Volufiline: The Trending Filler-Like Ingredient for Plumper Skin

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Volufiline: The Trending Filler-Like Ingredient for Plumper Skin featured image
Iryna Veklich / Getty Images

There’s been some big beauty buzz happening overseas surrounding Volufiline, a plant-based, “filler-like” ingredient for plumper skin. Here’s what we know about the trending skin-care ingredient, including what dermatologists think about it and our favorite products.

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What is Volufiline?

Also known as Zhi Mu, Volufiline is a patented natural plant extract created by the French company Sederma. You may know Sederma as the company that created peptide powerhouse Matrixyl-3000. “Volufiline helps promote body volume by providing a cosmetic, lipofilling-like effect,” says Chelsea Scott, cofounder of The Beauty Spy. She discovered the unique ingredient when she partnered with K-beauty brand Dr. Tree, which is based in South Korea. “Studies show Volufiline also stimulates and promotes lipid storage, which leads to an increase of volume in the fatty tissue. Overall it helps to plump and smooth skin, improve skin elasticity, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Dr. Tree utilizes the ingredient in its entire range of products, including moisturizers, face masks, skin care and body care.”

However, outside of Asia and parts of Europe, the ingredient isn’t widely used, yet. “I haven’t been able to locate products that utilize this ingredient other than those from companies in Asia,” Scott says. This is why she cofounded The Beauty Spy, to be able to bring these products to the U.S. market.

The Clinical Testing

When Sederma published its clinical trial data, the hype spread quickly in the media overseas. “Women got very excited to start slathering it all over to help smooth and plump,” says Scott. “It’s a natural way to enhance the volume of the breasts and butt, though not nearly as dramatic as cosmetic surgery. However, clinical testing shows great improvement for a formula applied topically to skin daily. There are no known side effects either.” The study was conducted on female volunteers with a small bust. It demonstrated a gradual volume-enhancing effect after 28 and 56 days of applying Volufiline in a 5-percent concentration.

Dermatologists Discuss Volufiline

“Although Sederma’s lab research is interesting and compelling, the clinical study was quite small, with only 28 subjects. And, there was only modest improvement in breast volume at the end of the trial,” says Monroe, LA dermatologist Janine Hopkins, MD. “I think we need more studies with larger study groups and long-term safety and efficacy data. Potential uses for treating lipoatrophy for facial volume loss and loss of adiposity over the buttocks and breasts are intriguing. But, we need more science before I can recommend this to my patients.”

Nanuet, NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD hasn’t used Volufiline personally or seen any in vivo studies on it. However, she has researched the ingredient. “According to the manufacturer Sederma, Volufiline is composed of sarsasapogenin. This is a phytosterol extract of the root of the Amenarrhena asphodeloides plant in an oil-soluble base,” she explains. “In the literature, I found that sarsasapogenin has been used orally to reduce obesity-induced insulin resistance in mice. It has also been suggested as a treatment for diabetic neuropathy through a presumptive mechanism of reducing the inflammatory cascade in adipose and neurons.” 

“I have not seen the data, but Sederma states that DNA studies show sarsapogenin stimulates adipocyte (fat cell) differentiation and proliferation,” Dr. Waldorf continues. “This leads to an increase of adipocyte volume. In theory, if topical application allows for absorption of the active molecules, it could help reduce the rate of age-related volume depletion by helping to maintain adipocytes. However, I would be surprised if topical application stimulated enough fat for volume repletion or enhancement.”

Our Favorite Products That Contain Volufiline

Like other topical skin-care products, the results of these are temporary and you need to use them consistently. If you see Volufiline products like this one on Amazon, Scott warns that they are not meant to be applied directly to the skin. “This is a raw material for cosmetics. It’s meant to be mixed with your other creams or serums, or used to make cosmetics,” she says. “Don’t put it directly on your skin. This is actually one of the major concerns with buying items off of Amazon. They can easily be used improperly and cause many adverse reactions on the skin.”

1 / 4

Dr. Tree Dear Loose Skin Volu10 Targeted Peptide Wrinkle Cream ($68)

This fast-absorbing cream combines 5-percent Volufiline with TranEX-1 peptide technology to smooth the appearance of wrinkles. The targeted, cool-tip applicator lets you apply it directly to lines and wrinkles that need plumping most.

BUY NOW – $68

2 / 4

Eco Your Skin Volufiline15 Eye Essence ($70)

This lightweight cream is great for those whose eye-area concerns include fine lines (crow’s-feet) and crepiness. It glides so smoothly onto skin, making the perfect primer for concealer, too.

BUY IT NOW – $70

3 / 4

d’Alba White Truffle Intensive Volufiline Ampoule ($55)

The key ingredients in this powerhouse emulsion include 5-percent Volufiline and the brand’s signature white truffle from Piedmont, Italy. The two work in tandem to hydrate skin, firm up slack areas and even brighten.

BUY IT NOW – $80

4 / 4

COSRX AHA/BHA Refresh Vitamin C Lip Plumper ($19)

Vegan and free of artificial colors and fragrances, this gel-cream lip plumper is a game changer for dry, dull lips. It not only contains Volufiline, but also exfoliating citric acid, and vitamin C.

BUY IT NOW – $19

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