Cheek fillers - everything you need to know
One of the most natural effects of maturing is the loss of volume in your cheeks and this can change your entire face shape. Cheek fillers are used to replace this youthful volume and reclaim definition, but are they right for you?
In this article:
Duration of results
6 to 18 months
Back to work
Full recovery time
2,550 SAR to 3,600 SAR
OTC pain relief
What are cheek fillers?
Cheek fillers are similar to the dermal fillers used to add volume to lips or redefine the shape of a chin.
Most fillers are injected into an area of the face to increase plumpness. Cheek fillers can have the effect of smoothing the cheeks of lines and wrinkles and are used by many who are concerned by signs of aging.
With aging there is a loss of volume in the upper cheeks which can result in sagging and the appearance of nasolabial folds.
For those who have lost a lot of weight because of diet or bariatric surgery, they may lose volume in their cheeks and the support for the face.
Filler can also be used to contour the face for a desired shape.
How do cheek fillers work?
Cheek fillers add volume to the middle layer of skin – the dermis, which sits beneath the outer epidermis – to create a smooth cheekbone exaggeration.
The science behind it
Most cheek fillers use an injection of hyaluronic acid – a sugar naturally present in skin and cartilage – in gel form.
- Calcium hydroxylapatite – a mineral found in teeth and bones.
- Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) – a biodegradable polymer also used in dissolvable stitches.
- Polymethylmethacrylate beads (PMMA microspheres) – tiny beads often used in bone cement (the substance used to bond two things together in orthodontics and joint replacement surgery).
Before the treatment
Use our clinic locator/listings to find an experienced and qualified clinician to ensure a good result. They’ll advise on what to do before your treatment, such as avoiding alcohol and blood-thinning medications.
During the treatment
Your practitioner will look at your face to check its natural structure. They will apply numbing cream to decrease any discomfort and make the procedure more comfortable. Then they will:
- Use a marker to show where filler needs to be applied.
- Slowly inject the filler. You’ll probably feel the expansion pressure a little but it shouldn’t be painful.
- Remove the needle and massage your face.
- Repeat the process on the other cheek.
A little swelling and bruising are common. You’ll probably be advised to avoid exertion and alcohol for a couple of days. You should also avoid facials, tight goggles or masks for around five days, and dental treatment for a few weeks. If you do get noticeable bruising, using arnica cream or gel can be helpful to reduce the discoloration but it should calm down in the following few days.
Are cheek fillers permanent? Plus other things you need to know
So how long do cheek fillers last, how much do they cost and how do they compare with alternative treatments?
Are cheek fillers permanent?
Not usually, most fillers usually dissolve in six to 18 months, depending on the individual. It’s likely you’ll need them topped up to maintain the look. Lesser used PMMA microspheres could last five years or longer.
How much do cheek fillers cost?
You can expect to pay between 2,550 SAR to 3,600 SAR.
How can I find cheek fillers near me?
Find treatments near you with our clinic locator and listings.
If you’re not sure whether fillers are right for you, there are a few other things you can try, including:
Contouring is a good, non-surgical alternative to cheek fillers. It’s where you can use makeup in darker and lighter shades to create the illusion of more defined cheek bones. It takes time to master and apply each day but can be very effective at creating the illusion of plumper cheeks.
There are a whole range of skincare products developed to firm and plump your skin – without any needles in sight. Look out for serums formulated with hyaluronic acid structures which are designed to add volume. You’ll need to use these products every day to see results but they won’t be as immediate or noticeable as the differences made from having filler injected.
A thread lift is an invasive procedure where a temporary suture is used to subtly lift the cheeks – creating a tighter and more defined face shape. Overtime, the threads dissolve into your blood stream, helping to stimulate the production of collagen. The results can last for up to three years but treatment is more expensive than fillers, costing around 8,100 SAR in Saudi Arabia.
Botox injections help to alleviate wrinkles and smooth skin by freezing the muscles rather than plumping the underlayer of skin. You can have Botox around the eyes, in your forehead and lips to fill out any unwanted lines but it won’t give you the same plumpness as filler. Botox is in a similar price range to fillers, it costs around 42 SAR per unit, and you’ll need several units depending on the area being treated. It also needs to be topped up every three to six months.
Cheek filler facts
- Not all cheek fillers are appropriate for vegans. Some contain ingredients from chickens or cows.
- Doctors use hyaluronic acid to treat joint pain. It has also been used in the treatment of cystitis and bladder pain, and may help in healing after tooth extraction.
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