Types of Facial Fillers: What You Need to Know

When it comes to facial fillers, there are many options available. From hyaluronic acid to poly-L-lactic acid, each type of filler has its own unique properties and benefits. Hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvederm, and others) is a natural component of the connective tissue of the skin and is the most commonly used filler for wrinkles. Calcium hydroxylapatite is biosynthetically produced, meaning that no animals or animal products are used, reducing the risk of an allergic reaction and skin tests are not required.

It is known that this type of dermal filler produces a very natural result, does not migrate, and side effects are rare. Polyalkylimide has very little reaction with human tissue, meaning it is biocompatible and no allergy testing is required. It's radiolucent, which means it won't interfere with X-rays. Polylactic acid is a synthetic dermal filler that is injected into the face and causes the body's own production of collagen.

This type of dermal filler is known as a stimulator. This non-toxic and biodegradable substance has been used for more than 40 years as a suture material. Calcium hydroxylapatite is one of the best-studied dermal fillers worldwide and has been used substantially for the correction of moderate to severe facial lines and folds, as well as for volume loss due to aging. It is a natural substance found in our bones and these types of fillers are also soft and gel-like.

The consistency is thicker than hyaluronic acid fillers, meaning that calcium hydroxylapatite fillers will last longer than hyaluronic acid fillers. Calcium hydroxylapatite also helps to stimulate the natural production of collagen, a natural substance in the skin that provides structure and firmness. Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) is a biocompatible and biodegradable synthetic substance. PLLA products are classified as collagen stimulators and are used to soften lines and increase volume by helping the skin to rebuild natural collagen. The injected product dissolves a few days after treatment, but then stimulates the body to gradually produce its own collagen.

As we age, the fat, muscles, bones and skin on our face begin to thin. Loss of volume leads to a sunken or flabby appearance of the face. Injectable poly-L-lactic acid is used to create structure, frame and volume on the face. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is a synthetic and biocompatible substance that has been used in medicine for much of the last century. In dermal fillers, PMMA takes the shape of a small ball that stays under the skin indefinitely to provide continuous support.

When a more permanent solution for facial wrinkles is desired, PMMA is often used instead of hyaluronic acid fillers. The area will be cleaned before the injection and you may be given a topical anesthetic to numb the area. Many fillers, such as hyaluronic acid fillers, also contain lidocaine, which is a mild anesthetic intended to help minimize discomfort during and after treatment. The doctor will then inject a specific amount of filler strategically under the skin. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) fillers are one of the most popular as they have a soft texture to create beautiful results. HA is found naturally in the body, so it dissolves naturally and gradually over time, usually between 6 and 12 months depending on the person and product used.

Allergan's Juvéderm line is one of the best-known HA mastics. They are also the manufacturer of the widely known and registered anti-wrinkle treatment with botulinum toxin, Botox, along with several models of the most widely used silicone breast implants. It can be safely said that Allergan dominates much of the cosmetic enhancement market. Juvéderm is a natural and biodegradable product, just like Galderma's product Restylane and its family of competing HA dermal fillers. Like HA fillers, calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) is also found naturally in our body since it is mainly found in our bones. Microscopic calcium particles are in the filling making this product thicker than an HA filler.

It also lasts longer than HA fillers as it can give results up to a year. Poly-L-lactic acid fillers are not a natural substance as are previous fillers but they are a biodegradable synthetic substance that is safe to use in our body. Because of this they last much longer than previous fillers and can give results up to two years. This product can help stimulate and rebuild collagen in the skin. Poly-L-lactic has been used in the medical field for many years in products such as soluble stitches. Galderma's Sculptra is an FDA approved poly-L-lactic acid dermal filler used for smile lines, nasolabial folds and chin wrinkles.

This product is also beneficial for restoring volume in hollow cheeks or temples. Helps stimulate collagen to restore facial volume similar to poly-L-lactic acid PMMA does not occur naturally but it is a synthetic and biocompatible substance used in dermal fillers that has been used in medical and dental fields for many years when used as a filler PMMA is a microsphere found in a collagen gel that helps fill and support the skin lasts much longer than HA fillers. The FDA has also approved botulinum toxin products such as Botox Dysport Xeomin Jeuveau to treat facial wrinkles these products are not dermal fillers they are injectable drugs that work by preventing muscles from contracting so wrinkles are not seen as much. The safe use of dermal fillers in combination with Botox or other treatments has not been evaluated in clinical studies. Short term fillers are those that are absorbed by the body over time they last for different periods of time depending on dermal filler they can last from 3 to 18 months. Long term fillers are made of synthetic materials that are not absorbed by the body in fact they can stay in your body for several years. Dermal fillers can erase any apparent smile lines make lips cheeks appear thicker as well as restore facial volume lost due to aging.

Shelly Hongach
Shelly Hongach

General food fanatic. Passionate travel junkie. Hipster-friendly coffee guru. Hardcore web ninja. Proud travel fanatic.