Juvederm is one of the first fillers approved by the US FDA. This is the same company that produces Botox – Allergan. Juvederm was initially only supplied to expert users when it was first launched to upkeep its reputation as an exclusive premium brand. In recent years, the demand of fillers has grown exponentially and has become more widely available.
Juvederm is manufactured by a bacterial fermentation process producing Hyaluronic Acid. The first Juvederm generation approved by FDA – Juvederm XC and Ultra termed this technology as Hylacross technology.
The second generation Juvederm – Volluma, Volbella, Vollure and Vollite, improvised on Hylacross technology and called it Vycross technology. To understand the difference first you must understand that HA molecules come in different sizes and weight.
Hylacross Vs Vycross
The first generation – Hylacross technology, crosslinks HA molecules of the same molecular weight, while the second generation-Vycross technology crosslinks HA molecules of different weights. This improvised technology aims to produce a range of products which preserve high cohesivity associated with high molecular weight HA but simultaneously allow for it to be re-shaped more easily, a characteristics associated with LMWHA. In other words, by combining high and low molecular weights, it makes the filler less likely to spread without being too hard. Vycross fillers are amongst the first HA fillers to be clinically proven to remain in the body for above a year and is said to last up to 18 months versus the first generation fillers lasting only 6 to 12 months. The second generation fillers also seem to integrate more effectively into the skin tissue giving a more natural appearance. With the Vycross technology producing smoother consistency, it is also reported to cause less pain and downtime during the injection.
Percentage of crosslinking
To convert HA molecules into a lasting, dermal filler for its specific properties, they must be cross-linked or binded together in a gel form. The higher percentage the cross-linking is the thicker the consistency of the filler – i.e. increased elasticity and cohesivity. For example, using the same Hylacross technology, the difference in percentage of crosslinking accounts for the difference in consistency of Juvederm ultra 9% (less viscous) Vs Juvederm Ultra Plus 11%. In vycross technology, the crosslinking of different molecular weight allow the filler to be less viscous (easier to inject – causing less pain) and yet lasting longer.
At this point I hope we did convince you that the second generation fillers are better than the first. Although there will still be some patients and practitioners who prefer the use of the first generation fillers, they are in fact getting slowly phased out by Allergan. So let us now compare the different second generation fillers.
Volbella Vs Volift Vs Voluma
It is important to understand 2 properties when it comes to choosing an appropriate filler for a specific area – cohesivity and elasticity. Cohesivity of a filler refers to how tightly the HA molecules are binded and is measured by the amount of spread under vertical compression. When a filler is highly cohesive means that a lot of moulding and force is required to ‘mould’ the filler to its desired shape. Elasticity of a filler refers to the extent that the product returns into its intended shape. Generally speaking, a good filler should be easy to mould (not very cohesive) and holds its desired shape well (highly elastic).
Traditionally, the more cohesive a product was, the less elastic it would be. But with Vycross technology, we have managed to engineer a range of fillers which defies this.
Voluma – cheek for lift and volume boost
For a cheek filler, we would like a filler that stays where it should without much spread (highly cohesive), holds and projects the cheeks anteriorly resisting physical pressure and facial movements (highly elastic). In this case, voluma in the vycross range is most suitable.
Volbella – most spreadable, for lip lines, tear trough
In delicate areas like the lips and eyes, we need a ‘softer’ filler – a more spreadable gel so the filler can spread to the depressed area (less cohesive) to fill them up and take its shape without causing a lumpy appearance.
Volift (Vollure XC) – for deep line correction, nasolabial lines
Volift is an ‘in-between’ medium that is just right for deep folds. It is not as hard as Voluma, so it can fill into the deeper tissue, restoring natural contours of the face without causing an unnatural appearance.
All Juvederm fillers contain pre-mixed lidocaine. Lidocaine is an anaesthetic agent used to block pain. Studies have revealed that injecting fillers with lidocaine reduce pain significantly during injection and postinjection. Some studies even suggest that it reduces redness, swelling and bruising. However, there is a minority group of patients with lidocaine sensitivity and this means that Juvederm is no longer an option for them.
I apologise for the excessive use of technical terms here, which probably doesn’t make sense to most people – I mean 99.999%.
Ultimately, I want to reiterate the fact that understanding the trivial differences and specifics about a filler is not nearly as important as knowing what to look out for in your doctor – his/ her background and beliefs, knowledge about facial anatomy, sense of beauty and experience. A doctor with these qualities will be able to communicate with you your desired outcome and choose the best filler for you to provide the most satisfying and long-lasting result.
Price of Juvederm Filler
Price of Juvederm Filler starts from $800/ syringe.