Juvéderm vs Botox: Which One Is Right for You?

Decisions, decisions.

Juvederm vs Botox: Which One Is Right for Me?
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When it comes to the world of injectables, we know that they're not all made the same. In fact, they're often wildly different. From what they're made of and how long they last, to their effects and who they're best suited for, these aesthetic products can be trickier to navigate than the Wild Wild West.

But, if you are familiar with injectables, then you've probably heard of Botox and Juvéderm. And although they're completely different from one another, they're often used together.

While Botox is known for freezing specific muscles of your face, Juvéderm helps to give the skin more volume, so those looking for anti-aging in-office treatments often double up for the best results.

To better understand the differences between the two, what to expect from each, and break down any potential side effects, we tapped two board-certified dermatologists and asked them to share everything they know. Their answers, below.

What Is Botox?

David Shafer, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Manhattan's Shafer Clinic, explains that Botox is a neuromodulator which interrupts the nerve signal to the muscle, aka it reduces dynamic wrinkles. The idea is that if the underlying muscles don't contract, then the skin won't wrinkle or fold.

"The FDA approval for Botox is for the upper face: forehead, glabella, and crow's feet," he says. "However, off-label uses include the bunny lines on the nose, the frowning muscles around the mouth, the muscles which can cause gummy smiles, the chewing muscles which can make the face wide, and vertical neck bands."

When getting Botox, Dr. Shafer says a small needle will inject the formula into the target muscle. Pain tolerances obviously vary from person to person, but it should only feel like a quick pinch. "The needle is literally the smallest needle made and often people can't even feel it," he assures.

Once injected, the results typically begin to appear within three to five days. The longevity of Botox ultimately depends on how quickly the patient metabolizes the injectable, but Dr. Shafer says it typically lasts between three to five months.

If you're convinced and want to try it, just know that pricing varies depending on who your provider is and where they're located. And make sure to stay clear of discount deals just to save a little. "The effect is determined by the skill of the injector, so a few extra dollars is well worth it for a good and predictable result," adds Dr. Shafer, and we couldn't agree more. Unlike some fillers, Botox can't be dissolved, so it's best to choose a provider you trust and whose work you like.

What Is Juvéderm?

Juvéderm is a type of hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal filler, but there are five types of Juvéderm fillers to choose from. However, before we get into what each of them are and what they do, it's important to understand what they're all made of.

Dr. Shafer explains that they're all made of a naturally occurring moisture molecule. "The beauty is that the HA molecule is normally found in the body, so there's a great compatibility," he adds. He further explains that in the laboratory, the HA gel is made in high concentrations in pre-filled syringes for injections for patients.

This is important because hyaluronic acid fillers have different properties depending on the bonding between the molecules. As such, each Juvéderm product has specific properties. Dr Shafer explains that Juvéderm Ultra Plus fills, Juvéderm Voluma lifts, Juvéderm Vollure smooths, Juvéderm Volbella hydrates, and Juvéderm Volox XC which is the only FDA-approved filler for the jawline.

As with Botox, it's quintessential to find the right provider, not the cheapest. However, your buck will go further with Juvéderm. "In general, the fillers last twice as long as Botox so most patients have filler every other Botox appointment," says Dr. Shafer.

VIDEO: Is Botox Worth the Hype? Here's How Long It Really Lasts

What Are the Potential Side Effects Of Botox?

Botox has been used medicinally for decades, and it's been FDA-approved for cosmetic use since 2002. As such, it's a highly studied product and has a high safety profile. Dr. Shafer says that as such, most of the issues that arise from Botox spur from it not being administered correctly.

"If too much is injected above the eyebrows, then the brows can droop. If Botox is injected too close to the upper eyelid, the lid can droop. If not enough is injected above the lateral eyebrow, then the brow can peak or 'spock'" furthers Dr. Shafer. If either of these side effects do happen, know that they will wear off after a few months.

What Are the Potential Side Effects Of Juvéderm?

Unlike Botox, there are a few more risks associated with dermal fillers. For starters, Dr. Shafer explains that there's always a risk of bruising and swelling — even in the best of hands. Additionally, he says unintentional vascular injections can block the blood flow to the skin. "This can be an accidental direct injection into a blood vessel or filler placed near a blood vessel which swells and impedes flow," he explains.

Furthermore, other side effects include over-filling and nodules. Dr. Shafer notes that these have a decreased chance of occurring if you go to a skilled and experienced injector. "A careful understanding of the underlying anatomy is very important as well as safety protocols," he concludes.

What's the Best Way to Pick Which Is Best For You?

Ultimately, it depends on the results you want and what your injector recommends. "The decision is based on the patient's underlying anatomy, current issues, and expectations from treatment," adds Dr. Shafer.

Both injections are often used together, but if you're looking to dip your toes into just one, it boils down to this: While Botox blocks muscle action, Juvéderm is used for filling and smoothing.

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