Both Restylane and Juvederm are hyaluronic acid based fillers, and choosing between them depends on several factors.
Firstly, let’s quickly review where we commonly use these fillers. Both fill nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and the corners of the mouth. In addition, they each plump under eye hollows, lip lines, and cheek and frown lines. Both can also fill temples and raise the brows.
Differences in Manufacturing
Competing companies manufacture these fillers using different techniques. Restylane is made by manufacturing a large block of hyaluronic acid that is cut into small cubes in its final stages. Juvederm, on the other hand, is composed of strands of hyaluronic acid that are chemically bonded together for stability.
As a result, Juvederm tends to be more silky consistency than Restylane which often makes it a better choice for the lips where softness is ideal. Compared with Juvederm, Restylane provides more support making it a great choice for lifting the corners of the mouth.
Bruising and Swelling
Bruising is equally likely to occur with either product. Bruises happen when the needle accidentally pierces a blood vessel. There are techniques and steps to minimize bruising, but that is another topic.
Regarding swelling, Juvederm has a greater tendency to hold onto water than Restylane. As a result, Juvederm swells more when comparing Restylane vs Juvederm. Thus, Restylane is a much better choice for injecting under eye hollows since swelling in this area accentuates under eye bags.
How Long Each Lasts
To my knowledge, there is no well designed study directly comparing Restylane and Juvederm to determine which one lasts longer. The company that developed Restylane initially studied it for 6 months. Whereas the company that discovered Juvederm, studied it for a full year, so they are able to claim a longer time frame.
A subsequent study showed that Restylane could also last a long time. It found two treatments with Restylane done 4 months apart provided results lasting 18 months in the nasolabial folds.
Personally, I think the results from each are fairly similar. Juvederm may last a little longer after a single injection. However, I have seen several patients over the years who achieved very long lasting results with Restylane for their nasolabial folds.
Restylane vs Juvederm: How to Choose
When it comes down to it, there are multiple factors when deciding which to use: Restylane vs Juvederm
One factor is the area the product will be injected. As mentioned earlier, Restylane is a far better choice for under eye hollows, and Juvederm is often a better choice for lips. I also prefer Juvederm when I use certain techniques to fill temples.
I prefer Restylane for lifting the corners of the mouth, but often choose Juvederm if the marionette lines are relatively shallow. For lip lines, cheek lines, frown lines, and nasolabial folds, either is fine.
Another factor I consider is prior response to the filler. If a patient had a very good result with one of the products, I will tend to stick with that product for follow-up treatments.
Finally, some patients simply prefer one over the other. If a patient prefers Restylane vs Juvederm, for example, I am happy to use Restylane unless there is a compelling reason to use the other.