Radiesse vs Voluma

Radiesse and Juvederm Voluma are dermal fillers that have anti-aging properties. Radiesse contains calcium hydroxyapatite or CaHA microspheres (suspended in an aqueous gel) as its active ingredient while Juvederm Voluma is a hyaluronic acid-based preparation. Conventionally used for treating moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, Radiesse is often used off label for treating marionette lines and augmenting cheeks. On the other hand, Juvederm is specially designed for cheek augmentation. In fact, it was the first filler approved by FDA for the correction of volume deficit in the mid face due to aging.

Off-label use vs approved use

FDA approval indicates that the product has been officially approved for a particular indication. In order to obtain FDA approval, the findings from the manufacturer’s testing needs to be reviewed and validated. Off-label use, on the other hand, refers to the use of a product for an indication that has not been approved by FDA. While not advertised as an indicated use, off label uses are generally considered safe (such is the case of Radiesse).  

Radiesse and Juvederm: how are they different?

1. Ingredients

Radiesse is made of synthetic calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres that are suspended in an aqueous gel carrier. Having a unique mode of action, the microspheres are able to stimulate collagen synthesis in the skin, thereby replenishing the lost collagen. This helps to deliver natural yet dramatic volumizing results. The biodegradable microspheres will be metabolized naturally without being absorbed by the body. CaHA microspheres in Radiesse are designed to be biocompatible, therefore there is minimal risk of causing an allergic reaction Radiesse vs Voluma In contrast, Juvederm Voluma contains hyaluronic acid as its main ingredient. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring component found abundantly in the skin. Having water retention properties, hyaluronic acid swells up when it comes in contact with water. Not surprisingly, Juvederm Voluma has higher tendency of drawing water towards itself than Radiesse. Hyaluronic acid is biodegradable, and will be gradually decomposed in the body (hence the temporary results). Unlike calcium hydroxylapatite, hyaluronic acid will eventually be resorbed by the body.

2. Lifting effects

Compared to injections for correcting nasolabial folds, the injections used in cheek augmentation are much deeper.

Specially designed for cheek augmentation, Juvederm Voluma is able to deliver lifting effects that last. The superior lifting abilities of Juvederm Voluma can be attributed its high elastic modulus. Elastic modulus refers to the ability of a filler to recover and revert to its original shape after movements such as smiling.

Containing calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) microspheres, Radiesse is able to deliver superior lifting effects. Once administered, the CaHA microspheres will function as a scaffold (upon which collagen regenerates). Notably, the weight of Radiesse is the highest among all injectable fillers. Although not officially indicated for cheek augmentation, Radiesse has been used by practitioners around the world without causing severe complications. Plus, it has shown remarkable results in augmenting the cheeks.

So, how does Radiesse’s off label use for cheek augmentation fare against the Voluma’s approved use? The general consensus is that the lifting abilities of Radiesse are comparable to that of Juvederm.

The bottom line is that Juvederm Voluma and Radiesse have excellent lifting properties and both are ideal for cheek augmentation.

3. Duration of action

As claimed by its manufacturer (Allergan), Juvederm Voluma can last for up to two years. Radiesse, on the other hand, is estimated to last for nine to 18 months. At first glance, it appears that Juvederm Voluma is longer lasting than Radiesse. However, the term “up to” denotes anything from one year to two years. It does not necessarily mean that the filler can last for a maximum of two years. Therefore, Radiesse may be longer lasting than Juvederm Voluma in some patients (the average length of action of Radiesse is 18 months). The actual duration of action differs greatly among patients and is influenced by a number of factors, such as the patient’s rate of metabolism and the amount of filler used.

4. Cost

One syringe of Juvederm Voluma (containing 2ml of injectable gel) can cost between $750 and $1,000, while the price range of Radiesse is around $600 to $800. Juvederm may have a higher price, but each syringe contains more product in comparison to Radiesse.  That being said, Radiesse works by stimulating collagen synthesis and not by injecting large amounts of filler.

There are many factors that can affect the price of a filler, including the location of the clinic.

The total treatment cost is often determined by the amount of filler needed. Therefore, aesthetic injections are not always affordable. It is sometimes not possible to achieve the desired results with a limited budget. While it is understandable that people want to get the best price, cost should not be the only consideration when it comes to dermal fillers.

Conclusion

Having superior lifting abilities, both dermal fillers have shown excellent results in cheek augmentation. While similar in many aspects, Radiesse and Juvederm Voluma differ in terms of ingredients, price, and duration of action. Having been approved by FDA, Juvederm Voluma is clinically proven safe and effective. Radiesse, while being used off label, has the added benefit of boosting collagen regeneration and, therefore, is able to deliver natural results.

Each filler has its own advantages. When choosing the most appropriate filler, take into account factors such as price, effectiveness and product durability. At the end of the day, it comes down to patient preference.