’t wax your skin, go for facials, do laser treatments or anything like that with your face 2 weeks after the injections. Even subjecting your skin to extreme heat or cold is a bad idea.
You want the fillers to settle in properly so do as you’re advised for your best results. Special creams like SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel (Amazon link) can help bruising and allow you to heal more comfortably too.
Why you need to do your research before proceeding with fillers
A quality practitioner is a difference between an improved and youthful-looking you rather than something grotesque for a science journal. It’s definitely a lot of work and a lot of trips around town to talk to each potential practitioner, but it’s worth it.
Genuine medical professionals that are worth their salt will be happy to show you around the facilities, answer all of your questions (even if you think they might be redundant or stupid), and show you before and after photos of real patients. They will also talk you out of anything that isn’t best suited for you.
For example, even if your best friend recommends a certain doctor that did great work on her, the treatments and injections she needed can vary from what will be recommended to you.
Come armed with a list of questions:
- How realistic will my results be?
- What product will be used?
- Why this product? What are its benefits?
- How much will need to be injected?
- What technique (needle or cannula) will you use?
- How long will my results last?
- Are there any risks?
- Do you have an alternative suggestion to fillers?
- What happens if things go wrong?
- Can you dissolve the filler if needed?
- Is there a charge to correct it?
Again, the right clinic will take the time to talk to you and make you feel comfortable. Some places offer trial injections with saline so you can see what it may look like though it’s not a fully accurate measure of what you’ll look like with fillers.
Another factor in your decision should be choosing someone that isn’t just experienced but also able to reverse the process if necessary. You want to be in the most capable hands possible when doing these types of treatments.
Generally, the cost will be around $200 to $2,000, possibly more. It’s certainly an investment, but it’s worth it to go to someone that is skilled and medically-backed. That means, tempting as it is, do not go to a beauty spa or salon.
If something goes wrong, they’re not medically adept at correcting it. Only choose a registered medical professional with a deep understanding of facial tissues to ensure you won’t come out of it looking like a Muppet.
How much do dermal fillers cost?
Part of it depends on what state or country you’re in. The other part depends on the medical professional’s rates and the brand of filler you choose, not to mention how much is needed to create your results.
You might go with your bestie’s recommendation of one doctor where she had to pay $1,000 but if you have fewer wrinkles, you might be looking at $500. This is where that pre-treatment consultation comes in. You’ll have a better idea of the cost once you’re evaluated by a true professional.
Don’t be tempted by so-called deals either. That’s just an inexpensive filler that you’re going to regret. Doctors pay per syringe, and for something like Restylane, it can cost $350 per syringe. If you’re paying less than that, something isn’t right.
A real medical professional will be happy to show you the box and show you the safety seal on it. If you have any doubts as to the authenticity of the product or if it’s being diluted, don’t go through with it.
How long do dermal fillers last?
Again, it all depends on the fillers you get and where you get them. If you have your lips done, expect the filler to last less time than a place like your temples. Anywhere from 3 months to 4 years is what you’re looking at with fillers, all contingent upon the type of filler and where it’s injected.
High-density fillers can help but they are only suitable for certain portions of the face. Run for the hills from anyone that tells you differently. A true professional will advise against this and will refuse to do it, opting to earn less from you by being honest and giving you only what is needed where it is needed.
Facial fillers will give you an instant result but that result won’t really be as noticeable until about 2 weeks later. After a month, you should really see things fall into place on your face.
Depending on where you have your injections, how much is injected, and the product used, you can expect those fillers to last for months on up to years.
Getting regular touch-ups when recommended is encouraged for keeping up the look. Don’t buy into cheap specials no matter how tempting.
That’s not to say you can’t shop around for legitimate doctors that do injectables, but do be aware that if the price is lower than the unit cost, something is definitely amiss.
With facial fillers, one wrong move can make you want to hide forever. Make sure you research thoroughly. It’s not like makeup that you can wipe away from your face when you don’t like the outcome. It IS your face after it’s injected, and only true medical professionals will be sure to take expert care of it!