Botox vs Fillers: Which is right for you?
If you’re new to the world of aesthetic injectable treatments, it may be challenging to know where to start. While treatments such as Botox and Dermal Fillers can be used to make you look younger, there is a lot more to injectable treatments than first meets the eye. While Botox and Dermal Fillers may seem similar, they are actually two very different things. If you’re trying to work out which is best for you, or whether it’s a combination of both, this guide explains precisely how the two treatments differ.
What happens to the face as it ages?
As we get older, one of the most apparent signs of ageing to appear is often lines and wrinkles around the eyes and on the forehead. The skin becomes less firm and springy as the production of collagen (which keeps it strong) and elastin (which keeps it supple and bouncy) decreases. This change begins around the age of 25, picks up speed in your forties, and becomes undeniably evident in your fifties or around menopause.
The skin also becomes drier as it loses its ability to retain moisture. The fat pads that fill out the face and give it its structure start to shrink with age, so the face begins to look gaunt.
Understanding how the face changes as we age, will help you to identify what your main concerns are and will be the first step in recognising which treatments are right for you.
Aren’t Fillers the same as Botox?
Dermal fillers and Botox are very different substances. Botox is a nerve toxin which is injected into the facial muscles to reduce their ability to contract and soften lines mainly on the forehead and around the eyes. A filler is a gel made (usually) from hyaluronic acid which is strategically injected to add volume or structure to the face. Though they’re often used in the same treatment, they achieve very different results.
What is Botox, and how does it work?
Botulinum Toxin Type A is a dilute form of nerve toxin. When injected into the facial muscles, it interferes with the nerve signals that tell the muscles to contract. These effects last until the body disperses the drug, and the muscles recover their function once again – usually after three months. It doesn’t take much Botox to have a cosmetically pleasing effect of calming down the muscles, which leads to a subtle relaxation of lines and a fresher-looking face.
Botox is commonly injected into forehead lines, crow’s feet lines and the vertical ’11’ frown lines between the eyebrows. It’s also used to relax muscles that pull downwards, such as the neck muscles to give it a lifting effect.
Results can last between 3-5 months, depending on the individual.
How much does Botox cost?
Depending on the location of the clinic and your choice of practitioner, the cost of Botox can range anywhere from £395-£800 for three areas of Botox.
How are Dermal Fillers and how do they work?
The way that practitioners use Dermal Fillers is continuously evolving. Once upon a time, dermal fillers were placed directly into lines and wrinkles to bulk them out. However, in more recent years, the aim has shifted towards softening the face by replacing lost volume, particularly in the cheeks and lips. As well, dermal fillers are used to structure the face, for example, by adding definition to the jawline and chin or to balance facial asymmetry.
The most commonly used facial fillers are temporary hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers. The best known and best-accredited brands of filler are Juvederm and Restylane, which both fall into this category. Dermal fillers are available in different densities, or thickness, depending on the area they are used for – a denser, firmer filler would be used to contour the cheeks or strengthen the jawline. At the same time, you’d opt for a more lightweight filler to give a gentle uplift to the lips.
The way hyaluronic acid fillers sit beneath the skin and attract water, helps them hold their shape and over the following weeks, integrate with your facial tissues and become part of your face.
Fillers will last for between six to eighteen months before they’re broken down by the body, depending on which product was used. It also depends on how much was injected and on the metabolism of the person who was treated. Some people’s bodies break down fillers faster than others.
How much do Dermal Fillers cost?
Like Botox, the price of fillers can vary hugely. At a sound, medical clinic, you should expect the cost per 1ml syringe of Juvederm to be between £400-700. For larger volume, full-face treatments you could expect to pay upwards of £1,500.
How a good practitioner can help
Whether your concerns are lost volume in the cheeks, hollowing under the eyes or lines and wrinkles on the forehead, a practitioner will be able to make suggestions as they explore the available treatment options. These may be a little different from what you think you may need. For example, if you’re bothered by marionette lines (the wrinkles which extend from each corner of your mouth down to your chin), many practitioners will suggest adding a little volume to the cheeks to lift that area and make the lines vanish, rather than injecting filler into the lines themselves.
Ultimately, the final decision is up to you under the guidance of your practitioner. A good practitioner will listen to your ideas and concerns and give you the tools that you need to make an informed decision which is right for you.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.