What Is A Collagen Injection For Face?

woman cosmetic surgery using collagen injections

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Ready to look at alternatives for your anti-aging routine? Well, you'll want to consider a facial collagen injection, also known as a dermal filler or soft tissue augmentation. It's a popular cosmetic procedure usually done in a spa, dermatologist's or plastic surgeon's office.

Actually, dermal fillers are a temporary anti-aging beauty enhancement that may help roll back the hands of time by:

  • Smoothing out wrinkles
  • Softening smile, laugh and frown lines (nasolabial folds)
  • Filling in skin depressions,  
  • Propping up sagging skin,
  • Lightening acne scars and stretch marks, and
  • Plumping lips

As a matter of fact, a study was done in using a dermal filler for lips and the results were positive. After the treatment, the fillers ended up being well-tolerated, durable and effective.

In this article, we will focus on what is a collagen injection for the face. It could be the anti-aging solution you've been looking for!

Pluses and Minuses Chart of Collagen Facial Injections

Pluses of Collagen Injectable Fillers

  • Lowest rate of infection since collagen is a natural nutrient in your body
  • Low incidence of side effects like nausea and headaches
  • No more painful than a regular shock since anesthetic is used
  • High success rate
  • Natural-looking results (vs. Botex for example)
  • Can be used in multiple areas on the face
  • Little down-time after treatment, most people go right back to work
  • Patients can see results quickly

Minuses of Collagen Injectable Fillers

  • Collagen injections can be expensive
  • May not be as long-lasting as other cosmetic procedures
  • You will need an allergy test before treatment
  • Although side effects are minimal, they can be severe

Injections not your thing? Check out other ways collagen can help you brighten under eyes and lessen eye bags

Why Do Collagen Injections Work?

To better understand how dermal fillers works, we have to learn a little bit about the science behind collagen and the skin.

First, collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. Collagen is concentrated in your skin and provides structure and strength for the largest organ in your body.

However, starting in your 30s, new collagen production drops--then it drops dramatically during and after menopause. 

Unfortunately, existing collagen also breaks down over time as you age, often as a result of being exposed to the sun, smoke, stress or have a poor diet.

What does that lead to?

You'll start to see wrinkles, fine lines, sagging and crepey skin staring back at you in the mirror.

Collagen dermal injections for anti-aging

How Do Dermal Fillers Work?

For the most part, there are two sources of collagen injectable fillers that are mainly used: human-based and bovine collagen (from cows). 

Actually, bovine collagen is the most well-known and widely-used active ingredient. Its extracted from a cow’s skin, then sterilized and liquefied for use during a collagen filler session.

It’s usually the least costly type of collagen, and costs approximately $250 to $850 per session.

Furthermore, the results of the therapy lasts between two months and a year, although touch-ups are common.

What's good news is that this cosmetic approach can actually stimulate the body's own production of collagen, which potentially lengthens the time necessary between touch-ups.

Your doctor will discuss the options and products that are available and the risks associated with each approach.

What To Expect Before and During Treatment

After checking the patient’s medical history, the doctor will usually perform a test to see if the collagen could result in an allergic reaction.  

Afterwards, the results of the allergy test will be monitored for around 30 days. If conditions like swelling, itching, or redness appear, as the patient, you'll have to work with your doctor for alternatives.

If no allergic conditions arise, the doctor will proceed and provide further instructions, which might include nutritional advice and to orders to avoid alcohol and smoking.

It’s imperative to follow these instructions from your healthcare provider so you receive the best possible results from a facial dermal filler session.

No matter what version of collagen filler you choose, the actual treatment is pretty simple and low-risk.

The process from start to finish will usually take 30 to 60 minutes and the results will be visible generally in the next few days.

Since some patients might find needles to be uncomfortable, so an anesthetic (usually lidocaine) will use to minimize any discomfort or pain. 

Collagen Injection Side Effects

Assuming your allergy test comes back a-okay, you will probably not experience side effects to this anti-aging treatment option.

However, although the incidence of side effects is low with dermal fillers, you still may experience the following:

  • Redness and discomfort at the injection site
  • Swelling, bruising, bleeding
  • Skin rash
  • Scarring
  • Lumps
  • Broken blood vessel 
  • Blindness if done too close to the eye

Who Should Avoid a Facial Collagen Injection?

Most people with generally good health are candidates for collagen injection therapy.

However, if you're pregnant/nursing or allergic to lidocaine, you'll want to avoid this anti-aging remedy.

If you're allergic to bovine-sourced products, then you'll want to not use this cosmetic approach. (Alternatively, collagen from humans or synthetic collagen can be used instead.)

Collagen vs. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Fillers

Importantly, collagen and hyaluronic acid fillers for your face both use naturally-occurring substances in the dermal injections.


It should be noted, collagen protein is abundant in your body and provides structure to your skin, organs and vessels. 

In fact, collagen is concentrated in your skin.

By injecting parts of your face with collagen, it will stimulate your body to make new collagen along and give your face more fullness.

How long does a collagen injection last?  A collagen dermal injection will usually last 12 months or longer.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

On the other hand, HA injections can effectively plump and hydrate your skin and lips by trapping water molecules beneath the surface, resulting in softer, smoother skin.

In addition, it can also help stimulate new collagen production.

A hyaluronic acid injection can last between 6-12 months, although additional treatments might be required to keep the appearance.

We recommend consulting with your aesthetician or plastic surgeon to determine which approach would be better for you.


A facial collagen injection (collagen filler) is a popular cosmetic procedure and can be used to help reduce wrinkles and fine lines and prop up sagging skin on the face and neck.

Although collagen injections for your face are a popular anti-aging cosmetic option, other dermal fillers options include using fat from your body, synthetic types of collagen or hyaluronic acid, too.

If you don't like the idea or cost of cosmetic surgery, collagen or other derma fillers, you have other options. For example, you you can take a quality collagen supplement, use collagen-containing facial oils and serum and/or eat collagen-rich foods.

In closing, collagen facial injections are a good way to restore your youthful look from years before, check with your dermatology or anti-aging specialist today to see if they are right for you.