Summary: When you come across a website offering Ridgewood, NJ, injectables, it’s easy to assume that includes all sorts of things: Botox, Restylane, Juvederm, and so on. But what does the term “injectables” really mean, and how can you differentiate types of injectables? Sometimes it can feel as though the sheer variety of injectables makes it more difficult to make a decision—and this is mostly true. However, there are so many options because each injectable offers subtly different results—as they’ve been designed for subtly different purposes. Still, telling them apart can be quite a challenge, and you’ll definitely want to listen to what your plastic surgeon has to say.
It’s All in the Name: Types of Injectables
A rose by any other name would still be a rose, right? At least, according to Shakespeare. Still, we like to name things, and as we name things, those things can take on characteristics of that name. Or, in other words, the name simply becomes important. Which brings us to today’s topic: injectables. Now, there are a great many different injectables, and it can be quite difficult to keep them all straight. There’s Bellafill and Botox, Restylane and Radiesse, Juvederm and Juvederm Silk and, well, you get the idea. So what’s the difference? Why all these different names?
Well, turns out those names actually mean something. To be sure, each of those names has gone through a series of focus groups to make sure that they convey the right meaning (that’s marketing—and all of these great injectables need to be marketed, of course). But more than that, what we’re really trying to convey is that the names are needed, because injectables all do very (or at least slightly) different things. So let’s talk about Injectables!
Botox for Beginners
We may as well start with the most famous injectable of all: Botox. In its composition, Botox is pretty singular. Before we talk about why, we should talk about facial wrinkles first. You see, not all wrinkles have the same causes. Some wrinkles are caused by your skin losing elasticity as it ages—deflating like a balloon losing air. But other wrinkles are caused by, essentially, the same thing your mother used to say: when you make a face, your skin stays that way. This is true when muscles cause contraction of the face—thought lines, smile lines, lines around the eyes, and that kind of thing. The muscle gets “stuck” in a contracted position and so the wrinkle becomes more or less permanent.
Botox works by paralyzing muscle groups—specifically, muscle groups that cause those wrinkles. Botox is derived from a toxin (don’t worry, it’s not bad for you in this form) that causes paralysis, so that’s why Botox works. Now, Botox doesn’t last for a very long time, only two-to-six months. But it can generate fabulous, natural-looking results (don’t ask for too much Botox—your plastic surgeon may not say no and you could end up with a face that’s less than expressive).
Dermal Fillers: Hyaluronic Acid
Now, that’s a completely different approach from dermal fillers. Remember the balloon we talked about? Dermal fillers work by re-inflating that balloon. And there are a wide variety of various dermal fillers. The most common is composed of something called hyaluronic acid. This is an organic material that is already present in your body (lowering the chances of any kind of allergic reaction), and not only does it fill that empty space beneath your skin, but it also encouraged the growth of collagen. This collagen helps create a kind of net for the dermal filler, preserving the volumizing effect (and adding a nice glow to your skin while it’s at it).
The really nice thing about these hyaluronic acid-based fillers is that they are generally reversible. So if something goes wrong, you can reverse it. That said, most people love their fillers, and they generally last for roughly 18 months, give or take a few months. Of course, this is all quite variable. Some people notice their dermal fillers starting to fade after six to twelve months. A lot depends on which filler you’ve opted for and how you respond individually.
Popular hyaluronic acid based filler brand names include:
- Juvederm Voluma
Bellafill (Formerly Artefill)
Of course, in a league all of its own—both in terms of the relativity of its naming and in terms of its effects—is a dermal filler now known as Bellafill. Formerly Artefill, Bellafill is formulated so as to not be easily absorbable by the human body. This means that it tends to last quite a long time, sometimes measured to be as much as ten years (though, in most cases, it’s closer to five or six years). Bellafill is not a hyaluronic acid based dermal filler, and that’s important to note because it also means that the effects of this particular treatment are not reversible. Most cosmetic surgeons who administer Bellafill, therefore, take a slow and steady approach to injections, ensuring excellent results.
So one of the things we’ve really learned is that there’s an injection out there for you. No matter what you want, or how you want to youthify your face, there’s something out there for you. As always, you should consult with your plastic surgeon—be clear and intentional when it comes to articulating your desired results. Chances are, it may take a combination of various injectables to give you the best possible look, and over time you may develop a preference for once set of injectables over another. But this is one of those instances where it won’t hurt to listen to some advice. Or, at the very least, keep doing your own research.