U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved Restylane® injectable gel is a cosmetic "filler" that contains hyaluronic acid (HA), a natural substance that is found in the body. HA gives volume and elasticity to the skin, but as the body ages, HA levels decrease, resulting in loose skin and wrinkling. When injected, Restylane gel is designed to plump the skin beneath lines and wrinkles, smoothing them out and making them less noticeable.
The most common areas for Restylane treatment are the glabellar lines (which run between the eyebrows) and the nasolabial folds (which run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth). Restylane injectable gel is also FDA-approved, for those 21 and older, for enhancing the lips. According to manufacturer Medicis, results can last for up to 6 months, at which point the hyaluronic acid is reabsorbed by the body.
When injected, Restylane gel plumps up glabellar lines and nasolabial folds, making skin appear younger and look smoother. When used for lip enhancement, it makes the lips fuller and gives them more definition.
One significant advantage that Restylane injectable gel has over other facial fillers made with hyaluronic acid is that it contains nothing of animal origin. As a result, it does not require a potential user to undergo allergy testing, which can sometimes take weeks. Another advantage is that Restylane injections are performed in-office, usually by a dermatologist, in less than half an hour, and require little-to-no downtime for the patient.
The most common side effects of Restylane injectable gel are swelling, redness, pain, bruising and tenderness in and around the injection sites. They typically go away within a week. Although considered safe for most patients, Restylane injections carry a risk of infection, bleeding or allergic reaction.