Feb 20, 2023

What are Restylane fillers? How long does Restylane last? A Facial Plastic Surgeon answers your Restylane related questions

Your Restylane questions, answered by an expert.

Last week, we asked you for questions about fillers. And y'all had a ton of them! In this article, we'll be answering some of your questions about the popular line of facial fillers called Restylane. 

To get you the best information available, we spoke with Dr. Ashley Guthrie, a fellowship-trained Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon based in Brentwood, Tennessee. She is an expert cosmetic injector, offering neurotoxins, fillers, and more. You can find her answers to your questions below.

What are Restylane fillers?

Heather asks: What even is Restylane? It's like Botox, right?

Dr. Guthrie's answer: Restylane is a product line of hyaluronic acid fillers made by the company Galderma. There is a whole profile of Restylane fillers, including Restylane-L, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Kysse, Restylane Refyne, Restylane Defyne, Restylane Silk, Restylane Contour. They each have their role in different areas of the face.

Restylane is hyaluronic acid-based filler. Hyaluronic acid is a skin care ingredient, as well as a naturally occuring substance within our skin. It is a substance meant to "fill" or "plump" the area of injection. It attracts water, which helps our skin stay hydrated. It is made of the same molecules that are naturally found in our skin, which is why these fillers rarely cause any type reaction when injected. 

Botox is a neurotoxin used to prevent the injected muscles from contracting, thereby preventing certain expressions and decreasing wrinkles. These are two very different things that work in completely different manners.  Restylane does nothing to prevent muscle movement. As with other fillers, it adds volume to the area injected.

How long does Restylane last?

Amy asks: I'm not looking for an injectable that I'll have to get redone all the time. How long does Restylane last?

Dr. Guthrie's answer: Most Restylane products last for about 1 year. There are some people whose bodies break down the filler more quickly, meaning that they may need to get filler more frequently. It depends on the individual.

How much does Restylane cost?

June asks: I've heard that it costs a ton of money to get fillers (like Restylane), and that insurance will never pay for it, no matter what. Why is it so expensive?

Dr. Guthrie's answer: There are many different types of Restylane filler, and the type used depends on the target area of injection. They vary in their density and firmness, meaning that some are softer, more fluid consistencies and some are firmer in consistency. 

Some Restylane fillers are more expensive than others. A full syringe, or 1 ml of filler, generally costs between $700-800.These products are made in a very unique manner, as they are made from non-animal derived hyaluronic acid, mimicking the hyaluronic acid naturally found in our skin.

Restylane is covered by insurance only for very select reasons, none of which are facial cosmetic injections. It can sometimes be covered when it is used in patients with vocal cord paralysis.

How does Restylane work and how quickly does it work? 

Crystal asks: How quickly does this treatment work? Like can I look fab when I get back if I run out of my office and get it done during lunch? And beyond that, how does it work, like what is going on in my skin when it gets injected?

Dr. Guthrie's answer: Restylane works by "filling" or replacing lost volume, as well as stimulating collagen production. It helps to lift the skin and smooth wrinkles, typically giving a more youthful look. Popular places to inject Restylane are the cheeks, lips, nasolabial folds, and chin.

The results of Restylane are immediately apparent, but there is usually some temporary swelling which can last a few days. It takes about 2 weeks for the filler to completely "settle" into the tissue it was injected into.

How can you be cost effective when you want to get Restylane? 

Jennifer asks: Look, I'm not trying to spend a crazy amount of money, but I've heard hyaluronic acid fillers can be really helpful for smile lines. My smile lines are deep, and they do not make me smile! How can I be cost effective in pursuing this treatment and not spend more money than I need to? 

Dr. Guthrie's answer: Whenever considering facial filler injections, it is best to find an experienced, competent injector- preferably a board-certified physician. This should be focused on more heavily than the cost, as there are complications that can occur with filler injections and you want to make sure you are in the hands of someone who knows how to manage them. In terms of cost, some Restylane-L does come in a 1/2 syringe option, which is typically less expensive than a full syringe. This can help you get an idea if you like the filler before committing to a full syringe.

Will Restylane make you bleed?

Jess asks: I faint when I see blood. But also I want fillers. Help! How much bleeding is involved?

Dr. Guthrie's answer: There is very little, if any bleeding, with Restylane injections. There is a risk of temporary bruising, which occurs most frequently in the lips.

What is Restylane best for?

Gia asks: Where's the best place on the face to get a Restylane injection?

Dr. Guthrie's answer: Restylane products can be used for almost any area of the face- it is important to choose the right form of Restylane for the particular area of interest. For example, Restylane Lyft is a firmer filler which is great for highlighting the cheek bones, chin, and jaw. However, for the lips, you would want to choose a softer filler such as Restylane Kysse.  Restylane can be used in other areas such as the earlobes and hands, as well.

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