Follow Vogue Arabia

Fillers, Decoded: An Expert Aesthetician Shares Her Top Tips to Looking Like Your Best Self

Vogue Arabia, September 2021. Photo: Desiree Mattsson

Once spoken about in hushed tones, aesthetic facial procedures are slowly but surely coming out into the light, and for good reason. Thanks to a new wave of clinics and skillful professionals, procedures can be painless, and last as little as 10 minutes, with surprisingly long-lasting effects that can range from subtle to statement-making. Fillers, in particular, are becoming a global favorite—these concoctions serve a myriad of roles, from brightening dull spots to adding definition to the face, and even softening harsh features for a youthful, relaxed look.

But what are fillers, really? For those who have always been hesitant about facial augmentation, Dr. Halah Taha of Dubai’s newest beauty hot spot, Ouronyx, breaks it down: “Filler is a gel-like substance composed of hyaluronic acid (HA), a ‘sugar’ found naturally in the skin that is responsible for hydrating and plumping up the tissues. Injecting dermal fillers into the face can improve the appearance of facial lines, wrinkles and volume loss caused by age or other certain conditions.” The result: a more rested, rejuvenated and younger looking face.

Raised and educated in the UAE, the Iraqi doctor has become well-known for her impeccable eye for aesthetics and dexterous use of fillers, ensuring that every patient who walks into her office leaves looking—and feeling—like the best version of themselves. “I take care of people with aspirations of a better life,” Dr. Taha shares. “Doing so will have an impact on their personality and social life. It is a huge responsibility and a great privilege to be able to improve their lives in such a positive way. I’m content and not at all stressed because I truly enjoy my job.”

Photo: Courtesy Dr. Halah Taha

Along with Dr. Taha’s mastery, what adds an extra layer of personal care into the mix is the approach Ouronyx takes towards getting to know each patient on its roster. Prior to any consultations, the clinic invites visitors to complete a personality test and have their face shot in 3D to help doctors truly understand what each patient needs for their lifestyle and routine. Even before she begins to discuss injections, “I make a full aesthetic assessment of the patient and their exact personal needs,” Dr. Taha explains. “I take their anatomical structure into consideration and move in stages to leave a natural overall result. With the help of our 3D imaging as well as our personality tests, all areas are met in order to understand the patient’s fears and goals to give a fully personalized experience.”

Below, Dr. Halah Taha answers every question you’ve ever had about facial cosmetic procedures.

How often should a patient get fillers?
It depends on the area, product and the amount that was injected. For example, if the area is mobile (like lips), the filler will disappear a little faster. But if the area is not mobile (like the tear trough or temples), it will stay up to one year. Usually, however, fillers last around 10 months.

Are there different kinds of fillers used on different parts of the face?
Of course, we have different forms which are designed to be used in different areas of the face with different indications for each.

In your experience, what’s the most common mistake patients make when they come in for fillers?
Most of the time, they are unfortunately chasing offers and overdoing it without caring about the safety and aesthetic of naturally enhanced results.

What is the biggest myth about fillers according to you?
“My face will become worse after the fillers effect passed.” I always explain to my clients that if you use the right type and amount of filler, you will not face these issues — on the contrary, the area will improve since hyaluronic acid stimulates your collagen synthesis.

What age do you recommend people start using fillers?
It depends based on their needs but the best age is after 21. However, I recommend starting with skin booster injections first for deep hydration and rejuvenation.

Is there any way patients can make the effects of filler last longer?
Skincare is key. Hydrating the skin is very important and I cannot stress enough how much anti-aging products and a proper routine helps you. Hydration isn’t limited to external products, so make sure to drink a good amount of water daily.

What’s one piece of advice you would like to give patients who are nervous about trying fillers for the first time?
Come try our consultation process and rest assured you will feel secure and comfortable taking your first step.

Vogue Arabia’s key pointers on facial cosmetic procedures

More isn’t always more

You’ve finally found the perfect doctor, and you’re feeling confident about your first filler session. But don’t let your enthusiasm get the better of you. Instead of racing to the finish line, it’s always recommended that patients start off slow, opting for a few minor adjustments, then waiting for a duration of 2-3 weeks before visiting their clinic again to discuss next steps. While doable, adding more filler is an easier job done than reversing what’s already been added in, and can lead to further irritation and bruising of skin.

It’s imperative to stay true to yourself

You may love Angelina Jolie’s lips or Jennifer Lopez’s nose, but that doesn’t mean you should get them. While cosmetic surgery and less invasive fillers can help recreate a feature you love, things can go horribly wrong if your main aim is to look like another person, simply because your basic foundation may not actually be able to carry off a certain feature, be it a thinner nose, fuller lips, or certain jawline. It’s important to zero in on enhancements that complement what you’ve already got, instead of hoping for a successful face swap.

Slow and steady wins the race

A common habit among patients is to expect immediate results after a filler session. While they’re not wrong to do so (certain areas of the face, such as lips, look plumper within minutes of injecting and when done right, leave zero bruising), fillers do take time to settle, and the first week after a procedure can leave the face looking slightly swollen. In such cases, it’s best not to panic, and to wait for the inflammation to calm down naturally.

View All
Vogue Collection