In the present day most of us strive for general wellbeing, looking after ourselves both physically and psychologically. As the years pass we seek what we might call ‘successful ageing’. When it comes to our physical appearance we know that, rightly or wrongly, we are often judged on how we look, but more importantly we understand how our appearance can affect our general levels of confidence, and how we feel about ourselves. The majority of my patients aren’t trying to look 20 years younger, but they do want to look great for their age – they want to look less tired, and more like how they feel inside.
Today’s aesthetic doctors have a much more advanced range of treatment options available to them, compared with the early days of excess Botox and puffy fillers. The ‘over done’ look really should be a thing of the past, given the developments in this field. Sadly, we all still see individuals, both in the media and in our own social circles, who have very obvious signs of treatment. Having said that, when I attend aesthetic conferences it is noticeable that overfilled cheeks and lips and immobile foreheads remain commonplace amongst attending practitioners. Perhaps it is not surprising therefore that they continue to treat their patients in the same way.
I read in a recent aesthetic medical journal, “If you are injecting the same way you were 2 years ago, you are probably not creating or getting great results.” I would go further than this, and say to patients that if a practitioner routinely repeats the same treatment then they are at risk of creating a distinctly unnatural look, as it can be difficult to spot the gradual onset of ‘abnormal’ features. It is for this reason I regularly refer back to my patients’ original, pre-treatment photographs to ensure that they retain the very essence of their appearance, and are not slowly morphing into someone who looks, well, rather different.
My aim for facial rejuvenation is to give a softer, refreshed appearance. The face should be balanced and harmonious. But how does one achieve this?
Well, firstly I believe that it is important to achieve healthy, glowing skin. The quality of the skin often gives the biggest initial impact and it is the foundation on which other treatments follow. One can’t build a house without good foundations! I firmly believe that optimal, natural looking results with injectables are best achieved when the skin is in peak condition, which includes erasing pigmentation, increasing tone and brightening the complexion.
Secondly, I believe a practitioner shouldn’t just chase lines and folds (in the way that was done years ago), but should look to treat any hypertonic muscles (ie those that are overactive, or tense) which are causing certain lines to develop in the first place (such as the muscles that cause permanent frown lines, even at rest). I often use baby doses of Botox to brighten the eyes – we can subtly lift the brows and increase the show of the eyelid in this way such that the eyes are enhanced, which is a really important goal in facial aesthetics. I published my research findings on this lifting effect in an international medical journal in 2021.
Thirdly, developments in our understanding of how the face ages, especially in relation to bone shrinkage and descent/loss of facial fat pads, has led to a change in the way dermal fillers are used. A competent practitioner should therefore be using newer, volumising dermal fillers which address specific areas of loss of volume. Modern dermal fillers, such as the Vycross range by Juvederm have improved cross linkage of molecules, leading to smoother products that last for longer. These products also integrate with the tissues really well, such that they look and feel more natural. An example of this is the 8 point face lift, whereby adding volume in certain areas has a fantastic overall lifting effect.
If you would like to find out more about my approach to facial aesthetics, and gain an understanding of how various treatment options might benefit you, please get in touch to arrange an initial, no-obligation consultation.