How one popular treatment is helping people look more youthful
By LaRue V. Gillespie
“Lip fillers are very popular among younger patients who generally want to enhance their lips. Once patients hit their forties, they often want filler to restore the volume that they had in their youth. Many people don’t realize that lip fillers can be done in a way that looks very natural. This is a medical procedure, so it is important to go to an expert.”
– Melissa Chiang, MD, FAAD
Time might not be doing anyone too many favors when it comes to the physical effects of aging, but modern science has armed those who would rather turn back the clock a little bit with a few useful tools. One that’s been gaining in popularity in recent years is called Restylane, a hyaluronic acid dermal filler first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2003.
Since its approval, Restylane has become increasingly popular for plumping lips, diminishing deep laugh lines (nasolabial folds and marionette lines), and even filling out lost volume in cheeks, under the eyes, and on the backs of hands.
“The aesthetic community has realized the value of volume over the last 10 years in making people look more youthful,”
said Dr. Rady Rahban, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. He’s right—in fact, injectables in general have increased in popularity by as much as 40 percent in the last five years, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Restylane is comprised of a synthetic form of hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a clear, gooey substance produced naturally in our bodies. Basically, HA serves as a moisture magnet and gives skin its plump, hydrated look. But time, age, and other environmental factors like sun damage and smoking can cause our HA stores to deplete, increasing the chances for wrinkles and folds to appear.
Today, synthetic HA is used in moisturizers and other beauty products, but topical serums and ointments can’t replace volume that’s been lost from inside the skin, and that’s what Restylane can be used for. As an injectable, it can add to the natural plumping action of the HA in your skin or help replenish what has been lost, thereby adding volume and fullness to certain areas.
Restylane is manufactured by Q-Med, a Swedish company within Galderma. In recent years, the brand has expanded its offerings with Restylane-L (the L stands for lidocaine, a numbing agent), Restylane Silk for lip augmentation and fine lines around the mouth, Restylane Lyft for adding volume to your cheeks and hands, and Restylane Refyne and Defyne, which feature natural and longer lasting results.
The duration of the effects of Restylane can vary depending on the person and the place it’s injected. “Fillers are metabolized differently by each person,” Dr. Rahman said.
“Some people have a faster metabolism and some are slower. If you inject Restylane in the lips, it may last three to four months, but if you inject it in the nose, it could last one to two years. It varies from place to place and person to person.”
There’s no universal solution when it comes to feeling good about your appearance, but in the right hands, options like these might help you take a few steps in the right direction.