Dermal fillers in Singapore: A first-timer’s guide
Dermal fillers in Singapore have sharply risen in popularity, even amongst younger women in their 30s—to attain a sharper visage, plump dewy skin and pronounced features worthy of a K-pop starlet.
In particular, hyaluronic acid fillers are the newest beauty trend and for good reason. Think: softer, plumper, dewy-good-night’s-sleep sort of skin. Unlike Botox, which involves paralyzing muscles, fillers are injected to boost the fullness in different areas of your face. For instance, a sharper chin, higher nose bridge, or fuller lips. It can be also used to give a more youthful appearance by evening out fine lines or wrinkles.
Filler injections can help achieve a sharp, contoured face—without you painstakingly contouring your face with bronzers, make-up powders and the full works every day. So you want to give your skin a natural-looking boost without freezing up your facial expressions? Here’s all you need to know before going for booking in your first facial filler procedure in Singapore.
What are dermal fillers and what is in a dermal filler?
Dermal fillers refer to soft, gel-like substances that are – no surprise – filled beneath the skin, hence giving your face a literal boost. These gel-like substances are injected into the skin at different areas of the face to add definition and volume to sunken-in areas.
There are many substances used for fillers to stimulate collagen, like the very scientific-sounding Calcium Hydroxyapatite (CaHA), among many others. CaHA also helps to stimulate collagen production and can last as long as a whole year. But hyaluronic acid fillers in Singapore are most popular. 
Hyaluronic acid (HA) occurs naturally in our bodies, helping tissue repair and giving our skin volume and moisture.  However, just like collagen and our voracious appetite, drops drastically as we get older, leading to fine lines and volume-loss.
Enter hyaluronic acid, in the form of skincare serums—like Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex, $131.25; and La Roche-Posay’s Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum, $52.40—and now, hyaluronic acid fillers, usually lab-derived, which we can inject for even better plumping results and more supple skin.
Tip: Take note of filler brand names, such as Juvéderm and Restylane. These use hyaluronic acid and can be used for facial sculpting.
Extra pro tip: Just because you heard that an influencer got a Restylane shot doesn’t mean you should strut into the doc’s office demanding a same one, too. Be open to the doctor’s suggestion on what type of filler will give the effect you want, as it isn’t one stroke for all folks.
Where can you inject fillers?
Pretty much any dermal surface is up for grabs, really. But more popular requests in Singapore include chin fillers, to make the jawline more defined for a V-shaped appearance and to plump up lips (Kylie Jenner’s lips, anyone?).
Fillers for the nose – goodbye flat Asian nose – is also a popular treatment; as well as thinned out or sagging areas such as the cheek. Some clinics also specialise in reducing fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles, making them highly popular among the mid-30s and older crowd.
How are filler injections done in Singapore?
Filler injections in Singapore must be HSA-approved, i.e. Health Science Authority approved. Be very wary if the clinic offers filler injections that are not HSA-approved! Brands that are HSA-approved include Juvederm, Restylane, Captique, Hyaform, just to name the more popular ones. Fillers in Singapore should also be performed by board-certified plastic surgeons.
Your aesthetic doctor will first apply numbing cream to the targeted areas so that the filler injections will be painless. The filler injections will only take about 10 to 15 minutes and the result? Instantaneously radiant and dewy skin. The only thing you’ll have to refrain from doing is exercise and sun exposure, for about 3 to 4 days.
This is also why some celebrities get filler addiction. Courtney Cox reportedly shared that she went a little too far on facial fillers: “I was trying too hard to keep up [with Hollywood standards] and that actually made things worse.”
As a result, too much fillers can make one can end up looking puffy-faced or with rubber-ducky lips that look a bit fake and not like their natural self.
How much do filler injections cost in Singapore?
Usually, hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvderm, Restylane and Belotero are charged per syringe (1cc). Hence, on average, dermal filler prices in Singapore ranges from $600 to $1k per syringe. The number of syringe shots depends on whether you want a subtle or major enhancement.
One syringe shot is usually enough for younger patients who do not desire a drastic change, while older patients might need a larger filler amount. As most folks lose approximately 1cc of facial volume in every decade after 30, people after 50 years old might need a few more shots to regain a plumper, more youthful appearance.
Tip: Be wary of overly cheap filler prices as the clinic might be compromising on the quality of the filler ingredients.
How long do filler injections last?
Unfortunately – or fortunately – depending on how you see it, fillers don’t last forever. For hyaluronic acid fillers, the body actually absorbs the acid back into the body, and so the effect of fillers lasts from 3 months to one year. This all depends on the site and volume of the filler, as well as the individual’s lifestyle.
For instance, someone who exercises a lot more and has a higher metabolism will likely have their fillers last shorter as compared to a more sedentary friend.
Are dermal fillers painful?
The short answer? Yes, but not to an unbearable extent.
A local anesthesia will usually be injected into the facial site of your choosing, and some fillers even contain anesthesia themselves. It will feel like an ant prick, and in a few seconds will be over.
Some places are more sensitive to pain than others though, like your lips, so those with a low threshold for pain should be aware or communicate that to the doctor.
How long is the recovery time after my fillers?
We recommend not scheduling any major events within a week of your filler appointment – so you needn’t attend weddings or that important office conference with obvious face redness and swelling. You can, however, almost immediately resume your daily activities.
A word of warning: you might see needle pinpricks to slight discolouration due to blood vessels being hit during the injection. Some folks also experience face swelling. But don’t worry, the swelling—if any—tends to go down in a few days as the bloat might be due to the fillers pulling in moisture. If bruising and swelling persist after 2 weeks, though, you may want to meet with your doctor for a review as it’s not normal.
Tip: Try to avoid supplements like aspirin, ibuprofen or those which contain ginseng, omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E in the weeks up to surgery.
Post-surgery, if you’re the fast-paced type that wants to speed up the process, you can try to sleep with your head propped up and use cold compresses on the filler area. Also, avoid intense exercise.
Are dermal fillers in Singapore safe?
Dermal fillers do have its risks, but severe complications like blindness are uncommon. Usually, the forehead, nose and under eyes are also more susceptible to the latter.
Other side effects include skin inflammation, itching, lumps, bruising, infection and scarring.  However, trained professionals and experienced doctors are often well equipped to perform the surgery and can minimize any risks.
Another reminder: go to qualified aesthetic clinics instead of beauty salons and spas.
Also, take note that pregnant or breastfeeding mums should not do fillers. Also, do be aware of your allergies and keep your doctor informed of them as certain chemicals in the filler mix could be an unsuspecting trigger. After all, it is a surgical procedure.
Do fillers look natural? Can people tell I got fillers done?
Be reassured that dermal filler techniques and aesthetic skills have come a long way, so don’t overly worry yourself with post-filler nightmares of inflated “duck lips” or an overextended chin.
Experienced doctors often can give you natural results that would have your family or friends wondering why you’re looking all glowed up, without suspecting a single thing about the surgery. Choosing a licensed and trained doctor is your best bet on getting natural and safe results.
It’s my first time doing fillers—any tips?
Hyaluronic acid fillers are great for first-timers who are new to the world of fillers, and brands like Juvederm give very natural-looking results. It can treat moderate facial wrinkles and plump up the skin to make one look fresher and more rejuvenated.
HA is increasingly an important part of the anti-ageing skincare routine, so for us women in our 30s, it is really all about taking care of our skin and also prevention. That would include simple things like cleansing our skin dutifully every day to make sure it’s free of make-up, using Hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C skincare products to boost moisture and apply sunscreen. No point doing beauty procedures like fillers if we haven’t gotten our basics right, amiright?
If you want to fast track your skin results and aren’t afraid of needles, getting hyaluronic filler injections in Singapore may just be your best-kept beauty secret.
References Gold M. H. (2007). Use of hyaluronic acid fillers for the treatment of the aging face. Clinical interventions in aging, 2(3), 369–376. https://doi.org/10.2147/cia.s1244  Liu, K. (2019). Dermal fillers: The good, the bad, and the dangerous. Retrieved from Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/dermal-fillers-the-good-the-bad-and-the-dangerous-2019071517234  Koh, I. S., & Lee, W. (2019). Filler Complications: Filler-Induced Hypersensitivity Reactions, Granuloma, Necrosis, and Blindness. Singapore: Springer Singapore.