BOTOX® vs. Juvederm®: How Do They Compare?

Recent studies by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) indicate that BOTOX®—a specific brand of injectable botulinum toxin type A—topped the list of most popular minimally invasive cosmetic treatments of 2018. This potent neurotoxic protein has benefited the medical and beauty industries for decades, offering reliable results in several areas, including the temporary reduction of facial wrinkles. 

Soft tissue fillers, a category that consists of several brands, including Juvederm®, came in second place. These treatments are frequently used to add volume to the skin for creating more youthful contours, smoothing out creases, and plumping up thin lips. 

For patients considering dermal fillers and/or muscle-relaxing injections like BOTOX® in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Stanley Jacobs is prepared to compare and contrast the two options. He commonly receives questions from patients who are unsure whether BOTOX® or dermal fillers will give them the results they have been seeking. With that in mind, explore the similarities and differences between the two types of injectables.  

To start, BOTOX® and fillers both address signs of facial aging and can be used with the goal of reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Both treatments are nonsurgical, administered via needle by a specially trained injector. They also share the fact that they yield temporary results, with effects that gradually wear off over time. In many cases, BOTOX® and Juvederm® are injected at the same visit to give optimum results. 

Sessions to administer these treatments are relatively quick. BOTOX® takes minutes, and filler takes 15 to 20 minutes. Numbing cream is used before fillers are injected. 

As for more differences: While BOTOX® is an injectable neurotoxin that blocks the nerves and temporarily prevents muscle contractions, Juvederm® and other fillers contain a molecule known as hyaluronic acid that hydrates, plumps, and revitalizes the skin. 

To better understand how BOTOX® and fillers work, it may be best to first explain the effects aging has on the skin.  

Once we reach our 30th birthday—and sometimes earlier—the effects of time, genetics, gravity, external environmental elements (for example, being exposed to direct sunlight or cold, dry weather), and lifestyle factors often make themselves known. The proteins, carbohydrates, and other molecules that give structure to the face and create the supple, dewy appearance young skin is praised for start to decrease. As a result, the skin loses moisture. At the same time, the overall rate of skin cell regeneration drops. This is why fragile, older skin becomes dryer and thinner, no longer springing back. Instead, it forms permanent lines and creases. Some people also lose fullness in the face and develop sunken cheeks as volume diminishes. 

BOTOX® and fillers impact aging skin in different ways, generating unique results. 

When administered via injection, lab-made forms of hyaluronic acid in Juvederm® and other dermal fillers promote encourage moisture regulation in the skin, helping to create that even, healthy-looking, plump look many patients desire. This option is ideal for adding volume to the midface and thin lips, as well as for smoothing static wrinkles and fine lines caused by the gradual loss of collagen and elastin.  

BOTOX®, on the other hand, is a neuromodulator mainly used in the cosmetic setting for relaxing dynamic wrinkles. These are the expression lines that appear over time on the forehead and around the eyes (known as “angry 11s” and “crow’s feet,” respectively). These signs of aging are the result of repetitive facial movements. Neuromodulators like BOTOX® have the unique ability to prevent the release of the neurotransmitters that trigger subcutaneous muscle movements in the face. Calming the contractions means associated lines are not as visible. 

The effects of BOTOX® are typically visible for three to five months. Depending on the specific brand and type of filler chosen, results can be expected to last anywhere from six months to two years.  

Triple board-certified facial surgeon Dr. Stanley Jacobs and the team at The Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery are prepared to answer any questions or concerns readers may have about BOTOX® and other skin-focused treatments. Fill out an online form to find out more or call the San Francisco office at 415.433.0303.