The facial injectable industry has come a long way since the first breakthrough made in the late 1800s, when two doctors began experimenting with paraffin to inject into the body and face for the purpose of augmentation. Of course this had a detrimental impact on the patients that were treated; the paraffin would migrate around the body which would lead to infection and amputation in some cases. Meanwhile Dr Neuber was the first professional to experiment with taking fat from certain areas of the body (like the arms) and using it to add contours and definition to the face.
Paraffin was not the only injectable catastrophe – silicone, a synthetic rubber was used in the early 40s to enhance the appearance of breasts and later used in the face towards the 1960s. The silicone phenomena led to serious side effects in patients – resulting in a build up of small nodules in the body, respiratory failure, blood clots and sometimes, even death. Silicone was eventually investigated due to the significant rise in complications and officially banned for cosmetic use in 1992 by the FDA.
During the 1980s, the FDA approved bovine collagen to be used in cosmetic injection; the product is manufactured out of cow skin and over time, the human body accepts it as its own tissue. Hyaluronic acid-based fillers were being tested globally at this time.
It took until 2003 for the FDA to improve hyaluronic acid-based filler and 3 more years for award-winning Restylane to hit the shelves. Hyaluronic acid is a fluid produced within our bodies anyway and was highly sought after due the minimal risk of using it. Juvederm was introduced in 2007 which revolutionised the fillers and techniques we use today due to the variety of thicknesses and finishes available.