Do Hyaluronic Acid Fillers Create a Tightening Effect on Facial Skin?

I’m 28 year old male, and I want my facial skin to look more tighter and youthful. I’ve recently had a consultation with a Dr who has suggested using Restylane or Juvederm (i.e. a HA filler) around the face. From what I understand, fillers volumise the area under the skin. What I don’t understand is, does the HA also boost collagen production (thereby addressing the root of the problem of loosening skin), or would I be better off with RadioFrequency to create that tightening effect I want?

Doctor Answers 9

Fillers and forming new collagen

Although some filler companies that make HA fillers claim new collagen formation, I think that the amount of collagen formed is minimal and certainly not clinically visible. As to Radiofrequency tightening, there have been well documented reports of skin burns and fat loss with depressions from that technology, so they are not without risk and the degree of skin tightening in general is a matter of months in most cases.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Increase collagen

They can fill in defects depending on what is used and who the injector is. Make sure you get someone with lots of experience. CO2 laser is the ultimate for this. Depending on how much money you are willing to spend..... Whatever you do, a retinoid applied at night should be part of any skin care for the face! We sell Renova in our office.

Tracy Kuykendall, MD
Tulsa Dermatologist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Hyaluronic Acid Fillers Rejuvenate Facial Skin

Hyaluronic fillers are unique because they not only fill but they also pull water from the tissue to them.  This often createds a beautiful glow and luminescent quality to the skin that people notice and compliment you on.  Also, if a more robust, viscous hyaluronic filler is placed deeper, just above the bone, one can enhance the contour of the face and create enhanced cheekbones and overall lifting.  Hyaluronic fillers do not tighten the skin per se but they are a very effective way to smooth lines, build contour and achieve facial rejuvenation.

Deborah Sarnoff, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Do Restylane/Juvederm Increase Collagen Production?

Hi DPK.  Although Restylane and Juvederm (and other HAs) have been shown to increase collagen production, it's unlikely that you would see any visible tightening of the skin in response to the injections.

We are also not big fans of radio frequency treatments.  If you look at Real Self's own review page for one of the leading radio frequency devices, Thermage, you will see that it has only a 40% patient satisfaction rate, much lower than we would accept for our practice.

We'd suggest surgical intervention if you are really looking for an upward tightening of loose skin.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Wrinkle fillers can make skin look younger, tighter

Soft tissue fillers certainly can make the face appear more youthful and add volume. Fat injection might be another option for adding the volume you seek.

Donna Rich, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Tightening treatments for facial skin

It is important to understand the difference between "stimulatory" fillers and "wrinkle" fillers. When treating problems due to volume loss such as cheek hollows and sagging skin, I will almost always use stimulatory fillers such as Radiesse and/or Sculptra. They are injected deeper, beneath the skin, and will generate more volume to create a much better lifting effect for sagging skin. They work by stimulating your skin to produce more collagen, which is why they are much more effective at treating problems due to volume loss. You will not get this effect from hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane or Juvederm.


Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Do Hyaluronic Acid Fillers Create a Tightening Effect on Facial Skin?

Honest answer, is they don't create tightening of the skin.  Fillers add volume, nothing more.  Tightening the skin does not occur from adding fillers.  It's not physiologically possible and if stated, would be nothing more than a marketing claim IMO.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Fillers do not really stimulate collagen.

There is a scientific papers that is often cited to support this contention.  However, whenever you have to pull out an electromicroscope to prove something, the effect is not so impressive.  The paper also has other issues.  Bottom line filler can be very helpful but like almost everything we do, the effects do not last forever.  However don't dismiss the benefits either.  I personally feel that radio frequency tightening is more hype than not.  Will it help you?  You may or may not feel that you got your monies worth.  Doc may also offer you good old fashion CO2 laser resurfacing.  This is generally a mistake for almost everyone.  It will definitely be a high risk procedure in a 28 year old male.  Often make up is needed to hide redness at first.  Many laser resufacing procedures are associated with permanent loss of skin pigmentation.  Unless you are committed to using makeup and very few men are, I would strongly caution you aginst this option no matter how enthusiastic your potential surgeon is.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Skin tightening

You are correct. Fillers are just that. They do an excellent job of filling wrinkles and or other depressions. There have been suggestions that they also stimulate collegen but, I am not convinced. Radiofrequency treatments are also not a slam dunk. Take a look at c02 laser

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.