How to Pick The Right Facial Injectable or Filler

Sometimes we all need a little lift

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“Having work done” is far less taboo to talk about nowadays than it was even a few years ago. The growth in popularity of BOTOX® and dermal fillers has made going under the needle much more mainstream. Despite that, many people still assume BOTOX® is the only facial injectable out there.

Facial injectables is a large category that comprises mainly of either the neurotoxin botulinum (BOTOX® is the most famous iteration of it) and dermal fillers (primarily comprised of hyaluronic acid). Botulinum toxin works by paralyzing the facial muscles that bunch up the skin, causing wrinkles. Fillers, on the other hand, work by filling in gaps under the skin to smooth lines and wrinkles.

Knowing how to pick the right injectable involves multiple factors and knowledge that really only a trained professional would be able to accurately assess. “When considering which filler to use, the doctor must determine many factors including the area of the face or body, the age of the patient, how much volume one is correcting and whether the patient has ever had filler before,” New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD told NewBeauty.

Even though it’s really up to your doctor or physician assistant to decide, knowing what facial filler types are available, what your goals are, and what the expectations are for time and duration are important things to consider before you sit down in the chair.

Things To Consider When Getting Facial Injectables

Where you want it

While many of the popular injectable products and facial filler types can be used in multiple places on your face, a few areas need special consideration.


When going for bigger lips, you want to make sure that you consider a hyaluronic acid filler that will leave a soft and natural feeling. With how much you use your lips in a day — between eating, talking and drinking — you certainly don’t want them too stiff or uncomfortable.

Under eyes and tear troughs

The danger with filling the area under your eyes is that using the wrong filler could result in a bluish tint known as the Tyndall effect. Choosing a filler with low viscosity (so it can more easily move around and dissolve) will lessen the chances of that tint following you around post-injection as it is less likely to show through the skin.

Like with under eyes, tear troughs can be subject to the Tyndall effect, so a filler that doesn’t attract a lot of water is ideal, according to NYC-based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Marnie Nussbaum. Opting for a hydrophobic filler to avoid bags of water appearing is key to filling this area.

What’s needed there

Your dermatologist or physician assistant may decide which dermal filler is best based on what you’re hoping to accomplish. Thicker or thinner fillers are used differently in different areas, so a combination might be used depending on your face and your goals.

Fine lines

Fine lines don’t need much help, so a thin hyaluronic acid or botulinum toxin can typically do the trick. Injected only superficially into the skin, these products smooth out those lines either by easing the muscles (BOTOX ® ) or by providing enough lift to the skin to fill out the small wrinkles (fillers).

Deep lines

If thinner fillers are needed to smooth out fine lines, then it shouldn’t surprise you that thicker, more substantial fillers with higher viscosity are needed to combat larger, deeper set lines. Drooping features can also be corrected with these thicker fillers, providing the lift needed to get them back into place.

Lost volume

If volume and lift are what you’re going for, those thicker fillers used to fill deep lines may be the right choice. The exact choice of filler for the job will likely be up to the professional administering the injection, since how much and what kind of lift is needed really depends on the area and how much volume you want to restore.

When is a good time

While facial injectables are only minimally invasive and can last for a decent amount of time, there are still some considerations to think about before you hurry to make your appointment.

First time around

The general rule of thumb is that you first need to start thinking about facial injectables when the lines around your face start staying after you’ve stopped moving. However, if your crow’s feet really bother you as you’re laughing, you can still get them filled.

Time to show

Once injected, facial injectables can take one to three days to start showing, so it’s wise to schedule your injection at least a few days before a big event. While botulinum toxin has few to no side effects and needs no aftercare, fillers can often bruise or swell, providing another reason to schedule your appointment a few days, if not a week, before any big event.

Staying power

Another rule of thumb is that the thicker the injectable, the longer it will last. So while hyaluronic acid fillers last anywhere from six to 18 months according to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, botulinum toxin only typically lasts for about four to six months. As you plan out your facial injectable plan with your provider, make sure you take into account how often you’ll need to come back in for touch-ups.

Get an Injection of Confidence

Set your injectable plan in motion by talking to a botulinum toxin and dermal filler expert and be on your way to seeing a younger, fuller you.


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