With age, the level of hyaluronic acid in our skin decreases due to exposure to free radicals—research has even shown that women over 50 are estimated to have half the hyaluronic acid they had when they were young. Responsible for retaining moisture in the skin, hyaluronic acid binds to water similar to the way a sponge absorbs water. As a result, it is able to fill the spaces between the collagen and elastin fibers in our skin, making it look and feel more plump and youthful.
When injected, hyaluronic acid fillers can restore volume and add structure to the face at a much faster rate than what can be achieved with an HA-based cream. Because of this, the demand for these types of fillers has increased, leading to the development of new ones with a variety of capabilities to treat different areas of concern on the face.
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Two of the latest hyaluronic acid fillers to know about are Volift and Vobella, both of which are still in clinical trials in the U.S. and not yet FDA-approved, but are currently being used in Europe where they’re showing promising results.
“Volift is a new filler that combines low molecular and high molecular weight hylauronic acid. In Europe, they are using many fillers with blends of low and high molecular weight, and studies show increased longevity with softer correction,” says New York dermatologist Diane Madfes, MD.
New York facial plastic surgeon Dilip Madnani, MD, adds, “Volift is supposed to last much longer than the fillers Allergan [the parent company] currently has. It’s a medium consistency, so can be injected more superficially than Voluma, and would be used similar to how Juvéderm is currently used. Ideal candidates for Volift are those who have mild to moderate depressions on their face, such as nasolabial folds and marionette lines. The filler is supposed to last up to 15 months.”
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Another new HA filler called Vobella is also gaining anticipation stateside. “Vobella is a thinner consistency and can be used even more superficially than Volift,” says Dr. Madnani. “Ideal candidates will be anyone who has these lines and wants them corrected quickly without much downtime. It is supposed to last up to 12 months.” Dr. Madfes says Vobella best targets fine lines on the skin’s surface, such as “smoker’s lines” on the upper lip. “We can also combine these fillers with chemical peels and laser treatments to help with skin tone correction in addition to volume loss,” she adds.
The bottom line: The big draw to these new fillers is the amount of time they last (the functionality is very similar to that of existing fillers). “Most fillers only last up to six months, so you are essentially doubling the longevity, which improves patient comfort and satisfaction,” says Dr. Madnani. We’re hoping to see these new products hit doctors’ offices stateside in late 2016, but at this point, it’s in the hands of the FDA.
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