At one point, women were heading to their surgeon’s office to find out how to get lips like Angelina Jolie’s. With her latest movie, Maleficent, Jolie is inspiring a completely different trend. Now, people want to know how they can get her title character’s cheekbones.
While Maleficent’s cheekbones are an extreme case, and were actually created using prosthetics and carefully placed contouring makeup, having pronounced cheekbones is a sign of youth. As you get older, the fat pads in the cheeks start to fall, changing the shape of your face. The lower part of the face, including the jaw, becomes wider and more square than the middle part. The cheek area becomes sunken and hollow looking.
You may not be able to look exactly like Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent, but there are a number of procedures that can restore volume and contour to the cheek area.
In the past, one option included cheek implants, but that required undergoing surgery. Another option is fat transfer, or fat injections. But, before a surgeon can inject the fat into the cheek area, it needs to be removed from another area of the body and purified, which means the procedure took a while to perform and usually required downtime.
Injectable fillers offer a quicker way to temporarily add volume to the cheek areas. Not all fillers are the same. A newer filler, Juvederm Voluma, might be the best option for many patients who want to get more dramatic looking cheeks without the prosthetics, surgery or tricky makeup.
What Is Voluma?
Juvederm Voluma is similar to Juvederm and other fillers made of hyaluronic acid. But unlike other hyaluronic acid fillers, Voluma is the only one approved by the FDA to correct a loss of volume in the mid-face area.
The hyaluronic acid in Voluma is also slightly different than the substance found in other fillers. It’s firmer and thicker in terms of consistency. The filler is also injected more deeply into the cheek area, which allows it to create volume and lift instead of simply filling in lines and wrinkles.
Although Voluma is injected more deeply than other hyaluronic acid fillers, it’s also formulated with lidocaine, which numbs the treated area and reduces any discomfort you might feel. You can also ask that your physician apply a numbing cream to the skin before the treatment begins.
In most cases, the process takes less than half an hour to perform. Instead of injecting the filler into one area, the surgeon will inject small amounts of it across the cheek area. If the injections aren’t deep enough or if too much of the substance is placed in one area, the results might look lumpy and uneven.
Recovery and Results
Like most other injectable fillers, there is almost no recovery time needed after Juvederm Voluma. You will most likely be told to take it easy for the first 24 hours after the treatment. You’ll also want to avoid sun exposure for the first day after the injections. Being too active, such as heading to the gym for a workout, or spending time in the sun, can irritate the treated area, leading to redness, itching or swelling.
You may notice some swelling and bruising at the injection site. While it should go down within a week or so, putting an ice pack on the area will reduce any swelling.
Results can last a long time after a Voluma injection. In many cases, the results can last two years, and in some cases, longer than that. You might see your doctor for touch-ups after the initial treatment or after the results of the first treatment have faded.
Is It for You?
If you were inspired by Maleficent’s cheekbones, Juvederm Voluma might give you a way to get more pronounced cheeks of your own. Voluma is recommended for people over the age of 21. It’s not recommended if you’re currently pregnant or breast-feeding, though.
Dr. Jessica Kulak at the Naderi Center in Virginia and Maryland can help you decide if Voluma is the right choice for you. Dr. Kulak specializes in treating the face, using both minimally invasive and surgical rejuvenation techniques. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Kulak, call (703) 481-0002 in Virginia or (301) 222-2020 in Maryland today.