Test Drive Diaries: JUVÉDERM Dermal Fillers for A Naturally Contoured Face

Test Drive Diaries: JUVÉDERM Dermal Fillers for A Naturally Contoured Face

We test out the acclaimed, celebrity-favorite JUVÉDERM Fillers from Skin 101



As I enter my 30s this year, everything has been triggering—an occasional strand of white hair, the visible frown lines and the excruciating back pain. As “progressive” as I believe myself to be when it comes to body positivity and the self-love movement, aging, I’m slowly realizing, is terrifying. Apparently, no amount of skincare products can truly reverse its effects, and this knowledge slowly consumes me day by day.  


Gaining and losing weight in the pandemic, too, has been a cycle I’ve come to accept. As stability still proves to be elusive, I’ve allowed myself to surrender to anything that resembles self-care. Yes, face injectables included. 


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As luck would have it, I had the opportunity to try the acclaimed, celebrity-favorite JUVÉDERM Dermal Fillers by Skin 101—my first foray into the world of cosmetic procedures. As my doctor would jest, its potential side effect is, quite possibly, addiction.


Test Drive Diaries: JUVÉDERM Dermal Fillers for A Naturally Contoured Face Test Drive Diaries: JUVÉDERM Dermal Fillers for A Naturally Contoured Face
Skin 101 is the trusted go-to place for high-quality skincare treatments With 14 branches in the country, the medical clinic has become a household name in the category of skincare


What are JUVÉDERM dermal fillers? 

The inevitable truth is that skin gradually loses its volume over time. Enter: dermal fillers, the gel-like substances injected beneath the surface of the skin to help temporarily restore volume loss, enhance the natural contours of the face, and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles—sans the surgery. It helps slow down early signs of aging, too! One of the most common types of this is JUVÉDERM, a reversible filler formulated with Hyaluronic acid (HA), a natural substance in the body that delivers volume to skin. 


Filler injections typically last for about six months to a year, but when injected in large quantities, it can last up to two years. 


Are facial fillers safe? 

It’s a resounding yes from experts, but there are precautions to take, as with any treatment.


Book a highly-trained, properly-licensed professional who has completed the necessary training for the treatment area. I cannot recommend Dr. Jennie Francisco-Diaz, Skin 101 co-founder, dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, enough. She graciously did my procedure and walked me through the entire process—from the brief consultation via video call to the actual treatment at the clinic.


Are there potential side effects?

The most commonly reported side effects with these dermal fillers are swelling, discomfort, tenderness, discoloration, itching and lumps or bumps. Skin dryness is also sometimes reported. These will resolve with time, and can be treated with antibiotics and steroids as prescribed by your doctor. As with all skin injection procedures, there is a risk of infection. Learn more about it here


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The procedure

During my consultation with Dr. Jennie, I decided that I wanted a slimmer face; think heightened cheekbones and a lifted lower face—sans the effort to work out and go on a diet. I was recommended the JUVÉDERM VOLUMA XC injectable gel, which corrects age-related volume loss and serves to augment the chin region to improve the chin profile.


In our actual face-to-face clinic treatment, she walked me through the process. Dr. Jennie explains, “There are many variants of JUVÉDERM that are available in the market, and each one is specific to what you need improved on your face. You said you wanted a slimmer face…I’m going to prove to you that by doing just fillers on you, we will be able to slim down your face. For that to happen, we have to give you highlights on the highest points of your face, which should be your cheek and your chin.”


She adds, “You want to actually anteriorly project your cheek para mas contoured siya when you’re looking at yourself in the mirror. For that, which is actually a simulation [of] where your bony points should be, we use JUVÉDERM VOLUMA. It gives [your face] the highest improvement, with the least amount of product in you.”


My treatment started with a topical anesthetic, which blunts the entry of the needle. Mind you, the fillers also contain Lidocaine, a dental anesthetic, which temporarily numbs the skin. This may be the case, but there is still actual heaviness when the needle goes in. It’s temporary discomfort, but discomfort nonetheless.


Getting the JUVÉDERM VOLUMA XC filler injected for heightened cheekbones

The same dermal filler is injected on my chin for a natural V-shape


On top of that, I received the JUVÉDERM VOLBELLA XC, as recommended, too, by Dr. Jennie, upon discovering my discontent with my undereyes. After all, the injectable gel improves the appearance of under eye hollows, while also working to correct perioral lines (wrinkles spread throughout the mouth). 


The entire procedure lasted for an hour or so, and my face received a total of eight injections. I didn’t realize that I would feel so much heaviness (reminiscent of that feeling post-vaccination). I cannot stress this enough: Do the treatment on a rest day.


The aftermath of JUVÉDERM Dermal Fillers 

Test Drive Diaries: JUVÉDERM Dermal Fillers for A Naturally Contoured Face

Three weeks after the procedure


Truth be told, I couldn’t see a vast difference immediately, even if it was reiterated that, upon leaving the clinic, I would see a change—instant gratification, as they say. I was more aware of the looming side effects: the discomfort my face was feeling because of the injectables. This continued for the next few days, which was easily relieved by the antibiotics and steroids given by the clinic. (I mean, I couldn’t use my stainless steel gua sha for two weeks!)


I will say that my skin, though suffering still from the occasional hormonal acne and maskne, is now in such a great state and I can’t explain it, but even my pores shrunk! It’s only when I see before-and-after photos that I realize how naturally contoured my face appears. As promised by Dr. Jennie, they wouldn’t push for anything that “doesn’t agree with your aesthetic.” My goal was a slimmer face, and the injectables produced a “more ideal facial structure” with an evident V-shaped chin contour and heightened cheekbones. 


I may just actually lay low on the contour powder and bronzer for a while. Even my under eyes look smoother! Real talk: I’ve cut back on using foundation when going out and actually just grab a tinted moisturizer.


Should you use JUVÉDERM Dermal Fillers?

I will be very honest; I was hesitant to do the treatment especially when I read up on the potential side effects from the procedure. But after pushing through with it, I feel like traditional dermal fillers are perfect as an “entry-level” cosmetic procedure. Dr. Jennie Francisco-Diaz explains how diverse the procedure is and notes all the types of people who use fillers: “The product should be able to contour your face and give you a nicer, more ideal facial structure, depending on your needs. [Clients] can be very old [and] want their laugh lines [reduced]…For younger people, it’s usually because they want to be ‘Instagrammable.’ They want that high cheek bone. That widens the group of people who do it.” 


She expounds, “Some people, they just hate their eyebags—sorry. Sobrang hollow daw, and they look tired. Some people also have really thin lips. All of these can be targeted. The range of [JUVÉDERM] products is quite diverse so we can target a lot of different people.” 


Nowadays, you don’t need to have depressions in your face to do fillers. You can also do it for hydration as well. But for Dr. Jennie, if intimidated by the thought of injectables, she highly recommends JUVÉDERM VOLUMA. She explains, “I’d say [start with] cheeks to improve your mid-face because it’s one entry point first. Can you imagine [doing] one injection per cheek and then you see [an immediate] change? Sulit na ‘yun, ‘di ba (That’s a good deal, right)?”


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Whether it’s to delay aging or simply feel this sense of control over your body, it’s essential to do your own research before choosing a clinic and practitioner, as with any other physically altering procedures.



Learn more about Skin 101 and their services by clicking here. Stay updated, too, with the  trusted dermatologist and affordable go-to place for high-quality skincare treatment by following them on Instagram and Facebook


Prices for procedures may vary. For queries on rates, contact the clinic here.


The series of treatments was made through the JUVÉDERM Media Access Program. 



Art Macky Arquilla

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