Volbella, an injectable designed specifically for lip enhancement, can quickly and easily change your appearance. At the offices of Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD, in Redlands, CA, we’ve seen these transformations for ourselves. Patients look younger while retaining their natural lip shape, and this filler can work double-duty for those who want to correct fine lines around the mouth.
How Long Does Volbella Really Last?
Most lip fillers only last three to six months, but Volbella lasts up to 18 months. This is especially noteworthy for the lips, where a substantial amount of movement wears fillers down more quickly. Every day, your mouth engages in talking, laughing, smiling, frowning, and eating. The longevity of this injectable is a testament to its durable formula.
Keep in mind the results of this treatment will not show one day and then disappear the next. Rather, the effects will gradually fade with time. You can help safeguard against this by opting for maintenance treatments before your results are gone. You’ll not only extend the longevity of your plumper pout but also enjoy shorter treatments and smaller dosages thanks to the remaining filler you still have.
A Cross-Linking Explanation
This filler falls under the Juvederm umbrella, a company known for state-of-the-art cross-linking technology. What is cross-linking? It’s the science that allows hyaluronic acid (HA) to be injected into treatment sites. Juvederm products are all made with HA, which we’ll explain momentarily. For now, let’s focus on cross-linking.
In its natural state, HA exists as one enormous molecule chain made up of many smaller and individual units. It also has a high molecular weight, meaning it occupies a large area and cannot penetrate the skin’s barrier. These traits are fine when we’re talking about the HA our bodies produce naturally because we consistently synthesize more. That is until we get older, when production gradually slows until it’s more like a crawl than a sprint.
You might be wondering why we need this endless supply of HA, and the answer is simple: our bodies degrade it relatively quickly. It lasts in the skin for less than a day and between the joints for less than a week. Juvederm overcomes this by cross-linking HA molecules together. Those tightly bound chains are then suspended in gel so they can be injected below the skin’s surface.
But Juvederm doesn’t stop at simple cross-linking as other filler manufacturers do. It formulates all of its injections with proprietary Vycross technology, which blends low and high molecular weights for the tightest filler possible. This increases the formula’s longevity and also makes for a remarkably smooth gel. Whereas other fillers tend to be granular in nature, Volbella glides into lips with the ease of silk. The benefits of this consistency include:
- Faster recovery after treatment
- Results that feel as natural as they look
- Malleability to ensure lip symmetry and proportion
HA: The Gold Standard of Injectables
Low molecular weights of HA store moisture more sustainably than high weights. This promotes healthier tissues, as demonstrated by two different independent studies. The first, published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, found that higher moisture levels can improve skin thickness and density. The second, from the University of Missouri-Columbia, revealed that proper skin hydration can increase bounce and elasticity.
As the body’s natural hydrator, HA lifts, plumps, tightens, and supports the skin. To be more specific, it is a major component of the extra-cellular matrix, the skin’s underlying scaffolding system that also contains collagen and elastin. Together, these components keep skin firm and give faces their smooth, rounded contours.
Why It’s Good for the Lips
Few of us are born with full, luscious lips, and those who are fall victim to age in which tissues eventually thin and flatten. The answer to both concerns can be found in HA-based dermal fillers. HA attracts more than 1,000 times its weight in water to provide volume that goes beyond the plumping effects of the gel. It also delivers natural-looking enhancements because the injectable is easily controlled, making for a very small margin of error.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more dramatic pout, HA can provide that as well. Do keep in mind, however, your lips should work in harmony with your other facial features. We also use this filler to improve the shape and projection of your lips, redefine borders, and erase fine lines that develop in and around the lips. That’s right – Volbella can add/restore volume in a way that smooths lines and wrinkles.
A Little More Praise
As for hydration, your lips will look silky smooth, dewy, even radiant. And as a final nugget of good news, you’ll see immediate results. While the full effects of treatment will continue to develop in the coming days, you’ll leave our office with noticeably plumper lips.
All the Details You Need
Many patients want to know about the safety profile of Volbella because it is, after all, an injection going into your body. Lip augmentation is safe on a number of levels, particularly with Juvederm products. We’ll start with HA, which in and of itself is biocompatible so you don’t need to worry about allergic reactions or rejection from your body.
All Juvederm fillers are FDA-approved for both safety and efficacy. This means they’ve been through extensive series of double-blind, third-party clinical trials. And thanks to its gentle but effective formula, this filler will not change the function of your lips in any way.
Pain-Free and Minimally-Invasive
All Juvederm products are formulated with lidocaine, a local anesthetic that reduces pain sensitivity. It takes effect in less than 90 seconds but lasts only 30 minutes, so your mouth isn’t numb the rest of the day. Lidocaine is generally well-tolerated and doesn’t pose the side effects involved with anesthesia. For instance, you’re not forced to undergo an observation period after treatment; instead, you’re free to go home and continue with your tasks.
If you would like an additional way to manage pain, we can apply a topical numbing cream to your lips and the skin around your mouth about 30 minutes prior to treatment. This ensures you don’t feel even the needle prick as it enters your lips. Most patients compare this sensation to that of a shot from their medical doctor, but we want to ensure you feel completely comfortable throughout treatment.
The Day of Treatment
Prior to your appointment, gently wash your face with cleanser and warm water. It’s best to arrive without makeup, and loose-fitting clothes will help maintain your comfort throughout the session. Remember to eat before you arrive, and when planning your meals for the rest of the day, note you should avoid eating hot soup or stew and drinking out of a straw for 24 hours.
Each treatment session is unique, not just for each patient, but also for each individual appointment. We’ll provide information during your consultation so you know what to expect during your sessions. For instance, you may want to address a thin upper lip and smile lines on your first visit, but on your one-year maintenance session, you may opt for a little more volume in both lips. Because Volbella is versatile, we can customize treatment in a number of ways.
What to Expect
Generally speaking, we’ll start your treatment session by sanitizing your face. We’ll then apply the numbing cream, if you’ve elected to have it, and proceed with injections once that cream has taken effect. If you choose not to have the numbing agent, we’ll make injections as soon as your face is sanitized.
The length of your appointment will depend on the goals of the treatment. If we’re treating both lips in addition to lines around your mouth, you can expect your session to take longer than if we’re just plumping the upper lip. Most sessions are completed in under an hour, meaning we can accommodate nearly any schedule.
For the first 24 hours after treatment, we’ll recommend that you avoid extreme temperature fluctuations that can elevate your blood pressure. You should likewise avoid nicotine, alcohol, and strenuous exercise, all of which can raise blood pressure. And sunscreen, if you don’t yet use it, will become your new best friend. We tell patients they should regularly apply it every day to prevent damage from UV rays.
Sun exposure degrades HA even more quickly than time does. Protecting your lips (and skin) should therefore be a prime goal, meaning sunscreen should be applied regularly to both. If you’re going on a tropical vacation or plan to sit by the beach, take a wide-brimmed hat for additional protection.
Ways to Extend Your Results
Talking about protection from the sun is a good way to segue into our next point: you can take additional steps to extend your Volbella results. This starts with quitting smoking, as nicotine can elevate your blood pressure. In fact, tobacco contains over 4,000 chemicals, many of which can damage your skin’s collagen and elastin. Tobacco also restricts blood vessels so your tissues don’t get the vital nutrients they need.
A healthy diet can similarly give life to your injections. Junk foods cause inflammation within the body that can increase the rate at which you metabolize fillers. Wholesome choices like lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, on the other hand, help reduce inflammatory responses and keep your body functioning optimally.
Adjust Your Exercise Routine
If you love to engage in all-out, vigorous exercise seven days a week, you may want to pull back ever so slightly. This sort of activity revs up metabolism, which will cause your body to degrade your filler more quickly.
While we would never encourage a patient to stop physical activity, we would caution you that vigorous exercise can mean you’ll need a repeat treatment sooner rather than later. If you can’t or don’t want to change up your routine, just be aware you may need additional visits.
Even under normal conditions, stress is hard on the body and can lead to serious complications. These effects are owed to cortisol, a hormone that speeds up the aging process and can diminish the effects of your filler. During times when stress can’t be avoided, try taking a few deep breaths. After a long day, find ways to relax with yoga, meditation, or a soothing bath. The point is that now is a great time to be kind to your body.
A Unique and Long-Lasting Filler
This treatment is well-suited to most patients and delivers immediate results. You’ll see fuller, smoother, and more defined lips before you even leave our office, and the effects only continue to develop in the coming days. Schedule your consultation now by calling the offices of Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD, in Redlands, CA.