10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Restylane
- Last updated: 3 months ago
Restylane is a popular collection of injectable fillers, including Restylane Silk (lips), Restylane Lyft (cheeks), and the latest products Restylane Defyne and Refyne (laugh lines around the mouth). Each filler is formulated with hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the skin that is very popular with medical providers and dermatologists to treat fine lines and create volume.
Here are 10 tips from RealSelf doctors and our community that you might find helpful while considering this treatment.
1. What are the treatments like?
Experiences vary. For some people, there is pain and others just feel a quick pinch. Your provider can discuss tips that can help with pain, including having a dental block (for lip injections) and/or applying numbing cream.
“The process itself wasn’t painful at all," says community member sunshine26 in a RealSelf review. "I waited about 15-20 minutes for the numbing cream that was slathered on my under eyes to take effect. The injection process took about 10-15 minutes. My doctor would inject small amounts, take a step back and look at my face, and keep going. After he was finished, I looked at my face and was so happy—I wasn’t hollow any more!”
2. After a Restylane injection there will be some bruising and swelling.
For a few days to two weeks after your Restylane injection, there will be bruising and swelling so plan on some downtime.
"Timing is important. I always advise my patients to plan their treatments in advance of any event or outing," says Dr. Thomas Buonassisi, a Vancouver, B.C., facial plastic surgeon, in a RealSelf Q&A. "This means that they should not be getting injectables done the day before their wedding or a big photo shoot because, while I will do my best as an injector to ensure they do not experience severe bruising and swelling, it is always a possibility when a needle is being used."
3. How to minimize downtime after Restylane.
There are things you can do to reduce your recovery time after a treatment. “To minimize bruising for future treatments, stop taking aspirin, vitamin E, fish oil, St. John's Wort, and Motrin two weeks prior to your appointment," says Dr. David Mabrie, a San Francisco facial plastic surgeon, in a RealSelf Q&A. "You may also want to try Arnica (oral and topical) pre- and post-treatment. Arnica is available over-the-counter at your local drug or health food store."
As always, check with your Restylane provider to see which method is best for you.
4. Be patient for the final results.
Because of the initial bruising and swelling, it can be hard to judge results immediately after a Restylane treatment. Be patient, as it takes time to see final results.
“Be aware that the initial results you see will be a combination of swelling and the filler, so if you love the way you look immediately after your injections, you're probably going to want to add a bit more in about two weeks when everything settles in," says community member BV in NC in a RealSelf review. "On the other hand, if you think you have too much fullness immediately after your injections, just chill out for a day or two and see how you feel once the swelling goes down."
5. How to choose a Restylane provider.
You can get Restylane injections from many medical providers. Who should you choose? RealSelf community members say the provider’s experience is the main thing to consider.
“The more training the doctor has with the injectable, the higher their ‘certification’ in that injectable," says community member BV in NC in a RealSelf review. "The certifications come from training through the manufacturers of the injectables. I'd rather know that the person injecting this stuff in my face has taken significant time and effort to learn how to do it right."
Related: See before and after photos of Restylane.
6. Restylane side effects are rare but possible.
Although rare, side effects are possible from Restylane, as with any medical treatment.
"Restylane is a very well tolerated filler if applied correctly," says Dr. Thomas T. Le, a Baltimore facial plastic surgeon, in a RealSelf Q&A. "There may be minor bruising and swelling that may last one to four days after the injection and are typically covered by makeup."
"Nodules and skin color changes are some of the more serious side effects, but in the hands of an experienced practitioner these issues are highly unlikely," he continues. "Other side effects depend on the area applied, and special considerations need to be made for blood vessels, skin thickness, and lymphatics in the area. Restylane around the eyes has a higher chance of untoward effects and must be applied with great care."
7. What to do about swelling and lumps.
In addition to bruising, you may also experience swelling and lumps where Restylane has been injected.
“Bumps are caused by too much Restylane being injected in one area and perhaps too superficially," says Dr. George Beraka, a retired Manhattan plastic surgeon, in a RealSelf Q&A. "Bumps should be very rare, and they should be tiny when they do occur. Bumps do tend to fade over two or three months as the Restylane dissolves, and the very rare persistent bump can be treated by injecting a medication called hyaluronidase."
8. Restylane can be dissolved.
Restylane is made of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring compound in the skin. Your body will naturally break it down over time, but if you have too much injected or the results aren’t what you expected, your Restylane provider can use hyaluronidase, enzymes that speed up the breakdown of hyaluronic acid, to dissolve it.
9. How long does Restylane last?
Your results depend on where you have Restylane injected and your individual biology. Some people’s bodies break it down faster than others.
“In the lips it lasts only three months or so because we move our lips so much," says community member voyajer in a RealSelf review. "On the parts of the face where there is less movement, it lasts longer. Nasolabial folds last up to six months. It also does not matter if it is your first or 20th treatment, results are the same."
10. Was getting Restylane worth it?
A popular injectable filler, most Restylane treatments have a RealSelf Worth It rating in the 90s. To better determine if it’s right for you, read reviews and talk to multiple providers to see if it's right for you.
Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare professional. Your reliance on any information or content provided in the guide is solely at your own risk. You should always seek the advice of your physician or healthcare professional for any questions you have about your own medical condition. RealSelf does not endorse or recommend any specific content, procedure, product, opinion, healthcare professional, or any other material or information in this guide or anywhere on this website.