Beauty Boosters

Following on from my instagram stories last week, I thought it would be a good time to shed light on some of the advanced injectable treatments available.

You are certainly not alone if you believe Cosmetic Injectables are just for the ‘extra’ women who want abnormally large lips, cheeks and an expressionless face, however this stigma needs to go. Cosmetic Medicine can be used to enhance natural beauty, improved impaired skin integrity, correct facial asymmetries and defects and restore one's self confidence.

One of my favourite ways to utilize cosmetic medicine is to help externally improve the skins integrity. As you will know by now, having read my blog, my soul focus is ensuring people understand the internal/external holistic approach to treating their skin. I may rave on more so regarding internal health and just how important it is, however I feel cosmetic medicine (when utilised appropriately) will always play a part in our external beauty routines.

So sit back, pop on a face mask and grab yourself a glass of kombucha, whilst I open your eyes to the incredible world of cosmetic injectable treatments.

Beauty Boosters! (This is the name allocated to the drug by the cosmetic clinic, as we are unable to advertise drug names in Australia). Beauty Boosters are basically the equivalent to having an extremely high end moisturizer injected into the skin. With these types of treatment we inject Hyaluronic acid (HA), amino acids, antioxidants and minerals, into the papillary dermis of the skin.

HA is naturally present in your body & is what keeps your skin plump, healthy & hydrated. We all go crazy over babies beautiful soft skin, this is because they are born with lots of hyaluronic acid in their skin! But as we age we can lose up to two-thirds of our skin’s HA . As a result, our skin becomes less resilient, thin and those fine lines and wrinkles can begin to show.

Alot of skincare products contain Hyaluronic Acid in them, however topical products aren’t able to penetrate deep enough for HA to give its full benefits. This is where HA injections come in! Unlike traditional dermal fillers, HA fillers are not injected beneath the skin to volumise or shape the face.  Instead, they are very fine dermal fillers that are injected into the skin to hydrate and improve skin quality without distorting/altering the shape of the face. The treatment itself is mildly invasive and involves topical numbing to ensure the treatment is as comfortable as possible.The machine used to inject the product utilises a 9 point needle system to deliver a specific amount of hyaluronic acid to a specific depth. The machine sucks up the skin and then injects the needles to provide even distribution of the hyaluronic acid up to 1mm into the skin.  

Why is this treatment so amazing? Well the multiple injections activate the fibroblasts promoting new collagen and elastin formation in the skin. This in combination with the delivery of hyaluronic acid injections is the ultimate boost in hydration and glow to the skin! No fake and unnatural appearance, just healthier, glowing skin!

1. During treatment     2. Immediately post        3. 2 Days post                    4. 4 Days post








 

Dermal Filler, beyond lips

Lets start with what Dermal Fillers actually are. A Lot of new clients I see, seem to be under the misconception that Dermal Filler is either Botox or just used for pouty lips. Botox is a brand of muscle relaxant, where as Dermal Filler is a gel like substance injected to restore volume, correct asymmetry and revitalise the face. There is increasing stigma around Dermal filler as we are seeing more and more cases, of what I class as, body dysmorphic combined with a poor patient- injector relationship.

Dermal Filler injections have certainly advanced over the years with the latest Fillers generally composed of resorbable hyaluronic acid of non-animal origin, which attracts water and creates plumpness and rejuvenation in the area injected. Hyalouronic acid is a substance found in almost every single living thing. In humans, Hyaluronic Acid is capable of holding 1,000 times its weight in water and therefore resulting in the binding of moisture in the skin. How does it do this? Well hyalouronic acid is able to fill in the space between collagen and elastin fibers in the skin helping the skin to maintain moisture and volume for long periods of time.

Naturally occurring hyaluronic acid in our bodies, start to deteriorate  over time due to general ageing, sun damage and environmental factors. This is why we often inject hyaluronic acid fillers into the epidermis to replenish the loss of volume and structure. There are different types of filler ranging from ‘hard’ filler that we use to mimic bone structure and large volumes, and then there is ‘softer filler’ that we can use to mimic softer tissue, for instance in our lips and tear troughs. The longevity of a hyaluronic acid filler is determined by the amount of cross-linking of the gel molecules. The more cross-linked the product the ‘harder’ it can be and longer it will last. Typically Dermal Filler product longevity will range from 6 - 15 months. 

So what can Dermal Fillers do for you? The options are pretty much endless, however in my opinion, less is more! Some popular areas of treatment with dermal filler include:

Cheeks: Lateral cheek filler can help give a natural contoured appearance whilst also supporting the 'crows feet' and lower face to soften jowls, heavy marionette lines and nasolabial folds.

Mid cheek filler can help to support the tear trough region and create a less tired more youthful appearance.

Jawline: Think instagram models and striking selfies! A defined jawline is the definition of a youthful face. On a younger patient, jawline filler can enhance your side profile, lessen the appearance of submental fullness (aka the double chin) and also create balance and symmetry to the face. On a more mature patient, jawline filler can do the same whilst also giving support to lower face sag and jowling.

Tear Troughs: Filler in the region may not always be the answer to your under eye concerns. Like all filler, it requires thorough assessment of the patients anatomical structure. However, given the right candidate, tear trough filler can brighten the eye area, decrease hollowing and the appearance of dark circles.

Temple Filler: Patients tend to not be aware of the need for temple filler, however it is often a hidden gem in the world of cosmetic injectables. As you age, a hollowing out in the temple area can cause an appearance that looks similar to a ‘peanut’ – a wide forehead, narrow temples and narrow cheeks. Dermal filler is injected to restore volume and balance ratios to the face.

Chin FIller: Filler in the chin can help to correct the appearance of an ‘overbite’, correct the ratio and symmetry of the face and also slim and feminise / masculinise the face.   

As stated before, the options with Dermal Filler really are endless, therefore a good patient injector relationship is vital. Having an Injector who is willing to tell you when enough is enough or to be honest with your expectation of the procedure, is key.

Lip Filler - Everything you need to know

Lip injections. You either love them or squirm at the idea of them. These days more and more young women (and men) from the age of 18 on wards, are adding Dermal Filler procedures to their beauty maintenance, as fuss free as getting their third monthly trim at the hairdressers.

I put this normalising of Dermal Filler down to the growing popularity of ‘Instagram models’ and our new generation of famous women such as Kylie Jenner and Kim K. These women typically all have striking facial features such as plump lips, defined jawlines, chiselled cheeks and perfectly portioned noses… and if they don't, well they usually turn to their Cosmetic Nurse.

The power of fuller-looking lips can be appealing to women as it can enhance the entire face, dramatically hydrate the lips and help correct asymmetries. So if you're curious about Dermal filler for your lips, here are some of my key points I consult my patient with before treatment.  

1. BE REALISTIC

Your lips have a natural shape and volume. Often I'll find patients have an unrealistic expectation of how big they want their lips to be, or bring in a photo of another persons lips. Yes, Dermal filler can help shape and add volume but it needs to suit your facial structure and proportions. Very rarely can someone pull off Kylie Jenner's lip volume without looking like a duck that has been stung by a bee. Some women just don't suit it! Work with what you have and enhance your natural features.

2. A NATURAL APPEARANCE

2mls of Dermal Filler over 6 months. Photos immediately after injection.

2mls of Dermal Filler over 6 months. Photos immediately after injection.

Yes, we’ve all seen those lips that to majority of us look extremely undesirable, but we tend to only notice them if they are over the top. Of course if OTT is the look you are going for, than that option is always there for you. But personally I prefer to start off with a very natural appearance for my patients and this look can always be built on over time to give a natural progression. (Refer to exhibit A on the right)

3. IT'S ONLY TEMPORARY

Lip filler, dependant on the product, can last between three months to one year. The variables depend on the products longevity and your metabolism. Traditional hyaluronic acid fillers are naturally broken down by your body.  These products can induce collagen production in the area of injection, so some residual volume correction may persist but the products do break down over time. Typically I will see my patients once every three months until they are at their desired size and shape (if not already achieved after the first treatment) and then once every six to nine months to maintain that aesthetic.

 4. THE PAIN FACTOR

One of the biggest deterrents for injectables tends to be people's fear of the pain. One of the great things about cosmetic medicine however, is our access to advanced numbing agents to help assure a comfortable procedure. Majority of my patients find topical numbing creams, ice and the anaesthetic agents infused in the lip filler itself, suffices. I personally have had my lips treated numerous times at ease and i consider myself to have quite a low pain threshold. For me and many of my patients, it is best compared to the feeling of an eyebrow tweezing (or moustache tweezing in this case). The injections them self take around five minutes with up to twenty minutes of numbing prior.

  5. THE DOWNTIME

Yes, there is no doubting you will dislike your lips for the first 12-24 hours, especially if you were nervous about a natural appearance. Your lips will swell slightly, sometimes unevenly and they can bruise (after all I did just inject through hundreds of vessels with a needle). Swelling and bruising can vary patient to patient, though swelling tends to be at its worse within the first two days. It is best not to plan any events the night of the injections and preferably 2 weeks before a big event to give (worst case) adequate time for bruising to subside and correction to take place if needed. Swelling and bruising are only temporary and all part of the treatment. 

The B Word

Thanks to shows like The Real Housewives and Botched, Botox has fast become a household name. Most of us, however, associate Botox in a negative light. I can safely presume we all have that one friend or family member who looks like they have been stung by a bee and permanently surprised about it. It is these people who have given Anti-wrinkle injections such stigma, but believe it or not, these women/ men are the minority. The majority of both men and women undergoing antiwrinkle procedures, are guided to do so with a natural and progressive treatment plan to ensure a natural looking result.

Botox is one of the most popular, non-surgical cosmetic treatments due its ability to reduce wrinkles in a quick and affordable manner. Ever since Botox emerged onto the cosmetic scene, both women and men have used the treatment to help reverse signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment is a great alternative to a face lift and offers far less extensive down time and risks involved.

Here are my top three reasons why it is ok to have Botox and to help alleviate the stigma :

1) BUT BOTOX IS POISONOUS?

Did you know that Botox was first approved by the FDA in 1989? To date there have been no fatalities or serious side effects reported in association with its use. Botox is a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin type A. Botulinum toxin blocks nerve activity in the muscles allowing them to relax and in turn soften appearance of wrinkles.

The complications involved with Anti-wrinkle injections are very minor. Brow ptosis (a severe drooping of the eyelid) can occur in up to 5% of patient. (Great considering there has been tens of millions of treatments performed). The complications are typically very minor occurrences and resolve with time. People are quick to state that Botox is a poison and therefore unsafe, but so is any drug when overdosed. This is why Australia has extremely strict guidelines and policies for Registered Nurses and Doctors to adhere to, making sure your treatment is as safe and risk free as possible.

2) PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.

A lot of women are under the disbelief that anti-wrinkle injections are only needed once they hit their 40’s/50’s. However it is my belief that preventing harsh lines from forming, begins in your late 20’s/early 30’s. Remember, the intention of antiwrinkle injections is not to keep you from having facial expression, but simply to keep you from making facial grimaces and frowns that have become habits and cause harsh static lines over time.

I myself have been having Botox injected into my frown and forehead for the past three years. I have a very low dose a couple of times a year which allows me to still have movement and look natural, but also gives me a slight brow lift and smooths the appearance of my forehead. I personally prefer this look on myself and therefore will continue to have anti-wrinkle injections throughout my 20’s and 30’s. Small amounts of Botox can be used to lift the brow, open the eye area and give a softer more pleasant appearance to the face at any age.

3) ITS NOT PERMANENT

I quite often hear my patients state “ But once you start having Botox, you can't stop”. The only truth in that is that you won't want to stop! Here is a simple break down of how it works:

The Botox is injected into the desired muscle, the nerves there are blocked and the injected muscle can no longer contract, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften, and also helps prevent new ones from forming.

Once the protein stops functioning (typically within 2-5 months) it is broken down into amino acids and  excreted by the kidneys. Once the Botox has worn off, you are no worse off than before you started! You can either opt to treat with Botox again before the full contraction is back, or never have the injections again (but lets face it you’ll be hooked for life!).