Beauty

I Tried Jaw Filler To Create The Side Profile I Wasn't Born With

Everything you want to know about this little known tweakment.

By Alex Bruce-Smith
Jaw filler is one of those cosmetic procedures I've been wanting since I heard about it. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but for me, beauty is in a side profile that doesn't make me want to shove my tongue to the roof of my mouth.
Some people are born with a well-defined jawline, but I wasn't one of them. Instead, I spent years thinking if I lost enough weight, the underside of my chin would magically disappear. Spoiler: that's impossible. Your chin structure is largely defined by your bone structure, and no amount of unhealthy diet culture will change that.
So, I decided to investigate jaw filler.

What is jaw filler?

Like the name suggests, jaw filler is a dermal filler that's injected along your jawline, tweaking your bone structure for a more desirable (or youthful) look.
I saw Dr Scott Allison in Brisbane, who's well known for his natural approach to beauty and extensive medical knowledge. (The unfortunate reality is that not all injecters are created equal.)
In my case, he was working on more of a "beautification enhancement treatment", rather than the restoration work for patients in their 50s or 60s.
"What we're trying to do for you is to recreate some of that structure you just naturally don't have in your skeleton," he told me.
The aim was to 'extend' my jawline towards my ears and build out the structure, which would in turn lift my chin underneath. For this sort of treatment, a higher denisty filler is used so it can mimic bone and integrate into your face. In other words, it's not the same type of filler you might have injected into your lips.For some patients (myself included), jaw filler is supported with a little bit of cheek filler, which both balances the face and helps 'pull' up the jawline. Bone structure, come at me.

How common is jaw filler?

I'm hardly alone in wanting to improve the shape of my jaw. A survey by the American Society for Dermatologic Survery found that 67% of people were bothered by "excess fat under the chin / neck."
And while it's hard to lock down exactly how many people are getting jaw filler, a recent survey by the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australia found that more Australians than ever (35%) were considering a non-surgical cosmetic procedure, while 26% of respondants had gotten work done in the past month. It's called the 'Zoom boom', where months of looking at our own faces on screen meant we were confronted by those elements we wanted to tweak.
"The trend these days, which I think is a good one, is looking holistically at people's faces, and not just coming in for a lip treatment or a cheek treatment," Dr Allison says.
"It's looking at your face and saying, do you need support? Do we need some retraction through the face? And that could be because structurally you never had that, or it could be due to aging and changes in the bone resorption or fat power reduction."

Who should get jaw filler?

Obviously, the only person who gets to decide on any 'tweakments' is yourself. I decided to get jaw filler not to appear more youthful (I'm in my 30s and am either blessed or cursed with a baby face, depending on your POV), but to feel more confident about my jawline in general. I'd considered fat freezing, but after consulting with Dr Allison realised that jaw filler would be much more useful in achieveing my goals.
However, it might not be suitable for everyone. "It's very rare that we say we can't do anything for some people," Dr Allison said. "There might be men or women in their 60s or 70s who have a lot of sagging and a lot of jowling, where we say, look, a facelift is going to be a better option and the best use of your money. But then we still might bring them back six to 12 months after their facelit becaus that may still need a bit of volume replaced."
There's no doubt an aesthetic side profile is in high demand. Getty

Does jaw filler hurt?

Surprinsgly, having filler injected directly into my jaw did not hurt nearly as much as I expected. That might be down to Dr Allison's technique (he's very gentle), but also thanks to a numbing cream on the surface of the skin and a local anesthetic mixed in with the filler itself. As it goes in, the area around is numbed. To put it in context: I've had forehead Botox that hurt more.
However, once the anasthetic wore off a few hours later, I definitely felt it. It's not an intense pain, but more a dull throbbing — a bit like you've been punched in the face. I wanted nothing more than to curl up and go to sleep, but unfortunately curling up was out of the question; you have to sleep on your back for the first two nights. Instead, I made sure I had a steady pile of Panadol on hand and settled in for the night.

What is the downtime?

I didn't have any bruising, although that is a common-ish side effect. My only downtime was managing the pain and not wanting to socialise that night, so instead I stayed close to the television remote. If you really wanted to, you could get it done in your lunch break and head back to work.
However, you can't apply anything to your skin for the first four hours — including sunscreen. So if it's a sunny day and you're on top of your skincare regime, I would recommend planning to stay inside.
You also can't get any dental work or face down massages done for four weeks afterwards, so you might need to be in calendar planning mode.

Jaw filler before and after

You didn't think I'd write this without showing you the before and after, right? These were taken immediately before, and immediately after. No makeup, no posing, just exactly as nature intended (ugh).
Posting my before and afters? You could say I'm brave.
The difference was immediately noticable (to me, anyway — to everyone else I'm sure it just looked like I'd had a really good facial). As the swelling went down and the filler settles in, my jawline and cheeks have looked even more pronounced.

How long does jaw filler last?

Jaw filler lasts around 18 months to two years. However, you won't need to inject quite so much at the upkeep mark. "As a rule of thumb, we'll usually use about half as much that we might initially use for subsequent treatments," Dr Allison said. So if you have six to seven mls of filler injected the first time, you'll probably only need three mls the following time.

How much does jaw filler cost?

Prices vary depending on who you see and how many mls you need, but 1ml of dermal filler starts at $700. Depending on how much you need to achieve the look you want, you might be looking at anywhere from four to eight mls. It's not a cheap investment, but it does last a long time — and is still significantly cheaper, less risky and has less down time than a face lift.

Would you do it again?

In a heartbeat. To say I'm obsessed with the results is an understatement. I look at my jawline so often I'm starting to wonder if I need to take drastic action, like removing the mirrors from my house.
Jaw filler hasn't magically removed everything I didn't like about my side profile and turned into, say, Margot Robbie; I still look like me. I just look like me on my best day, without choosing a clever camera angle or posing in a certain way. And that's all any of us can really hope to achieve with costmetic enhancements, anyway.
If your jawline or double chin is something you feel insecure about (and trust me, you wouldn't be alone), then jaw filler might be the ideal option for you.
SHAREPIN
  • undefined: Alex Bruce-Smith