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Juvéderm: What to Know Before You Go

BY: AMANDA PARKER | 3.2.2017 |

If you’ve noticed lines and other telltale signs of aging appearing on your face, you’ve probably wondered what you can do to halt their advance. And if you’ve fallen down an Internet hole researching ways to do this, you may have discovered that dermal fillers can actually temporarily correct these signs of aging. One such facial filler is Juvéderm.

We spoke with Dr. Kathryn J. Russell, a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at the Woodruff Institute in southwestern Florida, to gain an expert’s insight into what Juvéderm is, how it’s different from other wrinkle fillers, and why we’re even showing those signs of aging in the first place.

Why do we show signs of aging?

And why are all these signs named after punctuation marks and puppets?

We’re all more or less familiar with the signs of aging, along with some of their more inventive names: the tiny lines that branch out from the corners of the eyes that we call crow’s-feet; the creases that form from the nose to the corners of the mouth, dubbed parentheses lines; and the ones that stretch from the corners of the mouth to the chin, commonly called marionette lines.

But why do we get them?

“As we age, we lose bone and subcutaneous fat in the structure of our face in addition to collagen and elastin in the skin. This causes our skin to sag and form wrinkles as gravity takes its toll,” Dr. Russell explains. “The way people age is a result of genetics, sun, smoking, certain medications, as well as other lifestyle choices.”

What is Juvéderm, and how does it correct these signs of aging?

Hint: It’s a filler that plumps and volumizes.

So how does Juvéderm address the fact that our skin loses more and more of its support structure as we age? “Juvéderm is a non-animal, cross-linked, hyaluronic-acid-based filler that works by restoring volume to the face,” Dr. Russell says. “It literally is used to fill [the face’s] folds and creases.”

It’s important to note that hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body, adding lubrication to joints and a cushion-like effect to the skin and tissues. By replicating this natural fluid and being injected into the skin, Juvéderm temporarily restores the skin's support structure to smooth out wrinkles. Importantly, Dr. Russell says, “it works best to treat the wrinkles and lines of the ‘resting face.’”

How is Juvéderm different from other injectables?

Different injectables treat different signs of aging.

The idea of the face at rest is an important distinction in the world of wrinkle reduction. Some lines and creases are noticeable when we’re simply sitting still, perhaps reading a book or watching TV. Others become apparent when the face is in motion—when we’re talking and laughing.

This distinction has given rise to two types of injectables:

  1. Dermal fillers, like Juvéderm
  2. Neuromodulators, such as Botox and Dysport

“Neuromodulators are used to relax muscles that cause wrinkles with movement,” Dr. Russell says. “Fillers are used to restore volume and correct wrinkles at rest.” She adds that neuromodulators typically last four to six months, whereas fillers can last anywhere from six months to two years.

How do you know if Juvéderm is right for you?

You don’t have to be in your 50s—or even in your 30s—to get Juvéderm.

Considering the difference between facial fillers and neuromodulators, if your only concern is fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes—”wrinkles with movement,” as Dr. Russell calls them—Botox or Dysport might be more suitable for you than Juvéderm. On the other hand, she says, it’s easier to correct mild to moderate wrinkles with fillers. “If someone has severe wrinkles and skin sagging, they would likely benefit from a surgical procedure such as a face-lift.”

Beyond that, the ideal candidate for Juvéderm injections can vary widely. “[Dermal fillers] are used in a variety of areas for a variety of ages—the lips, cheeks, lines from the nose to the mouth (nasolabial folds), lines from the mouth to the chin (melomental folds), hands, temples, tear troughs, etc.,” Dr. Russell says.

“Someone in their 20s may benefit from a little filler to volumize the lip, whereas someone in their 40s or 50s may benefit from filler to the cheek.”

There are several types of Juvéderm—how are they different?

Rest easy; your provider will decide which one is best for you.

Juvéderm Ultra XC  Plumps lips
Juvéderm Voluma XC  Adds volume to cheeks
Juvéderm XC  Corrects parentheses lines between the nose and mouth
Juvéderm Volbella XC  Subtly plumps lips while softening vertical lip lines 

While reading about all these types of Juvéderms might leave your head spinning, Dr. Russell notes that their differences lie mostly in their hyaluronic-acid concentrations, the way the hyaluronic acid is cross-linked, and their viscosities.

“Different products are better for different areas, and it also depends on the structure of the patient,” she says. “Most experienced injectors will deviate from the on-label applications of the Juvéderm products. The ideal product for your needs is best determined during a consultation.”

Juvéderm products have a great safety profile and provide reliable results.” – Dr. Kathryn Russell

Why choose Juvéderm over other dermal fillers?

Full disclosure: Juvéderm isn’t the only filler out there.

If you’re new to the wrinkle-filler scene, you might be wondering what other fillers are out there. Dr. Russell, for example, also uses:

  • Hyaluronic-acid fillers similar to Juvéderm, including Restylane, Restylane Silk, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Refyne, and Restylane Defyne
  • Non-hyaluronic-acid fillers such as Radiesse and Sculptra

While the longevity and results from any of these treatments depend on both the patient and provider, when asked why she might choose Juvéderm over these other options, Dr. Russell points to Juvéderm’s quality: “Juvéderm products have a great safety profile and provide reliable results.”

What should you know before you go?

You’re committing to more than a facial, but nothing as intense as a facelift.

As noted in our guide to medical-spa treatments, common side effects include redness, swelling, and bruising at the injection sites, so you might want to put a 24-hour hold on your normal routine post-treatment.

Also know that it’s not uncommon for patients with multiple concerns to receive more than one treatment in the same day. Dr. Russell says that she often likes to treat the cheeks first in such cases, restoring the face’s structure—its “scaffolding”—before she works her way down to the lower face.

Guide Staff Writer
BY: Amanda Parker Guide Staff Writer