Filler – how much do I need?
It shapes, it sculpts, it smooths – it seems there isn’t much filler can’t do. The injectable has been around for more than 15 years, but it’s only recently that we started to embrace its many cosmetic uses.
Today, more of us are fluent in what it does and where we can use it than ever. But filler still has its mysteries. Once you’ve decided that you want filler, the real question is: how much do I need? While this obviously differs from patient to patient (and area to area) we spoke to Dr Kamal Al Naboulsi, of Medhills Medical Center to give you a rough idea.
How much filler do I need?
Before we get into it, we need a quick breakdown of what we’re talking about. Filler is typically measured in syringes, with each syringe holding one millilitre – or 1ml – of product. More product equals more dramatic results. By that logic, the more smoothing or shaping you’re looking to achieve, the more product you need – but some areas may require less than you expect…
Lips – 1ml to 2ml
Looking for plumper, softer lips? Dr Kamal recommends using 1ml – to begin with, at least. If you still want to add more volume after three to four weeks, that’s when he recommends adding more. “If you want bigger, fluffier-looking lips, and you currently have very thin lips, it’s unrealistic to think you’ll get them in just one session,” he explains. “This is the safest way to do it – and will guarantee the most natural results.”
Jaw and chin – 2ml to 5ml
The jaw and chin are prominent areas, so it’s inevitable that they call for a considerable amount of filler. While the chin alone needs slightly less – usually around 2ml – Dr Kamal prefers to combine the jaw with the chin for a more even result. “I always start with the chin angle, then straighten the whole thing,” he says, with the ‘whole thing’ requiring somewhere between 3ml and 5ml.
Cheeks – 2ml to 6ml
“The cheeks are one of the most important parts of your face,” says Dr Kamal. “If you fill this area, you lift the entire thing.” Unsurprisingly, this takes more than one syringe to achieve. Whether you’re looking to add volume, smooth wrinkles, or improve symmetry, the average patient would receive between 2ml and 6ml in total, depending on the laxity of your skin.
Nose – 1ml
If you’re looking to lift the tip or straighten out a small bump, nose filler is a quick and effective alternative to full surgery. And the best part? It doesn’t require that much filler. “While it depends on how much we are correcting, generally, we don’t use more than 1ml for this.”
Forehead – 1ml to 2ml
Once wrinkles are set into your resting expression, there’s very little Botox can do to help. That’s where filler comes in – especially in the forehead. Dr Kamal recommends 1ml to 2ml for smoothing this area.
Under-eyes – 1ml to 2ml
Our under-eyes have a habit of hollowing and thinning with age, which is usually the cause of dark circles. Around 1ml to 2ml of filler (sometimes called ‘tear-trough filler’) can be used to plump up and brighten the area. However, it does require slightly more care than other spots, which is why Dr Kamal recommends using a cannula over a needle. Not only can it inject “deeper”, but it also minimises bruising and swelling.
Nasolabial folds – 1ml
Call them nasolabial folds, smile lines, or laugh lines, these indents run from the corner of your nose to the corner of your mouth. They always appear when you laugh (hence the nickname) but if they’ve settled in so deeply that they’re impacting your confidence, around 1ml of filler can be used to smooth out the area.
Neck or décolletage – 1ml to 2ml
A lot of us are guilty of neglecting our neck and chest when it comes to skincare and SPF, so it’s often one of the first places to show signs of aging. That’s what makes it one of Dr Kamal’s favourite spots to treat, using a minimum of 1ml and a maximum of 2ml to rejuvenate any thinning, crepey skin.
Buttocks – 100ml to 200ml
Now we’re in the big leagues. The buttocks are one of the biggest surface areas you can tackle with filler and require a considerable amount of product to get the job done. Dr Kamal rarely uses less than 100ml per session, but occasionally goes up to 200ml depending on how much shaping is required. However, he notes that this depends on the type of filler. “This is the case for hyaluronic acid filler,” he explains. “However, if you use Sculptra” (an injectable poly-L-lactic acid) “you should expect to come back for more than one session.”
Abdomen – 100ml+
More definition is possible with abdomen filler, with Dr Kamal using it to sculpt abs. Again, the amount used varies from case-to-case, but it usually starts from 100ml of product.
Hands – 2ml to 12ml
Surprise, surprise: the amount of filler injected into hands is again dependent on the patient. “We use filler to hydrate hands with thinning, wrinkling skin,” says Dr Kamal. So, obviously, the more significant your concern, the more product you’ll need. This tends to start from 1ml of moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid filler in each hand but can go up to 12ml for both.
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