botox and fillers: what they are, and why we love them

Cosmetic injectables can have a scary connotation (thanks, botched Hollywood stars and reality TV!) until you meet the right injector who educates you on the difference between products, what they're used for and how they're used properly and then voila! You'll be in love just like the rest of us working in the aesthetics field. 

First, it's important to know the difference between Botox and fillers. They each serve a specific purpose and contrary to popular belief, are not used interchangeably. Second, trust me when I say this, a skilled injector will NOT let you end up looking like a crazy person who can't move their face or show any emotion. I can't even fathom the amount of product these people have had injected over the years on top of many, many plastic surgeries gone wrong.

What it is vs. What it isn't...

What it is vs. What it isn't...

Okay, let's get down to business.

Neurotoxins - AKA Botox & Dysport

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Neurotoxins are injected into facial muscles to treat and prevent wrinkles that are caused by the movement of those muscles. The most common areas for treatment are:

  • Crow's feet -- wrinkles around the eye area
  • Frown lines -- between the brows and on the forehead
  • Fine lines around the mouth
  • Neck cords to relax and smooth protruding bands 
  • Lift the eyebrow for a more defined arch

Both Botox & Dysport come from the same scientific background and achieve similar results, but are manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies. Think Puffs vs Kleenex. The biggest difference is that Dysport is structured differently on the molecular level which allows your results to settle in a little quicker, but that factor alone doesn't necessarily make it the best/right choice. You or your injector may develop a personal preference for the desired result you want.

The appointment is pretty pain free (you may feel a tiny pinch when the needle breaks the skin) and only takes about 15 minutes. There is no downtime besides a little swelling at the injection sites, similar to a bee sting, which subsides within the hour. The common misconception is that your results are instant and all of the sudden you're going to have a frozen, emotionless face. In reality, you'll notice your optimal results gradually (7-10 days for Dysport and 10-14 days for Botox). Think about it like this -- Go to a mirror and make a surprised face. Raise your brow as high as you can and notice the wrinkles on your forehead. Now furrow your brow like you're mad at someone, and notice the wrinkles that form between your brows (nicknamed the 11's). Within a few days of having Botox you'll start to notice those movements are a little harder to make, and the wrinkles that form are significantly smaller. Neurotoxins are eventually metabolized so results generally last 3-4 months.

At this point you may be thinking "I'm only 27, I'm too young for Botox!" or "I already have so many wrinkles, it's too late for me!" Well, you're in luck. We see clients of all ages. Our younger patients have prevent prevent prevent on their minds, while our more mature clients just want to soften their wrinkles to give a slightly younger, "Yes, I've aged gracefully" appearance. Nothing beats the feeling of having your friends or significant other compliment your fresh face!

Dermal Fillers - AKA Juvederm & Restylane

As we age, our collagen and elastic fibers break down and we lose volume and fat (unfortunately, only in the places we wish we could keep it!) that once gave us such a youthful glow. Both men and women begin to notice where beautiful cheeks once were, are now hollow and gaunt. Our lips begin to crease and lose their shape, and even if we've never smoked a day in our lives we see those pesky lines around our mouths begin to form. The corners of our mouth begin to turn down, and those laugh lines that hold so many wonderful memories get so deep we don't even recognize ourselves. That is, until dermal fillers change the game.

Now days, dermal fillers are hyaluronic acid (HA) based meaning they draw moisture to the skin and give something for our natural collagen to cling on to. HA fillers are also eventually absorbed and metabolized and just in case you don't like what you see afterwards, they can be dissolved with an enzyme called hyaluronidase. Talk about reassurance - that's as close to an insurance policy for your face as it comes! The most common areas where filler is used:

  • Cheeks - to add volume and lift
  • Lips - to smooth and/or add volume
  • Vertical lip lines
  • Facial wrinkles
  • Nasal labial folds – commonly known as “smile lines” or “laugh lines” that run from the corners of your nose to the corners of your mouth
  • Marionette lines – lines from the corners of your mouth that run toward your chin

If you only take away one thing from this blog post, let it be this:  Each syringe of filler contains 1 mL of product. 5 syringes of product = 1 teaspoon. That's not a whole lot people, so don't assume you'll be leaving your appointment looking like a different person. Sure, we can make more dramatic changes happen, but building over time is the key!

Moral of the story? Working with cosmetic injectables is an art form, so before brushing it off and deciding against it, schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our skilled injectors and get all the necessary information. With each appointment, you'll fall in love with the subtle changes you see.