Juvederm vs. Restylane : My Lip Enhancement Experience

Dermal fillers have been getting a lot of attention lately in the world of cosmetic dermatology and anti aging. And all for a good reason. Dermal fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm can make a dramatic difference in the appearance of a person’s skin, all with minimal time, a fairly reasonable cost, and minimal invasiveness and pain.

There is little difference between the two big competitors, Juvederm and Restylane, as they are both comprised of a substance that is naturally found in the body called hyaluronic acid, which naturally diminishes as we age.

The result of collagen’s diminishment is that our skin starts to slacken, since collagen and hyaluronic acid, a component of collagen, is the plumping force under our skin that makes our skin look “filled out” and youthful.

Cosmetic dermatologists and other qualified dermal filler specialists have harnessed this “filling” power in the form of a very fine needle that injects the fillers underneath the skin so that it may fill out folds, lines and wrinkles and make them look plump again, reducing their appearance.

Not only that, but both fillers may be used to plump the lips to give them a naturally fuller look. This is the procedure I had performed, and I chose to go with Juvederm over Restylane for reasons I will explain later in this article.

Another big plus of dermal fillers is their relatively long life. Both Restylane and Juvederm typically last in the body for about 4-6 months, and at the time that they are diminished and fully absorbed (harmlessly) into the body, another treatment will be necessary.

This “second generation” of fillers comes in at a few months longer than the previously popular straight collagen injections, which only lasted about three months due to the high absorption rate and instability.

Typical treatments that are administered with both fillers, which are in a gel formula, are injections into the nasolobial folds that get deeper and more noticeable with age. These are the lines that extend on either side of your mouth from the outside corners of your nose to the tips of the top lip.

I didn’t think that this was a noticeable part of aging on a person’s face until I looked at before and after pictures of people who had gotten this area filled with Juvederm or Restylane, and boy, it really did make a difference in how young and rejuvenated they looked.

Other areas that are great candidates for dermal filling are deeper wrinkles around the eyes, and on the forehead. They do have to be a significant depth to be treated with dermal fillers though, so be aware that those finer lines are probably not suitable for Restylane or Juvederm fillers.

Another popular part of the face that is injected with dermal fillers is the lips, which is what I had done. I chose to go with Juvederm after I talked to the doctor that performed the treatment on me, only because he said personally he felt he could work with Juvederm better on the lips because he felt it was a bit finer than the Restylane and he could work more easily with it and observed slightly better results on the lip area.

Since he felt more comfortable using this product, I decided to go with Juvederm, which cost the same as the Restylane. The cost was $500 per syringe, which is about average for a dermal filler. I loved the fact that this particular facility, called EvoMedispa in the greater Akron, Ohio area, offered to store any leftover Juvederm for up to six months for me as well.

I did end up with a little bit leftover, so I figured I would have them use the rest of that syringe as well as a new syringe the next time I went and got my lips enhanced.

So far it’s been about 4 weeks since I received the lip enhancement treatment with Juvederm, and I’m loving the results. I only asked for a very subtle plumping of the lips since I wasn’t going for anything obvious or overblown, and that’s exactly what I got.

He followed the natural line of my lips, and made sure not to overfill the top lip, keeping the natural balance of the top lip smaller than the bottom lip, which is how people’s lips are shaped in nature. The top lip is almost always significantly smaller than the bottom.

He explained that by keeping this ratio, I’d look more natural, and he was right. The procedure itself is not bad, but I have to admit, I was glad when it was over.

If you have the procedure done, you should know that you want to keep the next few days cleared of significant plans, since the likelihood of bruising locally is fairly high.

My upper lip had a bruise about the size of a kernel of corn for a few days afterward, and it took several days for the bruise to fully subside. Also, immediately after the treatment, your lips are not able to move, since you are typically going to be injected with a local anesthetic.

My local anesthetic was Lidocaine, and my lips were pretty much frozen for much of the evening after the treatment, and I was stuck at home since I couldn’t speak correctly and, well, quite frankly, it just doesn’t look pretty the day you get it done.

The treatment is not for those that are extremely needle shy, since between the injected Lidocaine and the injections of the filler itself, you will be getting injected several times by the end of the treatment. Ahh, the things we do for beauty!