With the residents of many states under stay-at-home orders and specialty doctors assisting on the front lines fighting COVID-19 or pivoting to telemedicine, it’s nearly impossible to say when you’ll be able to get a Botox refresh. Aesthetic treatments fall under the “elective” category, which means many doctors aren’t taking appointments for lip fillers, facial fillers, or muscle-freezing neurotoxins right now — as much as some people wish they were.
There’s no complete substitute for the instant plumping and smoothing effects of certain injections. Still, while we’re stuck at home, there are some lifestyle and product choices that can make the most of your last filler and Botox appointment until you can visit a qualified injector again.
“I don’t think it’s possible to specifically affect the duration of these injectables, per se, but everything you do to keep your skin healthy and minimize skin aging will all help to prolong the effects,” says board-certified dermatologist Hadley King. We asked King and other experts to share the ingredients, products, at-home treatments, and activities we can do from home to make cosmetic treatments last longer.
Hyaluronic acid fillers typically last from six to 12 months, according to New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, although the exact location of the filler can increase or decrease the duration. “The same filler may last almost double the amount of time if it’s injected in the undereye area, as opposed to the smile lines,” Zeichner says. While there’s no one-and-done way to make your facial filler last longer, Zeichner offers a few tips to help.
Make some (small) lifestyle changes.
Since facial filler is often intended to plump fine lines, Zeichner offers advice that can stop wrinkles from deepening in the first place. “Daily activities like squinting and frowning put extra strain on your facial muscles,” he says. “Do your best to wear your sunglasses outdoors and prescription lenses when reading,” which can alleviate squinting.
He also advises, “Try to minimize stress, which always comes out on your face in the form of scowling and can put the facial muscles into overdrive.”
Keep up your skin-care routine.
“Skin-barrier disruption and inflammation, whether it comes from over-scrubbing, dryness, or even free-radical damage, may shorten the duration of fillers,” says Zeichner. To combat that disruption, he suggests keeping up a simple skin-care routine of a gentle cleanser, antioxidant serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. His skin-care staple product is Dove’s White Beauty Bar, which he says is “as gentle and hydrating as they come.”
Use plumping products.
As you’re curating that skin-care routine, look for products that stimulate collagen and plump the skin. No topical product will have the instant results of a hyaluronic acid injection, but they can still help in a pinch while we don’t have access to injectors. Zeichner recommends Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair night cream, Schaf Moisturizer, and Kate Somerville DeliKate Recovery Cream.
“I find that eye masks are particularly useful for sensitive skin around the eyes and crow’s feet,” says Zeichner. Lately, he’s been recommending Innbeauty Project Electrify Lightening Bolt Eye Masks, which contain hyaluronic acid to plump and caffeine to depuff.
The effects of lip filler generally last from six to 12 months, explains King. Your particular duration will vary from person to person and depend on the exact type of filler your injector used. Even with those variables, there are a few steps anyone can take to help keep lips plump for longer.