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There’s a lot of chatter out there about facial fillers—who got them, where on their face they got them injected, which doctor they may or may not have gone to. With all that noise comes a lot of misinformation. And with 1.9 million Canadians considering using facial aesthetics such as the hyaluronic-acid filler JUVÉDERM®, it’s about time we got the facts straight. Here, we debunk everything you think you know about fillers.

MYTH 1: “Fillers can’t do what plastic surgery does.”

Fifteen years ago, we might have agreed with you. But new techniques, like those pioneered by Brazilian plastic surgeon Dr. Mauricio de Maio, have changed things. De Maio invented the gold-standard injecting technique, MD Codes™. Instead of targeting a specific concern—say, under-eye circles or marionette lines around the mouth—he takes into account the face as a whole, considering 13 anatomical regions (from the forehead to the chin) as a road map to guide where to inject for overall lifting and contouring. (Quick science lesson here: JUVÉDERM® contains hyaluronic acid, a molecule found naturally in your body; when injected in the face, it rejuvenates the space, boosting its volume). Dr. de Maio’s most recent innovation is the 7-Point Shape, in which JUVÉDERM® is used to actually reshape the jaw area, including the dreaded turkey neck, which could previously only be done through surgery. The best news? Dr. de Maio trains injectors around the world, including Canada.

MYTH 2: “I’ll look like everyone else.”

This myth is exactly why Dr. de Maio won’t do a treatment if someone comes in with a photo of, say, Angelina Jolie’s lips and asks him to recreate them. “I try to explain to them that that lip, that cheek or that nose fits that face,” he says. “Think of it like you would interior design: You may love that sofa, but maybe it won’t work in the dimensions of your living room.” That’s also why, as part of his MD Codes™ procedure, Dr. de Maio asks patients how they want to feel post fillers—less tired, less sad, more youthful—as well as what their aesthetic goals are. According to studies, this method leaves patients more satisfied with the results.

MYTH 3: “It’s going to hurt.”

Ever had a Brazilian wax? Laser hair removal? Fillers hurt much less than both of these; they pinch a little, but it’s typically over and done with in 10 minutes (depending on how much work is being done). “You feel a bit of expansion in the skin, but you don’t feel pain,” says Dr. de Maio, likening the feeling to “when you’re getting a tooth filled—you can feel the dentist working, but you don’t feel anything else.” Also worth noting: JUVÉDERM® fillers contain the numbing agent lidocaine. The only spot on your face that might smart a little is the lips, which tend to be more sensitive. But most dermatologists will offer you a numbing cream.

MYTH 4: “I’m going to be out of commission for weeks .”

You can walk right out of the dermatologist’s office and go straight to the beach if you want to—there is zero downtime after fillers. Some patients will experience slight bruising and swelling, but that’s it. And you don’t have to return to the derm for a long time—results from JUVÉDERM® can last for up to two years.

MYTH 5: “People will be able to tell I’ve had work done.”

“Bad fillers are really easy to spot, but good fillers are nearly impossible to detect,” says Dr. Julia Carroll , a Toronto-based dermatologist, noting that a puffy, overinflated look is played out in most circles. “It’s about the proper technique and proper product.” And the good news is if you hate the results, you can always reverse them.


Nervous? First-timer? Ask a lot of questions, advises Dr. de Maio. “Ask ‘Have you ever treated somebody like me? What is your success rate? What types of products are you using? Where were you trained? For how long? Can you show me some before-and-afters? What treatment do I need to get the look I want? Can you explain to me my treatment plan?”

Another great way to help demystify fillers and ease your nerves about treatment is to check out a Beauty Decoded event (presented by JUVÉDERM®) at a clinic near you.

Visit to find local event listings so that you can get all of your questions answered by MD Codes™ trained injectors and see real patient results.


Photo credits: JUVÉDERM® Canada