Dermal fillers vs Sculptra

Did you know that after age 20, our skin’s collagen production decreases by 1% every year? This natural process is the root of ageing signs like wrinkles, sagging, and volume loss. Conventionally, treatments to combat ageing are invasive, disruptive to your life, and hard on your body. But now, thanks to new health technologies, it’s possible to work with your body instead of against it. You can restore your confidence with a gentle approach. The problem: many new non-surgical treatments (like dermal fillers and collagen biostimulating injectables) can contribute to your age management strategy. But how can you know which is the best non-invasive treatment option? How can you determine whether Dermal fillers vs Sculptra are best for you?

Read our experts’ explanation and decide for yourself.

The science: collagen and the ageing process Collagen is a structural protein naturally produced by the body— you can find it in the skin and other connective tissues. The cells that make it are called fibroblasts, cells in the skin that make up the extracellular matrix. This is a sort of ‘scaffolding’ that gives the skin its strength and elasticity and helps to protect the skin from damage. Collagen provides resilience, smoothness, and tightness to your skin. It keeps deeper structures (like fat pads) in place and facilitates wound healing. So when the skin starts losing its ability to make new collagen, this has far-reaching ageing effects. Collagen loss leads to a decrease in skin elasticity and firmness. The skin becomes loose and prone to lines and wrinkles. The loss of structure can also mean loss of thickness and volume, which creates a hollow look and movement of the fat pads to unwanted areas. Finally, collagen loss makes your skin less able to hold moisture. This makes it feel dry, dull and more easily damaged.

The non-surgical approach to ageing

The number of non-surgical treatment options for ageing has increased significantly in recent years. These minimally-invasive options are consistently becoming more popular with the health-conscious. The reasons: they are less disruptive to your life, have fewer risks and side effects than surgery, and require less time and money investments. Two of the most popular treatment strategies to manage the signs of ageing are dermal fillers and collagen biostimulating injectables. Both treatments require only a fraction of your day, have minimal side effects, and provide results. But which is best for you? 

What are dermal fillers?

Dermal fillers are a type of facial injectable used to improve the appearance of wrinkles, scars, and other types of facial volume loss. They are injected under your skin using a needle or thin cannula and work by filling in the spaces under the skin that have been created by wrinkles, scars, and other types of facial volume loss. Dermal fillers are made from a variety of materials, but the most common are hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite. Fillers are popular with influencers and beauty gurus, but they aren’t without risks— especially when injected by the inexperienced.

The benefits of dermal fillers include: 

  • Smoothing out creases and lines (such as marionette lines, crow’s feet, and frown lines).
  • Enhancing fullness of areas that have lost volume.
  • Redefining the contours of the lips.
  • Minimising the appearance of scars (like acne, wound, or burn scars).
  • Immediate results.

But there are some drawbacks to using dermal fillers as your age-management strategy:

  • Dermal fillers do not stimulate collagen production— they are a ‘band-aid solution’. This means that results are not long-lived, lasting up to about a year.
    You might have to repeat the treatment soon to maintain results.
  • They can also be associated with side effects, such as bruising, swelling, and pain.
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers can sometimes cause lumps or granulomas to form under the skin.
  • If applied incorrectly or too often, dermal fillers can result in a puffy look.

What are collagen biostimulating injectables?

While collagen biostimulating injectables are technically a type of filler (they are inserted under your skin in the same way), they are so unique they deserve to be in a class of their own. They are made of a medically-safe material called PLLA (poly-L-lactic acid) that your body can biodegrade— but not before they’ve achieved your aesthetic goals. Instead of only filling the structural spaces left by lost proteins, biostimulating injectables go to the root of ageing: your skin’s lost ability to produce collagen. When your cosmetic specialist inserts collagen biostimulators under the skin, you will see a difference in volume— but this will be small compared to conventional fillers. Collagen biostimulators act as a wound and attract the immune system cells that can create new collagen fibroblasts and myofibroblasts. Over the next weeks, these cells work tirelessly to rebuild collagen in the area, providing lasting rejuvenation results.

The benefits of collagen biostimulating injectables:

  • Natural-looking results that can last over two years with minimal maintenance.
    Smoothing of lines and wrinkles, firming of crepey skin in the face, neck, and body.
  • Tighter skin that feels hydrated and brings back your glow.
  • Improved volume and skin quality that redefine and harmonise the contours of the face.
  • Tailoring: this injectable can treat specific areas, improving collagen production as part of a targeted strategy.
  • Only minimal discomfort— you can return to work the next day.

The disadvantages of collagen biostimulating injectables:

  • Results aren’t immediate but take some time to develop (between 6 and 12 weeks). The reason: the injectables work with your body’s natural processes instead of against them.
  • This kind of injectable can’t be used in very delicate areas like the lips and under-eyes.
  • There is a small risk of temporary nodules that can be prevented by performing a daily self-massage on the area.
  • Dermal fillers vs collagen biostimulating injectables


  • Results: dermal fillers are immediate and noticeable, while collagen biostimulating injectables take longer to develop but are more natural and harmonious.
  • Treatment areas: dermal fillers can treat delicate skin areas like the under-eye (though there is a risk of migration), while collagen biostimulating injectables are better at treating most areas and adding definition to the contours.
  • Time: both treatments typically take under an hour to perform.
  • Cost: the price point for both types of injectables is similar, but since collagen biostimulating injectables provide longer-lasting results, they are the most efficient option.
    Downtime: both treatments allow you to return to work the next day and resume physical activity after a week.
  • Longevity of results: while the benefits of dermal fillers can last up to a year, the results of collagen biostimulating injectables can last well over two years. 

Now that you know the facts of dermal fillers vs collagen biostimulating injectables, which non-surgical treatment is best for you? Are you interested in starting your holistic journey towards age management and confidence? Book a consultation at our premium Melbourne clinic to create your tailored plan and achieve your aesthetic goals.