Both Botox and fillers are praised in the world of cosmetics for rejuvenating skin. But it seems that it’s a fine line (ahem!) between the two treatments, and there's often some confusion over which does what. So, what's the difference between Botox and fillers? Which is better? And how do you know which one is right for you? We'll dive right in and take a look.
Are Fillers Better than Botox?
When skin is younger, it has more elastic tissue which acts as scaffolding, making skin generally smoother. However, as we age, it loses this elasticity, meaning our skin starts to become loose and less capable of protecting itself from damage. This leads to visible lines that don’t go away by themselves.
Botox and fillers are both great cosmetic options for people looking to slow down the signs of ageing on the skin, but each do different things, which we'll take a look at now. Let's start with Botox.
What is Botox?
Botox is a brand of botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin that is injected into a targeted area in tiny amounts in order to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It reduces the movement of the muscle, meaning lines are relaxed and smoothed out.
How does Botox reduce lines and wrinkles?
Botox and other brands of botulinum toxin work by reducing expression lines, such as forehead lines, crow’s feet and ‘11s’ (the furrow marks between the brows), which are all caused by repeated facial movements over time.
What happens is that once injected into the muscle below the targeted area, the botulinum toxin paralyses the muscles, causing them to relax, temporarily, until the toxin is metabolised. It helps significantly reduce vertical and horizontal lines and wrinkles.
Who is Botox suitable for then? Botox is best used for dynamic wrinkles - those that don’t remain on your face when it is relaxed. But there's also Botox for migraines, Botox for gummy smiles and Botox for sweating, and it can also be used in a whole load of other ways in a variety of medical conditions.
What are dermal fillers?
Fillers are similar to Botox, in the sense that the practitioner will inject the target area, but rather than injecting botulinum toxin, as is the case with Botox, dermal fillers use a variety of volume replacing substances, most commonly hyaluronic acid.
Most dermal fillers carried out are a form of hyaluronic acid, a hydrating gel-like substance that is already abundant in the body. Remember all the talk of collagen fillers back in the 90s and early 2000s? Most practitioners avoid using those now because they are more permanent, which makes it trickier if something goes wrong.
As the name suggests, fillers are used to fill lines, but the main way this differs from Botox is that dermal fillers fill out and smooth static lines - those lines that remain even when we are not making facial expressions.
Not only this, but fillers can also be used for non-surgical rhinoplasty (a liquid nose job), helping reshape crooked noses, or even create definition to jaws (jawline fillers). They're an amazing way to add volume, which is something Botox can't do.
How do dermal fillers work?
Once injected into the targeted area, hyaluronic acid plumps up the area, replacing volume lost naturally in the ageing process. This works to give skin a younger, revitalised look - or to add definition and create shape in treatments such as nose fillers or jawline fillers.
Which lasts longer? Botox or fillers?
As well as differences in where Botox and fillers are used on the face, there's also a difference in how long they last. Let's take a look...
How long does Botox last?
Generally speaking, Botox lasts for about 3-6 months, after which a new appointment will ordinarily be required, but, as with most things, it really depends on the individual being treated. For some people, it will metabolise more quickly than for others.
How long do dermal fillers last?
Once you’ve had your first dermal filler session, you can generally expect the effects to last between six and 24 months, depending on the area you have targeted and the type of filler used. After this time, you will notice the areas begin to return to the way they were before the treatment.
How much does Botox or fillers cost?
Another factor to consider when thinking about Botox and fillers is how much they cost, which you can find here...
How much does Botox cost?
For a Botox session with a safe and qualified practitioner, you can expect to pay from £175 to £300 per area. It’s really important not to be drawn in by offers that seem far too good to be true, because they most likely will be. The old adage ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry’ really applies here.
So, that’s Botox covered...now, how about dermal fillers?
How much do dermal fillers cost?
The price of fillers really depends on the type you want. For lip fillers, you should expect to pay upwards of £300. For cheek fillers, a session with a qualified practitioner will start from £350, and from £450 for liquid rhinoplasty.
So, there you have it. Both Botox and fillers are injected into the skin to make it smoother and more youthful, but it’s what is injected and where that are the main differences. However, regardless of whether you are interested in Botox or dermal fillers, the key thing to consider is the practitioner, who you should always be sure is safe and qualified.
Botox vs fillers: Which is better?
So, are fillers better than Botox? Or does Botox do a better job than fillers? Well, it really depends what you're looking to achieve. As we saw above, they do pretty different things, so it's not a case of one being better than the other.
You'd likely be looking at Botox for dynamic forhead lines, crow's feet (the little lines around the corners of your eyes) and Botox for frown lines (11s). In fact, the general rule is that it's Botox that's used to treat the top part of our faces when it comes to wrinkles.
But if you're looking to treat deeper, more static lines (think marionette lines, smokers lines or smile lines), or add volume to your lips, jawline, cheeks or chin, you'd be better chatting to a healthcare professional about fillers.
You'll often hear people talking about someone they know getting Botox in their lips, but, most of the time, what'll they'll really mean is fillers. The two are often confused or used interchangeably, despite their uses being quite different.
Where to get Botox or fillers
You can find out more about Botox and dermal fillers in our handy treatment guides. The main thing to consider, other than whether Botox and fillers are right for you, is whether the practitioner is safe, insured, and is a healthcare expert that's well-versed in aesthetic treatments and complications. If you're unsure of where to start, or you're tired of searching "Botox near me" or fillers near me" on your search engine, you can book consultations for the treatment of lines and wrinkles or fillers on the Glowday search tool, knowing that all practitioners listed on our site are medically qualified and trained in aesthetics.
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