(Procedures)

Is Chin Filler The Final Frontier Of Facial Optimization & Balance?

Experts reveal why the injections are so popular.

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Woman touching chin

The placement of filler in the tear troughs, the lips, and the cheekbones makes for popular conversation in aesthetics circles... but the chin? Amid the post-Zoom boom of interest in injectables for facial optimization, balance, and rejuvenation, chin filler is emerging as the unsung hero — and next big trend — in dermal fillers.

Birmingham-based, board-certified dermatologist Corey L. Hartman, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology, explains, “As we emerge from the pandemic and finally shed our masks, the focus for facial rejuvenation is shifting back to the lower part of the face. A couple years ago, we experienced the year of the jawline, and then all last year, everyone was obsessed with their eyes and upper face, since the lower half was covered,” Dr. Hartman says. “Now, the holistic facial proportion has gained importance and the chin is the final frontier.”

Advocates for chin filler are convinced that it is a game-changer for facial optimization, with the ability to sharpen jawlines, make noses appear smaller, and make cheekbones pop (all of which are aesthetic choices that are subjective, and ebb and flow with the times). “Chin filler is definitely a growing trend in aesthetics and seems to be everyone’s newest beauty obsession,” says aesthetic nurse practitioner Pawnta Abrahimi at SkinSpirit at Lasky, an Allergan trainer (and the preferred injector of Kylie Jenner). “When assessing my patients, almost 90% of the time they can use chin enhancement and profile balancing.”

The reason why comes down to the chin’s centrality in facial proportions, with the ability for subtle placement to yield major results in overall balance. “When placed properly, chin and jawline fillers can restore youthfulness and definition to the mandible, [camouflaging] the jowls and shadows around the chin and mouth that we see with age,” says Los Angeles-based, board-certified plastic surgeon Ben Talei. As New York-based, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Lara Devgan, elaborates, “People are beginning to realize that facial attractiveness is not about one pretty feature; it is about coherence of the face as a whole.”

Keep reading to learn why experts are convinced that chin filler will be the next big trend to sweep aesthetics since the lip filler.

Why The Chin?

Because the chin is central on the face, minor adjustments can reap big changes. So much so that Abrahimi calls it a “game-changer,” and Dr. Devgan considers it to be an under-appreciated, high-impact intervention. “The chin is the vertical anchor of the lower third of the face,” says Dr. Devgan. “A deficient chin can make the nose feel bigger, the jowls feel more prominent, and the neck feel looser. It can also throw off the harmony of the cheekbones and jawline.” She goes on to explain that augmenting the chin can, in fact, make the jawline and cheekbones appear more prominent by improving the “light reflex” on the face.

But there are many different types of chins, each of which can be finessed in different ways. “First I look at their profile to see if they have chin recession, meaning the chin sits slightly backward in relation to the border of the lip,” says Abrahimi. “[But you can also have] a pointy or long chin, or peau d’orange (orange peel-like skin) on the chin due to the aging process, sun exposure, and smoking. All of these can be improved with filler.”

It is also important to remember that not everyone comes into the office seeking chin augmentation specifically. Board-certified plastic surgeon Catherine S. Chang of Cassileth Plastic Surgery says, “I have noticed an increase in self-awareness of patients coming in requesting that they want more facial balance. Oftentimes that does translate into chin augmentation.”

What Exactly Is It?

Which hyaluronic-based filler you receive tends to come down to the preferences of your injector, but it’s important that they reach for the right one. As Dr. Talei warns, “These fillers are gels that draw in water — they’re not [actually] made of bone.” Whereas some fillers are designed to be softer and to naturally contour to the face’s movements, the chin requires a less viscous, rigid type of product to mimic bone.

Dr. Devgan describes the ideal chin filler as “highly cohesive and dense,” with what Dr. Hartman describes as a “high G prime and the ability to achieve lift.” “I choose Juvéderm Voluma when I need significant augmentation and Restylane Defyne when the lateral portions of the chin needs volume correction as well,” he says, while Abrahimi also favors Juvéderm Voluma, but tends to reach for Restylane Lyft depending on the specific needs of her patient. Dr. Talei uses all three, noting that “Restylane Defyne seems to be the most versatile as it provides a nice, firm projection against the bone, as well as malleable and smooth soft tissue augmentation.”

Who Is The Best Candidate for Chin Filler?

Everyone has their personal reasons for wanting (or not wanting) fillers placed. For instance, those with cleft chins often do not want to do away with their signature dimple. Others simply defer to the expertise of their injectors, whom they have hopefully chosen due to their seasoned track records and before/after photos. In terms of facial rejuvenation, it comes down, in large part, to the shape it helps create. “A youthful face has an egg or heart shape, with a slightly slimmer lower half and a focal point in the chin,” Dr. Hartman says. “This balances the harmony of the face straight-on and in profile.”

As for the specific types of faces and features that can expect the most from chin filler, patients with “weak or deficient chins” are the most likely — and most obvious — to enjoy the effects. Dr. Hartman also points out that those with enhanced lips may also benefit from chin filler to maintain harmony of the tip of the nose, lips, and chin. “My favorite trick to achieve with chin filler is to reduce the appearance of the submental fullness that is otherwise known as a double chin,” Dr. Hartman continues. “Many patients identify this as a problem that they would like to correct with cryolipolysis or injectable deoxycholic acid [fat removal], when really they just need filler.” He adds that along with the corrected appearance of the double chin, patients gain cheekbones that pop and jawline enhancement with the reduction of the fullness under the chin.

Chin filler is also versatile among the age groups requesting it. Dr. Talei points out that on an older patient, it can be placed to help conceal skin on the neck that is beginning to sag. Yet younger patients with smaller chins also enjoy the “immediate and natural projection” it can give, in addition to helping to achieve more balanced facial proportions.

What to Expect

The good news is that results are immediate and last for nine to twelve months, according to Dr. Chang. Downtime varies from patient to patient, but is minimal — usually consisting of swelling that lasts from 2-4 days, with the potential for bruising for up to a week. As Dr. Hartman points out, this is because the filler is placed deeply on the bone (“supraperiostially”), making significant bruising and swelling less likely than on other areas of the face. Abrahimi notes that the degree of bruising typically correlates to how many syringes are used. To minimize the risk of swelling and bruising, she says not to take blood thinners before receiving filler, to keep the head elevated as much as possible afterwards (even when sleeping), and to avoid exercising for the first few days post-injection.

Chin Filler: The Red Flags

Abrihimi is adamant that less is more when it comes to facial filler. “We must remember that we are injecting gels and soft substances. We aren’t placing an implant or moving the bones around. So, there is a limit to how much filler can be placed before the chin begins to become soft, doughy, and heavy,” says Dr. Talei, who warns against filler used for large amounts of volume augmentation in the face. Dr. Chang points out that for a very weak chin, filler might be placed in a series of injections, but agrees that in more drastic cases, an implant or surgery may be the more viable option.

It is also important to vet the injector you select. “Sadly, the more recent popularity peak seen over the last year is likely due to surgeons displaying fake results that have been exaggerated with head positioning or enhanced with photoshop,” Dr. Talei warns. “Don’t believe all the photos you see on social media, even when you think the doctor is reputable and popular. Some of those photos may be a little — or a lot — fake.”