Fillers 101: Which Dermal Filler Is Right For You?

·7 min read

Dermal fillers are a popular trend that was once considered taboo for women outside of Hollywood. Before it became trendy, many women hadn’t even heard of dermal fillers, apart from Botox, which also carried a heavy stigma. But when reality star Kylie Jenner debuted her full lips on social media, women of all races flocked to cosmetic professionals to get “the look.”

What Are They?

Many dermal fillers are made with hyaluronic acid, which the body produces naturally. It binds to water molecules in the body to hydrate and plumps your skin, but hyaluronic acid levels decrease as we age, leading to fine lines and wrinkles.

Dermal fillers are safe to use when they’re FDA-approved and administered by a licensed professional. They can serve many purposes, from reducing a gummy smile to correcting a botched nose job.

Black Women and Dermal Fillers

Many Black women are hesitant to receive them because of the stigma surrounding cosmetic enhancements in the Black community. There’s a common misconception that all Black women have full lips, button noses, and other common Black features. While this is true for many Black women, it’s not true for all.

Some Black women have thin lips and may want to try these shots for added volume. And others who have pointed noses may consider fillers to correct a hump on the bridge. Whatever the reason, Black women have a right to experiment with their looks just as much as anyone else.

Getting dermal fillers can be a scary experience for many women. There are so many types of fillers that it can be challenging to decide which to use. Not to mention, the horror stories of dermal fillers gone wrong make choosing even harder. Let’s take a look at six common uses for dermal fillers and which ones are the best at addressing your cosmetic concerns:

Lip Fillers

Juvederm and Restylane are the two most common options for dermal lip fillers. They’re made from hyaluronic acid and have a lower risk for adverse side effects such as bleeding or tenderness at the injection site.

The difference: Juvederm is the more popular choice because it’s more durable, with results lasting up to one year. Restylane filler only lasts up to 10 months before tapering off.

Also, patients who opt for Juvederm typically notice its effects immediately, whereas Restylane may take several days to appear in the lips.

 

Pro Tip: If you, like many Black women, have full lips, it’s best to start with a half or whole syringe of filler. Decide if you want to go bigger after allowing it to settle. Then ask your technician to add another syringe until you’ve reached your desired results.

It’s always best to start small instead of injecting multiple rounds of fillers at once, which can result in overly plumped, unnatural-looking lips.

Cheek Fillers

Frustrated woman looking into the camera with her hands on her cheeks.
Photo Credit: luizclas via Pexels

Cheek fillers are a popular trend gaining steam on social media. As we age, we lose elasticity in our skin, resulting in a thinner, more hollow facial appearance. So for plump, youthful cheeks like your favorite celebrities, try filling them with Voluma.

Juvederm Voluma is an FDA-approved injectable also made from hyaluronic acid that’s great for adding volume to the cheeks. Its gel-like texture is thick enough to fill and lift the cheek yet pliable enough to give you a soft, pillowy feel.

Pro Tip: For a more subtle, natural look, opt for Sculptra. Sculptra is made from the active ingredient Poly-L-Lactic Acid, a synthetic compound that encourages your body to increase collagen production. It’s effective, with results lasting up to two years. However, because of its natural effect, you may need to wait several months to notice a change.

Fillers For Dark Circles

Dark circles or “tear troughs” are a common skin care problem among Black women, especially as we age. There are many reasons why dark circles form, including dehydration, improper sleep, genetics, and even certain medical conditions such as enophthalmos. Fortunately, there’s a filler that can help.

Restylane is an excellent choice to fix the problem because it’s soft yet firm enough to plump the skin under your eye without feeling hard or rough. In addition, it safely restores moisture to the skin with relatively low swelling.

Pro Tip: Injecting fillers into the tear troughs is riskier than in other areas. This is because there’s a higher chance that the filler could block the blood vessel from carrying blood to the eye, resulting in blindness. 

Talk to your dermatologist about the cause of your dark circles to avoid undergoing an unnecessary procedure. For example, if you’re developing them due to hyperpigmentation or sun damage, other forms of treatment may provide a better solution.

Fillers For Cheekbones

Fillers are known for adding volume to the skin. But they’re also good for sculpting and contouring your face as well. For this reason, many women opt for Radiesse, a filler made from the hydroxylapatite mineral found in our teeth and bones. Fortunately, this mineral is also great for carving out the face to create beautiful, sculpted cheekbones.

Radiesse injection results can last anywhere from 12 to 18 months, with experts recommending follow-up treatments throughout the process.

 

Black woman examining her face in the mirror.
Photo Credit: Ron Lach via Pexels

Pro Tip: If you already have full cheeks, adding additional volume can create an unnatural, chipmunk-like appearance. For prominent, contoured cheekbones, show your technician pictures of celebrities with your desired look to avoid overstuffing and get the sculpted results you want instead.

Nose Fillers

Up close shot of a Black woman's face.
Photo Credit: Angela Roma via Pexels

Ethnic rhinoplasties are a popular request among Black women who want to alter the shape or size of their noses. But unfortunately, they can be risky for several reasons. Not to mention, many plastic surgeons just don’t quite seem to get it right.

Luckily, certain injectables can be used to shape the nose bridge or tip according to a patient’s request. Alexander Rivkin, the cosmetic surgeon recognized as the inventor of the non-surgical nose job, recommends using Voluma. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, he explains his reasoning. “Voluma lasts for a year and a half, and it’s reversible and natural-looking.”

Pro Tip: If you have wider nostrils or a more rounded nose tip, dermal fillers may not provide your desired results. In fact, they can make the problem worse. Request a consultation with a professional who can advise whether fillers can address your concerns.

Jaw And Chin Fillers

If you notice that the areas around your chin or jawline are starting to sag, dermal fillers may be your solution. Jawline fillers are especially beneficial for older women who struggle with baggy skin or bone loss due to aging. But young women can use them for several reasons, too, such as reducing the appearance of a double chin or defining a weak or recessed chin.

For a sculpted chin and jawline, try Restylane Lyft. Restylane Lyft is a hyaluronic gel commonly used to create a more defined bone structure. In addition, it’s one of the firmest dermal fillers, so it’s perfect for carving and contouring the face.

Pro Tip: Older women should consider the injectable Restylane Defyne, which is better suited for aging or thin skin because of its softer and more flexible consistency. Review your options with your technician to make an informed decision about which dermal filler is right for your skin type.