Dermal Fillers: What’s The Difference?

Knowing the difference between today’s popular dermal fillers is essential when deciding which one is best for you – and best for your skin. From moisture-boosting attributes to collagen-reviving qualities, each dermal filler comes with benefits aside from reversing your signs of aging. So, weighing those benefits will help ensure you walk away feeling and looking your absolute best! 

Wunderbar Med Spa offers a variety of different fillers to smooth away wrinkles, fill fine lines, and give patients long-lasting results. But, which one is best for you? The first step to seeing which dermal filler is to schedule a personal consultation at our Mountain View, San Jose, or Carmel offices. Our team will walk you through the different fillers and construct a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of our team, call us or send us an online inquiry.

Mountain View: (650) 254-1200

San Jose: (408) 831-6229

Carmel-by-the-Sea: (831) 656-9331

What Do Dermal Fillers Treat?

Your skin is complex. At every second your skin is creating new cells, repairing damaged cells, and replacing old cells. And, keeping these cells and dermal structures rejuvenated is the secret to aging gracefully. Most top-of-the-line skin care products promise to do just that – but they leave much to be desired. When you’re young, these restorative processes are performed by your body at astonishing speeds. But, as with all of your body’s other systems, these dermal processes slow down. Your skin gradually stops creating new cells and restoring damaged ones. 

To know which dermal filler is best for you, you first need to know what they treat. 

Fine Lines & Wrinkles

You might already see wrinkles, fine lines, or the beginnings of facial folds. These can start popping up at any age. Even though they are a natural feature for every one of us, wrinkles may carry unwanted messages about your age or health. With age, fine lines deepen into wrinkles and wrinkles evolve into facial folds – all of which stem from age-related collagen loss. Collagen is a strong, tensile protein that keeps skin tight and wrinkle-free. Inside your skin, collagen makes up the fibers that act as the dermis’ scaffolding. These fibers are maintained by a steady stream of fresh collagen. But, when that collagen supply starts to dwindle, these fibers gain some slack. By your mid-60s, when you’ve lost approximately 40% of your collagen supply, [1] your skin can be loose, saggy, and wrinkled.

Some dermal fillers are designed to address this loss of collagen by reviving collagen-producing cells. 

Volume Loss

In addition to wrinkles and fine lines, volume loss is a common sign of aging that dermal fillers easily resolve. Also like wrinkles and fine lines, volume loss is exacerbated by collagen loss. Between your skin and facial bones lies a thin layer of fat. This subcutaneous fat keeps your face looking young and healthy. When collagen loss takes away your skin’s elasticity, your face’s skin can no longer hold these fat cells in place. So, the blanket of fat shifts downwards, creating features like jowls, double chin, and nasolabial folds. This shift in subcutaneous fat leaves behind sunken under-eyes and undefined cheekbones. 

Muted Features

Perhaps the most popular use of fillers is to boost the appearance of lips or cheekbones. The size of your lips and the prominence of your cheekbones are largely dictated by your genes. Dermal fillers expand your tissues. So while they smooth away wrinkles, they also can give your lips that popular pouty appearance or your cheekbones that sought-after height. 

Types of Dermal Fillers

Choosing the right filler comes down to weighing the unique benefits of one over another. We can help you do just that during a personal consultation at one of our three locations in Mountain View, Carmel, and San Jose. 

Popular fillers are made out of these four compounds:

Hyaluronic Acid

Perhaps the most popular ingredient for dermal fillers is hyaluronic acid (HA). It is found in Juvéderm and Restylane. HA molecules naturally occur in your skin and are hygroscopic, meaning they can hold up to one thousand times their weight in water. This hydrating quality is what makes it so essential in keeping your skin youthful. This quality is also what makes hyaluronic acid perfect for a dermal filler. Hyaluronic acid fillers can be calibrated to different viscosities so that they can treat a wide range of cosmetic concerns. After a treatment with this type of filler, the gel sets in and the hygroscopic molecules bind with the skin’s moisture to create better structural support in the dermis. [2]


  • Treats a wide range of cosmetic concerns
  • Boosts features like lips and cheekbones
  • Uses a naturally-occurring molecule
  • Lasts 6-12 months


Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) is the key component found in fillers like Sculptra. This versatile molecule induces local tissue retraction in the treated areas. The soft tissue retraction causes a shift in the collagen fibers, triggering new collagen molecules to begin replacing the old. [4] But, the effects of PLLA don’t stop there. The soft tissue growth continues well after a PLLA treatment, making PLLA exceptional at restoring areas of volume loss. Over the next 25 months, the body safely absorbs these molecules. [5] 


  • Restores volume loss
  • Builds out undefined contours
  • Lasts for up to 2 years

Calcium Hydroxylapatite 

Found in popular fillers like Radiesse, Calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHa) is a biodegradable material that mimics its surrounding environment. [3] This means that when injected into the dermis, CaHa promotes new tissue formation and fresh collagen production. The CaHa filler is semi-solid, so it can help revive the skin’s inner scaffolding and structure almost instantly. These results continue to improve as the filler continues to settle. 


  • Triggers collagen growth
  • Generates long-lasting tissue support
  • Lasts 15+ months


The key component of the long-lasting dermal filler Bellafill is PMMA, Poly(methyl methacrylate), which consists of tiny beads that are suspended in a collagen gel. When injected into the skin, these beads stimulate the body’s natural production of collagen, leading to the gradual improvement of skin texture and volume. The collagen in Bellafill provides immediate results by adding structure and filling in areas of depression or wrinkles.

  • Effectively smooths wrinkles
  • Offers continuous improvement
  • Lasts for 2-5 years

Botox vs. Dermal Fillers

For those interested more so in wrinkle reduction than volume loss, Botox or Dysport (neuromodulators) might be a better alternative. Botox has long been a household name all around the world. It’s earned this popularity by consistently providing remarkable results.

While dermal fillers and neuromodulators address the same cosmetic problems, they do so in different ways. Unlike dermal fillers, they are injected into the underlying muscle. Then, the active ingredient spreads to the muscle’s nerves, where it blocks communication between that muscle and the brain. As a result, the muscle can’t fully contract or flex. The overlying skin smooths out and fine lines are kept from worsening. If you are interested in Botox, Dysport, dermal fillers, or a combination of treatments, schedule a consultation at our offices.

Why Choose Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers come with a host of unique benefits that include:

  • Non-surgical treatment
  • Fast treatment sessions
  • Zero/minimal downtime
  • Customizable treatment plans
  • Designed for all ages and skin types
  • Long-lasting results tailored to your needs

Your Consultation at Wunderbar

If this is your first time visiting us, we will begin with a new patient intake interview where we will learn about your cosmetic problems and desired results. We will note your skin’s laxity and discern if fillers are the best choice for you. Then, we will walk you through our collection of fillers and tailor a personalized treatment plan. This treatment plan is designed to make sure you leave our care looking and feeling your absolute best. 

How Much Do Dermal Fillers Cost in Mountain View?

The price of a dermal filler treatment plan depends on your unique needs. In some cases, we will recommend a single type of filler, while in others we will recommend a combination of treatments. We will determine the total cost at your consultation. To keep up with current med spa procedures, check out our blog. To reach us directly, please call your nearest Wunderbar location or complete a simple inquiry form on our website.

Mountain View: (650) 254-1200

San Jose: (408) 831-6229

Carmel: (831) 656-9331


  1. Reilly, D. M., & Lozano, J. (2021). Skin collagen through the life stages: importance for skin health and beauty. Plastic and Aesthetic Research, 2021. 
  2. Ballin, A. C., Cazzaniga, A., & Brandt, F. S. (2013). Long-term efficacy, safety and durability of Juvéderm® XC. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 6, 183–189.
  3. Jacovella P. F. (2008). Use of calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) for facial augmentation. Clinical interventions in aging, 3(1), 161–174.
  4. Bauer, U., & Graivier, M. H. (2011). Optimizing injectable poly-L-lactic acid administration for soft tissue augmentation: The rationale for three treatment sessions. The Canadian journal of plastic surgery = Journal canadien de chirurgie plastique, 19(3), e22–e27.
  5. Bauer, U., & Graivier, M. H. (2011). Optimizing injectable poly-L-lactic acid administration for soft tissue augmentation: The rationale for three treatment sessions. The Canadian journal of plastic surgery = Journal canadien de chirurgie plastique, 19(3), e22–e27.
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