Written by Karen Vieira, PhD MSM
Belotero is a complete line of dermal fillers that use hyaluronic acid (HA) as their active ingredient. Among plastic surgeons and skin specialists, HA is known as the “Holy Grail” for youthful skin because of its ability to naturally reduce the appearance of lines and folds in facial skin, and to provide volume and contour enhancement to the lips.
Hyaluronic acid is found naturally throughout the human body, where it is used to provide support and hydration to important structures, such as joints and the skin. Because it is natural to the body, Belotero injections are readily accepted and integrated into the skin structure, and it stays in place for a long time.
The Belotero product line is designed to give optimal effects tailored to each individual’s treatment goals. The face has various distinct areas with differing skin thickness and aging characteristics, and of course, each person’s skin is a little different. The versatile Belotero line gives you and your healthcare provider the flexibility to tailor your treatment to your specific needs and concerns:
- Belotero Soft: for subtle smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles, such as lines around the mouth, forehead lines, and “crow’s feet”
- Belotero Lips Shape, and Belotero Lips Contour: two products specifically designed for lip contouring and volume enhancement
- Belotero Balance: for moderate to deep lines and wrinkles, such as lines around the mouth, frown lines, nasolabial lines (the lines from the nose to the corners of the mouth), and marionette lines (lines at the corner of the mouth)
- Belotero Intense: specifically designed for deeper lines and folds, such as moderate to severe nasolabial lines, and marionette lines
- Belotero Volume: for lifting and shaping areas that have suffered age-related volume loss, such as the cheeks, temples, and chin.
The list of skin rejuvenation effects of HA products such as Belotero is impressive. The volume of the injection itself provides much needed lift and support, but it also draws in natural body fluids (1,000 times its own volume). This provides additional lift, but also makes Belotero a superb moisturizer, and further enhances its youthful effects.
This effect is long lasting, because it helps the skin maintain youthful hydration by preventing water loss through the skin. Not only does it fill in lines and wrinkles, but it improves skin elasticity, which provides further youthful rejuvenation. It has even been shown to enhance wound healing, and reduce facial redness and eczema.
The main skin rejuvenation effect of Belotero comes from HA’s ability to stimulate the body’s own natural collagen production, thereby establishing a strong support matrix to promote skin suppleness and firmness.
Belotero is meant for people age 18 and up who have a healthy immune system.
The safety of Belotero has not been established for women who are pregnant, lactating, or breastfeeding.
Anyone with a history of severe or multiple allergies, especially to “gram-positive” bacterial proteins, should also avoid Belotero. Gram-positive bacteria are types of germs that have a thicker cell wall, and contain a special kind of substance (known as peptidoglycan) that can, though rare, cause allergic responses in some people. These kinds of bacteria can cause certain infections, such as pneumonia and skin infections.
People who are prone to keloid formation or hypertrophic scarring should not receive Belotero treatments.
Your treating doctor will take a full medical history to ensure that Belotero treatments are right for you.
Skill and experience play an important role in getting the best Belotero results. It’s recommended that you do some research prior to booking an appointment, to find the right provider.
The following are tips to help you choose an experienced provider:
- Choose a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist.
- View before and after photos
- Read online reviews about the provider
The procedure begins with your doctor taking your medical history, including your allergies and any medications that you take. The doctor will also discuss with you the potential adverse effects of the procedure, and what to expect from treatment.
Next, the treatment area is sterilized, and local anesthetic may be used to ensure a more comfortable experience. Most Belotero products already contain the local anesthetic numbing agent lidocaine.
The injections are done with a fine-gauge needle.
The entire procedure usually takes anywhere from 15 -30 minutes, depending on what you’re having done. After the injection has been delivered, you are free to leave the office immediately.
Some people may require a touch-up treatment after the initial treatment to optimize their desired look.
One of the outstanding characteristics of Belotero is the long-lasting results compared to other HA-based fillers. The results usually last 9-18 months, depending on individual factors, such as:
- The type and area of treatment
- Type of Belotero product used:
- Belotero Basic/Balance: Lasts up to 6 months for lips and moderate lines
- Belotero Soft: Last up to 12 months for lips and fine lines
- Belotero Intense: Lasts up to 12 months for lips and deep lines
- Belotoro Volume: Lasts up to 18 months for temples and cheeks
- The severity of the age-related changes being treated
- Your age and lifestyle
- Your body’s specific makeup and metabolism
- Your lifestyle
- Your skin type
The most common side effects of a Belotero treatment include: redness, swelling, itching, bruising, and pain or tenderness at the injection site. These side effects, if they occur, usually subside within 1 to 2 weeks. Skin discoloration and lump formation may also occur. Hyaluronic acid can be reversed with hyaluronidase if necessary, to counteract side effects.
Your treating physician will discuss the full range of possible side effects with you prior to treatment.
Belotero requires minimal recovery time. Most people can return to their usual activities almost immediately after their appointment.
Some swelling and bruising are common after injections and can take up to two weeks to resolve. If after 2 weeks you are not satisfied with your Belotero results, you can ask your provider to have it dissolved with hyaluronidase.
Some precautions are advised after a Belotero treatment:
- Avoid applying makeup for 12 hours after a treatment
- Avoid alcohol for 24 hours
- Avoid taking aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Avoid putting pressure on treated areas
- Avoid saunas, prolonged sun or UV exposure, and extreme cold for two weeks.
The average cost of Belotero is around $500-$600 per treatment session.
The overall cost of the procedure will depend on a number of factors:
- The number of syringes used
- The duration of the treatment session
- Your geographic area
- The skill level and fee schedule of the treating physician
- The number of treatment sessions required
- Type of Belotero product used
Some people are able to achieve their desired results with one treatment, while others may require touch-up treatments. If you wish to spread out the costs of treatment, ask your doctor about financing and repayment options.
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2019). How much do dermal fillers cost? Retrieved from https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/dermal-fillers/cost
- Lorenc, Z., Fagien, S., Flynn, T., & Waldorf, H. (2013). Review of key Belotero Balance safety and efficacy trials. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 132(4 Suppl 2), 33S-40S. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31829a07d5
- Merz Aesthetics. (2019). Product portfolio. Retrieved from https://www.merzaesthetics.com/products/
- Prasetyo, A., Prager, W., Rubin, M., Moretti, E., & Nikolis, A. (2016). Hyaluronic acid fillers with cohesive polydensified matrix for soft-tissue augmentation and rejuvenation: A literature review. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 9, 257-280. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5021061/