Guide: Comparing Types Of Dermal Fillers

Written by Kelly Wala, RN BSN, Advanced Nurse Injector on April 10, 2017 10 Comments

compare dermal fillers

Dermal fillers have become one of the most popular tools in the fight against aging. Hailed by some as “liquid facelifts” dermal fillers can instantly reduce many common aging related issues such as wrinkles, thinning lips, or hallowing cheeks, without the pain or necessary recovery time associated with cosmetic surgery.

Surging popularity has spurred the creation of many different types of dermal fillers, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. While having more choice is great for experienced injectors, choosing between filler treatments can get confusing for prospective patients.

To help clear up any confusion, here is a basic rundown of today’s most popular fillers:

Juvederm Ultra and Ultra XC

Main Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid

How It Works: The filler absorbs water, resulting in plumping of the areas in which it is injected.

Common Uses: Great for addressing fine to moderate facial wrinkles as well as adding facial volume. Juvederm is ideal for use on facial areas with thinner skin like the areas around the mouth and nose. Juvederm Ultra XC is used when adding a little volume in the lips. Juvederm Ultra Plus XC is used if you want that fuller lip look. Everyone’s lips are different it is a very artistic technique when using a lip filler in the lips. You want to make sure you communicate with your provider the outcome you are looking for. Remember if you don’t have lip tissue to fill then you will not get a fuller lip. You need to have lip tissue in order to fill that area. Your provider will help you pick the appropriate filler for this area.

How Long Does It Last: Typically between 9 months up to a year after injection

Reversible: Results can be reversed using hyaluronidase injection.

Learn more about Juvederm


Main Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid

How It Works: The filler, which is in the Juvederm family. Think of this filler as the finishing touch. You can use this filler as a line eraser and to add definition to the lips. Off label this filler works great in the tear trough area because it doesn’t swell much since, it only absorbs one time it’s weight in water.

Common Uses: Volbella is ideal for smoothing lip lines. While this filler is not intended to add volume to the lips. This filler is used to define the lip border and perfect the perfect lip. Off label this filler works great in the tear trough area because it doesn’t have a lot of swelling.

How Long Does It Last: Approximately 12 months after injection

Reversible: Results can be reversed using hyaluronidase

Learn More About Volbella


Main Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid

How It Works: Voluma, also in the Juvederm family of products. This product is less hydrophilic so it doesn’t attract a lot of water. You will not have a lot of swelling after these injecions. This product works great for midface volumization. When lifting the mid-face an added benefit you will see a difference in the jawline lifting and the under eye area not looking as tired, because this product lifts.

Common Uses: FDA approved for adding volume and contouring the cheeks

How Long Does It Last: Up to 2 years with fill correction

Reversible: Results can be reversed using hyaluronidase

Learn more about Voluma


Main Ingredient: Calcium hydroxylapatite

How It Works: Radisesse primarily works by stimulating the body to form new collagen, which naturally plumps the skin. The gel and calcium microbeads also work to add volume. Radiesse is not used on the lips because of it’s chemical makeup, thickness and the product is white, it would show through the tissues. This is a thicker filler and has to be used in patients with thicker skin.

Common Uses: Used to treat moderate to severe facial folds such as the nasolabial folds. Radiesse can also be used to add volume the cheeks and in the hands.

How Long Does It Last: Usually a year or longer (up to 2 years for patients who undergo a dose adjustment treatment)

Reversible: No

Learn more about Radiesse


Main Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid

How It Works: When injected into the skin, Restylane increases skin volume by increasing water absorption. Restylane was the first Hyaluronic acid filler on the market.

Common Uses: Works to correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds and to add volume in the lips. Restylane Silk is ideal for and definition to the lip border and to those superficial lines around the mouth. Caused from frequent use of drinking through straws or water bottles.

How Long Does It Last: Up to 9 months after injection- Restylane- L and Restylane Silk about 6 months due to it’s placement around a mobile area as the mouth and the superficial injection. Refyne and Defyne last up to 12months.

Reversible: Results can be reversed using hyaluronidase

Restylane Family of Products Includes: Restylane-L, Silk, Lyft, Refyne, and Defyne

Restylane Refyne and Restylane Defyne are the newest to the US market. These two new fillers are designed to give your laugh lines a pick-me-up. These products are formulated to act like your body’s own naturally occurring hyaluronic acid, restoring volume to your skin. These products are designed to give you just the right amount of support, along with flexibility to show a range of facial expression.

Learn more about Restylane


Main Ingredient: Poly-L-Lactic Acid

How It Works: Sculptra initiates the formation of new collagen within the injected areas of the skin. The results of Sculptra are not immediate and patients will require a series of treatments to achieve their desired results.

Common Uses: Initially used to treat fat and tissue loss in HIV patients, Sculptra is a powerful filler for filling in hallow or sunken areas of the face. Sculptra can also work to increase the thickness of the skin which can decrease folds and wrinkles. Sculptra is not used on the lips. Sculptra takes a series of injections usually 4 weeks apart in order to get the desired affect. This product stimulates collagen production and is very natural looking. Sculptra is now being used off label to volumize the buttocks and in the decollate to add a natural volume and help with chest wrinkles.

How Long Does It Last: More than 2 years after treatment series is completed.

Reversible: No

Learn more about Sculptra


Kelly Wala, RN BSN

Kelly Wala is a Registered Nurse with a Baccalaureate Degree of Science in Nursing from Eastern Kentucky University. As an Aesthetic Nurse Specialist for the past 10 years Kelly specialized in a full complement of non-surgical aesthetic services such as facial injectables, laser and light therapy, body contouring, and skin care. Kelly was the first in Texas to perform the Injectable Threadlift. Kelly is a Faculty trainer for Allergan Facial Aesthetics and Coolsculpting as well as a Faculty trainer for Galderma Facial Aesthetics and Sculptra. Aesthetics

10 Responses to “Guide: Comparing Types Of Dermal Fillers”

  1. Avatar Kelsey says:

    Great resource Kelly, thanks for providing. I was totally thinking about Radiesse but now I’m coming in to ask about some of the newer Juvederm products!!!!

  2. Avatar Lori says:

    boarder vs. border

  3. Avatar Brant says:

    Lovely, just what I was looking for!

  4. Avatar Stephanie says:

    Ingredients are the most important part of fillers! Thank you for sharing the details, we’ll point this out to our patients in NYC

  5. Avatar Stacy says:

    Thanks for sharing this post, with all these fillers understanding the differences can be hard but this helps.

  6. Avatar Callum says:

    Very helpful post, first time filler patient. I think I will go into it with an open mind and see what doc says during consult!

  7. Avatar Jessy T says:

    I have done fillers for years now, maybe once every year or couple years started with lips. I started with juvederm, then went to another doc office who used Restylane. I swelled profusely painfully stretched as far as I thought I was gonna pop. I wish they both worked the same 🙁 but my experience it’s a three day downtime with Restylane vs Juvederm which is 24 hrs and it’s not so crazy I can’t go out in public without looking like a clown.

  8. Avatar Bernadette says:

    Good morning, I’m just quering if you can have fillers particularly Radiesse if you have vitiligo

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Bernadette,

      Thanks for reading our post and submitting your great question! In most cases individuals with vitiligo can receive dermal filler treatment with most major types of fillers. However, we encourage you to review your medical history with your provider before undertaking injection.

      An experienced provider will be able to assess your candidacy and counsel you on any forseeable side effects.

      We hope that helps!

      WD Staff

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