Botox VS Fillers - What Is The Difference?


From celebrities, to your mother, to now your friends…Botox and fillers are becoming increasingly popular among women and men. Botox reigns as the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure with over 4.6 million treatments in the US just last year alone. Fillers came in second with 2.8 million treatments during the same time period. Botox vs fillers…what is the difference?

While both are highly popular and both are great for non-surgical facial rejuvenation, they are very different.

BOTOXBotox is neurotoxin, which temporarily weakens facial muscles to stop them from contracting. This allows wrinkles to become smoother and smoother over time. When started early, it can keep wrinkles at bay by not allowing them to ever form.

Popular areas Botox is used is the crow’s feet (lines around the eyes), forehead, and glabella, or area between the brows.

Botox treatments are very quick and take about 15-20 minutes in-office with zero downtime. There is always chance of bruising with any type of injection but it’s very low with Botox when done by an experienced injector. An ice pack is given in-office to apply before and after treatment to minimize discomfort and help with possible bruising.

Botox takes effect 5-7 days following the initial treatment and lasts approximately 3-4 months, though many space treatments out anywhere between 3-6 months generally. Repeat treatments are recommended to keep wrinkles at bay.

FILLERSFillers are different in that they aren’t injected into the muscle but into actual wrinkle lines or deeper into the skin to restore lost volume. There are many options available for specific needs and concerns. The most common type of fillers is made of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance already found in your skin. Doctors like this option as it’s completely safe and can be dissipated if a patient is unhappy, unlike permanent or semi-permanent options that need to be surgical removed from the skin should an issue occur.

Popular hyaluronic acid fillers include Juvederm and Restylane, which are great for the lines on the side of the mouth (smile lines), in tear trough lines (under-eye hollowing), and in the lips. Thinner versions are great for more superficial lines, such as those small lines above the lip. Thinner HA fillers include Restylane Silk and Belotero. Voluma is a thicker formulation specifically designed for the mid-face or cheek area to provide a bit of a facial lift and restore or add volume.

Many patients will have fillers injected at the same time as Botox for greater facial rejuvenation. Bruising is also possible with fillers, more so than with Botox. It’s recommended that patients avoid aspirin or ibuprofen approximately 3-7 days prior to treatment and using ice packs immediately after treatment for about 20-30 minutes.

Fillers vary in how long they last with the range being anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. They also tend to stimulate collagen production so that overtime, touch-ups can be spaced further apart and/or less product is needed.


It’s important to see someone with the proper credentials who also has a lot of experience using a variety of injectables. It’s also important they are able to provide a natural result and will let you know at what point you will start to look “overdone”.

Article by
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon