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3 ways you can avoid 'pillow face', according to our experts

EV expert Dr Emmaline Ashley shares her top tips for keeping pillow face at bay, and how to use dermal filler correctly

You may well have heard the term 'pillow face' to describe when dermal filler is used in excess, and or placed in the wrong areas – leaving the face looking puffy or “overfilled”.

And according to Etre Vous Expert, Dr Emmaline Ashley, "this is an issue that often arises when dermal fillers are injected by lay injectors who have no professional qualifications which means that expertise and ethics are often lacking. Cheap products sourced from the internet can also contribute to the unnatural appearance in these cases. The culmination has unfortunately led 'pillow face' to become a popular misconception about filler and has given facial dermal filler treatments a bad name."

If your semi-permanent filler leaves you looking like a blowfish it is possible to dissolve filler safely if needed, but to avoid pillow face altogether, Ashley recommends the following…

See a medical professional

“My most important tip is to go to someone who is medical and knows what they are doing, and you are very unlikely to get an unnatural result. I’m a strong advocate in making sure you only go to medically qualified professionals for medical treatments, and working with an ethical clinician is the best way to make sure you don’t ever suffer from this look. Most clinicians will respect the natural anatomy of your face, know how much is too much, and most importantly say “no” to inappropriate treatments.”

Have realistic expectations

“Many of the distorted and unnatural results that are seen on social media are the consequence of forcing too much filler into a small anatomical space all at once, leading to a distortion of the anatomy. To avoid a puffy appearance less is more, as filler is meant to add youthful plumpness where needed, as well as contour and define. It’s best to build up results slowly. Your clinician will guide you in this, but often to get to your final result it will require several sessions spaced out over time.”

Explore alternatives to filler

"If you are suffering from loose or sagging skin, there are a multitude of medical device-based treatments like radio frequency therapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), and carbon dioxide lasers that can help boost collagen and may be more appropriate to address that concern. While muscle relaxing injections can help smooth lines and wrinkles, and PDO threads can lift the skin."

Emmaline Ashley, Aesthetic Doctor

I'm Dr Emmaline Ashley, the founder of Ashley Aesthetics. I'm passionate about beauty, wellness and science. I wanted...

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