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Do Cheek Fillers Stretch Skin? 

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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.

What Are Cheek Fillers and How Do They Work?

cheek filler treatment

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 TypeDescription
Hyaluronic acid fillersNaturally occurring substance in the skin, examples are Juvederm and Restylane
Calcium hydroxylapatite fillersNaturally occurring mineral found in bones and teeth, example is Radiesse
Poly-L-lactic acidStimulates collagen production, example is Sculptra
Autologous fat injectionsUses patient's own harvested fat cells

How Hyaluronic Acid Helps Skin Hydration and Youthfulness

Hyaluronic acid is an important substance found naturally in our skin that helps maintain hydration, plumpness and elasticity. Here’s how it works:

  • It has excellent water-binding properties, capable of holding up to 1000 times its weight in water.
  • It forms a protective moisture barrier on the skin, acting as a sponge that absorbs and locks in moisture.
  • The added hydration plumps up the skin, smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Hyaluronic acid provides lubrication between skin cells, enhancing elasticity.
  • It stimulates skin cell metabolism and collagen synthesis for younger-looking skin.
  • As we age, hyaluronic acid levels in the skin naturally decline. Replenishing it topically restores hydration and youthfulness.
  • Using skincare products with hyaluronic acid can hydrate, soften and improve moisture retention in the skin for a more radiant, glowing appearance.

What Are the Effects of Cheek Fillers on Skin?

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 EffectsLong Term Effects
Swelling, bruising, redness around the injection site - resolves in 1-2 weeksIf overfilled, can cause loose, sagging skin over time from repeated stretching
Tenderness and discomfort at the injection point - usually goes away within a few daysLumpiness, 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 timeHollowness under skin as filler dissipates, until more filler is injected
Rare side effects like infection or allergic reactionNo permanent indentation or changes to the skin structure

Do Cheek Fillers Stretch Out the Skin?

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.

Overfilling and Repeated Treatments

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.

Improper Injection Technique

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.

Using the Wrong Filler

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. 

Discontinued Use

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.

Can Cheek Fillers Tighten Skin?

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.

Best Skin Tightening Procedures for Youthful Skin

There are several nonsurgical options available specific for tightening and rejuvenating skin:

  • Morpheus8 uses microneedling with radiofrequency to deliver targeted heating into the deeper dermis and subcutaneous fat. This stimulates collagen production for gradual tightening over weeks. Popular for treating wrinkles and sagging skin on the face and body.
  • FaceTite uses radiofrequency assisted lipolysis to deliver heat below the skin's surface to tighten and contour sagging facial skin. Fat is also melted and skin tightened from inside out. Moderate downtime but excellent results.
  • Radiofrequency (RF) treatments use electromagnetic energy to heat skin tissue, stimulating collagen for tightening effects. Brands like Thermage and Forma are popular. 
  • Ultrasound skin tightening like Ultherapy is a popular non-surgical alternative to facelift. It uses focused ultrasound waves directed deep into the skin to lift and tighten facial tissues.
  • Laser skin tightening like CO2 lasers and Fraxel heat up the dermis, targeting water within skin cells. This stimulates new collagen growth for tightened skin over time. Requires several treatments.
  • Intense pulsed light (IPL) uses different wavelengths of light to target water and heat the dermis. Encourages new collagen formation for gradual tightening effects. Requires multiple treatments.

Natural Ways to Tighten Skin and Restore Elasticity

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. 

How Facial Exercises Benefit Sagging Skin

Consistent facial exercises can benefit sagging skin in some ways:

  1. Strengthens and tones underlying facial muscles, which provide a lifting effect
  2. Improves blood circulation to skin, bringing oxygen and nutrients that support elasticity
  3. Massage from exercises helps lymph drainage, reducing puffiness
  4. Some exercises specifically target saggy areas like jowls, jawline and neck
  5. No risk of adverse effects unlike invasive procedures
  6. Helps skin better withstand gravity and loss of collagen/elastin over time
  7. Promotes thicker, firmer skin when combined with sufficient hydration and a healthy diet.

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:

ExerciseDescription
Forehead smoothersPlace fingers on forehead, gently glide outward across skin
Cheek liftersSmile broadly, lift cheeks towards eyes against resistance of fingers
Jawline sculptorsTilt head back, press tongue to roof of mouth, flex jaw
Neck tightenersLift chin, turn head side to side against hands for resistance
Lip pullersRoll 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.

What's a Good Skincare Routine for Healthy and Glowing Skin?

Here are some tips for a basic skincare routine to help achieve healthy, glowing skin:

  1. Cleanse morning and evening to remove dirt, oil and impurities from skin. Use a gentle cleanser suitable for your skin type.
  2. Follow cleansing with an alcohol-free toner to help restore skin's pH balance and clear any remaining residue.
  3. Apply antioxidant serum in the mornings containing ingredients like vitamin C to combat free radicals and boost collagen production.
  4. Follow with an SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum sunscreen every morning to protect skin from sun damage, the number one cause of visible aging. Reapply every 2 hours if outdoors.
  5. In the evenings, use a moisturizing cream that contains hyaluronic acid or ceramides to hydrate and strengthen skin's barrier.
  6. Exfoliate 2-3 times per week to slough off dead skin cells and reveal fresh new skin underneath. A chemical exfoliant or gentle scrub works.
  7. Use overnight masks or serums containing retinol 2-3 nights per week to increase cell turnover for brighter, smoother skin.
  8. Drink at least eight 8 oz glasses of water daily and eat antioxidant and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables for skin that glows from within!

Consult an Expert for Your Individual Needs

cheek filler results

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!

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