Fast facts


Bellafill is a long-lasting dermal filler approved by the FDA to treat wrinkles and skin folds. It’s also the only filler approved to treat acne scarring. Juvederm is a temporary hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler approved by the FDA to temporarily treat wrinkles and skin folds on the face.

Both fillers are also frequently used for off-label concerns like cosmetically plumping or contouring areas of the face.


Juvederm was first approved by the FDA in 2006. Bellafill was first approved for deep wrinkles in 2006, and for the treatment of acne in 2015.

Both fillers come with a risk of side effects. These can range from mild, like redness or itching right after the injection, to severe enough to require treatment, like enflamed nodules under the skin.


Both fillers must be injected by a trained and certified practitioner. Depending on the practitioner and the number of areas you’re treating, an appointment could last between 15 and 60 minutes. You should then be able to return to your normal routine immediately.

People wanting to try Bellafill are required to have an allergy test about a month beforehand to make sure they can tolerate it. However, Bellafill will likely require fewer visits overall. Juvederm usually needs to be repeated after around 9 to 24 months, but Bellafill can last much longer — around five years.


The exact cost of both Juvederm and Bellafill can vary based on your provider, the area in which you live, and how much you’ll need to get your desired results. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2017, one syringe of Juvederm costs about $682, while one Bellafill costs about $859.

When calculating overall costs, don’t forget that Juvederm treatments will need to be repeated more often than Bellafill to maintain the results.


Bellafill is approved to fill in acne scars, while Juvederm is not.

Both Bellafill and Juvederm are in a class of common cosmetic injectables called dermal fillers. Both pharmaceuticals are useful for reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles and folds, such as deep smile lines that develop as we age. Both are frequently used for deep wrinkles more than for fine lines.

Many doctors also use both products for off-label uses like plumping the cheeks or nonsurgical shaping of facial features.

Bellafill is made of collagen sourced from cows and combined with small polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) beads. According to the FDA, the collagen provides immediate volume and lift to correct the wrinkle or acne scar, while the PMMA microspheres remain in place and create a base that provides structural support to the skin.

Juvederm is a filler made from different concentrations of hyaluronic acid (a commonly used skin care ingredient) and bonding agents. It can also contain lidocaine, which helps numb the skin and control pain.

Juvederm works by injecting hyaluronic acid under the skin, adding volume to the chosen area. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body and helps to boost your body’s natural collagen production. It’s also a common ingredient in topical antiaging beauty products.

Since Bellafill or Juvederm injections are an in-office medical procedure, both will require a preliminary meeting with a healthcare professional to go over your medical history, your goal results, and any concerns.

Once you and your doctor have decided on a treatment plan (where you want to see more volume or lift), they might make target marks on your skin using washable ink. They will then give you a series of injections around your target areas, and gently massage the area to distribute the dose evenly under the skin.

Both treatments are relatively noninvasive. You can expect a momentary sharp pinching sensation that’s common for any needle injection. But the pain should subside very quickly after treatment.


About a month before your first Bellafill treatment, you will also have an allergy test to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction to bovine collagen. Once you’re approved as a candidate, the procedure involves one or more injections to the mid-to-deep dermal layer.


There’s no allergy test required for Juvederm. It’s a simple and generally well-tolerated filler. Many patients can receive their injections in the same appointment as their initial consultation.

According to Dr. Barry DiBernardo, a surgeon at New Jersey Plastic Surgery, both Bellafill and Juvederm injections are a quick procedure — usually 10 to 15 minutes.


Following an allergy screening prior to your first appointment, one or two sessions will usually be successful.


One or two 10-minute sessions are usually needed, and then repeated every 9 to 12 months, depending on the area treated.

Both drugs have a track record of high satisfaction among people being treated. That said, depending on what your priorities are in a treatment, one may be a better match than the other.


Bellafill is the only filler approved to treat acne and the only one shown to last around five years. Bellafill was approved for use on acne scars based on the strength of a double-blind, randomized trial on about 150 subjects with acne scars receiving treatment. Over 50 percent of the subjects successfully treated their acne scars.

Bellafill is also effective on deep smile lines. In one five-year study, people whose smile lines were treated with Bellafill reported an 83-percent “very satisfied” result, even five years post-injection. Though it hasn’t been officially studied as a cheek filler, some doctors are reporting positive off-label results with increasing cheek volume.


Juvederm is not approved to treat acne scars. And with longevity between nine months to two years (depending on the area treated), it doesn’t last as long as Bellafill. However, it is very effective for treating deep wrinkles and creating volume in areas such as the lips, where Bellafill is not approved for use.

The effectiveness of the Juvederm line has plenty of anecdotal support. It’s also been shown through clinical trials to be highly effective at minimizing deep wrinkles

Both Bellafill and Juvederm are good for people wanting to treat deeper wrinkles or scars, rather than fine lines.


Those “with active acne, infection, or rash in the area should not” get Bellafill, Dr. DiBernardo said.


He also says that those with “active infections, rashes, acne, or those requiring surgery should not” get Juvederm injections.

The exact cost will vary according to your location and how many syringes of filler you will need. Many patients will need more than one syringe, especially if they want to treat multiple areas.


According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2017, one syringe of Bellafill cost $859. DiBernardo told us that in his experience, Bellafill costs about $1,000 to $1,500 for one syringe.


According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2017, one syringe of Juvederm cost $682. DiBernardo said that in his experience, Juvederm costs $500 to $800 per syringe.

Injectable fillers are so popular in part because of their relatively un-invasive and easy administration. DiBernardo said the most common side effects for either drug include mild swelling and bruising at the injection sites.


According to an FDA report, about 3 percent of Bellafill patients experienced lumping at the injection sight, mild redness, swelling, itching, and bruising.


The FDA reports that common side effects for hyaluronic acid-based fillers include bruising, redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, itching, and rash. While less-common side effects might include raised bumps under the skin, infection, wounds, sores, allergic reaction, and rare cases of tissue death.

Procedure typeInjectableInjectable
Cost$1,000–1,500 per syringe (more than one may be necessary)$500–800 per syringe
PainMomentary pinchingMomentary pinching
Number of treatments needed10- to 15-minute session
1 or more sessions may be needed
One or two 10-minute sessions
Lasts 9–12 months
Expected resultsLongest acting filler
Results last up to 5 years
Immediate, visible results
Results will fade over time
DisqualificationNo one with active acne, infection, or rash in the area should get this.No one with active infections, rashes, or acne should get this, nor should anyone requiring surgery.
Recovery timeRecovery is immediate; can have mild swelling or bruisingRecovery is immediate; can have a few days of swelling or bruising

You can use this online tool provided by the American Board of Cosmetic surgery to find a provider near you.