Skip the Filter with Dermal Filler
It’s time to fess us. We all do it. Whether it’s on Snapchat or Instagram, we all have a favorite filter we use for our selfies, right? We live in a day and age where we are constantly posting pictures of what we’re doing, what we’re eating, and what we’re wearing. There’s no shame in wanting to look your best! But, what if you to look just as good in REAL life as we do online? Dermal fillers, like Restylane®, can’t give you puppy ears and huge cartoonish eyes, but they can help make your skin look smoother, more lifted and define your face’s best features—with and without the filter!
“I totally get it when patients joke with me and ask me to make them look like they do in their Snapchat filter,” laughs Katie McClellan, PA-C, a cosmetic injector with a large 25-40-year-old client base. “I mean, who DOESN’T want that flawlessly smooth skin that is full of volume in all the right places? No amount of surgery or injectables will make you look exactly like you do in a filtered picture, but we can definitely use injectables such as dermal fillers to enhance your features with volume, definition, and lift.”
To understand what we like so much about our skin and face when under the veil of a filter, we first need a lesson in lighting. When light bounces off the surface of our face, it can create shadows where our skin is lacking volume. Light can also create radiance and smoothness where the skin is full and lifted. This quality may make your undereye area look hollow and gaunt, but it may also make your cheekbones look chiseled if you have adequate volume in the apples of your cheeks.
If you hadn’t noticed already, there is a gazillion dollar makeup industry that specializes in highlighting and contouring kits to mimic this exact thing. When you apply a highlighter to an area that is shadowed and sunken, it gives the illusion that that area “pops” and is fuller than it is. When you apply a dark contour line to an area that is full, like the cheeks, it can create the illusion of sharpness, like when used under the cheekbone.
“I often ask my female patients where they find themselves applying highlighter and contour cremes when they put on their makeup in the morning,” explains Katie. “This not only helps me understand what areas bother them most but clearly identifies what areas of their face may be lacking volume and creating shadows,” she continues. “The temples, undereye area, and lines at the corner of the nose and mouth are usually the main culprits, and we end up focusing our dermal fillers there.”
Although you may think you’re too young for a dermal filler in your late twenties and early thirties, the truth is we start losing volume in our cheeks and temples in our mid-twenties. This loss of support can create a “fallen” appearance to the face. Small amounts of hyaluronic acid fillers (HA’s), like Restylane and Versa™ can be used to reinforce support and structure and combat the pull of gravity.
“When working with younger patients less is always more,” says Katie. “We focus on skin health and maintaining the volume and smoothness they already have with tiny tweaks of Botox and dermal fillers,” she continues. “Many younger patients inherit premature bags or hollows under their eyes that dermal fillers like VERSA™ are very effective in treating. Mostly though, I find that simply adding a little volume to the cheeks, nasolabial folds and the border of the lips can give my patients a look they absolutely love. Who knows, they may even go filter-less after seeing me.”