While I’ve been a die-hard fan of Botox since my late 20s, but the idea of cheek filler always scared me. I envisioned these rounded cheeks that didn’t suit my face shape, that obvious “filler” look seen in magazine spreads about stars who look half their age.
The reality though is that cheek filler is as intense as you want it to be. If you want big, juicy cheeks – you can have them. But if what you’re after is a more subtle look, that’s easily achieved – if you visit the right clinic. I went to Ageless Clinics in Bondi Junction, Sydney, and saw Dr. Jeremy Cumpston – well-known among beauty editors for his natural approach and years of experience.
Cheek filler is a form of dermal filler where gel-like substances made of cross-linked sugar molecules that are injected under the skin to add volume and structure to the face. They’re often used to create a more youthful look – basically, as we age we lose volume in our face due to lower collagen production. Cheek filler is a way to combat that volume loss.
Who Should Get Cheek Filler?
I decided to get cheek filler as I noticed my face becoming slimmer and slimmer as I aged – where once I had quite an oval-shaped face, in my 30s it started to look elongated with some sagging around my jawline. I didn’t like the look, so when I visited Ageless Clinics one suggestion was building volume on my cheeks with cheek filler, to lift the skin a little and add structure where the volume loss was occurring.
You can get cheek filler in your 20s if you like, but it’s usually something people start in their 30s as collagen production plummets and they notice this loss of volume in the face.
What Is The Injection Process Like?
I won’t lie to you – cheek filler is uncomfortable, sometimes painful. I was, however, expecting it to be worse. Basically, Dr. Jeremy went in with anaesthetic, which stings (as all anaesthetic injections do). From there, the filler is injected across several areas on the upper cheek.
This is the uncomfortable part – while I didn’t find it painful to have the filler injected into my face, I could feel it going in under the skin, which is a very strange sensation and not an entirely pleasant one. You do find yourself gripping the chair waiting for it to be over. Here is a video of me getting cheek filler, if you can handle it.
While the actual injections didn’t really hurt, the after pain isn’t fun. Expect soreness in the area for around a week, sometimes a bit more, as your face adjusts to the new filler and recovers from the process. It’s not sharp pain or even intense aching, but it’s definitely a little sore and god help you if you bump cheeks with someone else (OW!).
My cheeks were a little swollen for a week or two, then settled. After that my cheek filler wasn’t painful, but I do feel like lying on my side with my face on my harder, memory foam pillow is more uncomfortable than it used to be? Which is strange, but that’s been my experience.
What Is The Recovery Process?
For me, there was no down-time after my cheek filler. I had immediate results (and they were GREAT) and while my face was a little sore, I was able to head off to brunch and a dinner party that day, easy.
Like I said, my cheeks were swollen for a couple of weeks and hurt if I bumped them while kissing someone on the cheek or whatever for a couple of weeks, too. It’s also quite difficult to wash your face if you’re rough with it usually – ideally you don’t massage the area, which you wouldn’t want to do anyway because it hurts to!
You’re encouraged not to do hard exercise for the first 24-48 hours, to sleep on your back the first night after you get the treatment, and to not get facials for 2 weeks, either, as the massaging component is not encouraged. You’re also asked to avoid active skincare like retinol and AHAs for around a week and to avoid makeup for 24 hours, as it may cause infection. Finally, don’t ice the area – you want good blood flow!
Aside from these precautions, it’s very easy to get cheek filler during your lunch break and head off back to work, really. You can get minor swelling and bruising but usually nothing too intense, I had barely any swelling and no bruising, for example.
Here’s my before and after:
How Long Does Cheek Filler Last?
Cheek filler can last up to 12 months, sometimes longer, but you’ll have to go back to Ageless Clinics for a review 4 weeks after your first treatment. This is to ensure the filler has the desired result, as after 4 weeks most swelling should have reduced. It’s during this review that your doctor may add more filler if the end result isn’t what you wanted, but after that the finished appearance will last you around a year, as the cheek filler slowly dissolves – it is, after all, made up of sugar molecules!
Because it’s made of sugar molecules, you can expect this dissolving process to occur faster if you regularly do hard exercise, or sometimes if your body just metabolises the molecules faster than other bodies.
Prices for cheek filler are obviously going to vary from clinic to clinic, but if you visit Ageless Clinics, prices start at $650 and the amount required varies per individual.
YES! I’m such a cheek filler convert. I love the subtle lifting effect it gives my face, adding volume to the area and making me feel refreshed, not different features-wise. I didn’t find the pain or after-pain too bad, so I’ll definitely be getting it again.
I feel like cheek filler is a great option if you are noticing your face slimming with age, and you want to add width and structure to it without compromising your natural appearance.