The Medical Spa Owner’s Guide to Dermal Fillers

Today, the dermal filler is a definite “must have” beauty tool. And the choices keep getting better and better, offering natural, turn-back-the-clock results. Of the many fabulous fillers out there—Juvéderm, Restylane, Sculptra, Belotero and Radieesee—how do you know which to choose? Happy problem, right?

Let’s start with the basics. All dermal fillers have the same goal: To fill in facial lines, wrinkles and folds and leave a smooth, natural correction. Ingredients differ.  Some, like Juvéderm, Restylane and Belotero Balance rely on Hyaluronic Acid, Radiesse is made up of Calcium Hydroxylapatite and Scupltra uses Poly-L-Lactic Acid. No need to memorize these tongue-twisters, though—just know the field offers lots of variety, and one formula might suit one client better than another.

So here’s a quick rundown of the dermal differences…

Juvéderm comes in several different formulas. The thinner ones—Juvéderm Ultra and Ultra XC—can handle fine lines and wrinkles, and even the delicate area around the eyes. The heavier formulas work best on deep facial lines.  Different varieties of Juvéderm can be used to plump up lips, earlobes and cheekbones—and even fill acne scars.

Belotero touts itself as a filler that that molds to your own distinct facial contours; it’s versatile enough for deep folds, and especially effective to give an “airbrushed” look to fine lines.

Radiesse not only fills in lines, but also stimulates the production of new collagen; this allows for a longer time between touch-ups. Unlike some other fillers, Radiesse is not used on the lips.

Restylane is used to treat moderate to severe facial folds, as well as enhance the lips.

Sculptra is FDA-approved to build up cheeks, fill in hollows and increase skin thickness (its not used on lips, though). Multiple treatments are needed, usually 4 weeks apart.  Unlike the other four fillers, Sculptra results are not immediate, but they do last longer.

Other comparisons? Radiesse and Sculptra have the added benefit of boosting the body’s natural production of collagen, to help skin stay plumped up and youthful. In general, Juvéderm, Restylane and Belotero are less costly that Radiesse and Sculptra.

Whew! Still not sure what’s best for your clients? No worries, you can advise based on your client’s budget, facial features, skin elasticity and other factors. And no matter which filler you recommend, your clients will be filled with enthusiasm upon glimpsing  in the mirror!

Alexis UflandComment