Botox vs. Fillers, What’s the Difference? | The Derm Institute

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Almost everyone has heard of Botox, but few people understand the differences between Botox and the vast range of injectables known as fillers.

Botox and fillers are two common but very different aesthetic skin treatments. Both are designed primarily to restore youthfulness to your facial features, which is essential in today’s online world.

Here we talk about the similarities, differences, and benefits of Botox vs. fillers so that you are better prepared for when you contact The Derm Institute in North Redondo Beach, California. At her boutique practice, Dr. Annie Chiu will create an individualized plan for you by carefully selecting the best combination of injectables that will help you regain your youthful appearance without surgery.

What Are the Differences Between Botox and Fillers?

The aging process leads us to start looking older than our years, and as it undermines our self-confidence, many of us become determined to find a solution. That solution could well be in the form of either Botox, injectable fillers, or even both.

You may have been lead to believe that Botox and fillers are the same. However, this is far from the truth. So how do you choose between Botox and other aesthetic injectables for your face, especially with all the different brand names on the market?

Both Botox and dermal fillers are delivered via injection and used to treat wrinkles on the face. But this is where the similarities end.

Botox®

Botox (together with Jeuveau, Dysport, and Xeomin) is a botulinum toxin type A neuromodulator that best treats facial expression areas such as crow’s feet, frown lines, and the ‘11s’ between the eyebrows. It is also used to treat neurological disorders that cause muscle weakness and treat migraines and other medical conditions.

As a wrinkle treatment, these neuromodulators are primarily used to treat “dynamic” wrinkles naturally occurring around the eyes and mouth and between the eyebrows, which become more pronounced with age. These injections, which take just a few minutes, relax the muscles near these wrinkles. By preventing the muscles from moving, the appearance of dynamic wrinkles is reduced.

Dermal fillers

Dr. Chiu expertly administers dermal fillers to treat wrinkles on the face and plump up the lips or cheeks that have to begin to sag due to aging. Whereas Botox relaxes the muscles underneath the skin, fillers add subtle volume to restore a more natural look to the face. A variety of fillers having a unique composition are also on offer, including Juvederm, Voluma, Vollure, Volbella, and Restylane, to name just a small selection. Dr. Chiu will help you determine which filler will benefit you the most when you come in for your personalized consultation.

Find Out About Botox Versus Fillers with Dr. Annie Chiu

Explore the differences between Botox and dermal fillers and how they can help restore your youthful appearance by contacting Dr. Annie Chiu at her practice in Redondo Beach, California. She offers you the most advanced age-defying rejuvenation solutions, including injectable neuromodulators such as Botox, Jeuveau, Dysport, and Xeomin, and her expertly administered range of dermal fillers.

Call (310) 939-9800 or contact us online today to schedule your personalized consultation!

Botox & Filler During COVID: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

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You already know that the demand for Botox and dermal fillers has increased considerably over the past few months. Stay-at-home orders have led to delays in continuing our treatments, and our feelings of stress and anxiety are worsened when we see our tense, wrinkled, and furrowed faces reflected back at us during those nonstop Zoom video calls. Now more than ever, we don’t want to look tired or old or angry.

To maintain the results of your earlier visits to The Derm Institute, you may already have enjoyed products with crosslinked hyaluronic acids like SkinMedica’s HA5 rejuvenating hydrator from our Online Skincare Store. Products like these help your skin maintain its plump and hydrated appearance and are great additions to boost your filler treatments as you plan to schedule your next visit.

Your next visit to Dr. Annie Chiu will look a lot different from the last time, even before you walk in the door. You have already noticed from our website that we have additional safety precautions to protect you, our staff, and other patients from contracting the coronavirus.

Is It Safe To Get Botox and Fillers Again?

We are all about keeping you and others safe

When scheduling your appointment, please pay special attention to our website’s pop-up checklist with our new COVID office protocol. It highlights our safety precautions: On your arrival, wait to be called to enter the office, wear a mask or face covering, use the hand sanitizer provided, let us take your temperature, and be sure to let us know if you have any worrying health symptoms or if you’ve been in contact with anyone who has tested positive with COVID.

What Happens During the Treatment?

After you have checked in and as you’re escorted to the treatment room, you’ll notice our office may seem emptier than the last time you visited. When your doctor comes into the room to discuss and provide treatment, she’ll be wearing two masks (N95 and face mask) over her nose and mouth, as well as a clear protective shield covering her face.

What’s Your Next Rejuvenation Treatment Going to Be at North Redondo Beach, CA?

Dr. Chiu’s boutique practice offers the most advanced rejuvenation approaches, including injectables such as Botox® and  Dermal Fillers. Be sure to ask about her newer generation of hyaluronic acid fillers known as Resilient Hyaluronic Acid (RHA) Fillers. Manufactured to closely resemble the natural hyaluronic acids found in your own body, they allow your skin to stretch and integrate beautifully even in areas of high movement or expression. You’ll enjoy some of the most natural but transformative results, giving you smooth contours and a youthful, soft, and rested look for up to 15 months. Perfect for those Zoom calls!

You can feel reassured in our safety precautions and the superior care you’ll receive by renowned physician Dr. Annie Chiu and our amazing office staff. Call us today at (310) 939-9800 or contact us online to schedule your personalized consultation!

Help! My Botox and Fillers are Wearing Off!

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We are now deep into California’s Safer at Home order, and our manicures, hair dyes, and omg—botox and fillers maybe starting to wear off. Here’s the good news—if you have getting these procedures regularly, research shows that your results may last longer than you expect. The bad news? Nothing over the counter really replaces the effects of botox and fillers.

So what can you do to maintain the results as long possible?

  • Self-care and trying to control stress (during stressful times) keeps your immune system strong and inflammation down.
  • Up your skincare game! Fillers look much better with hydrated skin, and products with crosslinked hyaluronic acids like SkinMedica’s HA5 help the skin maintain plump and hydrated, and is a great adjunct to boost filler treatments.
  • Smile. Overuse of frown muscles, or squinting at a computer or phone can make your dynamic wrinkles between the brows and crow’s feet stronger.
  • Some small studies have shown zinc supplementation possibly can increase the duration of botox effects. Since zinc also boosts the immune system, this may be the time to incorporate into your supplements.
  • Limit sun exposure and wear sunscreen. Even if you are indoors more, UVA rays penetrate windows, and blue light from increased digital exposure all contribute to breakdown of collagen.
  • Exercise to keep healthy, but prolonged or extreme exercise and diet does lead to an increased metabolic effect on these products and their benefits can wear off faster.

Most importantly, stay safe and socially distance, because that means we can all reunite and do these treatments all the sooner!

5 Interesting Facts About Cosmetic Injectables

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Cosmetic injectables are becoming more and more popular as the years go on. Fillers are a great non-invasive treatment for patients seeking to restore volume and a rejuvenated appearance. Check out the below infographic which includes five interesting facts about cosmetic injectables.

Restore your natural rested, rejuvenated appearance today! Dr. Annie Chiu is a national trainer for dermal fillers and offers a range of injectables at her Manhattan Beach practice.

Contact The Derm Institute team to schedule your cosmetic injectable consultation.

Introducing Vollure . . . your newest Filler BFF, lasting 18 months or more.

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Dr. Chiu and The Derm Institute are excited to announce the (early) availability of the newest filler approved in the United States—Juvederm Vollure.

Juvederm Vollure, from the makers of Botox, provides long lasting correction of wrinkles, folds, and shadows to help you achieve a more confident, rejuvenated you!

Among the longest lasting fillers currently on market, clinical studies show Vollure is a filler that lasts for 18 months, with most patients seeing improvement for even longer.

To help you get to know your newest Filler BFF, here are some quick facts:

  1. Juvederm Vollure is FDA approved for the correction of —
  • Smile lines (parenthesis lines)
  • Laugh lines
  • Vertical lip lines (aka “smoker’s lines”)
  • Folds around the chin area (aka “marionette lines”)
  1. Vollure can also be used to —
  • Correct undereye circles or hollows
  • Provide volume or enhancement for the lip
  • Contour the forehead
  • Lift the brows
  • Provide soft lift to the cheeks
  • Correct various shadows, hollows, and wrinkles on the face


  1. Vollure is part of the hyaluronic acid Juvederm Vycross family of products, which also includes Voluma and Volbella. Vycross is a crosslinking characteristic of this hyaluronic acid based filler which gives these fillers a longer last.
  1. Studies showed > 50% of patients had improvement of their smile lines even 18 months after initial treatment with Vollure.  Juvederm Vollure is formulated with lidocaine, making the treatment comfortable.
  1. Vollure is a smooth, soft, spreadable gel that helps chase away wrinkles, folds and shadows to give you a softly natural refreshed appearance. The gel causes less swelling than traditional hyaluronic acid fillers, making downtime minimal to none.
  1. Vollure’s main differentiating characteristic is that it is a softer fill compared to other fillers on the market, making it versatile and natural looking, while providing a long lasting result that delivers more value for patients.

Dr. Chiu is proud to be a renown filler expert and national trainer for Vollure, educating other injectors nationwide on ways to achieve the best outcomes with this and other fillers on the market.  The Derm Institute is excited to help you put your most confident face forward.  Juvederm Vollure allows a softer, more natural correction, that makes you look just slightly airbrushed all over—just in time for your selfies . . .

If you want to experience newly available Juvederm Vollure and start your journey towards fresh faced beauty, call us for a consultation today.

… Shared by Your TDI Team

Redefyning What “Natural” Means with Newly Approved Next Generation Fillers

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2017 welcomes two new sugar-molecule Hyaluronic Acid based fillers to the market:  Restylane Refyne and Restylane Defyne.

The Restylane family of fillers have been on the market with proven safety and reliability for over 20 years.  With more and more fillers available to choose from, the dermatologist’s ability to treat patients in a more customized fashion gets better and better.  As usual, because Dr. Chiu is a trainer and renowned expert in injectable fillers—she is among the first doctors in the country to be able to introduce these next generation flexible movement fillers to her patients at The Derm Institute.

Restylane Refyne and Restylane Defyne are soft, flexible, natural appearing fillers that are not rigid or stiff and thus integrate naturally with you, your expressions, and your confidence.  There’s no doubt the thought of fillers often conjure up images of overfilled, unnatural, ‘real-housewives’ of insert city of your choosing.  The good news is—when proportional, natural, balanced rejuvenation is done with an injectable filler expert like Dr. Chiu—no one will know.  These next generation fillers that are more flexible and dynamic and move with your own natural expressions only makes soft, unnoticeable rejuvenation that could not be further from the fears of the frozen, overfilled, alien-looking appearance everyone worries about.

Because of their smooth gel characteristic and unique flexibility—Restylane Refyne and Defyne are great first time fillers as well as those who have had fillers in the past but need a little boost in areas with more movement.

Common areas to use Refyne and Defyne:

  • Undereye circles and hollows. Smooth consistency, less likelihood of movement, and less swelling make Refyne a great new choice for a common complaint.
  • Radiating smile lines of the cheeks. Everyone loves a great smile, but those accordion like lines that bunch up the cheeks can be pesky to treat.  Given the natural integration with movement of Refyne and Defyne, we can soften these lines and still have it look natural.image2image3
  • Laugh Lines (Nasolabial folds and marionette lines). Folds around the mouth are influenced by a lot of movement with talking, eating, smiling.  Defyne can help soften these movements and deep folds while staying in place for up to a year.
  • Hollowing or Dimpling of the mid cheek. Over time, when we make expressions like laughing or smiling, hollows around the mid cheek look more prominent.  Giving a hollowed tired appearance.  Restylane Refyne and Restylane Defyne can soften these areas whether you are smiling or not.

Refyne and Defyne are line extensions of the existing Restylane hyaluronic acid family of fillers using unique XpresHAn Crosslinking technology. This technology allows a more flexible, natural appearing filler that moves with your expressions but doesn’t migrate from the area it was placed.

When fillers are used naturally—it is corrective:  meaning we are replacing lost fat pads and bone structure that occurs with time.  It isn’t about giving you cheeks you never had.  It’s about returning that softness that is associated with youth.  Having products like Restylane Refyne and Defyne allows us to further follow the trend towards natural appearing rejuvenation.  Studies have shown fillers when placed into areas that create wrinkles over time with repeated expression—such as the smokers lines or smile lines, they can actually stimulate the existing fibroblast to produce more collagen.  Making them truly preventative as well.

Like all hyaluronic acid fillers, including Juvederm and Voluma results can be reversed easily—but once you see how soft and natural you look— your worries about looking “done” will dissolve away. . .

…Shared by your TDI Team

3 Ways to Debut a New You in the New Year

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Start the New Year off right and try some of our most popular minimally invasive procedures to debut a new, more confident you. With procedures like the Clear + Brilliant laser, natural fillers, and body contouring, you will be looking your best in 2017.

Clear + Brilliant Laser

The Clear + Brilliant Laser is a gentle laser treatment that fights against signs of aging and discoloration to reveal smoother, glowing skin. Clear + Brilliant Laser has an 87% RealSelf.com Worth It rating.

New + Natural Fillers

New and natural fillers can be exclusively customized to fit your indiviudal needs, including Juvederm Volbella, Restylane Refyne, and Restylane Defyne. Juvederm Volbella has an 86% RealSelf.com Worth It rating.

Fire + Ice Body Contouring

This treatment combines the fat eliminating heat energy of Vanquish ME and the fat freezing technology of CoolSculpting. CoolSculpting has an 83% RealSelf.com Worth It rating.

For more information on these procedures, or to schedule a consultation, please contact The Derm Institute.

New Year, New You