The elephant in the room.
I was going to wait a while before I tackled this subject.
But like an elephant in the room, the sooner someone talks about it the better everyone feels.. maybe not the elephant.. but you know, they’ll thank you later.
The elephant today my friends is Cosmetic Medicine, but to be more specific Anti Wrinkle Injections, with the two main types which are, muscle relaxants and dermal (wrinkle) fillers, which are gel-like in texture, and usually consist of a filling agent such as Hyaluronic Acid which is not permanent, although the effects can last quite a while.
Not everyone who sets out to change their look is doing so to capture their youth. Why, I know men and women, who are relaxing and filling their faces from a very young age, the old adage, prevention is better than cure comes to mind; although I do think the motives may be closer to not being so happy with the way they look or following a particular trend in beauty. But for the most part, a trip to your local Cosmetic Practitioner is usually for the reduction of existing lines or to plump up parts of the face like your lips or cheeks.
Before we get ahead of ourselves and into the nitty-gritty of this subject I want to explain to you just a little about why and how a wrinkle forms.
Believe it or not, there are two types of wrinkles. Yep. I bet you though a wrinkle is a wrinkle? Well no, and in the world of cosmetic medicine, there are two and they’re know as dynamic and static wrinkles.
Dynamic Wrinkles and Static Wrinkles.
Dynamic wrinkles occur when we use our muscles to form facial expression, such as smiling and frowning. Since you were born your facial muscles have been contracting, again and again, over and over. Eventually, over time, rather than the muscle bouncing back into its usual relaxed position, it remains slightly contracted and as more time goes by the skin that lays over these muscles (for example your forehead) develops a fold where the muscle has tightened. The skin has lost some of its elasticity with all this constant movement begins to form a wrinkle or fold in the skin which then becomes a permanent fixture to your face.
But this is not the only way a wrinkle can form, Static wrinkles can appear regardless of whether you are forming an expression or not. Collagen, Elastin and Hyaluronic acid begin to diminish around the age of 30 and this gradual loss of skin structure means the skin is unable to “spring” back as it once used to and as a result, a static wrinkle is formed. The loss of these important structures is hastened by overexposure to the sun, poor nutrition, your genetics and an overload of free radical activators such as pollutants, air-borne toxins and smoking cigarettes. So if you ever wondered why some people seem to have wrinkles across a widespread area of their face rather than just in their areas of expression, now you know why.
Doing what makes you feel happy and confident.
So now to the heart of the matter and it’s an awfully tricky subject because, ultimately, do what makes you feel happy and confident.
The problem is, and it is such a weird thing, all of us are capable of losing perspective on our appearance, whether that be too fat, too thin, too plain, too old, too whatever and in the current world we inhabit, it’s pretty easy to lose sight of who we are and how we look.
In this youth-obsessed world, we are living in, the pressure can be enormous and the path of least resistance is so appealing. Right? Well, maybe.. but before you consider going down this path, I would like to attempt to give some perspective on whether or not you should change the way you look or leave it all as nature intended.
Like so many things in life, it’s all about balance and moderation. I’ve talked about moderation in a previous post here and in my view, in cases like quitting sugar or cigarettes I don’t believe there can be a moderate approach. But hey, that’s just my view.
Everything in moderation?
Sure, it’s a good idea. Unless you want to end up looking like a weird strange version of yourself, a version that is neither young nor old, just odd, in which case moderation or less is most definitely going to be the new more, will be the key to looking a naturally enhanced version of you.
Not only will you need to exercise moderation and a healthy perspective, you will also need to find someone who can conduct these procedures with integrity and precision..
But who? Let’s take a look.
1. The Artist.
Okay, this is a doctor who pretty much has dedicated themselves to Cosmetic Medicine and is in practice every day. They will view your face like the finest painting or portrait and proceed with great caution and precision, only adding enough to make the most subtle changes and improvements. They know where to place the injection; which muscle, which fold in the face. There is nothing left to chance. They know the face, not what you see, but what lies beneath. Like a musician who sees the note, they see you. It is their art.
2. The Enthusiast
They will inspire you with their perceived genius, but it is their power to make a change, to make you feel better that is at the heart of their enthusiasm, which may very well be your undoing. They look at what they can do, not necessarily what is right for you. In which case you may get more than you bargained for. Very often the enthusiast has a distorted view of their own beauty; their own appearance and it may not be too pretty. You have to decide if you want to be treated by someone who, however well-meaning, has lost their own perspective.
Be warned this stuff can be addictive and the enthusiast may very well want to share their excitement a little too much.
3. The Novice
Well, you know the answer to this one. But how do you know they are a novice. Well, just ask.
It goes like this. How long have they been injecting and how much training have they had? Who do they work with or should I say, who has mentored them and how often do they inject? Like all things, practice makes perfect and when it comes to your face, you don’t want the novice unless you have agreed to be part of a teaching session. In which case, someone with exceptional experience should be present. It’s a bit like flying, how many hours in the air is going to make all the difference to the skill of the pilot. Right?
4. Then there’s You.
It starts with a little injection in your brow and ends up with over-filled lips and cheeks, suddenly you look like a strange weird version of you. You’ve become emotionally addicted to it. Perhaps because that first time, was great and you know a little bit more here and there will fix all your problems, and if you are left in the hands of an enthusiast, then the mix will be diabolical. Your attitude and perception of yourself are going to contribute to the end result. You probably DO NOT need anywhere near as much as you think. Truth.
5. Then there’s Me. What do I think?
If you’ve done your research and you know what you want then go forth and do it. If it makes you feel more confident or more youthful and happier, then take the leap, but…
No injection is ever going to take the place of a healthy skin…
If you continue to overexpose your skin to the sun, (this is especially true if you are of caucasian origins, your skin was not built for too much sun), smoke cigarettes, burn the candles at both ends, have a ruinous diet, then you may be hoping for a “cure-all” and Anti Wrinkle Injections just ain’t it. All these nasties will contribute to a leathery, wrinkly, pigmented skin and nothing will make you look younger except a change in your attitude and lifestyle.
Lifestyle and attitude adjusted?
Okay great, then there are other options, or there is a combination of options and treatments. Start with your skin, your diet, your attitude. Get the basics right, you will be amazed at how much you can achieve with a truly exceptional skincare range. Some of my personal favourites can be found here.
Then consider other treatments for improving the overall texture and tone of your skin.
Your Cosmetic Physician should be providing you with all your options. Great skincare. Lifestyle changes as I have suggested as well as cosmetic treatments like Fractional Laser, Thermage, LED, Microdermabrasion, Sonophoresis, Chemical Peels. All amazing treatments that can take 5 – 10 years off your appearance and lessen the need for injectables or at the very least enhance the results of the small amount of injectable anti-wrinkle support you find yourself needing.
Before you start. A few things to consider.
Check you have a healthy perspective on how you truly look.
Find yourself a doctor who sees injecting as an art form as well as a healthy cosmetic conscience. An ethical approach is pretty important.
They have many hours of experience in administering Anti Wrinkle Injections.
They work in a professionally run and authorised Cosmetic Practice.
During your initial consultation with the prescribing doctor, you were informed of the many other options available to you, especially if looking younger is your goal.
Although these injections are becoming somewhat commonplace, there are risks and remember what you are about to have injected into your face is a Schedule 4 Drug and must be prescribed by a doctor.
Lastly, if it’s not for you, it’s not for you.
But, it’s still worth a look.
An older woman with overly pumped up lips and cheeks to match does not necessarily look younger or sexier (if that’s the goal) just a bit strange, a young woman with lips that clearly are not her own, can be weird, the Hollywood star with the frozen expression just does not look right. But still, even after saying all of this, for some, the smallest of enhancements can help and it can look pretty good if you are in the right hands.
I will say this if you are against it if you think it’s cheating, then cool, but don’t be too quick to judge those that do, as none of us can assume to know the inward struggle of another and you just never know when you may find yourself in a position in your life that changes your mind about it all. Again, in the right hands, the results can be wonderful.
I guess my point is less is always more and as for that little old elephant in the room, well, if you do know someone who has had just that little bit too much. Do you speak up? Probably not, I know I wouldn’t unless they asked my opinion and even then… Perhaps I’d just send them to this site.
As for you, if you do decide to take the leap, then I hope this article equips you with what to look out for and what else is available to you because you know what? There always is.
Got more questions? Then shoot me an email, Got a point of view? Then leave a comment.
See you next time,