The “Liquid Facelift”

Posted on November 26, 2013 by Ella Fedonenko

Last week, we talked about one of the newest beauty products to be approved by the FDA, Voluma. But it’s important to note that Voluma is not the first product to evolve from the popular “derma fillers,” like Restylane, Juvederm et al, as a “volumizer.” Appropriately, it’s called Sculptra.

In August, 2004, Sculptra was approved by the FDA for restoring volume to areas of the face that have lost fat, due to either the aging process or from losing a substantial amount of weight. This loss of volume usually appears at the temple, under the eyes, around the mouth or in the lower cheek areas. Keep in mind that a rounder, fuller contour is associated with a younger appearance while this loss of volume “flattens out” the face, creating shadows, hollows and other distinctive signs of age.

Like Voluma, Sculptra is injected into the sunken areas to plump them up and “re-sculpt” the facial contours. By adding volume, the volumizers also lift sagging areas and erase lines and wrinkles.

And, like Voluma, Sculptra is extremely long-lasting and often the results are maintained for up to two years. But there are also some very distinct differences between the two drugs.

Voluma contains hyaluronic acid, which effects are visible immediately. Sculptra, when injected into the deeper layers of the skin, interacts with the body’s own creation of collagen and the results emerge over a period of time. Several treatments are the protocol and as the Sculptra causes the body to produce more and more collagen, the volume increases, slowly and naturally.

The side-effects are similar, for both products, and are usually minor and disappear quickly. And the cost is also comparable, although higher, than for the shorter-lasting derma fillers.

Ultimately, the most important and exciting “take-away” information that has been created by Sculptra and Voluma, in the cosmetic dermatology industry – for both patients and practitioners – is that many years of aging may now be erased, without surgery. And the effects, while still called “temporary,” may last for years.