Dermal fillers are one of the most common non-surgical cosmetic treatments in the US. The Juvederm family of dermal fillers are a safe and effective way to lift and plump moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds. Despite the similarity in their names, two of these products — Juvederm and Juvederm Ultra — are formulated for very different treatments. If you are interested in dermal filler treatments but can’t decide which option is best, our experienced medical team at Rejuvenate Med Spa in Oak Brook, IL can help.
What Is the Difference Between Juvederm and Juvederm Ultra?
Concentration of Hyaluronic Acid
The active ingredient in these products is hyaluronic acid (HA). It is a polysaccharide that attracts and holds water for a hydrating and plumping effect on the skin. The greater the percentage of HA in the filler, the more stable it is. This stability is important in high-mobility areas that are subject to frequent muscle movements, such as the smile lines and nasolabial folds.
In this family of products, VyCross technology is used to link together HA molecules of various weights. This results in a stronger, more durable product. Juvederm has more of this cross-linking than Ultra, making the former more appropriate for those high-mobility areas. While Ultra has more filling ability, the original gel is thicker and more stable.
Juvederm is designed to address moderate to severe facial lines and wrinkles near areas of the nose and mouth. While this product is targeted to more severe facial folds and wrinkles, it has a thinner consistency than Juvederm Ultra. Because of this, the original product is injected just under the skin rather than more deeply into the dermis.
Ultra is designed to treat lip lines and thinning lips. While both products are effective at improving folds and wrinkles, Ultra has been shown to perform slightly better than Juvederm, with results lasting up to a year or longer.
How Dermal Fillers Improve Skin
Dermal fillers improve the appearance of facial contours by augmenting lost collagen in the skin. This family of products uses hyaluronic acid (HA), a polysaccharide that can hold up to one hundred times its weight in water. The body naturally produces HA as an important agent of hydration in the skin. However, as we get older, production slows, causing our skin to dry out and stretch thin.
The formulas in each product target a different area of the face and have been proven to lift soft tissues and enhance facial contouring. They are specifically created to counter common problem areas around the eyes, cheeks, nose, lips, and chin. Our medical experts are experienced at developing treatment plans using these formulations in combination with each other.
Your Skin: An Overview
In order to understand the aging process and how dermal fillers work, it is important to understand a little about the basics of skin anatomy. Your skin is made up of three layers, and each layer has a unique and important function. From the outer layer inward, they are the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis (or subcutaneous).
As your largest organ, your skin protects you from everyday threats like radiation exposure, harsh elements, and harmful microorganisms. While it is defending you from external threats, it is also regulating your body temperature, transferring nutrients, and engaging in other essential activities.
The Three Layers
The epidermis is the outermost layer, and it takes the most damage over time. Succumbing to environmental conditions and gravity, the most visible signs of aging begin here. The middle layer is the dermis, and this is the layer most responsible for hydration. Oil and sweat glands produce the fluids that keep our skin supple.
The innermost layer, the subcutaneous (or hypodermis) houses deep blood vessels that are important in nutrient transfer. It also contains fats and connective tissues that insulate our bodies and act as shock absorbers.
How Skin Ages
It’s no secret that mature skin is less supple and flexible than younger skin. As we age, collagen production slows down and the sebaceous glands produce less oil, contributing to the thinning and drying of the skin. As it grows less and less elastic, blood vessels become weaker, which makes the skin more prone to damage. Mature skin does not rebound as quickly and takes longer to heal than it once did.
Fragile skin near the cheekbones, eyes, and mouth tend to experience the first signs of aging more than other areas. As elasticity and resilience fade, many people turn to dermal fillers to restore volume and plumpness.
What to Expect During Treatment
Treatment sessions are completed in-office and last less than an hour. There is little to no downtime, making it convenient to return to your normal daily activities. You may be advised to follow a few precautions, however, between sessions and directly after treatment.
Before Your Session
Our medical practitioners will take a thorough medical history at your consultation, examining your skin, and noting any problems or concerns. It is important to come to your appointment prepared to answer questions about any medications you are currently taking or if you are engaging in any activities that may make your skin more sensitive, such as other cosmetic treatments like chemical peels, tanning, or bleaching. In addition, if you are immunocompromised in any way, please bring that to our attention.
Our team may advise you to avoid alcohol and over-the-counter blood-thinning medications like ibuprofen in the days leading up to your session. These drugs can increase the risk of bleeding and bruising after treatment. Also, minimizing activities that may irritate the skin will help maximize your results.
During your session, our trained injectors will deliver the hyaluronic acid gel just under the skin via ultrafine needles. Though treatment consists of a series of small injections, it is considered non-invasive. The needles are so tiny that they involve a very small surface area with high accuracy. Ultra is formulated with lidocaine, but most patients report a comfortable experience with or without it. Sessions typically last under an hour.
After Your Session
After your treatment, It is important to continue following the advice given to you in the pre-treatment stage. Avoid alcohol, skin irritants, and blood-thinning medications. In addition, you should avoid strenuous exercise and intense heat in the 48 hours following treatment. As with most things, drinking lots of water and eating healthy meals will ensure that your skin receives the hydration and nutrients it needs to recover.
How Long Will My Results Last?
As with most therapeutics, everyone tolerates and metabolizes dermal fillers differently, so it is difficult to say for sure how long your treatment will last. However, a variety of factors can influence the duration of your results, such as injection volume, lifestyle, location of treatment, and the training and experience levels of the professional administering the injections.
Thicker products tend to be injected more deeply into the skin’s layers while thinner fillers are injected just beneath the top layer of skin. Because of this, more dense fillers stay put longer than thinner fillers. Ultra has been shown to last up to a year.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Many people are not good candidates for (or simply prefer to avoid) cosmetic surgery and turn to dermal fillers as a more acceptable alternative. They are safe, effective, and convenient, and they are growing exponentially in popularity. While most people seeking dermal filler treatments are over 30, many young people experience the dissatisfaction and embarrassment of thin, sagging skin due to medical conditions, hormone imbalances, weight loss, or skin problems.
Therefore, if you are over 21 and unhappy with your skin condition, you are likely a good candidate for treatment. Whether you are new to cosmetic treatments or have never received them before, our qualified professionals can develop the perfect treatment plan for you.
How to Get the Most From Your Treatment
Prioritize Your Health
As with many things, your lifestyle can also play a big part in the longevity of your results. Habits such as using tanning beds and smoking can slow healing time and speed the aging process. In addition, high stress levels affect the body’s energy reserves needed to respond to therapeutics. Making positive changes to minimize stress and introducing holistic approaches to your skincare regimen will enhance the duration of treatment results.
Choose Experienced Professionals
It goes without saying that your results are only as good as the medical professionals administering treatment. It is important to choose qualified and experienced professionals who give the highest quality of treatment. Our seasoned professionals have substantial training in dermal filler injection and delivery.
Taking the time to develop a consistent skincare routine will ensure that your skin is primed to receive the benefits of injectable dermal fillers. Staying hydrated and giving your skin the nutrients it needs will ensure the most success in your treatment plan. Our experts can make other recommendations, including products or companion treatment, to achieve maximum results.
Avoiding ultraviolet (UV) light whenever possible will help extend your treatment results. Protecting yourself from harsh outdoor elements and radiation damage from the sun can lengthen the longevity of your treatment. Of course, wearing sunscreen is always a good idea and can help extend the benefits of your results.
Get Regular Maintenance
By increasing hydration and supporting nutrient transfer through the skin’s tissues, HA products have been shown to stimulate the body’s own collagen production over continued use. In addition, since they are also smooth to inject, biodegradable, and even reversible, these treatments take less of a toll on the skin than the collagen replacement therapies of decades past. Restoring hydration, elasticity, and volume to sagging, dull skin can make permanent, positive changes to skin quality that can last for a lifetime.
Regular touch-ups will increase the longevity of your results and help you remain satisfied with the effects over time. The more product your skin receives, the more your tissues get used to and respond effectively to the treatments. In addition, the more treatments you receive, the longer your results will last.
Get Started Now
Take back your confidence with hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. Their proven efficacy and safety profile make them some of the most popular fillers on the market. Call our talented team at Rejuvenate Med Spa in Oak Brook, IL to schedule your consultation today.