Not everyone wants to (or can) go under the knife, which is why non-surgical procedures are so popular. You’ve probably heard the word Botox before—unless, of course, you live under a rock—and more likely than not, you have a vague understanding of what fillers are. But do you know what the difference between Juvederm and Dysport is? Any idea what Kim Kardashian’s infamous Vampire Facial was all about? What the hell is a Kybella anyway?!
Fret not, beauty enthusiasts, for New York plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Greenberg,Dr. Mark Karolak, Facial Plastic Surgeon at Reflections Center for Skin & Body andDr. Schulman, NYC Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, are here to explain. We spoke to all three to get a better idea of the basics of cosmetic injections, such as what they are, how they work and whether or not they’ll break the bank.
Find out more about Botox vs. fillers, the Khloe Kardashian-approved Kybella and more in our guide to cosmetic injections below.
“There are multiple fillers on the market,” Dr. Greenberg says. “Some of these are hyaluronic acid-based, such as Juvederm and Restylane, which are competitor products. These hyaluronic acid injectables can be used throughout different areas of the face,” he adds.
Dr. Greenberg says he can also perform what is called a “non-surgical nose job” just by using fillers. “If somebody has a bump on their nose, I can camouflage that bump by doing an injection above or below it to help look like its smoothed out. That’s without surgery,” he says.
Popular fillers: Juvederm, Restylane, Voluma, Sculptra
Where they can be injected: Laugh lines, cheek bones, marionette lines, lips, chin, nose, around the eyes
What they do: Increase volume in the injected area, giving a more youthful appearance
How long they last: Varies depending on the kind; some fillers can typically last anywhere from four months to a year; Sculptra can last for one to two years, according to Dr. Greenberg
How much they cost: The price range for fillers in Dr. Greenberg’s practice is from $725 to $925 per vile, though prices specifically for Sculptra are at $2000 per injection
“Botox is the most commonly used item in cosmetic surgery at this point in the world,” Dr. Greenberg says, adding that “millions and millions of patients” use it every year. Botox is used to treat lines and wrinkles caused by muscular pull. “[Botox is] purified from the botulinum toxin, which isn’t actually a toxin. It’s made in the laboratory and is a very safe substance with only minimal complications or side effects, very rarely,” Dr. Greenberg says.
Popular types of Botox: Botox, Dysport (similar effects, but tends to work faster), Xeomin
Where it can be injected: The glabella, the “11 lines” between the eyebrows, forehead wrinkles, crows feet, under the arms (to treat profuse sweating)
What it does: Relieves muscular pull, smoothing out the wrinkles; Dr. Karolak says he sometimes injects Botox under his patients arms to reduce profuse sweating
How long it lasts: About four to six months
How much it costs: Varies; anywhere from $250 to $300 for a single area, multiple areas can be up to $1000
“Kybella is a naturally occurring compound that we find in our bodies called deoxycholic acid,” Dr. Karolak says. The injection, which has received The Khloe Kardashian stamp of approval, is the newest on the market and dissolves fat under the chin.
“[Kybella’s] been synthesized through Allergan, who produces it, and as an FDA-approved injection, you can inject it under the chin to dissolve fat,” Dr. Karolak says. It typically takes two treatment sessions spaced out over the span of four to six weeks for patients to see results. “It’s a great non-surgical alternative for people who don’t want to undergo liposuction for fat in the neck,” he says.
Where Kybella can be injected: Under the chin
What it does: Eliminates fat under the chin
How long it lasts: Permanently
How much it costs: Varies per patient, as more than one treatment is required; each session ranges from $1200 to $1300 in Dr. Karolak’s practice
Platelet-rich plasma injections a.k.a. “Vampire Facelifts”
Platelet-rich plasma injections, a.k.a. Vampire Facelifts, became popular thanks to Kim Kardashian, who posted about getting one last year.
“We take [the patient’s] own blood, purify it and we take what’s called the platelet-rich plasma out and we inject it into the face,” Dr. Greenberg says. This then stimulates collagen growth, which helps to thicken up the skin.
Where platelet-rich plasma can be injected: The face
What it does: Stimulates collagen growth, thickening up the skin for a more youthful appearance
How long it lasts: One to two years
How much it costs: Prices range from $600 to $1800 per treatment
Fat transfers to the buttocks a.k.a. “Brazilian Butt Lifts”Getty Images
Though there are a variety of areas where you can have fat transfers injected, we spoke to Dr. Schulman specifically about fat transfers to the butt. Fat transfers generally involve liposuction (to remove the excess fat in a given area), the processing of the fat and then the re-injection of it into the area where you want it. Fat transfers to the behind are also known as Brazilian Butt Lifts.
“There’s no risk of rejection,” Dr. Schulman says, noting that BBLs are generally very safe. “There’s no risk of reactions to artificial material because it’s your body’s natural fat,” he says. Dr. Schulman also says that fat transfers will change along with your body. So if you gain weight after a fat transfer, so will your booty.
What the Brazilian Butt Lift does: Augments the injected area with your body’s natural fat
How long it lasts: Permanently
How much it costs: $10000 and up, depending on how much liposuction is required