What is the Difference Between Filler and BOTOX®?
If you are wondering what the differences are between BOTOX® and fillers, don’t worry: you are not alone. I get this question every day, and people frequently confuse the terms “filler” and “BOTOX®”, thinking they are interchangeable, even though they are different treatments used to achieve different goals. That said, BOTOX® and filler are often used together to maximize an aesthetically pleasing, natural cosmetic result.
How many of you are tired of staring at your frown and forehead lines on Zoom meetings? Again, you aren’t alone. BOTOX® might be part of the solution you are looking for.
What is BOTOX®?
When we say BOTOX®, we’re referring to the “brand name” for a purified protein made from botulinum toxin. BOTOX® treatments relax the facial muscles that create wrinkles, resulting in a freshened, yet natural appearance. When performed by an experienced injector, your appearance after a BOTOX® injection is especially natural and beautiful, with a relaxed and pleasant facial expression!
It has been used safely in Canada and across the world for more than thirty years. BOTOX® injections are the most common aesthetic procedure performed worldwide. There are other brands of purified proteins made from botulinum toxin, including XEOMIN®, which achieve the same goals as BOTOX®.
BOTOX® And Blinds: A Helpful Comparison
When my patients ask, I give them the following analogy: you know those accordion blinds that open and close by pulling a string up and down? The more you pull the blinds up and down, the deeper the seams of the blinds become, until you can see those creases even when they are in the resting down position. The same concept applies to your facial muscles of expression.
For example, your forehead lines are created when you lift your brows up and down all day, just like pulling the blinds up and down all day, which creates rest lines that will remain even when you aren’t expressing — aka “rest wrinkles”. But if we can relax the repetitive movement all day of lifting up and down the brows (i.e. the blinds), then we can essentially stop our rest lines from forming, resulting in a smoother, more relaxed, and youthful appearance. This applies to other facial wrinkles as well, such as smiling, frowning, concentrating, chewing, and squinting.
How Often Should I Receive BOTOX® Injections?
BOTOX® naturally breaks down over three to six months, depending on the area it is injected into and how dynamic the muscle is. I encourage patients to maintain treatments regularly to preserve an ongoing wrinkle-free, relaxed look.
Why Trust BOTOX®?
Almost every day, my patients ask me how my own forehead got to be so smooth. Have I had BOTOX® treatments? Yes, of course!
I like to share my own personal experience with injectables, as it always makes my patients feel more comfortable and reassured: I started my BOTOX® injections shortly after I finished nursing my last child and have not stopped since. When I look back at my older photos, I see that I had rest lines starting to form. Now, 10 years later, my rest lines are gone, yet I feel like I still can express, move my face, and have a natural look without worrying!
What Does Filler Do?
So, if BOTOX® relaxes muscles of facial expressions, what does filler do?
Have you ever stood in front of the mirror and used your finger and thumb to pull the sides of your face up to see what you would look like with a lift? Filler can help you achieve a soft lift, without surgery, by lifting the facial sagginess that naturally occurs with aging.
What Is Filler, and Will It Help Me?
Filler is a clear, gel-like substance made of hyaluronic acid (HA), a sugar that normally occurs naturally in the dermal layer of the skin. Its role is to give your skin structural support. As your skin ages, there is a natural loss of hyaluronic acid. Filler is used to restore HA and lost volume, fill in deeper wrinkles and grooves, and subtly sculpt and reshape your face to look less tired, less saggy, and more youthful.
Many areas of the body can be treated with filler, including lifting and volumizing cheeks, improving jawline contouring, reducing the appearance of jowls, softening the under eye dark lines and circles, filling in the smiles and marionette creases, and adding volume to thin or uneven lips.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Filler?
The biggest hang-up patients have with filler is they are worried they will look over-filled. The goal with filler is always to look like you — and that’s why you want to trust experts to provide it!
I like to use the analogy of a slowly deflating balloon. If we use filler appropriately and distribute it in small quantities over areas that are slowly deflating, we can subtly re-inflate those areas. However, by no means do we ever want to over-pump large quantities of air into that balloon to make it look over-inflated. The same logic applies to your face — we want to slowly restore the volume loss, without ever over-inflating, for natural, youthful, and subtle results.
Ready to Look Younger, Naturally? Schedule Your Consultation Today
So, the next time you are on a Zoom meeting and want to erase those rest lines, or the next time you look in the mirror and lift your face up to see if you would like how you look better with less sagging, consider the treatments above as good options to achieve a more youthful, attractive, natural and rested appearance! If you’re interested in learning more about BOTOX®, filler, or which solutions could best make your skin look naturally youthful, schedule a consultation with one of our experts!