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Alternatives to Cheek Fillers for Gradual Rejuvenation

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Nonsurgical Options for Fuller, More Defined Cheeks Without Fillers

If you’ve noticed your cheeks looking a bit deflated lately with hollowness or sagging skin, you may be considering cheek fillers to add volume and lift. 

Dermal fillers like Juvederm or Restylane can plump cheeks and smooth wrinkles, but they aren’t the only option.

Keep reading to learn about the advantages, results and what to expect with these filler-free alternatives for a refreshed, youthful cheek area.

What Are Some Alternatives to Cheek Fillers?

cheek filler treatment

There are several nonsurgical alternatives to effectively rejuvenate the cheeks and address concerns like hollowness, wrinkles and sagging skin without dermal filler injections.

1. Topical Skin Products

Certain creams, serums and skincare products containing peptides, retinoids, antioxidants and other collagen-boosting ingredients can improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin texture and tone when used regularly over time. 

They work by providing hydration, exfoliation, and promoting collagen production in the skin.

While not as dramatic as filler injections, topical products offer a non-invasive treatment option suitable for mild signs of cheek aging or as a complement to other treatments. 

Popular Topical Products for the Cheeks

Topical serums, creams, and peels can provide anti-aging effects and give the appearance of fuller cheeks over time with the guidance of a dermatologist.

Hyaluronic acid serumsAble to draw moisture into the skin, helping to temporarily plump up the look of cheeks. The hydrating effects also smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Peptides (like tetrapeptide)Stimulate collagen production to help firm up cheeks. Can reduce sagging skin and wrinkles on the cheeks with consistent use.
Retinol creamsIncrease cell turnover to reveal fresher, younger-looking skin on the cheeks. Also boost collagen production to tighten skin over time.
Glycolic acid peelsExfoliate the top layer of dull, dead skin cells to reveal plumper cheeks underneath. Diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

2. Collagen Stimulants and Injectables

Non-invasive procedures that stimulate collagen production can provide gradual lifting and tightening as an alternative to surgery. A series of treatments allows collagen to remodel sagging skin over time.

Collagen-Boosting Techniques

MicroneedlingUtilizes small needle punctures to create microscopic wounds that trigger the body's natural healing response. This kickstarts collagen and elastin production to repair and rejuvenate the skin. A series of treatments allows optimal collagen stimulation for gradual tightening and contouring.
RadiofrequencyUses safe radiofrequency energy to deeply heat tissue and stimulate collagen remodeling. Gradual tissue tightening occurs as new collagen strengthens the dermal structure over a series of sessions. Results continue improving over 2-6 months as collagen regeneration progresses.


At Dr. Lanna Aesthetics, we offer a variety of injectables and minimally invasive procedures to help smooth wrinkles, tighten skin, and restore a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance. Our treatment menu includes the following: 

Morpheus8Combines microneedling and radiofrequency for boosted collagen stimulation and more significant tightening/rejuvenation. Less downtime than laser resurfacing.
FaceTiteMinimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency under the skin to heat and contract tissue. Stimulates long-term collagen rebuilding for gradual tightening and contouring.
FormaA deep heating radiofrequency treatment that stimulates collagen regeneration for gradual tightening over a series of sessions. Improves tone and elasticity.
BotoxTemporarily relaxes facial muscles responsible for dynamic wrinkles. Smooth appearance lasts 3-4 months before repeat injections are needed.
DysportSimilar injectable that blocks neuromuscular signaling to relax wrinkle-causing facial muscles for 3-4 months.
XeominInjectable that inhibits muscle contractions to soften wrinkles around eyes, mouth, and forehead. Lasts 3-4 months.

Our knowledgeable staff can help determine which treatment or combination of treatments is right for your unique needs and aesthetic goals.

3. Fat Transfer

Fat transfer, also referred to as fat grafting or fat injections, involves extracting a patient’s own fat via liposuction, processing and purifying the fat, then skillfully re-injecting the viable fat cells into areas like the cheeks needing rejuvenation. 

The transferred fat cells act as a natural filler to restore lost volume. This alternative to cheek fillers offers several benefits for cheek rejuvenation:

  • It uses your own body’s fat cells, avoiding risk of allergic reaction
  • Once the grafted fat integrates, results are very long lasting - potentially over 10 years
  • Improves skin quality by stimulating collagen and blood supply
  • Completely natural, avoids foreign injectables
  • Can be combined with implants or lift procedures

4. Cheek Implants

For patients with significant cheek hollowing or volume loss that cannot be adequately corrected through fat grafting alone, cheek implants are a more permanent alternative for augmentation and definition.

Cheek implants are solid structures made from soft but firm silicone or porous polyethylene (plastic) material. The implant is carefully sized and positioned to harmonize with your unique facial proportions, then inserted through small incisions hidden inside the mouth.

Cheek implants can provide:

  • Instant restoration of cheek volume and contour for a heart or inverted triangle shaped face
  • Permanent augmentation while avoiding repeated filler injections
  • Minimal incisions and discrete scarring when placed internally
  • Can be combined with mid-face lift for comprehensive rejuvenation
  • Maintains expression and motion since it augments rather than paralyzes

5. Thread Lifts

Dr. Lanna offers PDO Thread lifts, which provide a minimally invasive solution for lifting and smoothing sagging cheek skin and wrinkles. They involve placing dissolvable sutures just under the skin using a needle or cannula. The threads anchor sagging tissues in place for an immediate, though subtle lift.

Threads also stimulate collagen formation over the next few months. As this collagen rebuild occurs, it provides the added benefit of gradual skin tightening and wrinkle improvement.

Potential advantages of PDO thread lifts include:

  • Requires only local numbing versus general anesthesia
  • Much less recovery time and risks than a facelift
  • Stimulates natural collagen for smooth, youthful skin
  • Treats mild to moderately sagging cheeks
  • Small incisions allow for discreet scarring
  • Takes only about 30 minutes to perform

While results are not as significant or long-lasting as a surgical facelift, PDO thread lifts offer noticeable rejuvenation improving over time with minimal downtime and optimal safety profile.

Which Option is Best For You?

cheek filler treatment

Whether you want subtle improvements over time or more dramatic contouring, we have the ideal cheek treatment for you.

  • Our Morpheus8 and FaceTite technologies tighten skin and sculpt cheeks gradually through collagen rebuilding. 
  • Botox, Dysport and Xeomin relax wrinkles for a smoother appearance. 
  • For immediate lifting and definition, our PDO thread lifts provide natural-looking results made to last.

We also offer cheek fillers like Juvederm, Restylane and Radiesse for those who desire instant plumping and volume. Dr. Lanna and her team customize the fillers to beautifully enhance your natural proportions.

Let's discuss your cosmetic goals and develop a tailored plan to refresh your look. Contact our office today at (929) 565-7539 to schedule your personalized consultation with Dr. Lanna. Discover the ideal options to lift, smooth and contour your cheeks.


What kind of results does microneedling offer for cheeks?

Microneedling creates tiny wounds to trigger collagen remodeling. A series of treatments can gradually lift cheeks by tightening and thickening the dermis over time.

How long do thread lift results last?

Thread lifts offer immediate yet subtle lifting of the cheeks. As the sutures dissolve over 6-8 months, new collagen provides additional tightening that can last 1-2 years typically.

What results can I expect from fat transfer to the cheeks?

Fat transfer adds volume to recontour cheeks. It can lift mild sagging and improve tone, texture and elasticity. Lasts 7-10 years typically.

Can radiofrequency skin tightening be used on cheeks?

Yes, radiofrequency heats the dermis to stimulate new collagen for gradual tightening. Typically requires 4-6 sessions spaced 4 weeks apart for optimal cheek lifting.

Do cheek exercises really work?

Certain facial exercises can strengthen cheek muscles and increase blood flow. Done regularly they may lift and tighten cheeks over time without injections.

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