An Intro to the World’s Hottest Cosmetic Injectables

Young woman gets beauty facial injections in salon

Key Points

  • Several cosmetic injectables treat and prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Cosmetic injectables aren't for everyone, so don't think you're missing out if you decide not to try them.

  • Finding the right injection provider is essential to reduce the risk of adverse consequences of treatment.

No matter how much time and money people invest in their beauty routines, no one can escape the signs of aging. The appearance of the skin gives people's age away. As people age, their skin becomes thinner, saggy, and wrinkly. Cosmetic injectables offer many people a temporary escape from the lurking signs of aging to look younger for longer.

Many celebrities delay the aging process with cosmetic injectables to enhance the appearance of their face. If these facial enhancements help many A-list stars look young and alive on screen, they might be worth exploring when looking for anti-aging treatments.

Woman receives Botox injections between eyebrows

What Are Cosmetic Injectables?

Several cosmetic injectables are anti-aging treatments administered through injections. These minimally-invasive treatments temporarily reverse and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Some injectables eliminate fat, and some restore volume to the face.

Cosmetic procedures via injections sound scary and painful. Some cosmetic injectors apply topical numbing creams to the face to lessen the pain and discomfort from injections. If you faint at the sight of needles, you won't enjoy cosmetic injectables.

Cosmetic procedures aren't for everyone, but injectables are a promising way to maintain a youthful appearance without surgery.

What Are the Different Types of Cosmetic Injectables?

Not all cosmetic injectables are the same. Each type offers a different face enhancement treatment; some are pricier than others.

Knowing what they are, their ingredients, the benefits they offer, and their possible side effects are vital before opting for one of them.

There are many cosmetic injectables, but the most popular ones include Botox® and dermal fillers.

What Is Botox® and What Is It Made Of?

You've probably heard of Botox®, one of the most popular cosmetic injectables on the cosmetic procedure market.

Botox® injections are prescription drugs made from botulinum toxin type A. A bacteria called Clostridium botulinum produces this dangerous toxin. This bacteria is ubiquitous in many parts of the environment, including soil and water sediments.

How Does Botox® Work?

Botox® has several medical and cosmetic uses. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Botox® Cosmetic to smooth moderate to severe frown lines, forehead lines, and crow's feet in adults.

Botox® works by blocking nerves to temporarily paralyze targeted facial muscles to stop them from contracting and forming wrinkles on the face.

Is Botox® Safe?

The thought of people paying hundreds of dollars to inject a bacteria-derived toxin into their faces may be pretty shocking. Believe it or not, using tiny amounts of this toxin is safe.

Botox® injections are safe only when licensed medical professionals like physicians apply the correct small doses of the formula.

Patient receives injectables during session

Does Botox® Cause Side Effects?

Like all cosmetic procedures, Botox® has its potential risks and side effects. They are usually temporary and subside on their own. Common side effects of Botox® include swelling, bruising, redness, and mild pain at the injection site.

Other reactions include droopy eyelids, headaches, and flu-like symptoms. The side effects vary depending on the individual and the condition the Botox injections treat.

How Long Do the Effects of Botox® Last?

The effects of Botox® typically last about three to six months. The exact time depends on the person. For some people, it lasts a shorter time, especially for first-timers.

What Are Dermal Fillers and What Are They Made Of?

Dermal fillers are minimally-invasive injectable treatments that smooth or fill in lines and wrinkles on many areas of the face. They also improve acne scars on certain parts of the face and plump the lips.

These gel-like injectables consist of natural or synthetic substances. There are many different types of dermal fillers with different brand names, including absorbable and non-absorbable fillers. Your body naturally and gradually metabolizes absorbable fillers, while non-absorbable or "permanent" fillers stay in your body. Removing permanent fillers is hard; people usually need surgery to get them out.

Many fillers contain hyaluronic acid — a humectant naturally found in the body that plumps the skin. Hyaluronic acid fillers dissolve in the body.

Besides hyaluronic acid fillers, other common cosmetic injections include:

  • Calcium hydroxylapatite is a mineral present in teeth and bones. Calcium hydroxylapatite injections fill in wrinkles on the face or the back of the hand, treat moderate to severe folds and lines on the face, and restore volume to different parts of the face.

  • Polyalkylimide is a synthetic, semi-permanent filler that corrects deep wrinkles and scars on the face.

  • Poly-L-lactic acid is a synthetic, absorbable material that stimulates the body's collagen production to replenish lost volume in the face. The FDA also approved these fillers to correct the appearance of nasolabial folds.

  • Polymethylmethacrylate microspheres (PMMA) are a non-absorbable, "permanent" substance. These fillers promote the skin's collagen production. They improve moderate folds and acne scars and replenish volume.

You can find these fillers under different brand names. The FDA has approved certain dermal fillers to treat specific areas on the face in adults over the age of 21. People use fillers on various regions of the face, but not all those uses are FDA approved.

Since not all dermal fillers or their off-label uses are FDA approved, no one guarantees that all fillers are safe and effective for what they're trying to treat. Check out the FDA's approved uses of dermal fillers.

Containers and syringe of Botox

Are Dermal Fillers Safe?

Dermal fillers are safe when administered by a licensed and experienced healthcare professional. Although they're safe, they aren't free of risks. No matter how knowledgeable, skillful, or experienced your provider is, dermal fillers may not always meet your expectations.

Apart from running the risk of not liking the results, there are side effects you should consider before deciding to get dermal fillers.

What Are the Side Effects of Dermal Fillers?

Many side effects of dermal fillers are like those of Botox®. After receiving dermal fillers, patients may experience temporary pain, redness, swelling, itching, and bruising at the injection area.

There are also more adverse but rare side effects you should discuss with your provider.

How Long Do Dermal Filler Results Last?

The longevity of dermal filler results varies depending on how quickly your body absorbs the filler. It also depends on the type of filler and the areas receiving treatment. Some dermal fillers last months while others last years.

Hyaluronic acid fillers last from six to 12 months. Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers may last up to 18 months. Polylactic acid fillers can last up to two years. The effects of PMMA fillers can last up to five years.

You may need multiple filler syringes to achieve your desired result. You may also need maintenance treatments to keep your results.

Botox is injected into the forehead of a patient

What Is the Best Age To Get Cosmetic Injectables?

The best age to get cosmetic injectables like Botox® or dermal fillers is in your mid-20s. Around the age of 25, collagen production slows down, which leads to fine lines and wrinkles. Botox® and dermal fillers help treat the signs of aging and delay those early signs of maturing skin.

There's no right time to start using cosmetic injectables. Several adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s get in on these treatments.

Where Can You Get Cosmetic Injections?

Before getting your cosmetic injections, do your research. There are several shady, unqualified people administering cosmetic injections illegally. Choosing an unqualified person may lead to adverse consequences, especially if they inject treatments in the wrong place or don't give you the right dose.

Ensure you get your cosmetic injections from an experienced and board-certified physician, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon. In some states, registered nurses and physician assistants can also administer Botox® under a licensed doctor's supervision.

Check your state's requirements on who can prescribe and administer cosmetic injections. Some states have stricter qualifications for administering facial rejuvenation injections. Make sure your injector's certifications comply with your state's Botox® laws and regulations.

Stay away from Botox® parties; they're illegal in some states. It is safer to administer Botox® or dermal fillers in a clean medical setting with licensed physicians and medical staff. Going to Botox® parties puts you at risk of receiving unapproved injections by unqualified providers. It also increases your chances of experiencing side effects. You may also end up with facial deformities or a botched appearance.

When searching for the right provider, don't just settle for the first medical spa that comes across your search. Look for reputable cosmetic centers owned and run by licensed and experienced physicians.

Woman receives injectables in upper lip

Scroll through their website to see their patient testimonials, services they offer, doctor's credentials, and contact information. Avoid cosmetic centers or clinics that don't have a website or have very little information. Look at the number of stars and read their Google business profile reviews.

It's a red flag if the office doesn't look like a clean, sterile environment. Other red flags include no proof of medical license and the doctor failing to review your medical history during the first consultation.

If the prices are too frugal, it's too good to be true. Cosmetic injections aren't cheap, so be very wary of places that ask for meager amounts of money for cosmetic services. It's always good to google the provider and verify their experience/qualifications to perform cosmetic procedures.

Ensure they can answer all your questions about the specific injections they use. If you feel their answers are too vague or leave you confused, consider getting a different provider.

If you still can't decide on a provider, ask your primary care doctor to recommend a Botox® or dermal filler provider.

Are Cosmetic Injections Right for You?

Cosmetic injections are no joke; it's a beautifying treatment to take seriously. Deciding to try out cosmetic injections is a super personal decision. It's important not to let others' opinions influence and dictate what to put in your body. Although cosmetic procedures can make a tremendous difference in your appearance, they might not always make you look or feel better.

Some people regret cosmetic injections and are happier with how they looked before. Others love their new appearance after receiving cosmetic treatments. No matter the reason, never get Botox®, dermal fillers, or any other cosmetic procedure to fit unrealistic beauty standards; it's not worth it.

When opting for a cosmetic treatment, ensure you do it for yourself and no one else. Don't do it to please others. Before deciding on an aesthetic procedure, discuss its risks and benefits with your doctor. Make sure they thoroughly explain what you can expect before, during, and after your procedure. Ask any questions you have about the treatment to know all the details about your injection session.

If your injection provider doesn't clear up all your doubts about the procedure and is hard selling their cosmetic services, look for another doctor.

Woman points to wrinkles on face during consultation

Cosmetic Injectables: Don't Overdo It

Although you want to prevent and reduce wrinkles, you don't want to make it evident by overdoing injectable treatments. Repeating cosmetic procedures with injectables may gradually change the natural appearance of your face.

Every cosmetic injection you get adds up and may lead to an unnatural or fake look over time. Big, plump lips aren't for everyone. Some people who overfill their lips end up with duck lips.

Why Should You Do Your Cosmetic Procedure Homework?

You are responsible for doing cosmetic enhancement homework inside and outside the doctor's office. Don't trust all Botox® or filler injectors. Remember that your time, money, and face are at risk.

Researching cosmetic injectables and discussing the treatment with a licensed injection provider ensures you're prepared to make the best decision for your face and skin.

If cosmetic injections are not for you, consider other anti-aging methods. There are many skin care products like retinol to improve the appearance of your face.

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