The concept of aging is constantly undergoing improvement in medicine. The innate fear of growing old has fueled the cosmetic and beauty industry to worth billions of dollars a year. The question has long been asked: Do anti-aging creams work as well or better than dermal fillers? We get the inside scoop from Dr. Siew Tuck Wah from Radium Medical Aesthetics in Singapore to give us his views on whether anti-aging creams work as well as dermal fillers. What are dermal fillers? Most dermal fillers are made of Hyaluronic Acid (HA). HA is a substance that is naturally-occurring in our bodies. As we age, our bodies start to produce less HA in our skin, making the skin look worn out and wrinkled. Dermal fillers introduce HA back into the body by administering them directly into the affected area. It does so by replacing lost volume to the skin. Different types of HA dermal filler have different amount of HA with varying viscosity. They have been developed to address a wide range of indications including dull complexion, saggy skin, flat nose, depressed scars, wrinkles, and eye bags. How do anti-aging creams work? Anti-aging creams are predominantly moisturizers to reverse signs of aging by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Some high-end anti-aging creams are also formulated to treat skin laxity, pigmentation, and poor texture. Effective over-the-counter skincare creams takes about 3 to 6 months of regular use to see visible results. Dermal fillers vs anti-aging creams: Pros and cons PATHWAY The doctor uses a fine needle to administer HA dermal fillers directly under the skin to replace lost volume and plump up wrinkled, saggy skin. Whereas anti-aging creams are applied on the skin. Our skin is a natural protective barrier to keep irritants and harmful substances out of our bodies, and that includes the exorbitant anti-aging creams you apply. FREQUENCY Dermal fillers are often a one-time treatment to address the underlying issues. Dermal fillers can usually last up to 8 to 12 months before it gets resorbed by the body. Anti-aging creams require long-term commitment before you can see visible results. 3 to 6 months of regular use of anti-aging creams is necessary to see some results. The use of anti-aging cream is a lifelong commitment. If you stop using it, signs of aging will appear again in no time. CONTENTS Dermal fillers immediately replenishes the skin’s hyaluronic acid, stimulates collagen, acts as a scaffold to create a more youthful look by augmenting facial features. If injected by an experienced doctor, a dermal filler treatment can instantly rejuvenate the face and fill up lines and folds on the face. Anti-aging creams often don’t contain enough of the “good stuff”. One of the most effective ingredients in anti-aging creams is retinol. It causes skin cells to renew more quickly, giving rise to a youthful-looking appearance. However, it has a rather nasty side effect of temporary red and irritated skin. While some OTC anti-aging creams contain some retinol, the percentage of retinol is so tiny that it has little beneficial effects on the skin. This is because retinol is a regulated drug and it can only be prescribed by a doctor. WRINKLE TREATMENT Dermal fillers is one of the most convenient and fastest ways to plump up the skin. Doctors use dermal fillers to fill up nasolabial folds, marionette lines, tear trough, and deep forehead and neck lines. Most anti-aging creams do indeed contain some vitamins and other goodness, but they contain mostly moisturizing agents, which makes the skin smoother and firmer. It is crucial to apply the creams religiously in order to achieve long-lasting results. LONG-LASTING YOUTHFUL APPEARANCE “Although we recommend that you repeated dermal filler treatments every 6 to 8 months to maintain the initial appearance, they can usually last for up to 12 months,” says Dr. Siew. “Furthermore, there are collagen dermal fillers such Radiesseand Ellansethat can stimulate your body to produce more collagen in the treated area. This means that the more you undergo the treatment, the longer the result will last. Dermal fillers are best for treating visible wrinkles. On the other hand, anti-aging skincare creams are great for preventing wrinkles. They contain vitamins, which if applied regularly, can do wonders for your skin. The only cost-saving and time-effective way to get rid of visible wrinkles is to pay your aesthetic doctor a visit for a dermal filler treatment. However, if your skin is still firm and smooth, choosing a good anti-aging cream is a good way to delay the onset of wrinkles.