Getting lip fillers injected and achieving the exact subtle (or maybe not so subtle), yet plump look you have in your mind’s eye can be tricky. Finding an experienced plastic surgeon or dermatologist aka “injector” is the main priority for most, but assessing which type of filler is used, while less thought of, can also play a vital role in determining your final result.
The duck lips, trout pout, overfilled look is slowly becoming a relic of the past. As the demand for lip fillers grows (2.4 million soft tissue filler procedures were done in 2015, up 6% from the previous year, as reported by the American Association of Plastic Surgery), more filler options are being brought to market: thin fillers, thick fillers, soft versus more structured and so forth. This range of textures and thicknesses has allowed treatment professionals to achieve more natural results and moved us away from the “done” look. (Confused? Read our breakdown of various hyaluronic acid fillers.)
In keeping with this shift, comes a brand new hyaluronic acid filler from Allergan (the makers of Botox and Juvederm) called Volbella. “It’s been around in other countries, like Europe and Canada for a while now,” says board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Sarmela Sunder, “but the FDA just gave us approval to use it in the US a few weeks ago. It’s not out on the US market for general use, that’s coming end of October to end of November, but a handful of injectors have it already.”
Dr. Sunder describes the filler as being finer and softer than other fillers currently on the market, allowing for a subtle enhancement of the lips, while creating a smooth sheen that eliminates any fine lines on the lips.
“People have little lines and creases on the lips. As we age and lose hydration, these lines can have a more wrinkled look. Volbella can help plump up these lines and give the lips a more healthy appearance. If you were to put a thicker filler superficially, it could look very lumpy and bumpy. Whereas Volbella, because it’s so smooth and thin you can put it more superficial without it looking lumpy bumpy,” explains Dr. Sunder.
In addition to a more natural texture, the most attractive aspect (at least in my opinion) is the drastically reduced amount of swelling post injection compared to other fillers. The downtime of 2-3 days hiding out in the dark while your cartoonish swollen lips settle down can be prohibitive for some and annoying for most when it comes to getting lip fillers. But Volbella’s proprietary Vycross technology uses an innovative combination of low and high molecular weight technology, improving the cross linking efficiency of the hyaluronic acid chains allowing for a lower concentration of HA to be used. In layman’s terms: Volbella uses less hyaluronic acid, which results in less swelling.
“There is definitely swelling whenever a needle enters the lips,” explains Dr. Sunder, “but compared to, say Restylane Silk, you are not maintaining the swelling immediately. With Volbella most people find the swelling has improved in 24hrs. With some of the other fillers it will take a few days for the swelling to go down.”
Clinical trials have shown the filler to last up to a year, but Dr. Sunder says the average probably falls within the 9-12 months range for duration.
Check out Dr. Sarmela Sunder on Instagram @drsarmelasunder to watch a video of Volbella being injected. That is, if needles don’t scare you…
-by Amy Chang
Image source: @zendaya