Dermal fillers have been around for the last 16 years, and chances are, you know at least a handful of people who have had it injected into their cheek area — whether you realize it or not. Using filler along the cheekbone is about as versatile as a cosmetic procedure as can get, making it especially popular among first-time patients seeking filler across ages, races, and skin textures, because both the goals of patients and potential results that can be achieved are much more far-ranging than many think.
“Nearly everyone, really,” is a candidate for getting filler in the cheek area, says New York City-based board-certified plastic surgeon Dara Liotta, M.D., who explains that the procedure is also “good for general facial enhancement.”
Obviously, cheek filler can be used to, you know, make your cheeks look fuller. But that “general face enhancement” can include many other things, too, including smoothing away fine marionette lines, camouflaging an asymmetry, or strengthening a cheek contour. Read on to learn more about cheek filler, as well as what you can expect from the cosmetic procedure, including preparation to aftercare to cost.
What is cheek filler?
Cheek fillers are injections into the cheekbone area that can restore lost volume or more sharply define facial bone structure. According to Nowell Solish, M.D., a Toronto-based board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in dermal facial fillers, doctors most often use a hyaluronic acid-based filler in this prominent area because they are reversible and “easily adjustable” if too much or too little is used. Biostimulators are another category of dermal fillers that can be used on the cheekbone to improve projection. While not as common as hyaluronic acid fillers — they are irreversible and require multiple sessions to see results — their results last longer than their HA-based counterparts.
Dr. Liotta notes that injecting filler into different parts of the cheek can have different benefits. “When I place a little bit of filler at the higher cheekbone area, it can make it look like the light is hitting your cheek perfectly, like how contour makeup would look,” she says. But for those who might be losing volume or noticing deeper lines near their nose and mouth, a provider may inject at the larger part of your cheek.
Which type of filler is best for the cheek area?
Each dermal filler brand makes different lines of gooey, gel fillers that vary in thickness, meaning that different goals and subsections within the broad cheek area call for different types of filler, explains Dr. Solish. As previously mentioned, he uses hyaluronic acid fillers exclusively because of their reversibility, but alternates between specific products depending on how much volume, lift, or projection the patient needs and their skin texture.
“RHA 4 is an amazing [filler product] for people who have really thin skin and for when I want to add volume,” he says of the thicker formulation, while Restylane or Juvéderm Voluma are his go-to for lifting. Often, he’ll use a combination: “After I get the volume right, then I’ll take a little bit of the lifting one and put that in a few spots that I want to give a little more of a pop.”
Dr. Liotta favors Juvéderm Voluma, which she calls “the gold standard for cheek enhancement,” believing it to be the “thickest, most reproducible, long-lasting, and natural-looking filler” for the cheek. “When we’re using filler against the bone that we’re asking to act like bone, we want it to be most like the bone so it is digested,” she explains, and Voluma’s viscous, hyaluronic acid-based formula, fits the bill.
What goals can cheek filler address?
“With cheeks, there are different facial planes,” explains Heidi Goodarzi, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, California. “Cheeks are a broad area, so you can have multiple sections of the cheek that you can inject and it truly changes how your face looks. I think people’s cheeks are what defines a face.”
While placement and technique are crucial for all filler procedures, Dr. Solish believes it’s especially important for the cheekbone area. “It’s all about placement — in the right place, for the right person,” he tells Allure. “It’s about balancing each unique face.”
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