What You Need To Know About Different Fillers
"What's the difference between fillers, anyways? Aren't they all the same?"
If you've ever thought this, no shame, because most of us do. We hear the word "filler" and it's like Botox: we assume it's a one-size-fits-all type of situation (hint: Botox isn't the only player in that field, either). In order to understand why you can't use some of your Volbella in your cheekbones, or why Voluma is different from Radiesse, keep reading.
Here are (some of) the main players in the game:
Hyaluronic Acid aka HA Filler (Juvederm/Restylane/etc)
Polylactic Acid Filler (Sculptra)
Calcium Hydroxyapatite aka CaHA Filler (Radiesse)
There are more, but these are the ones you're most likely to run into in the injectables world. So let's break them down (not literally).
Products like Radiesse are made from ions of calcium and phosphate. What this means, essentially, is it's going to mimic bone. Pro? It lasts a long time. Con? Once it's there, it's there. If it's placed wrong, it can't be dissolved. And because it lasts so long, you're going to be stuck with your results for upwards of five years. We don't offer this product at Infinity, but some injectors use it, so make sure you know what you're getting into if that's what your injector wants to use.
Products like Sculptra work by stimulating collagen production. This means your body is actually creating the substance that will give you the overall volume. Again, you're going to get longer-lasting results, but they can't be dissolved. Some injectors use this product with great success, especially in larger areas of the body (like those that are looking for a non-surgical butt lift) and plenty of people use it in the face, but as always, ask lots of questions before you get this procedure. Once it's injected, the results are there to stay.
Products like Juvederm & Restylane work by attracting water to the area of injection.
The filler itself is extremely hydrating (consider adding hyaluronic acid to your skincare regimen--your skin will thank you). HA fillers don't last as long, since hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring substance, and your body metabolizes it more easily. However, the upside of this is that you can always dissolve and/or adjust your filler if you don't like it. It's also safer; if it's accidentally injected in a blood vessel, it can be dissolved whereas products like Radiesse can't. HA fillers are what we offer at Infinity, which is why I'm going to focus on them.
So what's the difference between Juvederm and Restylane, anyways?
Juvederm and Restylane both fall under the large umbrella that is HA fillers. However, there are two smaller umbrellas: Allergan and Galderma. These are the companies that make these products. Allergan makes Juvederm and Botox while Galderma makes Restylane and Dysport (another form of Botox).
Allergan is probably one of the most prominent medical aesthetic companies out there. Their fillers are pretty much a go-to for every injector. So let's talk about those products first:
Juvederm Ultra & Ultra Plus (lasts approximately 6-12 months)
These are your basic fillers. They're medium consistency, with Ultra Plus being quite a bit heavier. These are great for the lips, or great when injected to plump out the hollows of the cheeks. These products can be used just about anywhere, except they're generally not used for the cheekbone area anymore, now that we have Voluma, which is the best product for that area (see below).
Voluma (lasts approximately 18-24 months)
Voluma is specifically for the cheekbones. The texture of this filler is what makes it so great for mimicking a prominent cheekbone. Voluma is usually only injected where there are supposed to be prominent bony areas. For example, the cheekbones, the jaw, and sometimes areas like the chin. Because it's such a stiff product, it's not great for the lips.
Vollure (lasts approximately 12-18 months)
Vollure was specifically designed for the nasolabial folds aka your smile lines. It's great when used in that area. It can also be used in the lips. It's designed to have a slightly more "pillowy" look than Juvederm Ultra and Ultra Plus, but it's definitely going to give you lots of volume just as those two would. Sometimes Vollure can lump up in the lips (regardless of how it's injected) so note that if it happens, it's nothing to worry about, but if you want them gone you'll have to go in and have the lump(s) dissolved.
Volbella (lasts approximately 6-12 months)
Volbella is the baby product when it comes to lines. It was designed for the "smokers lines" aka those wrinkles you get above your upper lip when you sip through a straw. As we age, those lines tend to stick around, and it can be difficult to remove them, so Volbella is your best bet. It's an extremely thin filler, so it won't give you much volume, but it creates a lovely, subtle look and smoothes out fine lines easily. If you want, you can also have it injected into your lips, but please note it won't give you a huge increase in volume, and works best if you have thin lips. If you have somewhat full lips, it's unlikely you'll even notice a difference.
And what about Restylane?
Galderma follows the same pattern as Allergan, having designed different products for different areas of the face. We only use two of their products at Infinity, Restylane-L and Restylane Lyft, but I'll give a brief overview of the others offered.
Refyne & Defyne (lasts approximately 12 months)
Refyne was designed for the nasolabial lines and marionette lines, as was Defyne. The gel they use has special cross-linking tech to create supportive results, while still remaining natural. We don't offer these products at Infinity.
Lyft (lasts approximately 12 months)
Lyft is very similar to Voluma. It's meant to be used in the cheekbone area, as well as the hands. It's a very lifting product, as the name implies, so again, like Voluma, this isn't a product you would want to put in the lips. We offer this product at Infinity.
Silk (lasts approximately 6 months)
Restylane Silk is a very thin, light product, that uses smaller particles. This product was designed for the lips, and was made to create natural, soft results. We don't offer this product at Infinity.
Restylane-L (lasts approximately 12 months)
Restylane-L, often confused with Lyft, is one of those, basic, go-to products like Juvederm. This is primarily what we use for under-eye filler. Unlike Lyft, it uses smaller particles, so it's more versatile. We do offer this product at Infinity.
Now, an overview:
By reading through these descriptions, you should now have an idea of why your injector won't agree to split a syringe of Voluma between your cheeks and lips. Even though "filler" is a general term, it's just like when you're cooking--you might use spices, but there's a big difference between what you'd use cinnamon for, and what you'd use smoked paprika for, you know?
If your injector refuses to use one filler in a certain area, they should definitely explain why, so you can understand. However, please be aware that injectors are not trying to get you to buy pointless syringes of filler. If they recommend something, like both Voluma and Volbella, please be aware that they think those will give you the best results, versus used something like Juvederm all over. Of course, you can always discuss your options, but it's good to understand that there really isn't a one-size-fits-all when it comes to fillers. Of course, this doesn't account for dishonest people who may try to dupe you--but as I always say, do your research, go in for a consult, and ask lots of questions!
Have a great start to August, everyone!
Reach out if you have questions using the contact form located on the home page. Questions & suggestions are always welcome. While you're at it, check out my Instagram for more fun tips & tricks, and to say hi!