Do you know what Botox can and can’t fix? What about the differences between Botox and fillers? Until recently, I didn’t know the answers to these questions either. Thanks to my best friend, a stay-at-home mom and beauty guru, I learned that more and more people are adding non-surgical cosmetic treatments to their beauty regimes. She recently returned to the daily grind after staying at home with her little ones for several years. While she felt ready to go back to a 9-to-5, she wasn’t convinced that she looked ready.
Over a glass of wine recently, she let me in on her little secret to looking so youthful and glowing. She told me she gets Botox from Dr. Thomas Hubbard, a Virginia Beach facial plastic surgeon, and she referred me to his website for more answers to my numerous questions about injectables.
According to Dr. Hubbard, the beauty of injectables is that you can see results quickly, and look years younger and more refreshed without surgery. Sounds good, right? I certainly thought so. Here’s what I learned:
Botox: This is the one we’ve all heard about, the wrinkle-remover sent from Heaven. Despite its reputation, Botox does not treat the wrinkles themselves, but instead works to help reduce the activity of the muscles that cause the wrinkles. Some common treatment areas are the frown lines between the eyes (11’s), horizontal forehead lines (worry lines), or crow’s feet at the corners of the eyes. To treat these areas, Botox is injected into the muscles that, when contracted, cause the wrinkles to appear. It takes about a week for the muscles to relax, but once they do, the skin becomes smooth and should stay that way for about 3 months. Contrary to myth, you shouldn’t look frozen or permanently surprised after Botox treatment.
Restylane: Like most fillers, Restylane is made up of hyaluronic acid, a sugar complex naturally found in your skin and joints. Hyaluronic acid, or HA, is injected under the skin to fill in wrinkles and any areas that have lost volume – two common side effects of aging. While all are made of the same substance, different HA products can be thinner or thicker depending on how they are used and how long they are supposed to last. Restylane is more liquid-y, and made up of very small HA particles, making it perfect for areas with thinner skin, such as under the eye or near the edges of the lips. It’s supposed to last 6 to 12 months, and touch-ups are usually required.
Juvéderm: Juvéderm is another HA product that is designed to help add fullness to certain areas of the face such as the cheeks or lips. It’s known as the “go-to” filler for nasolabial folds – the smile lines or parentheses at the corners of your mouth. Juvéderm’s ability to bind to water molecules makes it an excellent filler for adding volume to these areas, but not the best choice for under the eyes. Classic Juvéderm lasts around 6 to 12 months, but newer Juvéderm Voluma, made just for the cheeks, can last 18 months or longer.
Perlane: Perlane is another HA filler, designed to help with deeper wrinkles. Perlane is often the choice for nasolabial folds and marionette lines (the wrinkles the start at the edge of each lip and continue down the chin). Unlike fine lines which do best with a lighter filler, Perlane is a thicker HA product that stays put and lasts up to 12 months.
Radiesse: This filler uses calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres suspended in a gel carrier. It adds instant volume while also stimulating the body to build its own collagen. The body builds a scaffold of collagen around the microspheres, and that collagen remains even after the filler dissolves. Because of its plumping-effects and ability to stimulate collagen production, the results of Radiesse last over a year, making it a great semi-permanent option for people looking for more long-term results. Radiesse is also versatile and can be used in deep wrinkles or to add general fullness to a region of the face, such as the cheekbones.
After my research, I see the world of injectables completely differently. While I’m not totally sure that I’m ready for them, I’m definitely keeping them in mind for the future. And while I know that Botox and fillers aren’t for everyone, I think it’s exciting that as a woman and a mother, we have so many choices when it comes to how we age.
~ Emmy Owens
About the Author
Emmy Owens is a health & beauty blogger who loves everything related to looking your best! She is a mother and wife who loves staying fit by chasing her little kids! As she has become older she is not opposed to a cosmetic enhancement here or there, but the specifics remain in the vault.