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Getting Rid of Those Frown Lines: Botox vs. Juvederm

One of the most revealing signs of age is the frown line, and it’s almost impossible to avoid. The saving grace is that there are several options for getting rid of these age indicators. So which one is for you?

BOTOX and Juvederm are two very popular products on the market now for helping with wrinkles, especially frown lines. They are drastically different products however. BOTOX Cosmetic(R) is a toxin that paralyzes the muscle into which it is injected, allowing the muscle to relax, thereby removing the wrinkle. Juvederm, on the other hand, is a facial filler which plumps out the area under the wrinkle, creating a smooth surface on the skin above. So which is the better choice?

image of facial injection

Dr. Thomas Young of Young Medical Spa says, "As you move from basic treatments to more advanced treatments you often combine the effects of both types of products. An example of this would be deep frown lines between the eyes. The primary treatment there would be to relax the muscles that are causing the lines in the first place with Botox, and then, if there is a remaining deep line, you can add some filler to soften the fold."

Botox

For those of us who are just too nervous to try something newer, Botox is a reliable choice. We know it works, and we know that side effects are rare and minor. We also know its downsides, like the frozen face phenomenon. But most people accept that effect in lieu of the other benefits. Speaking of which, what are the benefits of Botox?

It works. And we’ve known it works for years now. Even Botox critics cannot deny the effectiveness of the injection. A fast, easy, and only somewhat uncomfortable process that can be done on your lunch break, Botox efficiently freezes muscles at the point of injection. This prevents the contractions of these muscles that cause the lines in the first place. Your doctor will evaluate your facial structure to determine where the injections are needed. By pinpointing where to freeze the muscle contractions, you doctor can ensure effectiveness and safety. According to Botox Cosmetic, clinical studies have proven 90% of people have rated the improvement in the disappearance of lines as moderate to better within only one month – results are usually seen within a few days of treatment, and can last up to four months.

So what are the downsides? Well, while four months is a long time for an injection to last, remember that this means you will need to get the injections every four months to maintain the look. The good news is Botox costs have gone down since it first appeared on the beauty scene. As far as side effects and conflicts, Botox Cosmetic warns you should not use Botox if you have an infection, if you are allergic to any ingredients in Botox (your doctor will advise), or if you are pregnant. In very rare cases, Botox can cause problems swallowing. More common effects include dry mouth, discomfort, headache, tiredness, and dry eyes. Always tell your doctor you are planning on using Botox, so you can avoid any allergic reactions.

Juvederm

Juvederm is newer to the scene so some may be hesitant to trust it. But, truthfully, it may be the better choice depending on how severe your wrinkles are. Juvederm is an all-natural injection and, according to Juvederm’s official information site, instead of freezing muscles with a chemical, Juvederm actually fills lines using hyaluronic acid, a substance that actually occurs naturally in your skin. This is a great option, because it means you’re not introducing anything foreign into your skin.

So, the benefits include some of what Botox does, such as effectiveness. Results are typically seen in a few days. The injection hydrates skin, fills the lines to make them disappear, and gives a refreshed effect. The results begin to appear immediately, although they reach their full potential over time. As the time goes on, the results improve gradually. The fact that this is an all-natural, healthy injection is a huge plus, and furthermore, there’s none of the face-freezing that Botox causes.

Common side effects include swelling and discomfort, and these typically subside after the first week. Remember, just like BOTOX, you have to tell your doctor about your Juvederm plans, so you can avoid any potentially adverse effects.