Let’s face it. At some point, we have all (or will) look into the mirror and wonder where all the years have gone. If you are not quite there yet, here’s what to expect. While an aged you will still look like more or less like you, it will still look a little different. A major cause of facial aging is loss of facial volume – fat. The skin loses its youthful elasticity and looks more saggy and deflated. Luckily, facial filling has been around for years in beauty and rejuvenation, and now, you even get choices for facial filling – fat or fillers.
So which should you use? Is one better than another in some situations?
One of the best things about using your own fat? It is the most natural material to your body! Fat grafting involves taking unwanted fat from a suitable place in your own body and using it as a facial filler to replace lost volume. Not only that, there is some evidence suggesting a stem cell effect – the skin around of area of fat injection also becomes more youthful-looking. The fat that is grafted to the face becomes fat in the face, and theoretically gives a long-lasting effect.
However, in order for fat grafting to work, grafted fat will have to survive in its new location, and the amount of fat that eventually survives varies a little from person to person. Because this is essentially 2 procedures in one that also requires more than simple anaesthesia (compared to synthetic filler injections), the immediate cost of fat grafting is higher. The downtime is longer due to swelling and bruising. And lastly, as with synthetic filler injections, lumps and irregularities can also happen.
HYALURONIC ACID DERMAL FILLERS
Hyaluronic acid fillers now come in different viscosities/hardness lasting between days to about two years depending on which filler is chosen. Soft, watery fillers such as Revitalift can be used for the skin, or just to subtly plump up the lips (Revitalift Lips), and sculpting fillers are available for replacing lost volume in different parts of the face, such as the cheeks (Volume High Definition Lift), nasolabial folds, temples, and harder lifting fillers can be used to augment bony features such as the nose and the chin. As you can see, dermal fillers can also be effectively used to augment some features or to reverse signs of aging, whether it be a disappearing jawline, sunken undereye hollows or deep wrinkles. There is very little to no downtime usually for most of these procedures.
However, synthetic fillers have a small risk of allergy, they are also temporary (so a repeat treatment in following months or years is almost a must to maintain results). The long terms costs can add up, although short term cost is much lower compared to fat grafting.
WHICH IS BETTER FOR YOU?
Speak to your doctor first for an assessment. If the main cause of facial aging is loss of fullness of the face, fat grafting may be a better option, especially if volume is required in more than 2 or 3 areas of the face e.g. you will need volume around the eyelids, cheeks, temples, forehead to look younger. If you need wrinkle reduction, or sculpting in 1 or 2 localised areas of the face such as the cheeks and/or temples, dermal fillers such as hyaluronic acid fillers or even dream sculpture would give you less downtime at a far lower expense.