Over the last two decades, non-surgical aesthetic treatments such as Botox, dermal fillers, thread lifts, and technology-based skin rejuvenating treatments like radiofrequency have changed the way we look at our faces – and the way we view the ageing process.
The number of aesthetic treatments carried out in the UK is rising fast, with more people now exploring the world of aesthetics than ever before. From once a taboo subject that most people were worried to admit to loud and proud advocates of treatments, we’ve seen an enormous shift in how aesthetic treatments are perceived over the last several years. But despite this, the world of aesthetics is still a complex and highly confusing place with many misconceptions. Knowledge, as always, is power, so these are the most important things that I’d like you to know if you’re exploring aesthetic treatments for the first time.
Not all fillers are created equal
Whilst most fillers offered by practitioners these days are made of hyaluronic acid – a sugar molecule found naturally in the human body – a few are made from other materials.
Radiesse uses calcium hydroxyapatite, Ellansé is composed of Polycaprolactone (PCL) microspheres and Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) and Sculptra is made from poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), which is a synthetic, biodegradable polymer used in absorbable stitches. These are known as biostimulatory fillers, which spark collagen growth and give an immediate plumping to the treated area.
They work very similarly to other fillers, the main difference being that they’re not made from hyaluronic acid, so they aren’t reversible and cannot be dissolved. In other words, if you’re not happy with the end result or if something goes wrong, you will need to wait for the product to break down naturally. Therefore, you must seek the advice of an experienced medical practitioner if you’re considering these treatments.
Just because somebody offers injectables doesn’t mean they’re medically qualified
Alongside the rise in aesthetic treatments in the UK, we have also seen a rapid increase in treatment complications. Thanks to an appalling lack of regulation in the whole area of aesthetic medicine in the UK, many people don’t realise that anyone can legally inject you with anything when it comes to fillers.
And whilst most fillers can be dissolved with an enzyme known as Hyaluronidase, not all mistakes are so easily undone. Every filler treatment carries the risk of unintentional injection into a blood vessel, resulting in skin death, scabbing, scarring, even blindness.
That said, fillers are generally very safe when injected by an experienced doctor, nurse or dentist armed with an intimate knowledge of human anatomy and complications management.
Never be tempted by cheap offers from anyone with less than this, as they have no place performing injectable aesthetic treatments. More often than not, these practitioners aren’t appropriately trained or licensed to inject and aren’t trained to correct or address a complication should it occur.
Unfortunately, I am now seeing more and more patients experiencing complications after being treated by a non-medic. Sadly, it is often younger women who were tempted by a low price or offer – but it usually ends up being far more expensive in the long term.
Injectables do more than just anti-ageing
Yes, most injectable treatments will make you look younger and fresher, given that they’re tightening the skin, softening lines and wrinkles, rebuilding lost volume, and brightening the complexion, but they are so much more than that.
Aesthetic treatments are becoming increasingly sought after for small but significant structural alterations to the face – strengthening the chin and jawline, enhancing the cheekbones, defining the lips, and correcting asymmetry. Filler can even elevate sunken scars, rejuvenate hands and brighten under the eyes – they have a lot more to offer than simply plumping lips and softening wrinkles.
Just because your friend has it doesn’t mean it’s suitable for you
While it’s great to have friends to discuss treatment recommendations and experiences with, remember that you have your own unique needs, goals, and anatomy. Just because your friend had a particular product or treatment doesn’t mean that it’s going to give you the best results. Choose your practitioner based on their education and expertise, and then let them guide you to the best solution for your requirements.
They don’t have to be obvious (and nor should they be)
When it comes to aesthetic treatments, my motto is that good work should be invisible. People should notice you’re looking great, but they shouldn’t be able to detect why. Many people are fearful that they will no longer look like themselves after having Botox or fillers, but a good practitioner will only aim to make you an even better version of your current self, to subtly enhance your innate beauty, not to change you completely.
Skincare should always come first
I don’t feel there’s any point in investing in injectable treatments if you’re not also looking after your skin. Good products and in-clinic treatments give a smooth, even, radiant canvas that better showcases your injectable treatments’ results.
I firmly believe injectable results look better and last longer if you’re also taking care of your skin at home with high-quality products and daily sunscreen.
Injectables can’t fix everything
Filler, on its own, can’t do things such as tighten significantly sagging skin or completely erase deep lines. But they can work very well in conjunction with treatments such as Profound RF to tighten the deeper tissues in the skin whilst dermal filler lifts the contours and rebuilds volume on the surface.
If you’d like to find out more about how you can combat the signs of skin ageing, click here to book a consultation with me at my Kent or London clinic.