That plump, youthful look from cheek fillers is tempting. But before rushing off to get injected, pause. An important question looms about these popular injectables - do they stretch your skin over time?
It's a key concern for anyone considering cheek fillers. You want fuller cheeks, not sagging skin or a droopy, pulled look years later. Unfortunately filler results aren't always reversible.
On this guide, you'll get the full story on how cheek fillers interact with your skin, what causes stretching, and how to avoid potential downsides. With the facts, you can decide if those cheek fillers are worth it for you. One thing's guaranteed - after reading this, you'll understand the skin stretching risks and how to best approach cheek fillers.
Cheek fillers are injectable dermal fillers containing substances like hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxylapatite. They are injected under the skin to add volume and definition to the cheek area. Fillers work by providing structural support beneath the skin, filling out hollows, softening wrinkles and enhancing contours.
Some common types of cheek fillers include:
|Cheek Filler Type
|Hyaluronic acid fillers
|Naturally occurring substance in the skin, examples are Juvederm and Restylane
|Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers
|Naturally occurring mineral found in bones and teeth, example is Radiesse
|Stimulates collagen production, example is Sculptra
|Autologous fat injections
|Uses patient's own harvested fat cells
Hyaluronic acid is an important substance found naturally in our skin that helps maintain hydration, plumpness and elasticity. Here’s how it works:
Dermal fillers like those used in the cheeks are injected under the skin to add volume and plumpness. Here are some of the short and long term effects cheek fillers can have on the skin:
|Short Term Effects
|Long Term Effects
|Swelling, bruising, redness around the injection site - resolves in 1-2 weeks
|If overfilled, can cause loose, sagging skin over time from repeated stretching
|Tenderness and discomfort at the injection point - usually goes away within a few days
|Lumpiness, filler migration or hard nodules under skin if improperly injected
|A bluish discoloration of the skin known as the Tyndall effect - caused by dispersion of light through the filler, fades over time
|Hollowness under skin as filler dissipates, until more filler is injected
|Rare side effects like infection or allergic reaction
|No permanent indentation or changes to the skin structure
This is a common concern for those considering cheek fillers. The short answer is - when administered properly and in moderation, cheek fillers do not permanently stretch out or damage the skin. However, there are some caveats to this.
If too much filler is injected into one area during a treatment, the sudden volume can overstretch the skin. Similarly, getting cheek filler injections too frequently without allowing the skin enough time to adjust in between can stress the skin and cause looseness or sagging over time.
Filler injections that are too superficial or too close to the surface of the skin can sometimes cause irregularities or lumpiness in the texture and appearance of the skin. Skill and experience of the injector plays a big role in avoiding this.
Some fillers are better suited for certain areas than others. Using a filler that is too viscous or heavy for the delicate cheek area can put unnecessary pressure on the skin if too much is injected.
An advantage of fillers over surgery is that there are no permanent changes to the face. If filler use is discontinued, the cheek area will gradually return to its original state as filler dissipates over time. The skin may temporarily loosen after being expanded, but it will recover and shrink back down without any lasting stretching or sagging.
Interestingly, some dermal fillers contain ingredients that may stimulate collagen production and actually provide mild skin tightening effects. However, skin tightening is not the primary purpose of cheek fillers - their main role is volumizing and contouring the cheek area.
For significant skin tightening and lifting, options like Morpheus8 or Forma that specifically target and tighten deep tissue would be more effective than dermal fillers alone. Your provider can recommend appropriate standalone skin tightening treatments to complement your filler injections if needed.
There are several natural ways to improve skin elasticity and tightness without cosmetic procedures. Staying properly hydrated by drinking adequate water supports skin's elasticity and prevents it from losing tone and sagging, which can happen with dehydration.
Facial exercises like yoga facials and facial yoga can help strengthen the underlying facial muscles that lift the skin. Eating foods with healthy polyunsaturated fats like avocados, nuts, and fish can help maintain plumpness and suppleness in the skin.
Topical vitamin C stimulates collagen production to improve elasticity; vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, rose hips, and camu camu. Applying aloe vera topically provides polysaccharides and gibberellins that can enhance skin elasticity.
Consuming foods with cocoa flavanols, plant compounds found in dark chocolate, may help boost blood flow and protect skin cells against sun damage, thus preserving elasticity.
Consistent facial exercises can benefit sagging skin in some ways:
However, facial exercises alone cannot fully lift significant sagging. They are best paired with other anti-aging skin care practices for optimal results. Severely loose skin may still require procedures like surgery, laser skin tightening. But consistent facial exercise is a safe, cost-effective way to help temporarily improve mild sagging while nurturing healthier skin from within.
Some beneficial exercises to include are:
|Place fingers on forehead, gently glide outward across skin
|Smile broadly, lift cheeks towards eyes against resistance of fingers
|Tilt head back, press tongue to roof of mouth, flex jaw
|Lift chin, turn head side to side against hands for resistance
|Roll lips inward, stretch gently outwards, hold 5 seconds
Perform for about 5-10 minutes daily, combined with proper skin care and hydration, for gradually firmer and tighter skin. Be patient for results over weeks and months of consistent exercise.
Here are some tips for a basic skincare routine to help achieve healthy, glowing skin:
While cheek fillers don't themselves stretch the skin when properly performed, it's crucial to have an expert evaluation to determine if they are right for your particular goals and to ensure optimal, safe results.
Dr. Lanna Aesthetics, led by Dr. Lanna Cheuck, provides a range of safe, effective, and technologically advanced aesthetic services. These services include fillers, Botox, liquid facelifts, among others. Dr. Lanna and her team have performed over 10,000 successful aesthetic treatments and are known for their expertise in injectables and facial rejuvenation.
To determine if you could benefit from cheek fillers or another rejuvenating treatment, schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Lanna. Her years of experience and deep expertise will ensure you receive a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique facial anatomy and skin needs. Contact the clinic today to book your appointment!