There are many widespread misconceptions about aesthetic treatments – ‘Botox and fillers look obvious’, ‘they’re only for women’, ‘You’ll no longer look like you, ‘they’re addictive’ just to name a few. I think it’s fair to say that aesthetic treatments have had their fair share of bad rep in their time.

But, as with everything in life, there’s a learning curve and compared to many fields of medicine, aesthetic medicine is still one of the youngest. In fact, we’ve only been using wrinkle-relaxing injections for a little over twenty years.

The evolution of injectables

When we first started using wrinkle-relaxing injections, the approach was a little sledgehammer, and this is where the associations of ‘shiny foreheads’ and ‘waxiness’ came from – practitioners were wiping out all movement. But as we’ve evolved as an industry, we’ve learnt from our mistakes, finessed our techniques, and we now know how to achieve a far more natural result that keeps the face moving.

The same is also true with facial fillers. Once upon a time, we used to fill a line whereas nowadays, we treat the cause, not the symptom. Now we take a more thoughtful approach to the face, looking at it as a whole, thinking strategically about where we should inject for a fresher, softer, more youthful appearance overall.

As practitioners, our aim is to reposition tissues and restore volume that’s been lost through ageing rather than simply filling a line where there was no volume in the first place.

This means that we can age better over time and take a proactive approach to reserving our appearance rather than ending up looking very different, and not necessarily better even if we have fewer lines or wrinkles.

Changing public perception

In recent years the industry has boomed, and more and more men and women are becoming increasingly aware of what’s possible with treatments.

As a result, people are now opting for a more natural approach to injectables – which has helped to shift the stigma. As well, patients are adopting a more holistic approach by incorporating aesthetics into wider lifestyle choices such as nutrition, exercise, stress management and sun protection. People are far more open about their treatments with many viewing it as normal in terms of what makes them feel good.

And aesthetics isn’t just about anti-ageing. Beyond the wrinkle-smoothing and face-plumping, lie corrective procedures such as modifying nose shapes, balancing asymmetry or treating medical conditions such as excessive sweating and jaw grinding.

I think the aesthetics sector is evolving beautifully and as a result, the stigma around it is breaking down. People are far more open to talking about treatments, they’re happier being complimented on the fact that they’re looking great, knowing that it’s not obvious they’ve had anything done, and I think especially amongst the younger generation, the awareness of the beautiful results that can be achieved is far greater.

I think we should all be very proud of how the industry has evolved and the fact that now what we’re achieving for people can be incredibly confidence changing.