Volumizers are products that help to fill in a relative depression or hollow of the face, or treat a significantly deep wrinkle or furrow. As a result, they address one of the two core findings in the aging face….and skillfully injected, they can result in you looking 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years younger!
Volumizers are the preferred injectables for purposes of lifting sagging tissue(like jowls), filling in hollowed areas (like those under the eyes, in the temples, and in the midface), building up the angles of the jaw (to give a more youthful strong jawline with resultant diminished “turkey neck”), and erasing the severe lines between the nose and corners of the mouth (nasolabial folds) and those between the corners of the mouth and chin (marionette lines).
They come in two varieties: (1) hyaluronic acids, and (2) bio-stimulatory agents.
The hyaluronic acids work like a sponge, taking on water. An improvement is seen immediately, and improves over 1-2 weeks, and typically lasts 8-12 months. (In some, they may only last 1-2 months, and in some they may last 2 years….but average is 8-12 months.)
The bio-stimulatory agents work by triggering your body to produce collagen and elastin. Depending on the bio-stimulatory agent chosen, one may see improvement immediately or within a couple months, and the effects last 18months to permanently.
The volumizer hyaluronic acids (such as Voluma, Lyft, and Versa) are stiffer than filler hyaluronic acids. They are wonderful, but realize that they are not ideal for repeat injections of the same area, because that sponge-like effect can actually causes the collagen and elastin of the area to be less tightly-coiled than it would naturally be. They have a definite place in this world: when you need a quick “pick-me-up” or “fix” for an upcoming event.
The bio-stimulatory agents that are presently FDA-approved include Sculptra, Radiesse, and BellaFill. Each triggers the production of TWO kinds of collagen: a stiffer one to do lifting of tissues and filling in of depressions and furrows, and a softer one to improve the texture and tone of the skin. Virtually 100% of patients notice improvements in their skin suppleness and appearance (a BONUS!!) that lags behind the improvements to the infrastructure of the face. This increased collagen synthesis is NOT seen with volumizing hyaluronic acids (except the tiny amount of response to the needle injury of the injection). The improvement with the bio-stimulatory agents always looks very natural…because the “filling material” contains your own body’s natural (NEWLY-made) collagen.
To simplify the contrasts and comparisons of the different bio-stimulatory agents and hyaluronic acids, Dr. Kessler Hudak, who injects all of them, has made a chart entitled “Comparisons of Volumizers.” It is highly recommended you view it, so that you can make an informed decision on the best choice for your particular case.
It is also recommended you view the before and after volumizer photos of Dr. Kessler Hudak. You will see why she has been chosen by the manufacturers of all these products to teach other physicians and nurses in the art of injectables, including running and teaching the entire Cosmetic Injectables Workshop of the Dermatology Nurses Association in collaboration with the American Academy of Dermatology.