BOTOX, Juvéderm, Restylane, Oh My! Which Injectable is Right for You?
When referring to cosmetic injections, a lot of people call everything BOTOX, the way they call all adhesive bandages “Band-aids.” It’s just simpler that way. But just like Band-aid is only one brand of bandage, BOTOX is a specific brand name injectable—there are loads to choose from: Juvéderm, Restylane, Radiesse, Sculptra, Dysport, Voluma, etc…whew.
Overwhelmed yet? We feel you. There’s good reason for having so many choices—it means we can fine-tune your treatment to get amazing results that look natural and last an optimal amount of time. That said, we think it’s important to know what you’re getting with each option. Here’s the lowdown on today’s FDA approved product lineup from our Sacramento injectables team.
First, some basics. You’ve got your neurotoxins, and you’ve got your fillers.
Injectables can either be medications called “neurotoxins” that cause facial muscles to relax, or fillers, which are substances that sit under your skin to restore volume, smooth wrinkles, or enhance a feature.
BOTOX & Dysport are neurotoxins
BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport® are both neurotoxins that prevent “expression lines” from being so severe. Each of these products contains a very similar form of botulinum toxin A. When injected into specific facial muscles, this toxin temporarily keeps the muscle from contracting, so you quit unconsciously scrunching, squinting or frowning.
BOTOX and Dysport are both great choices for treating:
- Frown lines, crow’s feet, and brow furrows
- Chin cobblestoning
- Downturned corners of the mouth
- Other wrinkles or signs of aging that are caused by habitual muscle contractions
Choosing between BOTOX vs. Dysport
If these neurotoxins are made from the same stuff and do the same thing, how do you know which to choose? A lot comes down to personal preference. We’ve put together a great rundown of BOTOX vs. Dysport here, but here’s the gist: Dysport has fewer ‘buffer” particles around the active toxin, so it works a little faster and spreads a little more easily than BOTOX. On the other hand, BOTOX can be better for treating very small areas, and some people just like their results better with BOTOX over Dysport (and vice versa).
Now your fillers: Radiesse, Sculptra, Restylane products, and all the Juvéderms
Fillers add structure and volume to the skin. Different products are made with different ingredients (or different formulations of the main ingredient), which affect their consistency, durability, and longevity.
Hyaluronic acid fillers: Juvéderm and Restylane products
The Juvéderm® family (including all the “VOL-somethings”) and the Restylane® family of products (Lyft, Silk, etc.) are your hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers. Hyaluronic acid is a skin-hydrating sugar molecule that’s found in your skin already, so these fillers make a great option for patients who prefer a more natural product. Other benefits of HA fillers:
- They have a smooth, gel-like consistency that feels natural under the skin
- The effects are reversible with injections of an HA-eating enzyme called hyaluronidase
Each HA product has a unique consistency, and therefore a unique purpose, depending on the size of the hyaluronic acid molecules and how they are “cross-linked,” or bonded together.
- Juvéderm VOLUMA & Restylane Lyft are the thickest, longest lasting HA fillers and are ideal for cheek enhancement.
- Juvéderm VOLLURE & Restylane Defyne are moderately thick and excellent for smoothing deeper nasolabial folds for a up to one year or more
- Juvéderm XC, Restylane, & Restylane Refyne are moderately thin gels that can smooth nasolabial folds, laugh lines, and parentheses. (Refyne is a tiny bit thicker than the other two, so it can be injected a little deeper.)
- Juvéderm VOLBELLA & Restylane Silk are thinner fillers that are great for smoothing vertical lip lines and subtle lip enhancement
The other fillers we use are Radiesse and Sculptra. Unlike HA fillers, these two are not reversible, but they do have the advantage of stimulating natural collagen production for a long-lasting effect.
Radiesse: lasts for up to a year or more, great for hand rejuvenation
Radiesse® is a gel with particles of calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) suspended in it. The gel immediately fills in lines, folds and areas of lost volume, and the CaHA particles trigger natural collagen production. As the gel slowly gets absorbed, the new collagen your skin has produced helps maintain your results. Radiesse can be great for:
- Smoothing nasolabial folds, indented scars, and other volume-related imperfections
- Rejuvenating aging, bony hands (it’s the only filler FDA approved for the hands)
Sculptra: gradual onset of results, but they last for up to two years
Sculptra® Aesthetic is technically a “collagen stimulator,” made from poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). But it treats similar issues, and eventually does serve to plump and restore volume to the skin, so we typically think of it a filler. Sculptra is injected into the deeper skin layers, and the PLLA particles stimulate collagen production, so over time your skin gradually plumps itself up to soften bothersome lines and wrinkles. Sculptra can be a great choice if you:
- Are bothered by moderate to deep nasolabial folds, laugh lines, or marionette lines
- Would like longer-lasting results and can be patient waiting for them to show
- Don’t want anyone to notice you’ve had a cosmetic treatment
Still not sure which injectable is your stuff? Enlist a pro’s help.
While it’s good to know the difference between BOTOX and fillers, you don’t really need to know ahead of time which specific products and formulas will give you the best results—that’s where an experienced, qualified injectables provider comes into play. For injectables advice you can trust—and results you’ll love—come see us at Granite Bay Cosmetic Surgery. Our registered nurse injector is highly experienced in all of the above injectables, and she can help you choose the best products for your needs during a personal consultation.
Call 916-242-2662 or contact us online now to book your appointment.