How Long Do Fillers Last?


 Closeup of pretty middle aged, slightly smiling woman with visible wrinkles

 

Are you considering getting a filler treatment to give a renewing lift to your lips, cheeks, or under eye area? Or maybe you’re currently considering a treatment to help smooth out fine lines, crepey skin, and wrinkles.

Cosmetic fillers are a quick procedure that serve as a revitalizing pick-me-up. But how long do fillers last?

Whether you’re considering cosmetic fillers or have already taken the plunge, you’ll want to know how long they are effective for, when it’s time for a facial filler touch-up, what happens as fillers wear off, and what to do if you are experiencing filler fatigue. Read on to find out what to expect from those fresh fillers, and how ALASTIN can make your filler experience as predictable, effective, and painless as possible. 


How Do Dermal Fillers Work?

Dermal fillers are becoming more and more common, giving people everywhere the freedom to redefine their features. But how do dermal fillers work to lift, plump, and reshape?

As we age, our skin loses its ability to retain moisture, which keeps skin taut and plump, as well as the elasticity that helps it bounce back. This is what causes expression lines to deepen into fine lines and wrinkles. We also lose some of the fat deposits in our face over time, causing the appearance of sagging skin, hollow cheeks, and sunken eyes.1

Injectable dermal fillers do just what they say: fill in that lost facial volume. 

Different formulas are designed to fill lost volume in different areas—you wouldn’t use the same formula to fill in the cheeks as you would to smooth out forehead lines. But the youthful, stunning results are the same. 


How to Recover from Injectables

The initial recovery period following injectables, including dermal fillers, is 24 - 48 hours.2 Following your cosmetic treatment it’s normal to experience:

  • Temporary numbness
  • Redness
  • Bruises 
  • Swelling

However, using our INhance Post-Injection Serum with TriHex Technology® can help accelerate recovery from bruising, swelling, and redness post-injection. 

Our serum is gentle and non-comedogenic, so it will never clog pores. As the cooling applicator tip provides a soothing experience, the serum works to improve your skin. 

Our Post-Injection Serum is designed to:

  • Accelerate recovery post-injection
  • Alleviate swelling and bruising at the injection site
  • Support production of hyaluronic acid
  • Work with the skin to clear out damaged elastin and collagen
  • Support the production of healthy elastin and collagen
  • Improve skin hydration 
  • Increase skin plumpness

When seeking out dermal fillers, pair your treatment with INhance Post-Injection Serum with TriHex Technology® for enhanced post-treatment results.


Different Types of Fillers

Not all fillers are created equally. How long fillers last can depend greatly on brand, composition, and the location the fillers were injected. Below we’ll explore the main ingredients in different types of dermal fillers and what they are best used for. 


Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

You’re already acquainted with hyaluronic acid if you are familiar with fillers by the names of:

  • Juvederm ® family by Allergan
  • Restylane ® family by Galderma
  • Belotero® by Merz
  • Teoxane® by Revance

Hyaluronic acid is the main component in many facial rejuvenation blends, a synthetic creation meant to mimic the hyaluronic acid naturally present in our bodies. We use the acid to support our eyes, connective tissue, cartilage, and joints. Hyaluronic acid is also an amazing hydrating agent for the skin; one hyaluronic acid molecule can hold up to 1000x its weight in water,3 making it perfect for plumping. 

When injected below the skin, hyaluronic acid-based fillers combine with water, resulting in a “smoothing” effect that replaces lost fat deposits in the face.4 Although that effect is relatively immediate, you might see your best results a month or so later, when the filler treatment begins to settle into the skin. 

What Is It Best Used For?

Hyaluronic acid-based fillers perform well when used for:5

  • Wrinkles
  • Nasolabial folds (also known as smile lines)
  • Marionette lines (lines between the corners of the mouth and chin)
  • Grooves around the jowl
  • Lip enhancement
  • Fine lines around the mouth
  • Under the eyes
  • Cheek-filling and augmentation
  • Earlobes
  • Volume loss on the back of hands

Luckily, fillers that are based in hyaluronic acid have a very low chance of causing an allergic reaction. This is due to how well it’s naturally absorbed in the body. So wherever you’re hoping to restore lost volume in your face, hyaluronic acid-based fillers are a relatively safe bet.6


How Long Does it Last?

Hyaluronic acid fillers usually last anywhere from six months to a year. 

 

Calcium Hydroxylapatite Fillers

Just like hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite is also a naturally occurring substance in the body—specifically in our bones. This type of filler suspends calcium hydroxylapatite minerals in a gel carrier to inject beneath the skin.7 Radiesse® by Merz is one brand example of this filler.


What Is It Best Used For?

Calcium hydroxylapatite is extremely effective at filling out deep lines and scars, such as:

  • Wrinkles
  • Nasolabial folds (smile lines)
  • Marionette lines
  • Grooves around the jowl
  • Chin lines

Unlike hyaluronic acid, fillers containing calcium hydroxylapatite aren’t useful “plumping” fillers in some instances. You may want to consider a filler with a different base ingredient if you want to work on:

  • Fine lines around the mouth
  • Treatment or plumping of the lips
  • Filling the delicate skin under the eyes

How Long Does It Last?

Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers are considered long-lasting, and typically last about 12 - 24 months.8


Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) Fillers

PLLA fillers are different from other types because the effects appear gradually over a few months rather than immediately at the point of injection.

Why the long wait time? PLLA actually stimulates your skin to produce new collagen. Collagen is a vital part of the cellular structure in your face that provides that youthful, dewy glow. Stimulating your skin to produce collagen makes PLLA a bio-stimulatory dermal filler, with the capability to produce natural results. 

It’s biodegradable, too. Over time, your skin safely breaks down PLLA into H2O and CO2. PLLA is known on the current market as Sculptra® by Galderma.


What Is It Best Used For?

PLLA fillers are exceptionally powerful when it comes to stimulating your skin to produce collagen, especially when there is major fat loss in the cheeks. It’s also effective at filling out mild to moderate facial wrinkles. However, it’s not suitable for lip augmentation, fine lines around the mouth, or near the delicate tissue of the eyes. 


How Long Does It Last?

You can expect to see the effects of PLLA injections for up to 24 months. However, for adequate skin stimulation to produce that collagen, you will initially need multiple treatment sessions at one month intervals.9


Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) Fillers

Looking for a facial rejuvenation treatment that can finally make a difference on deep acne scars and folds? A PMMA filler may be for you. 

PMMA fillers, also known as Bellafill, are made from bovine collagen. These fillers are not biodegradable, and were once only used as bone cement in facial augmentation. 

Before PMMA fillers were approved, acne scarring treatments included laser resurfacing procedures, chemical peeling, and dermabrasion. Fortunately, PMMA provides a longer-lasting alternative to these treatments.


What Is It Best Used For?

While PMMA fillers are extremely effective at filling in acne scars, these fillers can also be used for:

  • Wrinkles
  • Nasolabial folds (smile lines)

However, this filler is not recommended around the sensitive lips, eyes, and fine lines around the mouth.


How Long Does It Last?

Of all the fillers, PMMA fillers typically last the longest. A single injection can last up to five years. That coverage can make a huge difference, especially for small, focused areas like smile lines and acne scars. 


What Happens When Fillers Wear Off?

If your filler is made of hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, or PLLA, your body naturally absorbs or breaks down the injection over time. Hyaluronic acid begins to be reabsorbed in as little as 6 months. 

It’s a common misconception that when fillers wear off, wrinkles and fine lines can become worse, but that’s not the case. When fillers start to diminish, some of the original wrinkles and fine lines present in your face will return, but they’ll be much softer in appearance.

However, you may be so used to your post-filler new look that your pre-existing wrinkles seem worse. But fillers are meant to stimulate your skin to produce more collagen, not less. Any prior lines or wrinkles can only improve, even when fillers wear off.


How Often Should You Get Fillers?

How long do facial fillers last? The frequency in which you get fillers is dependent on which type of filler you choose. It also depends on what you’re looking for out of a filler. 

It’s good to top off injectables when you notice them start to lose their efficacy. Everyone metabolizes dermal filler injections at their body’s own speed.10

If you’re looking to maintain your look, follow these general guidelines for each type of dermal filler.

  • Hyaluronic acid filler – Every 6 to 12 months
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers – Every 12 to 24 months
  • PMMA fillers – Every 5 years or longer; considered permanent
  • PLLA fillers – Every 24 months

  • ALASTIN: Professional Skincare from Home

    Whatever course you choose to take on your skincare journey, ALASTIN is here to make that journey—and your skin—smooth and trouble-free. Products like our INhance Post-Injection Serum deliver science-backed solutions that work with your skin, not against it, to stimulate collagen and elastin production.

    Whether your cosmetic treatment is a one-time gift to yourself or a lifetime journey, our skin care products help you heal and glow. 


    Sources: 

    1.  “Why Your Face Ages and What You Can Do.” Harvard Health, 12 Feb. 2021, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-your-face-ages-and-what-you-can-do

    2. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “Dermal Fillers Recovery.” American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2021, https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/dermal-fillers/recovery

    3. “Will My Wrinkles Be Worse After Filler Goes Away?” Sanova Dermatology, 15 Mar. 2016, https://www.sanovadermatology.com/dermal-fillers/will-my-wrinkles-be-worse-after-filler-goes-away/#:~:text=And%2C%20what%20happens%20to%20my%20skin%20after%20filler%20goes%20away%3F&text=The%20dermal%20fillers%20mentioned%20are,Hanson

    4. Papakonstantinou, Eleni, et al. “Hyaluronic Acid: A Key Molecule in Skin Aging.” Dermato-Endocrinology, Landes Bioscience, 1 July 2012, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/

    5. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. “Injectable Hyaluronic Acid.” American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, 2021, https://www.asds.net/skin-experts/skin-treatments/injectables/injectable-hyaluronic-acid

    6.  “Hyaluronic Acid Gel ( JuvédermTM) Preparations in the Treatment of Facial Wrinkles and Folds.” PubMed Central (PMC), 1 Dec. 2008, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2682392

    7. T, Pavicic. “Calcium Hydroxylapatite Filler: An Overview of Safety and Tolerability.” Abstract - Europe PMC, 1 Sept. 2013, https://www.europepmc.org/article/med/24002146

    8. Skin Experts. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, 2021, https://www.asds.net/skin-experts/skin-treatments/injectables/injectable-calcium-hydroxylapatite

    9.  Skin Experts. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, 2021, https://www.asds.net/skin-experts/skin-treatments/injectables/injectable-poly-l-lactic-acid

    10.  Ave, Skin Care At 5Th. “Juvederm - How Long Does Juvederm Last?” Skin Care at 5th Ave., 6 Aug. 2019, https://www.skincare5thave.com/blog/2019/08/06/how-long-does-juvederm-last-201039#:%7E:text=Generally%2C%20more%20robust%20fillers%20like,makeup%20of%20each%20individual%20person
    Article Reviewed by Wendy Johnson
    Wendy Johnson//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1504/4854/files/wendy_large.png?v=1588836438

    Vice President, Marketing

    Wendy Johnson brings to Alastin Skincare over 22 years of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and aesthetics industry experience in various sales, training, marketing and thought leader development roles.

    After spending 10 years in gastroenterology at Tap Pharmaceuticals and Prometheus Laboratories, with sales and marketing oversight for in-line and pre-launch products, Mrs. Johnson transitioned to an aesthetic career at SkinMedica in 2004. While there, she was responsible for marketing one of the top 2 branded prescription hydroquinones, launching a leading branded low potency steroid, and oversight of the acne franchise line extensions.

    In 2010, Wendy joined Merz North America where she developed and managed the Physician Relations department in support of injectable, topical and device business units under Medical Affairs, before transitioning into managing a Regional Aesthetics Marketing team.


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