Botox or Juvederm: Which one is best for me?

Juvederm and Botox are two of today’s best known cosmetic injectables. However, while they do go hand in hand in many cases, a lot of people confuse the two, even though they are very different treatments that each serve their own unique purpose.

First, Botox is a completely different compound than Juvederm. Botox, a neurotoxin derived from botulinum toxin, paralyzes the muscle in which it is injected. Juvederm, a dermal filler based on polysaccharide hyaluronic acid, is used to replace or increase volume in various parts of the face. This also means that one isn’t necessarily better than the other. It just depends on what kind of results you are looking to achieve.

To help you decide which one is best for you, I did some research on the differences between the two and how they work. Here’s what I found.

Botox: What is it, and how does it work?

Botox is a neurotoxin FDA authorized for intramuscular injections for both medical and cosmetic purposes. Although the toxin is popular for its ability to reduce, eliminate, and prevent wrinkles on the face, it also has many other potent benefits.

When this medication is injected into the muscle, it reduces the muscle contractions that form wrinkles in the first place. Some of the most popular areas to get Botox injections to reduce muscle contractions include:

  • Contraction of the frontalis muscles, which causes horizontal lines to form on the forehead
  • The glabellar complex, which causes frown lines between the eyebrows (also known as 11s lines)
  • Nose wrinkles and lines (also called bunny lines)
  • Crow’s feet, which are formed by the contraction of the orbicularis oculi muscles

Botox is injected into the muscles to inhibit the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter which sends signals between nerve endings and muscle receptors. It can also be used to block presynaptic motor neurons from sending messages. The neuromodulator paralyzes muscles for three to five months. This results in less tension, as well as a reduction in wrinkles. This decrease in muscular contractions leads to limited movement in these areas, making it harder to make facial expressions that lead to the formation of wrinkles. Hence, this wrinkle relaxer reduces, prevents, and eliminates fine lines and wrinkles making the face appear less tired and more refreshed.

It also has therapeutic uses such jaw and chin reduction, lip enhancement, and gummy smile reduction. When botox is injected into the masseter muscle (which causes the jaw to look larger when tense), the masseters begin to relax, reducing them in size, and making the overall jaw slimmer. The toxin can also be injected into your mentalis muscle located in your chin. People often have dimpling in their chins due to an overactive mentalis, which can be reduced or eliminated by injecting neurotoxin to relax it. There are many types of neurotoxins, including Botox and Dysport, as well as Xeomin and Jeaveau. They all achieve the same results but have slightly different chemical compositions.

Juvederm and its benefits

Juvederm, a hyaluronic acid based dermal filler, can be used to replace lost volume around the periorbital area (under the eye region) as well as various other regions of the face including:

  • Cheeks
  • Nasolabial folds (also known as smile lines)
  • Lips
  • Chin
  • Jawline
  • Temples
  • Forehead

Hyaluronic Acid is a substance found naturally in cartilaginous structures within the eyes and joints. It lines surfaces to reduce friction between joints. A variety of dermal fillers containing hyaluronic acids are available. They all absorb water molecules in the area being injected, and the gel formulation of hyaluronic acids creates volume in the treatment areas. The face may be treated with Juvederm to reap the benefits mentioned above.

The filler is injected under the eyes to reduce the appearance of dark circles. Hollowness can occur due to natural aging, where the fat pads below the eyes are lost. The cheeks are also susceptible to volume loss as they age. To give the cheeks a more lifted look, dermal filler can be injected into both these areas.

Another age-related process is the nasolabial fold. This occurs when collagen in your skin has been lost. Smiling can cause a crease to form from the corners of your nose to the corners of your mouth. These folds can be filled in with Juvederm filler.

Lip fillers are a popular choice, particularly now, where the plump lips of our favourite celebrities and social media influencers are setting the image of what is said to be perfection. Your injector will use a variety of techniques to inject this hyaluronic-based filler into the lips, depending on what you prefer. The Russian lip technique is one of these. This involves drawing the syringe upwards and molding the lips in an upward motion, which creates a more natural look than the “ducky” look that many people try to avoid.

For a non-surgical jawline contour, Juvederm can be injected into the chin and jawline. A filler in the jaw can give you a more “snatched look”, while a filler under the chin can enhance your profile by lengthening it.

Sunken and shallow temples can make us look older than we really are, kind of like what happens to the under eyes. To reduce the appearance of your face looking skeletonized, you can have a filler injected to your temples.

So how do they differ?

Botox is a muscle relaxer, and Juvederm is a dermal filler that replaces volume and enhances facial features. Although they are totally different, they can often be combined because they complement each other well. Botox can be used to treat excessive muscular tension, while Juvederm would be used for adding volume to the fat depleted area. Research has shown that talking to a board certified doctor is the best way to determine which treatment is right for you to avoid unwanted side effects.

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