Cheek fillers to soften nasolabial folds and tear troughs in my 40s

Check out a quick fix I did two months ago – Cheek Fillers treatment to soften the lines on my face and hopefully take a few years off my age. 

In my mid-40s, the lines – especially Nasolabial Folds and Tear Troughs – have become quite pronounced and I felt that I looked old and tired. Yes, many would opt for the “age gracefully” route. But I’m just a normal (and superficial) woman who aspires to maintain my youth with minimal efforts for as long as I can. :)

Cheek filler is a non-surgical procedure that is known to involve little downtime, recovery and risks. And that’s my option of choice for this round of anti-aging treatment. After consulting my regular clinic – Cutis Medical Laser Clinics, I was recommended to have Juverderm Voluma filler around my cheek areas and Volite (a softer filler) around the eye areas – both 1ml each.

Voluma cheek filler
This one goes into the cheek areas


Why fillers injected at cheeks (and not at Nasolabial Folds)?

Once again, I was very thankful to Dr. Sylvia Ramirez for sharing informative details with me. She showed me an image depicting the Facial Fat Compartments. 

Facial Fat Compartments
Facial Fat Compartments

Look at the numbers – it shows which area of the face would lose fat faster than the rest. For instance, pockets labelled 1 (in green) – the eye areas – are the first to lose fats, followed by area 2, 3 and so on.

As you can see, nasolabial fold is labelled as 4, which means that it doesn’t lose fats as early as other areas. The reason why nasalabial folds started showing is more of an effect of the loss of fats at area 2, i.e. the cheek and ‘apple’ areas. That caused the skin to drape over the nasolabial area.

Therefore, the areas to receive Voluma injections should be the cheeks and not the folds itself. Very informative indeed!

More risky to inject at Nasolabial Folds than Cheeks

Dr. Sylvia also shared that the areas along the Nasolabial folds contain a lot of nerves, and hence aren’t the most risk-free areas to be injected. In fact, similar to what she’d told me during my Ultherapy treatment a few years ago, the central vertical column, such as nose and forehead involve higher risk than other facial areas.

Cheek Filler Singapore
Vessels on the face

Based on my experience, fillers are mostly quite painless except when injected at the Nasolabial areas. The last time I received it, I was in quite a lot of pain. No wonder as this area contains a lot of nerve endings. 

Glad to know that the areas that I would be injected this time around aren’t considered high-risk areas. 


Which filler areas could lead to blindness?

As I was supposed to receive Volite near the tear troughs, I was concerned if there would be any risks involved, such as blindness.

Dr. Sylvia explained that blindness as a rare side effect of fillers is normally caused by nose fillers and not tear trough treatment. Wow! Once again, I love having clinical knowledge like this. And I’m glad that I’ve never felt a need to go for nose fillers. 

For nose fillers treatment, Dr. Sylvia shared that she would normally do an ultrasound scan of patients prior to injection so that she could see where the vessels are. 

Glad to be equipped with such info. Now, it’s time for my filler injection. Would it be painful? Let’s find out.


Facial Rejuvenation: Cheek Fillers Injection

Dr. Sylvia injected two areas – namely the central cheek areas and outer cheek (aka ‘apples’) for each side of the face. Injection in these areas can help provide a little lift to the skin above the nasolabial folds, and minimize the draping effect. 

All in all, she utilised 1ml of Voluma for both sides of the face.

Before Cheek Filler


No need “Eye Filler” for the time being

After the cheek-area injections, Dr. Sylvia advised that I would not need the Volite injection near the eye areas as the cheek filler has already improved the tear trough by lifting the skin under the eyes. Further injection could still enhance the tear troughs, but she reckoned that she wouldn’t need 1ml of the “eye” filler to do so.

Hence, for economical reason, it may not be worthwhile to go for the eye fillers at this point in time. Both of us agreed that we should probably wait for the cheek fillers to ‘settle’ before assessing if the eye fillers are needed. 

Honest & Professional Opinion from an Aesthetic Doctor

I appreciate the honest and professional advice by Dr. Sylvia and this is what kept me revisiting the clinic for close to a decade.

Other doctors could have just gone ahead with whatever was initially recommended, since it meant earning more from the customer. But Dr. Sylvia would rather achieve good results and have the patients’ welfare (and pocket) at heart. 

Thank you, Dr. Sylvia. For readers’ info, I am not sponsored for this post, ok? :) That’s why I published it only when I’m a little less busy at work – two months after the treatment.


Cheek Fillers – Is it painful? 

Honestly, not at all. The numbing cream probably played a part in making cheek filler a pain-free experience for me. I also understand that filler itself contains numbing agent. So out of a scale of 10, I would rate the pain level at 0.5/10. Or probably zero?

As I did my botox immediately after the cheek filler, the botox injections felt a lot more painful than how they felt previously. That’s relativity, according to Dr. Sylvia’s experience.

Coz filler is too pain-free. LOL! And it made Botox seemed very painful. Oh, except the nasolabial areas, k? Remember, filler at Nasolabial areas can be very painful!

Starbucks Pacific Plaza
It wasn’t painful – I was at a cafe, typing this draft immediately after treatment


Did I look younger after Cheek Fillers?

Now, the great thing about filler treatment is how you can see improvements immediately. I didn’t take any before photos (except a last minute one at the clinic) because I didn’t know I would be writing about the experience.

But yes, I could see the softening of nasolabial folds immediately. The tear troughs also didn’t seem as sunken as before.

Day 1 (Cheek Fillers)

Here’s how I looked like when I reached home. There was no makeup on the face (except eye areas). You can see that there weren’t any obvious needle marks or redness on my face. 

You may be able to catch a faint bruise in the left photo (left forehead). That was from the botox injection, not fillers. 

After Cheek Filler (Day 1)
When I came home – no makeup (except eye areas)

Day 7 (Cheek Fillers)

After waiting for the internal swelling to subside (that could artificially enhance results), I took a photo on Day 7. I continue to see the results – a younger and more refreshed appearance. Maybe 5 years shaven? 

After Cheek Filler (Day 7)


Before-After Photos (Cheek Fillers)

Let’s place the before and after photos side by side for easy comparison. From the front profile comparison below, you can easily tell that the nasolabial folds were shallower. 

Before After Cheek Filler - Front

Let’s examine the side profile. I noticed the same thing – less obvious laugh lines. Tear troughs were also shallower, though you may not be able to tell from my non-professional phone photos. 

Before After Cheek Filler - Side


Two Months after Cheek Fillers

It’s great to know that Voluma filler could last for between 12 to 18 months, and I was hopeful that my S$1k plus could be stretched over a long period.

However, at the second-month mark (today), I felt like I may need to revisit soon to see if it’s time for me to go for the “tear trough” filler which I’d skipped earlier. Or to touch-up on the cheek areas.

But it doesn’t mean the earlier results have vanished. I could still feel the filler beneath my cheeks (feels firm if you wonder). It’s just that…perhaps…I now crave for more. Or that the swelling or fillers have settled :) In any case, 1 ml of something is really not a lot of product. But it sure is expensive. :~)


FAQs on Cheek Fillers

1) Was there any downtime? 

Absolutely no downtime for me. Perhaps only feeling a little tender when I washed my face for the first few days.

Other than that, the recovery was very manageable (I didn’t even feel there was any recovery phase). And I did not get any bruises at all. 

2) Any side effects due to Covid-Vaccine?

I was advised by clinic to ensure a one month gap between filler and vaccination, both before and after. And I’m happy to report no adverse reaction.

For info, I’ve had Pfizer.  


Is Cheek Fillers worth it? 

I think it’s all about relativity, and also your preference in the type of things you are willing to splurge on. I may not be as generous when it comes to spending on fine food, but am okay to spend on beauty.

Of course, that’s for a pretty obvious reason right? Because I’m interested in beauty – else there won’t be this blog in the first place.

So, for a beauty lover, is filler worth it?

I spent over $1k (for a 1ml syringe) and think I would do so again. :) I like it that the results was instantaneous and didn’t involve much pain and downtime. Furthermore, a cheek filler is supposed to last many times longer than botox (which may cost above $500 for a 3-month effect). Rating: 4/5

Okay, that’s all for today’s post. If you find this article useful, do consider subscribing to get more useful and honest reviews (mostly beauty and travel). 

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no cost to you. Read mfull disclosure for more info.

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