Studies have shown that the product will percolate up back into the dermis in between the collagen bundles,” says Dr. Shamban. “I really see that over several weeks. The skin drapes over the product very nicely.”

Because Dr. Shamban used a cannula, or a thin tube that helps her place the filler exactly where she wants it, it was a little more painful than my previous experiences in the same area. (For me, if Botox is a two out of 10 on the pain scale and lip filler is a five out of 10, this is about a four.) Still, the swelling was barely perceptible. She said I could expect my results to last up to 15 months, which is comparable to other fillers on the market. 

Immediately after treatment, with no visible swelling or bruising. 

What are the risks or side effects of RHA fillers? 

While all injectables may cause bruising, swelling, or bumps that can last days or weeks — something I’ve found is more often a result of the injector’s technique than the product itself — I had the exact opposite experience with RHA, even though it carries the same possible side effects as other hyaluronic acid fillers. I FaceTimed my best friend from Dr. Shamban’s office, and she didn’t even notice I’d been treated until I told her.  

What is after-care like?

Following injectables, most dermatologists recommend patients sleep on their backs, propped up by pillows. I’m a side and stomach sleeper, so when I woke up face-down the next morning, I expected to see a swollen, slightly bruised face — but I didn’t. Instead, I was met without so much as a puffy undereye. I looked like myself, just less tired. 

I had a full schedule that morning and went about my routine as usual, and nearly two months later, I’ve had no adverse side effects. My friends ooh’d and ahh’d at how the new volume at my cheekbones, which now reflected the light better. One friend said the results looked like “threading lite,” and is now considering trying it before making her own cheek thread appointment. Even better: my mom still hasn’t noticed.

How much do RHA fillers cost? 

RHA is generally priced similarly to the more expensive end of fillers. “In our practices dermal fillers start at about $800 per syringe,” says Dr. Devgan. That said, you may end up spending more or less depending on the anatomic region and amount needed: “Depending on the patient and their desired treatment outcome, a full correction usually requires more than one syringe, depending on the areas of treatment, age, skin condition, and concerns.” 

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