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Dermal Filler Face-Off: Restylane vs Juvederm

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Dermal fillers are very effective and popular cosmetic treatments for today's anti-aging and aesthetic enhancement patients. Among the dermal fillers group, there are many options to choose from. The main types include collagen-based fillers, hyaluronic acid-based fillers, hydroxylapatite-based fillers, autologous transplant-based fillers, and synthetic polymer-based fillers. The earliest dermal fillers, such as bovine and human collagen injections, have lost favor with many skin care patients due to their potential risk of allergic reactions and their comparatively short-lived results. On the other hand, the permanency promised with synthetic polymer-based fillers isn't for everyone; not to mention if the result is poor, it won't be dissipating anytime soon.

Today, the trend in wrinkle fillers seems to be hyaluronic-acid based solutions, such as Restylane® and Juvederm™. Their popularity is mostly due to their low cost and their great selection of solution intensities. While both Restylane and Juvederm have proven themselves to be effective, low-risk wrinkle fillers, there are slight differences between them that could affect a patient's choice. Is one better than the other at fighting wrinkles, plumping lips, and rejuvenating tired skin? We're here to find out.

Round 1: Showing What They're Made of

Restylane® Injections

Restylane, created by Q-Med and FDA-approved in 2003, is a non-animal stabilized hyaluronic acid (NASHA) gel solution. Hyaluronic acid is a bioengineered, naturally occurring bacteria that is purified and then converted into a biodegradable gel form that's injected into treated areas. Restylane's use of NASHA filler means that there is virtually no risk of an allergic reaction, and the results are quite natural-looking.

Juvederm™ Injections

Juvederm was created by Allergan, the company that produces Botox, and is a newer filler; it was FDA-approved in 2006. Juvederm also uses a NASHA gel filler, and so it promises the same safe, natural-looking results that Restylane does.

Round 1 Verdict: Tied Game!

Round 2: Watching Them Work

Restylane® Injections

Restylane is available in several different solution intensities, which can affect how powerfully Restylane can treat wrinkles. When Restylane's NASHA gel is produced, it's formulated into differently sized gel microspheres depending on the level of concentrated acids used. The higher the hyaluronic acid concentration and the larger the gel particles, the longer-lasting and more intense the treatment becomes. Smaller gel particle solutions are ideal for filling in the lips, fine lines, and crow's feet, whereas large particle solutions are more effective against deep facial creases and filling in scars. Perlane is one well-known variation of the Restylane solution that uses larger gel particles, making it more effective at filling in deep wrinkles and severe facial lines. The largest gel particle size used in Restylane solutions is substantial enough to contour and correct the loss of youthful fats in the face.

Juvederm™ Injections

Juvederm is also available in varying intensity levels. Similarly to Restylane, Juvederm's different formulas are designed to treat minor to severe skin imperfections. One notable difference in Juvederm's NASHA solution compared to Restylane's, is that it's reportedly engineered into a smoother textured compound, rather than into gel microspheres. Because Juvederm's gel is smooth, as opposed to Restylane's hearty gel particles, Juvederm solutions are sometimes preferred by doctors and patients for filling in delicate areas like the lips. However, Juvederm gels with high concentrations of hyaluronic acid can still be effective on deeper creases.

Round 2 Verdict: Restylane gains points for its powerful effectiveness, but Juvederm makes a smooth comeback with its subtle lip service.

Round 3: The Cost of Victory

Restylane® Injections

Restylane has been one of the top dermal fillers since it hit the market a few years ago. The demand for Restylane has meant competitive prices offered at doctor's offices and cosmetic clinics. The cost of Restylane will greatly depend on how many treatments patients are receiving, and the local cost of the treatment. In the U.S., the average cost of Restylane per treatment is between $500-$800; treatment results typically last 6-12 months. Check with your cosmetic provider to see if they offer financing options for Restylane injections.

Juvederm™ Injections

Juvederm, while newer to the market, is coming up hot on Restylane's heels due to its similar effectiveness, but also due to its slightly lower cost. Once again, the cost averages will change based on the level of treatment a patient requires, and the region where patients seek treatment. The current average cost of Juvederm treatments in the U.S. is between $450-$600; however this cost will likely rise as Juvederm's popularity grows. Like Restylane, Juvederm results can last 6-12 months depending on the intensity of the chosen filler solution.

Round 3 Verdict: Juvederm nabs a slight cost advantage.

Final Tally

In a very even match-up, Restylane and Juvederm went head to head to determine which one was the superior wrinkle filler. In the end, we determined that both injectables provide long-lasting, effective treatment for wrinkles, facial creases, thin lips, under eye circles, crow's feet, etc. We found that their NASHA gel solutions are equally safe, non-allergenic, and biodegradable, in spite of their different textures. And, lastly, we covered the competitive costs, which lean slightly in Juvederm's favor (for now). Ultimately, both Restylane and Juvederm are proven skin care solutions, and the choice between the two will come down to your cosmetic needs and your skin's conditions. To learn more, or to be sure you've selected the right dermal filler, schedule a consultation with a trusted cosmetic provider near you.

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