The quality and ubiquity of injectable dermal fillers have only increased in recent years, as has the talent of qualified injectors to create beautiful results with them. And now, dermatologists and plastic surgeons have a new option for treating patients who are seeking natural-looking cheek enhancement. Galderma has announced that the newest member of its Restylane family of hyaluronic acid (HA) injectables, Restylane Contour, has just received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cheek augmentation and correction of midface contour deficiencies in adults over the age of 21. In other words, it can be injected into the cheek area to add desired volume and shapeliness.
Restylane Contour marks the first time proprietary XpresHAn technology has been approved for use in the cheeks in the U.S. (It is already available for use in the cheeks in Europe, where it is marketed as Restylane Volyme.) "This is unique because it creates a flexible, smooth gel that integrates with the skin and soft tissue to lift and volumize in a very natural way," New Jersey-based board-certified plastic surgeon Smita Ramanadham tells Allure. "The gel is dynamic and moves with your facial expressions for that natural result we all want." Although Ramandham says existing fillers like Restylane Lyft and Juvéderm Voluma are great for cheek enhancement, Restylane Contour has the added benefit of being especially flexible and moving with you for very natural-looking results.
"It's the viscosity of Contour, which best lends itself to midface deficiencies," says New York City-based board-certified plastic surgeon Andrew Jacono of what differentiates this new option from what's already on the market.
Miami-based board-certified dermatologist Stacy Chimento is very excited about what Restylane Contour brings to the table, telling Allure that the fine integration of the product will allow providers to create "subtle and beautiful enhancements" to the midfacial and lateral cheek areas. "Oftentimes, I feel that the HA products we currently have available are sometimes not forgiving with dynamic expression, and I can foresee this as a game-changer in facial contouring and harmonization."
A representative for Galderma tells Allure that the FDA approval process took approximately eight months and that over the next several weeks, injectors will have the opportunity to purchase Restylane Contour for their practices and participate in training with Galderma.
As for how Restylane Contour will be administered, Ramanadham says it was studied for use with both needles and cannulas and proven to be effective with both injection and delivery methods. "Ultimately, the use of needle or cannula will depend on the injector providing these services and their preferences," she adds, though Jacono says injecting Restylane Contour with a cannula should decrease the potential for bruising.
So is it right for you and your aesthetic goals? "Restylane Contour is a great option for patients that want improved cheek volume but want a natural look," says Ramanadham, who adds that it can replace fat that has been lost with aging or weight loss, or it can simply provide volume and definition for those who want the appearance of a higher cheekbone. "This is a great filler for our younger patients as well since it will remain flexible and dynamic and can provide subtle natural results without that dreaded 'filler look.'"
Restylane Contour can also serve as a temporary alternative for those considering permanent surgical options like fat grafting, cheek implants, or Jacono's preferred surgery for repositioning drooping cheeks and restoring volume, the minimal-access deep-plane extended face-lift. "Filler can provide a temporary solution to mild volume loss, but for a more permanent solution to moderate or severe volume loss, an endoscopic rapid-recovery surgical procedure is recommended," he says.
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Chimento, on the other hand, prefers filler over more permanent options like fat grafting. "Often, multiple fat transfer procedures are needed for the best results," she tells Allure. "I'm a big fan of less permanent solutions as it is a much safer choice that can be optimized if needed. I opt for HA fillers as they are more precise and predictable."
Although safe and predictable in its results, Restylane Contour, like all dermal fillers, comes with a few risks. Galderma reports that the most commonly observed side effects are bruising, redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, and itching at the injection site.
Regarding availability, a representative for Galderma tells Allure that patients are expected to be able to receive treatment with Restylane Contour as early as July. Prices vary depending on your injector and how much product is used, but you can expect to spend upwards of $1,000; a board-certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or facial plastic surgeon can help you decide the best course of treatment for your ideal results. Ultimately, even if you go to your doctor specifically requesting Restylane Contour, they may advise a different option.
"The variety of fillers on the market truly allows us to choose a filler that will specifically address the concerns our patients have," says Ramanadham. "It helps us more effectively meet their overall goals."