If you’ve been thinking about correcting the lines and wrinkles on your face, you’ve likely heard of Juvederm. This collection of injectable dermal fillers is highly popular in the U.S., mostly thanks to consistent and long-lasting results. And at Zormeier Cosmetic Surgery & Longevity Center in Noblesville, Shelbyville, and Danville, IN and Healdsburg and Ukiah, CA, we see the changes in patients for ourselves, both in how they look and feel.
How Is Juvederm Different From Other Fillers?
The most discernible difference is in hyaluronic acid (HA) content. To be clear, this injectable has the highest concentration of cross-linked HA of any dermal filler on the market. This delivers smooth, natural, and glossy results, meaning the HA helps give your skin an incandescent glow. But before we go further, we need to explain HA and cross-linking.
What Is HA?
This substance occurs naturally throughout the body, with dense clusters found in the skin, connective tissues, cartilage, and fluid between joints. It is a highly soluble substance, so much so that HA can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water molecules. This explains why it is the most hydrating substance in the body and helps to give skin a soft and well-moisturized appearance.
HA also provides tissue stability, elasticity, and cohesion. But, in its natural state, this substance rapidly breaks down. The lymphatics quickly clear it away and the liver reduces it within just two days to carbon dioxide and water. To sustain the molecules so they can be injected under the skin – and deliver visible plumping – they must be chemically engineered.
Cross-Linking Is Key
This means the smaller but stable natural molecules have to be bound, or cross-linked, to each other using repeatable chemical bridges. This creates a longer and more stable chain able to retain its shape for a longer period of time. Once the chains are no longer susceptible to normal enzymatic degradation, the product becomes thick enough for injecting. And the more links that are created and cross-linked, the stronger the product grows.
For the sake of comparison, Restylane is 80 percent cross-linked, while Juvederm is 90 percent. The higher cross-linking makes this product more suitable for lifting even as it also volumizes. This makes a difference when choosing which filler is more ideal for a particular treatment spot; for instance, this treatment does a great job of volumizing the mid-face area, especially the cheeks.
Vycross Technology (VT) incorporates a combination of molecular weights in the injectables’ formulas. Before this proprietary technique exclusive to Juvederm, dermal fillers mostly consisted of 100 percent high molecular weights. With VT, the formula contains HA molecules that are 90 percent low weight and 10 percent high. This allows our staff to mold and contour the injectable for a more natural appearance.
Additional benefits include:
- Smoother delivery free of bumps and lumps
- Fewer side effects like swelling and pain
- Customizable results
Inclusion of Lidocaine
All of Juvederm’s injectables contain lidocaine, the benefits of which are numerous. First and foremost, this means reduced pain sensitivity for a more enjoyable treatment. This ingredient also reduces the anxiety that many patients feel at their first session. We understand this fear is related to the unknown, but Lidocaine produces a greater sense of predictability by eliminating pain.
Studies show lidocaine enhances patient comfort and optimizes the overall experience without changing treatment safety or efficacy. It takes just 90 seconds to numb the treatment site but lasts less than 20 minutes so your face doesn’t feel distorted the rest of the day.
It’s important to recognize that several different formulas fall under this label, and each delivers different results in terms of longevity. Some are more flexible and intended for use around the mouth, while others are more robust and help lift features for improved contours. The point, however, is that this treatment produces results that can last up to two years, which is significantly longer than most other HA fillers.
Proven Safe for All Skin Colors and Tones
This is the first injectable HA gel to earn FDA approval for treating patients with a range of skin tones. Studies confirm it does not increase a patient’s risk of hypertrophic scarring or hyperpigmentation when used on fair, medium, or dark complexions. And it’s also equally effective across the board.
The Collection of Formulas
As we mentioned earlier, several different formulas fall under the Juvederm umbrella. We’ll start with Ultra XC (the XC denotes lidocaine), primarily used to re-shape and/or volumize lips and correct lines in the perioral area. It can also treat slight to moderate wrinkles and improve the appearance of scars. With its thinner consistency, Ultra works best when injected into higher layers of the skin.
Aging renders changes to the face – we all know that. One of these changes includes sagging skin in the cheek area prompted by a loss of volume as fat slides downward. Voluma restores that lost volume by working below the skin’s surface. With skillful application, it lifts and plumps cheeks to deliver a more youthful appearance. It can also be used to contour the chin in a way that improves your profile.
When injected into facial tissues with moderate to severe wrinkles and folds, this formula can smooth the entire face. It’s especially effective on the parentheses that often form on either side of the nose and mouth. Also known as nasolabial folds, these grow more visible with each passing year. But the velvety consistency of Vollure softens these lines so your face also looks softer.
Designed specifically for the lips, Volbella augments your pout and eradicates perioral lines, also known as lipstick lines. It’s earned FDA approval for both of these effects, delivering results that can be subtle or dramatic (but not over-done), depending on your treatment goals. Additional enhancements include:
- More definition in the lips
- Smoother skin around the mouth
- Reduced creases below the lips
A Few Precautions
We’ll likely recommend you take a few precautionary steps after treatment to optimize your results and safeguard your skin. For instance, we tell most patients to avoid strenuous exercise and sun/heat exposure for 24 hours. It’s also important to avoid rubbing the treated site for a few days, and pat rather than wipe your face dry to avoid irritation.
Before treatment, it’s important that you tell us if you:
- Are pregnant or nursing
- Have a history of excessive scarring or pigmentation disorders
- Are currently on therapy to suppress your natural immune responses
- Take blood-thinning medications
This treatment often gets compared to Radiesse, as both are popular fillers that can smooth lines and wrinkles. But a few differences separate these therapies in critical ways. The former lists HA as its active ingredient, while Radiesse contains calcium microspheres that mimic the structure of bones and teeth. Its consistency makes Juvederm more ideal for correcting lipstick lines, fine lines, and moderate wrinkles; it’s also beneficial for volumizing the lips.
Radiesse, on the other hand, is better suited to more severe folds. It’s also important to note the initial effects of Radiesse last between three and six months. Longer-lasting results develop as the calcium particles create a scaffold that supports tissues for more subtle volumizing. You may therefore see changes to your appearance as these different mechanisms go to work.
Restylane is another injectable commonly compared to Juvederm but, again, key differences distinguish the treatments. Let’s start with consistency; the former is described as a granular gel, while the latter is smooth. Because it’s more cohesive, Restylane tends to stay where it is placed and can provide substantial volume. It is, however, prone to lumps the latter treatment does not produce, meaning Restylane must be actively smoothed during treatment.
These treatments also differ in terms of duration. The hyaluronic acid molecules that comprise Juvederm are 35 percent more cross-linked than those of Restylane. For many patients, this delivers longer-lasting results. Some also prefer the smoother consistency so there’s no risk of visible bumps.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because treatment is delivered to the face, most patients want to know what the treatment experience is like. Although every patient poses unique needs and concerns, the treatment process itself is fairly standard. We’ll start with a consultation, which allows us to take your medical history and perform a facial analysis. This is your chance to discuss your treatment goals so that we can, in turn, craft a treatment plan that delivers the desired results.
On the day of treatment, we’ll start by cleansing the treatment site. If a topical numbing agent needs to be applied, we’ll take this step next. We’ll then proceed with placing targeted injections in the designated area. This process generally takes an hour, sometimes less depending upon the number of areas we’re treating.
Is This Treatment Different From Botox?
The answer is yes. This injectable restores volume for a smooth, natural look and feel. Botox, on the other hand, temporarily relaxes muscles without filling folds and wrinkles. This limits skin movement so lines and wrinkles cannot show. Many times, patients choose to combine the two treatments for broader results.
When Will I See Results?
This differs slightly for every patient, but most see immediate results. Meaning, you’ll notice visibly plumper and softer skin before you leave our office. Full effects will continue developing in the coming days, so expect additional aesthetic changes. These often include firmer and brighter skin, more plumping, and more definition.
Is Treatment Painful?
Thanks to the formula’s smooth consistency and fine needle application, this injectable causes minimal discomfort. And, as we discussed earlier, the inclusion of lidocaine eases anxiety and makes for an easy treatment experience.
Do Results Look Natural?
Absolutely. We like to follow the motto that less is more when it comes to injectables, which helps us deliver subtle, natural enhancements that only suggest something about your appearance is different. Whether you’re laughing, smiling, or frowning, you’ll still look like you.
Will Hyaluronic Acid Benefit My Skin?
We already touched on the hydrating effects of HA, but its benefits extend even further to include:
- Dewy skin that looks fresh and bouncy
- Reduced puffiness
- Natural correction of fine lines around the eyes
- Skin that retains its moisture for longer
A Unique Treatment
While it may seem that all dermal fillers are created equally, we can assure you they’re not. Juvederm provides dependable results in a minimally-invasive way that reduces pain, helps you look more youthful, and supports overall skin health. Schedule your consultation today by calling Zormeier Cosmetic Surgery & Longevity Center in Noblesville, Shelbyville, and Danville, IN, and Healdsburg and Ukiah, CA.