Galderma Survey Debunks Filler Myths

April 19, 2023

Fully 35% of people believe the use of injectables such as dermal fillers create unrealistic beauty standards, but 78% could not always correctly identify people who have used dermal fillers.

Forty percent of people say they would discourage others from using facial injectables to reduce wrinkles or provide volume, and 34% said they believed the results of such treatments look fake and unnatural, according to a new poll sponsored by Galderma.

Despite these views, the same respondents could not always correctly identify people who have used dermal fillers when presented with a range of images of people who had undergone filler treatments. On average, 4 out of 5 people could not always identify those who had received filler.

The perceptions surrounding temporary fillers stand in stark contrast to those around the use of permanent beauty treatments such as tattoos, body piercings and dental corrections. Tattoos and body piercings are primarily seen as a positive form of self-expression (30% of respondents agreed for tattoos, and 24% for body piercings). 

Teeth straightening is viewed by 47% of respondents as a great way to enhance your appearance. Meanwhile, over a third of respondents (35%) believe fillers create unrealistic beauty standards and ideals, while 26% feel they can easily become addictive and 24% say they are an extreme option, the survey showed.

However, Restylane patient feedback data shows that 96% of people who used fillers felt their treatment exceeded expectations, and 95% of patients had maintained or enhanced the naturalness of their facial expressions after treatment.

“This new research by Restylane highlights the perception that people are choosing procedures such as fillers because they lack confidence or are going to extremes to get their desired look. But this just isn’t the case!, “ says Dr. Luiz Avelar, a plastic surgeon in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

“The vast majority of the clients I see are opting for small, subtle changes that will help them create their own look and feel empowered to be the best version of themselves. In my opinion, these people are inherently self-confident, know their own minds and are simply taking control of their own looks.”

Only 11% of respondents said they would be supportive if a friend or family member told them they were considering using fillers. In contrast, according to Restylane patient feedback, 99% of those who have received treatment would recommend Restylane to a friend.

Media leads in debunking misconceptions

The results also reveal that people see the media as more progressive in its views about aesthetic treatments. Fully 27% percent of respondents said the media portrays injectables as empowering, while just 13% would personally describe them this way. Adult Gen Z7 respondents displayed a more open-minded attitude toward aesthetic procedures and were more likely to see treatments of this nature as empowering (19% in this age group agreed versus 13% overall). They were almost three times more likely to feel positively toward fillers than those over 55 years old, only 7% of whom agreed. Younger consumers also feel that people seeking injectable treatments are inherently more confident.

“I’m finding the newer generation is even more open-minded and interested when it comes to injectables. They consider aesthetic treatments to further define and enhance how they look and feel. Given that Restylane studies show that those who use dermal fillers feel overwhelmingly positive about their treatment, we are likely to see more people using them as a means of empowerment,” says Steven Dayan, MD, a facial plastic surgeon practicing in Chicago and Co-Chief Medical Editor for Modern Aesthetics® magazine

The research appears ahead of a Restylane product placement spot in new action-comedy film Mafia Mamma, directed by Catherine Hardwicke of Twilight fame and co-starring Toni Collette and Monica Bellucci. Mafia Mamma celebrates female empowerment and sees Toni Collette’s character challenging her comically clueless colleagues and their outdated attitudes about the reasons why women chose to undergo aesthetic treatments. While the film uses humor to highlight these stereotypes and the judgements people make about injectables, the attitudinal study highlights how these real-life judgements are still prevalent in society. Such beliefs have a tangible impact on the way people behave toward those considering fillers.

“We believe in championing everybody’s right to pursue their own beauty ideals. Our research findings are shining a spotlight on some of the misconceptions people have about aesthetic treatments. In this way, we hope to better equip people to make the decision that is right for them, without worrying about external pressures and judgements,” says Gerry Muhle, head of the aesthetics global business unit at Galderma.

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