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Five Things to Try Before Fillers

things to try before fillers
Is a Solution for:
Fine Lines, Wrinkles
July 1, 2014 Reviewed by Marta 35 Comments

Earlier this year, a report published in JAMA Opthamology drew attention to patients who had suffered vision loss after having dermal fillers injected into their foreheads. Although fillers are often used to obscure wrinkles around the eyes, it should be noted that the FDA only approves use of fillers around the mouth area.

Still, compared to Botox and plastic surgery, dermal fillers seem relatively benign. One of the best known is Restylane, which in recent years emerged on the beauty scene to be hailed as a more durable alternative to collagen, which typically only lasts about three months. Restylane is essentially a synthetic version of hyaluronan and lasts about six months. A similar product. Juvederm, was approved by the FDA in 2006.

If the idea of injecting a foreign substance distresses you, then you might be drawn to Sephyl. Dubbed the "Vampire Filler," it is made out of the patient’s own blood. According to the Selphyl website, when the platelet mixture (platelet-rich fibrin matrix or PRFM) is injected under the skin, skin cell growth and collagen support occur. But there are no independent studies that prove these claims.

A few years ago, researchers found that it is possible to replace fat cells lost due to age by blocking a protein called RHAMM. They predicted that within a few years, this approach would be a non-invasive alternative to Botox and fillers. Unfortunately, we are still waiting. So what else can we try before submitting to fillers? Well, there are some skin-plumping actives that we can incorporate into regimen through potions and lotions.

1. Arabinoxylans

Arabinoxylans are responsible for the cohesion and mechanical resistance cells. They are most abundant in the cells of grains such as rye, wheat and barley. Extracts from these are said to act as an internal tensor, boosting the skin’s abilities to firm and lift.

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Osmotics Lipofill Non-Surgical Filler ($73) has rye extract to target the loss of volume for hands and neck, as well as the labial nasal lines. Prana Spaceuticals AU 24K GOLD Serum ($96) has wheat extract and gold flakes, which are also supposed to be skin plumping.

2. Saccharide isomerate

Saccharide isomerate works as a moisture regulator by binding to the free amino groups of lysine in the keratin of the outer layer of the epidermis — and thereby plumping the skin. It is in the above-mentioned Osmotics Lipofill Non-Surgical Filler and can also be found in Your Best Face Define ($70 in the shop), the one thing that has stood between me and lip fillers for the past few years.

3. Tripeptide 1

YBF Define also reminded me about tripeptide-1. This peptide mimics the relationship of the growth factors involved in the healing process and synthesis of collagen. Specifically, it is supposed to stimulate the synthesis of collagen I and III, fibronectin and laminin. As a result tripeptide-1 helps plump and redefine. It can be found in Osmotics Anti-Radical Age Defense Moisture Complex ($110)

4. TGF-beta

This is the mother of epidermal growth factors. At the very least it is rather bossy, telling other growth factors what to do. This is a “super” protein that controls cell functions such as growth and proliferation. Studies at Cornell, Vanderbilt and Jefferson show that TGF-beta stimulates collagen and elastin production.

It is found in abundance in whey protein, which is the key ingredients in E'shee's Multi-Tensor Extreme Face Lift Serum ($159) and aimed at plumping and firming the skin. ReLuma Skin Illuminating Serum ($145-$220) uses a complex formula of growth factors, including TGF-beta, to signal skin cells and produce new collagen.

5. Microcurrent

It works by delivering a tiny charge that stimulates facial muscles. Microcurrent mimics the body’s own electrical impulses and it is as if the brain is effectively re-educating muscles that have started to slacken with age and helps the relocate to where they should be. Regular use will restore proper tone to facial and neck muscles.

The Myotone Facial Toning System ($279) is easy to use, and the results, which include firmer and plumper skin, are impressive. A little plumping is initially visible, but the effects of microcurrent are cumulative and become more apparent over time. I’ve been concerned about a little sagging at the sides of my chin and have been putting Myotone to good use. I am noticing enough plumping to postpone calling a dermatologist.

Marta Wohrle is an anti-aging skin care and beauty expert and the founder/CEO of Truth In Aging. Marta is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind anti-aging product claims.

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  • September 19, 2016

    by Shamry

    What's the best among these dermal fillers Hi. I have read about the different types of dermal fillers Which one delivers the optimum effect?? Has anyone here tried them? I'm thinking about undergoing beauty enhancement the non surgical way.

  • June 9, 2015

    by Marta

    Hi Marissa
    We have suggested regimens for every age including 20-somethings:

    I would caution against using retinol at your age. It is not a preventative. It is a heavy duty exfoliator that forces skin cell turnover. If you use it for decades, it will cause your skin to thin.

  • June 8, 2015

    by Marissa


    I'm 26 yrs old, which I know is young to be looking at anti-aging products. But I'm looking for a product to prevent wrinkles down the road. Botox, fillers and freezes, or an anti-wrinkle skin care line . Someone told me that at 20 yrs old that is when you need to start using anti-wrinkle products to prevent skin aging. And boy, did I take it seriously. (A side note: I'm obsessive about taking care is my skin). On a daily bases I use 5-7 different face washes which includes an exfoliant face wash and an exfoliating brush that I also use daily. 5 face creams and also a lotion specifically for your neck, and a retinal lotion that is meant to refine deep wrinkles, those deep wrinkles I don't have yet. Also face seriums and othe facial cleansers that are not wrinkle related. It's getting a bit overwhelming. And not to mention very time consuming. On vacations I've needed to take an extra suitcase simply for my skin products. I want, no NEED, to find something, an injection a product that I can have confidence will work. I wouldn't mind lighting the vast amounts of creams and lotions.


  • July 16, 2014

    by Marta

    Hi Monique, microcurrent at home is most effective at 3-4 times per week for about four minutes per area.

  • July 15, 2014

    by Monique

    How many times a week do you recommend using microcurrent use?

  • July 8, 2014

    by Imelda Diltz

    The Hyalogic's Episilk Hyaluronic Acid Serum is another great collagen boosting serum and affordably available in TIA too! Nonetheless, I would love to try this Red Flower to compare with Episilk.

  • July 6, 2014

    by Tracy

    I would love to try this product,I use mad hippie products,and skinceuticals line,I love the way the hyluronic make feel,I I follow up alternating with mad hippie Vit.c serum,and Retin A, my husband purchased the ultra renew as Christmas present for me ( he noticed me reading all the reviews) I have been using 5 times a week since,it has definitely made a difference, I am always looking for products that will boost the collagen without having to get fillers,I have seriously contemplated getting fillers ,but haven't yet!!! This is definitely a product I would purchase if the reviews were promising from TIA, thanks for your time,Tracy

  • July 5, 2014

    by Sharon

    I have tried many products and a few facial treatments in the past. I never saw enough of a change with fillers as I did with IPL. I stick to products and healthy eating now and that seems to be holding me at 49, for most days. I've heard about Red Flower products and would love to review the serum and track any changes in my skin.

  • July 4, 2014

    by Leslie

    I am currently using products from the Mad Hippie line, but would love to try some thing new!

  • July 3, 2014

    by Annette

    Can't help but comment on this filler feature, and I want to try some of the products mentioned, including the Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Serum. I've been using Red Flower body products for a few years and absolutely love them!

    Aside from the potential dangers that lurk in the shadows with dermal fillers and other injectibles like BOTOX, in my opinion, if fillers are not done well, you end up looking odd. Personally, I would rather look natural than odd. Just yesterday I talked with my 40-something very thin and fit neighbor. We were close up and at first, based on her fuller her face, I thought perhaps she had gained weight. Looking at the rest of her, clearly she hadn't, then it dawned on me - dermal fillers! I totally understand the potential beauty benefits of replacing lost facial volume as we age, but sometimes fillers can create such a strange appearance. Maybe it's just me, but I can spot an over-filled face a mile away.

    I tried a dermal filler in my cheeks and nasal labial folds a couple of years ago. It didn't blow me away, and I had it done by a board-certified facial plastic surgeon in NYC who is renowned for his experience, skills and results. (If someone's going to be doing something with my face - no skimping - I want the best.) Since then, I have decided to skip fillers and do things to boost collagen and elastin production. I want to look naturally beautiful, and believe that with the right products (including devices like TIA's Ultra Renew), you can go a long way toward achieving this. You can also try aesthetic laser procedures designed to boost collagen an elastin production, but you still need products that maintain your skin and help prolong results.

  • July 2, 2014

    by Gloria

    I first was introduced to the Red Flower line while in Vermont and the salon I was at had the most awesome smelling hand lotion... And it was Red Flower. Then I moved back home to Oregon and discovered Marta's website and my journey and education began. Intrigued with their use of whole flower extracts and a line that clearly works and smells wonderful to boot are an opportunity I'm definitely up for! . I would love to try the Red Flower serum!

  • July 2, 2014

    by Terrie

    I currently use Mad Hippie products but am always on the lookout for new things to try.

  • July 2, 2014

    by Elaine

    I am eager to try Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum, I discovered Red Flower skin care products on the TIA website last year and have purchased several with good results. So much so, that when my friend's birthday in Kaui arrived I sent her a gift package of their small samples. She is body worker as well as an aroma-therapist and loved them as I knew she would ... I love the way these products are created and packaged in such an ecco-friendly manner as well as their use of botanical ingredients !

    Thanks for illuminating my knowledge in my quest for the fountain of youth, Elaine

  • July 2, 2014

    by sally

    After several years of using Dr. Perricone products, I am ready to move on with something new. Your reviews always interest me and I feel they are unbiased and truthful. Please consider me as a candidate for your Red Flower Illiminating Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum. I am 57 years old and holding!!!

  • July 2, 2014

    by Hilary

    I visit your site often and would love to try your suggestions and products but little bit scared to be honest about picking the right one as there are so many to choose from, I would love to get started and would very much like to try the Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Face Serum, many thanks

  • July 2, 2014

    by Terri Batchelor

    I absolutely love the Red Flower products. My favorite so far is the facial wash/mask.
    The longer you leave it on the better your skin feels, even for a quick wash your skin comes out super soft and feeling well hydrated. I would love to give the Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum a try, as it's been a while since I've
    tried any new serums and this would be the perfect opportunity to give this a try.

  • July 2, 2014

    by Joan McClendon

    I tried a sample of the Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum that Red Flower was offering on their Web Site. I found it to be extremely firming and illuminating. It plumped out the lines around my mouth and on my forehead. However, someone with dry skin will need to use a moisturizer over this.

  • July 2, 2014

    by Jennifer

    Hi, I'm new to TIA and love the site! I came across it while researching all natural anti-aging products and am so thankful I did. My friends swear by all these creams and serums that are full of toxins, and I just can't submit my skin to that. I want to age beautifully with natural ingredients. I would love to try the Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum. I will write a thorough and complete review! Thanks! ~Jen

  • July 1, 2014

    by ilene

    I would love try the Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum. Rather use a product with natural ingredients, versus botox and similar products.

  • July 1, 2014

    by bethy

    I would love to try the Red Flower illuminating rose collagen renewal face serum too !!

  • July 1, 2014

    by mary kaye katz

    Hello, I would love to try Red flower illuminating rose collagen renewal face serum! Quite the name! I have lip lines, laugh lines and sagging. Hopeful for the opportunity to give it a go.

  • July 1, 2014

    by Debra

    My husband ordered the AQ skin solutions duo Sunday for me. I also get the bottle of Mito serum, spelling ? Lol. Cant wait to get it. I've been creeping on truth in aging for months and decided to give it a go. I'd love to try the red flower serum. I'm 56 aging rapidly even though I take good care of my skin.

  • July 1, 2014

    by Raya

    I would love to try the Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Renewing Serum.I am interested if this serum would help with firming and brightening. I am thinking of purchasing the Myotone. Will the serum be good to use with the Myotone?

  • July 1, 2014

    by Dana

    I have tried fillers, with some good results and with some less than desirable results.

    In February I became ill and learned I had contracted ESBL-it is a bacterium that is prevalent throughout the world and a pandemic. I contracted the bacterium at an outpatient surgical facility I had gone to for muscle repair.

    ESBL hides in the soft tissues and can reappear if there are any surgical procedures or trauma to the soft tissue. Unfortunately for me, the ESBL was not eradicated and will remain in my body for life. At this time, there is no known antibiotic that is effective for my body.

    I will never be able to have any procedure that is invasive conducted on my body.
    I share this for two reasons; anyone considering any type of invasive surgical procedure that is not absolutely necessary, please think twice. ESBL is prevalent in hospitals and outpatient surgical centers. Getting ESBL is a life changing event and can end your life prematurely.

    Second, I am in search of products that can be applied to the face and body that can make a difference in my appearance, safely. From now on, my quest will be to find products can make a difference without ANY cuts, tucks or needles.

    I would love to try Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum and follow up with a written review.

  • July 1, 2014

    by Gretchen

    this sounds like a great product to try. I'd love to make my lines less noticeable but have no interest in trying any of the more radical treatments.

  • July 1, 2014

    by Carmen

    I am 60 and very much interested to start experimenting on anti-aging help. Biggest concern is sagging under chin. Would love to try the Red Flower Illiminating Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum! Thank you!

  • July 1, 2014

    by Anna

    I would LOVE to try Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum!
    I have very sensitive and reactive skin, but so far, Red Flower products were very good to me and didn't cause any troubles. I would be very happy to try a new red Flower product.

  • July 1, 2014

    by peggy murphy

    I would love to try the rose collagen on my aging face. Roses and plumping , how deliciously appealing!

  • July 1, 2014

    by Miree Maxx

    I would love to try the Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum. I find that my skin is needing more moisture, and my face (upper cheek area) is losing its plump and volume.
    Would love to try and review the Serum.

  • July 1, 2014

    by Naheed

    Nice article Marta! My daughter tried "Vampire Filler" for her acne pits. What a painful process with no results what so ever. Expensive too. Now, I wouldn't even dare try such a thing, but would love to give a try using Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen serum. It sounds like something that could benefit my 50+ skin. Thanks!

  • July 1, 2014

    by elisse

    I would LOVE to try (and report on) Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum!

  • July 1, 2014

    by Julie

    I am almost 60, and would love to try this product. I truly don't ever want to resort to fillers, or any other cosmetic procedures

  • July 1, 2014

    by Amy

    I've had dreaded "smoker's lines" above my lip for years although I've never smoked. The lines drive me so crazy, I've tried all sorts of products to make them go away. I even tried fillers and determined that they are not for me. I'd love to find a product that diminishes the lines without involving needles! Might Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum give me the plumping to ease these wrinkles? I'd love to give it a shot.

  • July 1, 2014

    by Linda

    Do you know anything about micro kneedling?
    Does it also help with plumping & firming as well as lifting?

  • July 1, 2014

    by Chelsea

    I'm the best person to try Red Flower Illuminating Rose Collagen Renewal Face Serum because I LOVE illuminating products and rose essential oil. I've been wanting to try Red Flower Products and would love this opportunity.

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