Cosmetic companies were quick to develop topically applied cream fillers after products like Restylane and other injectables became such a popular anti aging treatment.
Given that you may already use some sort of anti wrinkle product on your face – do you need a topical cream filler as well and is it likely to work?
The best topical fillers are light face creams or gels applied to any area of the face to disguise wrinkles on a temporary basis. They can be applied anywhere you want to disguise facial lines usually that means to eye wrinkles, lift frown lines and around the mouth to cover pucker lines.
This article looks at the technology behind the latest cream fillers and makes some suggestions for three of the best on the market in 2012.
How do they work?
Cream wrinkle fillers use humectants (moisture attracting substance) like hyaluronic acid or shea butter for instance to plump out the wrinkle.
Holding over 200 times its own weight in water – hyaluronic acid has been a central ingredient as a humectant in anti aging skin care for a long time and it is the basis of the modern injectable fillers too.
Plumping your wrinkles with moisture is no different to what your simple hydrating face cream would do but fillers are formulated differently with added ingredients – designed to fill and disguise your facial lines on a temporary basis.
Silicone was much used in early topical fillers – designed to sit on the surface of the skin and fill out lines a bit like filling cracks in a wall.
You also get an element of smoke and mirrors too – many wrinkle fillers contain optical pigments – tiny light reflecting particles which bounce light away from the shadow caused by the wrinkle and make them much less visible to the naked eye.
Increasingly there are topical fillers around that add a bit of botox-like technology – they aim to relax and fill wrinkles. So you find ingredients like GABA – usually used in botox creams – being added to some wrinkle fillers as well. The idea is that it is the combination of relax and fill that works best – just like an injectable anti aging facial using both botox and Restylane.
Of course – cream fillers are much more ‘temporary’ than injectables – most simply claim to work for as long as the product stays on the skin. Anything injected into your face is bound to have a longer term effect.
Some topical fillers do claim to have rejuvenating effects over the longer term by the addition of active anti aging ingredients – others really just aim to do a cosmetic job and don’t offer any skin aging benefits at all.
How to use a cream filler
Some of the worst reviewed topical fillers show that users get a white film of product sitting on the surface and not blending with makeup or other creams.
This could be problem of application – not allowing the product to sink in or applying too much but it could also be that the filler is intended more for cosmetic use – simply based on silicone and light reflecting particles.
Personally I would avoid anything that promises instant results – even the finest lines cannot disappear magically in an instant. The best fillers use advanced delivery systems to get the moisture boosting ingredient to penetrate the top layers of the skin and that will take a little time. The fillers reviewed below need around an hour before you are likely to see results.
Applied under make up a good filler cream should create an ultra smooth, silky and flawless look to the face – ideally use only on the main areas where you see fine lines.
The emphasis here is on ‘fine lines’ – cream wrinkle fillers cannot even begin to get rid of any deeper lines you may have – for instance those that form between the nose and mouth – the nasolabial folds. Applying a topical filler here is a waste of time and money and will probably end up looking awful. However, I have recently read at least one review on Amazon of the Babor Wrinkle Filler (see below) that suggests it does just that!
Some product packaging does suggests you can apply the filler as a touch up on top of make up during the day whenever you need to revitalise your face. This seems a little unlikely to me – how can product designed to be applied under makeup sit well on top of it – and how will it work with your particular brand makeup base and/or face powder?
Best wrinkle fillers 2012
Recent skin care technology have allowed manufacturers to create new delivery systems for use in products like topical fillers.
What seems to have happened is that skin care companies can now reduce the molecular size of anti aging ingredients to allow them to penetrate deeper into the skin – larger molecules of ingredients like collagen and hyaluronic acid would stay on the skin’s surface.
1. Babor Wrinkle Filler - Babor Babor is a high spec German skin care giant with a big market in the US. They were one of the first to market with a of topical product that claimed to fill wrinkles from within just like an injectable..
Based on freeze drying technology the wrinkle filler contains hyaluronic acid molecules shrunk to a third of their natural size allowing them to reach the deepest layers of the skin. Once in contact with moisture and warmth, the tiny spheres swell to normal size and expand the tissue beneath the wrinkle – literally pushing the wrinkle out and smoothing the skin. Magic!
The CEO of Babor America, Dr Paul Cain claims that: “The effect is incredible. The filler takes effect after about an hour and lasts all day — smoothing out wrinkles.” Well I guess he wouldn’t tell us it doesn’t work.
Babor also claim that their wrinkle filler- used daily – will actually stimulate and strengthen the collagen structure in the skin. For good measure they have added high levels of polysaccharides, amino acids and vitamins, to protect your skin against further damage.
Reviews are hard to come buy – the product is not cheap and may not be high on most lists for an essential skin care item – Amazon is split – one good and one not so.
This love it or hate it reaction is typical for cream fillers. This could be because some users are applying the product badly or it could mean that reactions vary a lot based on individual skin type and condition.
2. Skin Medica TNS Line Refine – a powerful combination of moisturizing agents like shea butter and high level peptides for anti wrinkle effect. Like the Babor product – Skin Medica claim Line Refine will give you an instant anti wrinkle effect and will improve lines and wrinkles in the longer term.
The product comes with a special applicator to preserve the precious active ingredients and help you apply it properly so you can fill the fine lines around your nose and mouth. The Skin Medica applicator gets positive ratings from users on Amazon and the price is heavily discounted. This is the best buy product in my opinion at the Amazon price.
3. L’Oreal Collagen Wrinkle Filler - If you want to try a cream filler but don’t fancy spending too much then L’Oreal’s product has some great (and some not so good) reviews on Amazon. As the name implies the product is based on collagen as the active ingredient using ‘bio sphere’ technology to get the molecule size down so it can penetrate into the dermis. Sticking with L’Oreal you might do even better going for the newer L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Deep Set Collagen Wrinkle Filler which gets excellent reviews and is around the same price.
Whether any of these topical wrinkle fillers really do offer a cosmetic alternative to injectable fillers is doubtful but they could offer a short term fix for fine lines.
If they do then this is a product we could all do with in the makeup drawer!