The Ultimate Facial Filler Guide

Dr Sabika Karim
By Dr Sabika Karim

Dr Sabika Karim is a specialist in non-surgical and laser procedures, facial rejuvenation and body contouring with 15 years’ experience.

If you are considering an aesthetic tweakment to enhance your natural beauty and confidence it is important to be informed.

Tweakments such as filler have rapidly increased in popularity over the last few years – with some people even opting to have on their lunch break!

Whilst the treatment time may be quick it is important to remember that it is still a medical procedure with needs to be done by a medical professional!

One of the most popular areas for aesthetic tweakments is the face – from lips, cheeks to chin there are many ways you can subtly enhance your appearance. But did you know not all facial filler is the same?

Each facial area needs and deserves tailored attention, specific products, and bespoke techniques to achieve the best and safest result.

To find out more we spoke to Dr Sabika Karim (Founder of Skin Medical.) on behalf of global aesthetics company Sinclair...


Why are certain types of filler only suitable for certain areas of the face? Are there safety implications?

“Different types of fillers are only suitable for certain areas because we are trying to mimic natural tissues. For example, in the lips and tear trough area, we want a filler that is super soft, such as MaiLi Precise or Define, that allows for natural movement and doesn’t look firm. In contrast when treating areas such as the temples and the chin we want a filler that is firm, as we are enhancing bony contours. We still want the filler to be elastic and dynamic as the facial muscles move around the filler, and that’s where the beauty of MaiLi comes in. Some fillers can feel firm and almost like cement, but MaiLi Extreme which has a high projection power still remails elastic enough to look natural.

Placing the incorrect type of filler in a certain area may result in unnatural looking results, lack of longevity and may even have safety implications in terms of lumpiness.”

Do practitioners filling techniques vary for different areas of the face?

“Filling techniques vary not only according to the area of the face, but between different faces too, depending on the result that we want to deliver. Techniques vary between deep injections to more superficial ones just under the skin and even in the skin itself and can be delivered with either a cannula or a needle, and an experienced injector will use a variety of techniques even in the same session to create the desired result, paying attention to respecting the anatomy of the area for safety. No two faces are the same and that’s why a standard injection pattern just doesn’t work. When practitioners ‘inject by numbers’ like children colouring in pictures, the treatment cannot take in to account what each individual face actually needs. Sinclair believe strongly in medical education, and the training advanced training programme involves diagnosis for each individual patient and advanced injection techniques taking safety into account at every step."

Does filler last longer in certain areas of the face?

“Fillers can last longer in certain areas, especially when placed deep, just above the bone. That’s usually because it is a firmer type of filler. The most important factor that affects longevity after your own lifestyle is actually the brand of filler, and the filler’s unique properties. Fillers with longer chains of the protein hyaluronic acid, such as MaiLi, give longer lasting results as it takes longer for the body to break these long chains down. In my practice, my patients have enjoyed longer lasting results with MaiLi, especially noticeable in the lips which can easily last more than 12 months.”

What are the key questions for clients to ask their practitioner during a facial filler consultation?

“Key questions to ask before your consultation include:

  • What are the doctor, dentist or nurse’s qualifications and their registration with the GMC, GDC or NMC?
  • How long they have been in practice?
  • Information on their insurance certificate.
  • It may even be worth reading their google reviews.

Be wary of establishments that run deals or package offers that bundle different treatments together, as the treatment that you are having should be bespoke and tailored to your face.

During the consultation it is important that you get a chance to voice your expectations and the outcomes you are looking for. Once the practitioner makes their recommendations for the treatment plan, questions to ask at this stage include:

  • What product is recommended and why?
    • (When the practitioner offers a product like MaiLi, you know that they are using some of the highest end technology available, and that MaiLi is only supplied to trained medical professionals.)
  • Where the product comes from – pharmacy or direct from supplier? In the UK there are no regulations, and anyone can order fillers online, but the worry is have they been stored safely? Could they be contaminated? Are they even real or could they be counterfeit?
  • The likely outcome and number of sessions required.
  • Longevity of results.
  • Are there any expected side effects? What’s the normal down time? What are the possible complications and how are these minimised? 
  • Is the clinic or the practitioner easily contactable?
  • The cost of the treatment
  • Examples of the practitioner’s own work, not just stock images.

It should be the practitioner’s recommendations in conjunction with your desired results that form the agreed treatment plan, that is acceptable to you in terms of downtime, risks and cost.”

What after care steps should clients take to ensure the best results for their fillers?

“Aftercare should be individualised, depending on the treatment you are having, but in general I always advise my patients not to have dental work one month before or after the procedure, avoid alcohol 48 hours before and after the procedure and then routine aftercare such as no sauna/steam/swimming pool, no exercise and no anti-inflammatory medications after the procedure.

The true secret to ensuring the best results are finding a qualified medical professional who is experienced, understands what you want to achieve and uses the gold standard products, such as MaiLi. Your face is important. It’s the one thing that you wear every day. It is important not to compromise. Find the best possible person to help you achieve your goals.”

If you want to read more, the experts at Consulting Room really know what they're talking about and have put together some Dermal Filler FAQs just for you. 

If you have more questions, you can use the Dermal Filler questions feature to talk to our panel of trained medical experts. 

If you're keen to get started with any of these treatments right away then you're in luck - those clever folks also have a list of trusted, accredited Dermal Filler clinics in your area.

Many thanks to Dr Sabika Karim who is a specialist in non-surgical and laser procedures, facial rejuvenation and body contouring with 15 years’ experience.

Her explicit focus on delivering the very best results using high-quality products and state-of-the-art equipment has made her one of the most renowned specialists in her field.

Dr Karim’s meticulous attention to detail coupled with her unparalleled cosmetic knowledge ensures her clients receive innovative and safe treatments leading to natural-looking results.

Call Skin Medical clinic now via 01923 59 0057 or visit Skin Medical.

Thanks to the author

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