Does injectable hyaluronic acid work to provide long-term anti aging?

Hi Dr. Irwin, what is your opinion on injectable hyaluronic acid as an anti-ageing treatment? I am 38 yrs old with good skin, but am interested in building collagen and elastin and in long term preservation. I am not interested in a temporary, cosmetic fix so to speak.

Thank you for the great question.   For several decades now, we have had injectable cross-linked hyaluronic acid as a tool for aging prevention.  When you think about it, everything we do to keep ourselves healthy physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy, contributes to our well being.  Furthermore, that self-care and sense of well being and peace contribute over time to our longevity.  This makes us more able to be able to fully participate in life. And, to care for others in a more authentic way.

Injectable hyaluronic acids include all the Juvederm products, Juvederm Voluma and Vollure, Restylane products, Teosyal (more popular in Europe than the U.S.), and several others now.  These are the main ones. These are all “cross-linked” in some way.

Recently a line launched that is claiming to be better because it’s not cross-linked the same way.  It’s looking to me like the web is stating misinformation about FDA approval of Profhilo.  We are still researching this.

Topical hyaluronic acid is great for moisture retention under your regular moisturizer, if dry.  And…it’s great alone for acne because it hydrates without any oil.

Here are some things to think about:

  • A higher concentration of hyaluronic acid in a filler does NOT mean it lasts longer or is better.  It’s the size of the hyaluronic molecules, the configuration of them and the cross-linking that makes the difference.
  • Plain hyaluronic acid, if injected into the skin, does NOT last very long because it’s not cross-linked.
  • If the new product is cross-linked differently, what IS it cross-linked with?  How do we know that is better than the traditional methods?  These methods have been proven for 20 years now and have an amazing safety profile.
  • Even when injected well, all of these products are temporary in their effects.  Lasting from 4-6  months to 2 years.  But remember, you don’t want to go from full to empty.  Because you want stability in your face!  So you want to refresh when the product is about half gone.  Makes sense.
  • Long term collagen-building of YOUR collagen is achieved through certain lasers, and radiofrequency (RF).  Especially the RF “2.0” that delivers the energy in the mid and deep dermis like the Profound.
  • Never inject permanent fillers like silicone, Bellafil, Artefill into your face.  They can’t be adjusted as you age, and in the long term create a very odd look and sometimes permanent red lumps!

Bottom line: No, but consider that maintaining the volume in your face helps to reduce wrinkles in the areas injected, by keeping them filled out.


Hope this helps,

Dr. Brandith Irwin
Founder, SkinTour
Director, Madison Skin & Laser Center
Follow my skin tips and travels on Instagram!


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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