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Dermal Fillers: not just for lip augmentation

by Kristin Leitch |

Okay, we all know that lip augmentation requires fillers, but where else are they useful?

To start, let's discuss what dermal fillers are exactly. Semi-permanent fillers, which have been approved by the FDA for over 20 years now, are made of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring polysaccharide that is already in our skin. These molecules are bound to a gel. This binding of the two molecules is what makes each brand of filler different. They have patented chain linking to create the best result possible. 

We use Juvederm products exclusively at HeLa. These products use Vycross technology to provide the most natural and long lasting results. Within the Juvederm line, there are 7 different types of fillers: Volite, Volbella, Volift, Voluma, Volux, Ultra, and Ultra plus.

Each filler has different characteristics:

  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA) concentration (how puffy it is)
  • Elasticity (how easily it moves and stretches)
  • Cohesivity (how firm it is)

This is SO important when choosing your filler. You definitely don't want something in your lips that we would use for cheekbones. For example, for lips, if you want a pout, we'll need lots of HA, we'll want it to stretch and move with our mouth, which means high elasticity, and you want it soft and supple, meaning low cohesivity. For cheekbones we want structure, therefore low HA, low elasticity and high cohesively. 

When we choose a “softer” product, for the lips for example, your body is able to breakdown and metabolize the filler rather quickly. That is why areas like lips and tear troughs last 4-9 months. In areas were we are trying to mimic bone, the filler is dense and can last up to 2 years. 

Where do most of our clients benefit from fillers?

Believe it or not, most of our filler clients do not opt for lip augmentation. Dr. Savoie and I break it down into this question; are you looking for beautification or rejuvenation? Most are looking for rejuvenation, or as we like to say “positive aging.”

Once the client answers the question, we then treat based on our main area of concern (under eye, double chin or around the mouth) and prepare our suggestions based on that. 

We treat FOUNDATION first! 

I like to describe foundation as this: when you have a crack in the paint, treating the foundation is like treating the structure of the wall behind it. Most people will not notice a major change, but your paint is no longer cracking. Two foundation areas to treat are the cheekbones and the jawline. By doing this, we are reinforcing the loose ligaments and fat pads that have begun to shrink and fall with gravity. The results are phenomenal, and is Dr. Savoie's favourite procedure. We call it the 4 point lift. The results restore volume to cheek area, lift the brow, address under eye sagging, and lower face jewels and marionette lines. The outcome is really quite remarkable. Be prepared for 4 syringes. Most of the time, this will do the trick. The technique is low-risk, as it avoids major facial arteries and nerve bundles and has a low chance of bleeding/bruising.

If the client is looking for more specific areas, we treat using CONTOURING. Contouring addresses the area itself, injecting nasolabial folds or marionette lines, chin, jaw, or temples. 

Lastly, we treat REFINEMENT. Refinement is for those that would like tear troughs and lips augmented as well. These techniques are beautiful and result in natural enhancement that is meant to look natural in the end. Be prepared that if you want all three  (foundation, contour and refinement) it could take up to 10-12 syringes of filler. We have bundle packages in place to make it more affordable. 

What if you are not looking for positive aging but just beautification?

That is much easier! This I find fun to do because we are not trying to treat anything specific. It is in my opinion that cheekbone, jaw, and lip enhancements look really beautiful and add major appeal to the face. We call our technique for cheekbones “top model.” Think of it as a semi-permanent contouring of the cheekbones; it instantly slims the face and gives that under cheekbone shadow that makeup artists use as an illusion. 

Jawline contouring does the same by slimming the lower face, elongating the chin and giving that cut look.

And lips? well we all know what a subtle lip enhancement can do. Cheekbones require 1-2 syringes, jawline 1-2 and lips use 1 syringe. 

4 syringe technique used for beautification


We charge a fee of $599 per syringe when you buy just one, say for example, if you're only doing your lips. 

If you are looking at a treatment plan, the pricing is different. The 4-point lift (or cheek jawline beautification) is $1999 a savings of $900. If you require 6, the price is $2099 a savings of $1500.  

Why is investing in fillers better than getting a facelift?

This is a question we challenge all the time. There are definitely many times during a consultation that we suggest to do just that. Fillers are no way to be used in lieu of a total facelift. If a patient's main concerns are eyelid drooping, under eye bags that are complicated or lower face jowls, then absolutely, a surgical intervention should be considered. A facelift in the Ottawa region will cost roughly between 12-16k. There is also the downtime, preparation, and risk of surgery. 

Fillers are so remarkable, because you can get them done, and go meet your friends for coffee or shopping right after. There is no downtime required. In 2019 dermal fillers were in the top requested non-surgical aesthetic procedure because of their easy accessibility, low-risk and positive results!

As always, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out!