I recently got Juvederm for the first time and while I was there I got my botox freshened up. I’ve been getting botox for about 6 years now, but had never tried fillers before. For the last year or so, I’ve been noticing that my nasolabial folds are getting deeper (that sounds dirty, doesn’t it? they need another name — and not marionette lines!). My botox doctor had a half price special on Juvederm, so I decided to do it and I wanted to share my experience with filler & botox with you.
Juvederm is a dermal filler made of hyaluronic acid which is a naturally occurring substance in our skin and connective tissue. HA on it’s own would be absorbed by our bodies pretty quickly, so they mix it with a smooth gel to create an injectable filler that’s used to plump areas of the face like the “puppet mouth” lines, the tear troughs, and the lips. Doctors use either a needle or a “micro-cannula” to inject the filler under the skin. The advantage to the micro-cannula is that it can be done with fewer needle punctures and causes less trauma (bruising).
There are lots of fillers from HA to collagen to your own fat, but I chose Juvederm because studies have shown that in addition to plumping, it helps the body create more collagen where it’s injected. After the age of 30, our bodies make 1% less collagen per year, so by the time your my age (51) you’re making 21% less collagen… Yikes! This Juvederm is supposed to last anywhere from 4 months up to a year, and where this is my first time, I don’t know how long it’ll last on me.
Botox is a bottulism toxin that’s injected directly into the muscles of the face to paralyze the muscles. Once the muscles are paralyzed, the skin on the surface relaxes taking the wrinkles with it. Botox usually lasts from 3-6 months, but mine only lasts about 10-12 weeks because my metabolism is so fast.
Juvederm usually costs around $625 per syringe so I paid about $300 for the procedure. He also had a deal on botox for $10 per unit, which he allowed me to use as well. The visit took about an hour since I had both done. In order to minimize the risk of bruising, stop taking any non-medically necessary blood thinners a week before you go. That includes aspirin, tylenol, aleve, advil, fish oil, & vitamin e. And, don’t drink the night before. I also read that pineapple can help to prevent bruising, so eat pineapple the day before. . . of course I forgot to do all that so I had 4 bruises afterward! Also, I bring some makeup along to touch up my face after because I get red welts from the botox on my sensitive forehead.
At the doctor’s office, you’ll fill out a number of forms that explain all the bad things that can happen with procedures like these. For example, the botox can migrate and cause some paralysis around the eyes, there’s risk of infection from the injection etc. Reading all the disclaimers makes me want to run screaming from the office, but I sign away and hope for the best!
First the doctor swabs the areas with alcohol to remove any makeup and/or germs. I’ve had my botox done with and without numbing and I don’t find it to matter too much either way. It does hurt a bit and makes my eyes water, but it’s over quickly and I just yoga breathe through it. Juvederm is more painful so the doctor applies a topical numbing gel and ices the area before injecting and the Juvederm also contains some lidocane.
To do my 11’s (the vertical wrinkles between my eyebrows) and a strip of my forehead directly above the 11’s, my doctor does 8-10 needle pokes and uses 35 units of botox. For my marionette lines, he wanted to use 2 syringes of Juvederm, but since it’s my first time, I didn’t want to go overboard so I had him just do 1. He did 3 spots on the left and 2 on the right.
Some people are able to get these procedures done on their lunch hour because they don’t have any swelling or redness, but not me. . . I look pretty messed up afterward, like I’ve just been attacked by a hive of angry bees! This is why I recommend bringing some makeup along.
I forgot to stop taking my fish oil pills a week before, so I did have some bruising:
My doctor recommended Arnica Montana to help with any bruising, so I stopped at CVS and picked up a tube of ArniCare Cream. I applied it 3 times a day and it helped the bruises to heal up in about half the time (they usually last 2 weeks, but using Arnica they were gone in 7 days).
In the mean time, I tried every concealer and makeup combination in my arsenal to cover them without much luck until I used Smashbox PhotoFinish Eyelid Primer, Armani Master Corrector in Color #2, and Bare Minerals Mineral Veil setting powder. I applied each in alternating super-thin layers until I had the bruise covered, then set it with a light dusting of powder. This method lasted all day and really corrected the purple and green tones.
It takes about 2 weeks to see the full effects of the Juvederm and Botox, here’s a side by side before and after now that it’s been 2 weeks.
I’m happy with the results, and so glad I only let him put in one syringe of Juvederm! I really don’t want to look like I’m full of filler, or be too paralyzed. The good thing about Juvederm is that it’s reversible, so if you get a result you don’t like, they can shoot something in there that will dissolve the filler. I’ll let you know in a future post how long it lasted. Now I just need to find a non-invasive procedure for the under eye wrinkles and I’ll be all set!