Radiesse vs Restylane: Target Areas, Comparison & Recommendations

Close-up of a womans face with a tree in the background

Radiesse is a semi-permanent dermal filler that is able to provide long-lasting, natural looking results for patients seeking to smooth out lines and wrinkles and restore volume to areas of the face that have become sunken or sagging due to the process of aging or illness. Radiesse is different from many other dermal fillers available on the market due to its composition. While many fillers are hyaluronic acid-based, Radiesse is composed of tiny microspheres of calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA). Though the microspheres are synthetically produced, calcium hydroxylapatite is a substance that occurs naturally within the body, primarily within bones, making Radiesse incredibly safe and biocompatible.

Radiesse works by not only providing an instant filling and plumping effect upon injection, but also functions as a biostimulant, helping the body to begin producing its own natural supply of collagen. As collagen is one of the key proteins that keep the skin looking young and firm, this new source of collagen helps restore the skin to its younger, more radiant appearance. It is Radiesse’s ability as a biostimulant that helps provide such long-lasting results, as even after the microspheres have dissolved naturally within the body, the newly produces stores of collagen remain.

Restylane is a hyaluronic acid-based filler made of non-animal stabilized hyaluronic acid (NASHA). Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is found naturally in the human body and plays an important role in keeping the skin looking young and hydrated. As we age, the body produces less hyaluronic acid, leaving skin drier, thinner, and more vulnerable to lines and wrinkles. By replenishing the skin with hyaluronic acid, Restylane is able to restore volume that has been lost due to the process of aging, providing patients with natural-looking, radiant results. Hyaluronic acid is able to immediately bind with water molecules and is able hold onto 1000 times its own weight in moisture. As such, Restylane is able to plump up the skin and smooth out wrinkles immediately upon injection.

What can Radiesse treat?

Radiesse can not only help treat the facial contour by restoring or adding volume to areas where the patient would like more definition, but it can also help smooth and correct lines and wrinkles. Radiesse is FDA-approved for the treatment of shallow to deep facial wrinkles and folds in the lower region of the face. The wrinkles that Radiesse is able to treat include:

  • Nasolabial folds – also referred to as “smile lines,” these folds are the creases that begin at the outside corners of the nose and spread downward toward the outer corners of the mouth.
  • Marionette lines – as the name suggests, these lines resemble the lines on a marionette that descend from the outer corners of the mouth to the chin.

In addition to lines and folds, Radiesse is also able to add volume into areas that require augmentation or definition. Radiesse is able to assist in many procedures that were once only achieve through surgery, and many patients have benefitted from the easy, quick, and relatively painless non-surgical options that Radiesse offers. The non-surgical procedures that Radiesse can be used for include:

  • Cheek augmentation;
  • Chin augmentation;
  • Rhinoplasty;
  • Jawline sculpting.

What can Restylane treat?

Restylane is FDA-approved for the treatment of moderate to severe facial folds and wrinkles and can also add volume to the lips. Restylane is most often used for:

  • Correction of moderate to severe nasolabial folds;
  • Correction of moderate to severe marionette lines;
  • Augmentation and shaping of the lips.

Differences between Radiesse vs Restylane

The most obvious difference between Radiesse vs Restylane is that they are compositionally different, which means they each provide results in different ways. Radiesse may offer some immediate volume, but the majority of results appear gradually over time, whereas Restylane provides immediate results that do not alter much after treatment. The manner in with the formulations function also makes a difference when it comes to the duration of results. Radiesse provides long lasting results, with patients experiencing seeing the effects for anywhere from nine to 18 months, depending on the area of injection. Restylane, on the other hand, provides results that last between six to nine months for lines and wrinkles.

The compositional difference also affects the viscosity of the fillers. Radiesse is thicker and therefore more suitable for deeper injections for more severe lines and wrinkles. Restylane is thinner, making it more suitable for lines and wrinkles that are finer in nature. The thinness of Restylane also makes it a suitable filler for the lips, whereas Radiesse cannot be used in that sensitive area without the risk of lumps and bumps forming. When Restylane is used in the lips, results typically last for three to four months.

Another major difference between Radiesse vs Restylane is that Restylane is reversible while Radiesse is not. Hyaluronic acid can be dissolved quickly using the enzyme hyaluronidase, while there is no equivalent dissolving injectable for Radiesse.


Note on articles: These articles are not endorsed by DoctorMedica nor reviewed for medical accuracy. Similarly, views and opinions expressed are those of the author only. Articles are meant for informational purposes only. Ask your doctor for professional medical advice.


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