Juvederm Ultra refers to a suite of injectable facial fillers used to add volume to the lips and other facial areas, as well as smooth out facial lines, wrinkles, and folds.
There are five Ultra lines currently on the market:
- Juvederm Ultra
- Juvederm Ultra 2
- Juvederm Ultra 3
- Juvederm Ultra 4
- Juvederm Ultra XC
Why Are There so Many Versions of Juvederm Ultra?
The different versions provide different amounts of volume to the lips as well as facial lines, wrinkles and nasolabial folds.
Juvederm Ultra’s manufacturer, Allergan, produces an array of products available worldwide.
However, only two Juvederm Ultra products are FDA-approved and available in the United States: Juvederm Ultra XC and Juvederm Ultra XC Plus.
What Are the Differences Between Them?
Choosing the version of Juvederm Ultra best suited to your needs will depend on how much volume you want and which facial areas you wish to treat.
Juvederm Ultra XC is used when adding a little volume in the lips, while Juvederm Ultra XC Plus is used if you want that fuller lip look, or to fill in facial lines and folds.
Juvederm Ultra XC, aka Juvederm Ultra, is a clear hyaluronic acid (HA)-based gel containing a small amount of lidocaine (local anesthetic). Hyaluronic acid is a sugar that the body naturally produces. HA delivers nutrients and helps the skin to preserve its moisture and remain soft. The lidocaine is included for patient comfort.
The filler is injected into the lips and surrounding area with a small needle to provide enhanced lip fullness.
Juvederm Ultra Plus
Like Juvederm XC Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus injectable gel is a colorless hyaluronic acid gel. Unlike the non-Plus version, however, Juvederm Ultra Plus can be used on facial areas other than the lips to smooth out wrinkles and folds, namely around the nose and mouth, providing for a smoother overall facial appearance.
Juvederm Ultra Plus is used for moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds. Most patients only need one treatment to achieve the desired effect.
Juvederm Ultra vs Other Juvederm Injectables
The various Juvederm products work by absorbing water, which in turn causes a plumping effect in the injected area.
Certain Juvederm products not belonging to the Ultra line can be injected into the lips for purposes less related to volume. For example, Volbella can be used to eliminate lines and provide increased definition to the lips.
In contrast to the Juvederm and Juvederm Ultra products, certain other injectable dermal fillers (e.g., Radiesse) are not used on the lips due to their chemical composition, thickness, color, and/or other factors.
Other injectables are appropriate for the lips but are used for purposes other than providing volume. For instance, Restylane Silk can be a good option for people interested in achieving more definition at the lip’s edge and for superficial lines surrounding the mouth.
Your Juvederm Ultra treatment will be tailored to your specific needs, but expect the treatment to last about one hour. To reduce pain, some providers recommend numbing the area around the injection site prior to the injections. That being said, the XC line of Juvederm fillers contain lidocaine to reduce the discomfort.
It is important to avoid taking products that thin the blood for a period of approximately one week prior to receiving Juvederm Ultra injections. This includes ibuprofen and Aspirin as well as supplements such as vitamin E, fish oil and ginkgo biloba. You also need to let your provider know if you’re taking any prescription blood thinners.
Make sure to stay hydrated and have something to eat prior to your treatment.
Do not schedule any appointments or commit to any social events in the hours following your treatment as it’s important that you relax and follow your physician’s aftercare instructions at this stage.
Aftercare mainly consists of applying cold gel packs or ice to the treatment area. Do so for as long as necessary to reduce swelling and minimize discomfort.
There are a number of things you should avoid during aftercare, including:
- Working immediately after the treatment (the day of treatment)
- Face-down massages
- Wearing swim goggles in the weeks following treatment
- Applying Retin-A or other retinoids the day of the injectable treatment
- Taking ibuprofen or Aspirin for approximately a day and a half
While a spectrum of Juvederm and other injectable fillers are indicated for volumizing and wrinkle treatment in various facial areas, in the U.S. the only FDA-approved Juvederm Ultra products are Juvederm Ultra XC and Juvederm Ultra XC Plus.
Juvederm Ultra XC is approved for injection into the lips and surrounding area.
Juvederm Ultra XC Plus is suitable for the lips, facial lines, wrinkles and folds.
Before and Afters
Prior to receiving FDA approval, a clinical study was conducted to assess the safety and effectiveness of Juvederm Ultra XC.
Results of the study found the product to be effective for increasing lip fullness. Among other findings the study determined that:
- At the three month mark, 82% of patients reported that their treatment goals had been achieved.
- Over 75% of patients reported improved overall satisfaction with the feel and look of their lips one year after their treatment.
- The majority of subjects reported improvement in smoothness, softness, and the natural feel and look of their mouth and lips for a period of one year.
That being said, patients generally report high levels of satisfaction with filler treatments.
How Long Do Juvederm Ultra Results Last?
Results of Juvederm Ultra XC and Juvederm Ultra Plus XC are temporary, lasting approximately six months to one year. The plumping effect slowly dissipates as the body metabolizes the filler. Some patients choose to return for another treatment once the effects start to wear off.
» See how the lasting effects of Juvederm Ultra compare to other popular lip filler brands.
As with any medical procedure, there’s always the chance of side effects and complications occurring with injectable dermal fillers, including Juvederm Ultra. Most patients experience minor side effects such as swelling, bruising, and firmness.
In the pre-approval clinical study, less common effects included discoloration, itching and peeling. Only four out of 208 patients experienced severe adverse events (defined as “great discomfort affecting daily activities”). All such events resolved within one month with no long-term effects.
Juvederm Ultra Cost
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in 2017 the average cost per syringe of hyaluronic acid-based fillers In the US — including the Juvederm products — was approximately $651.
This figure only includes doctor fees and doesn’t incorporate fees for the surgical facility, anesthesia or other services. However, most of these services aren’t a factor with a minimally invasive treatment such as Juvederm Ultra XC.
The precise cost of your treatment is difficult to determine without speaking to a Juvederm Ultra provider, as much depends on the doctor’s level of experience, geographic location, and other mitigating factors.
There are numerous injectable dermal fillers available to rejuvenate your facial appearance, but not all of them are created equal and each has its own specific applications. If you’re interested in achieving fuller lips or filling in facial lines, wrinkles and folds, one of the Juvederm Ultra injectable products should be able to address your needs.
Find a Nearby Provider
To learn more, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or other specialist with training in aesthetic treatments of the face. Make sure to view before-and-after photos of patients with facial features similar to yours, as well as reviews from former patients.