Restylane vs. Juvederm vs. Sculptra – with all the options available today, how do you know which dermal filler to choose? A consultation with your doctor is key in choosing the dermal filler that’s right for you. Your facial anatomy, the areas you desire to improve, and how long it will last will be among the determining factors in choosing the best filler for you.
As part of the natural aging process, our skin begins to thin out and collagen production slows down causing the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and volume loss. Today, we have the privilege of having products available to us to slow down the effects of the aging process through non-invasive and non-surgical dermal fillers. Restylane®, Juvederm®, and Sculptra® are all popular products that are available to help slow down the effects of aging.
What Types of Dermal Fillers Are Available?
There are natural dermal fillers and synthetic ones. Here is a quick comparison of some of the most popular derma fillers available on the market today: Restylane®, Juvederm®, and Sculptra. Both Restylane and Juvederm offer custom formulations created for specific areas of the face.
Restylane was approved by the FDA in 2003 and the company has since added to their product line with their newest addition approved in 2020. It is made with hyaluronic acid (HA) – a substance that naturally exists in our skin. When hyaluronic acid is injected into specific areas, it restores the volume in that area.
Restylane is offered in different formulations, some including lidocaine, which helps ease injection discomfort. These formulations vary in particle size to address anything from fine lines and wrinkles to deep lines and also add increased volume.
The Restylane® product line includes:
- Restylane® Refyne,
- Restylane® Silk,
- Restylane® Kysse,
- Restylane® Lyft,
- Restylane® Defyne, and
Restylane can last anywhere from 6-9 months. Side effects can include bruising, swelling at the injection site, redness. Rare but other more serious side effects can include: infections, allergic reactions, keloids, and superficial necrosis, etc.
Juvederm was approved by the FDA in 2006 for use as a cosmetic filler. The Juvederm family of products has continued to grow and gain approval from the FDA with Juvederm® Voluma XE being the newest on the scene with its 2019 FDA approval.
Juvederm is a combination of hyaluronic acid, water, and lidocaine. Hyaluronic acid (HA) helps hold in moisture and increase collagen production, and lidocaine helps ease discomfort during the injections.
There are five fillers in the Juvederm® family:
Each was created to work perfectly in different areas of the face. Juvederm tends to be a little more expensive but the results last longer for most individuals.
Both Restylane and Juvederm are non-invasive, non-surgical procedures with no related downtime. The procedures take anywhere from 15 – 60 minutes depending on the number of areas being treated. Because both Restylane and Juvederm are HA-based, it is possible to combine treatments or use either interchangeably. Both provide instant results and are also totally reversible.
You May Not Be a Good Candidate for Restylane or Juvederm if You:
- have allergies to any ingredients in the injections;
- have a history of multiple severe allergies or allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis;
- tend to scar very easily or have pigmentation disorders;
- are taking blood thinners or any medication that thins the blood;
- have a health history of bleeding disorders.
Sculptra is a bit different than Juvederm or Restylane in that it is made of a synthetic substance called poly-L-lactic acid. It is in the derma filler category but is not actually a filler. It is a substance that promotes collagen growth where it is injected. It has been on the medical scene since 1999 and was approved in 2004 by the FDA to treat lipoatrophy in HIV-positive patients. It was discovered that in and around the injection areas, new collagen was produced. In 2014 the FDA approved Sculptra for treating wrinkles and folds on the face.
Normally two to three Sculptra treatments will be necessary over the course of a 2-3 month period. Unlike Juvederm or Restylane where results are immediate, the results of Sculptra will appear gradually. The injections stimulate your body to produce more collagen which naturally, over time, reduces the wrinkles and lines in your face. After about 8 weeks your doctor will consult with you to discuss your progress and determine if more injections are needed. The results of Sculptra last 2-3 years.
Side effects may include injection site swelling, tenderness, redness, pain, bruising, bleeding, itching, and lumps. Other side effects that have been reported are the delayed onset of larger lumps, inflammation, and skin discoloration.
Read next: Botox Vs. Fillers: Frequently Asked Questions.
If you are interested in dermal fillers to address the common signs of aging, schedule a consultation with Dr. Angelina Postoev.
Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer Juvéderm® treatments for men and women in Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, and the surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia.