Mary Byron By Mary Byron • August 7, 2018

Botox and Fillers 101

There's a science and an art towards defying aging - subtly and naturally. Though icons like Angelina Jolie, Julianne Moore, and Jennifer Aniston profess disinterest in aesthetic procedures, most of us would want to stay youthful and radiant far longer than our chronological age dictates. When creams, serums and masks are no longer enough, it's time to consider fillers and neurotoxins like Botox. The great thing about this combination is that when used together, the effects last longer.

Things to consider when considering aesthetic procedures:

  • Condition of your skin
  • Severity of wrinkling or volume loss
  • Areas of concern and the look you want to achieve (subtle or dramatic).

 As we get older, our face undergoes remodeling. Bones gets resorbed, fat gets redistributed, muscles atrophy and gravity exerts its downward pull. Sun damage also causes skin to thin out faster. So when is Botox (or Dysport and Xeomin) used? Neurotoxins  temporarily relax the muscles underneath so the skin above gets stretched. Definitely microneedling, chemical peels and lasers can diminish lines, age spots and other blemishes but resistant wrinkles definitely require Botox. In fact, "the earlier, the better" applies petty much to wrinkles. You'll be needing less and requiring fewer appointments over time.  People tend to put it off until the wrinkles are more prominent fearful of more sagging once the effects wear off. Not true!!! Your face is dynamic  and resilient, with complex structures that aren't as easily inflated or deflated like a balloon.

Botox injections effectively treat forehead fine lines, the 11's between the brows, crow's feet, and bunny lines. A small amount can also correct downturned lip corners. Last but not least, Botox can reverse time by decreasing the masseter size which cause the face to appear more angular. 



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Fillers such as those from the Restylane and Juvederm families address more than just lines or wrinkles. By replacing volume lost, it can lift the face, diminish jowls, fill undereyes, enhance lips and re-shape the chin and nose. Fillers can also provide more structure so that the cheekbones are more prominent - something that approximates the "triangle of youth" where the face is at its broadest in the cheek area beneath the eyes, tapering gradually to the chin. With the midface losing structural support as we age, the face gets deflated and fat descends in jowls resulting to a trapezoid shape. 

Today's fillers vary in cross-linking, elasticity, firmness, densities and spreading  capacity so customized effects are achievable. Oftentimes, clients wonder why the fillers are not injected directly in the areas of concern but the current approach leans towards replacing the loss. For instance, nasolabial folds and marionette lines form because the midface lost volume. Though there are still instances when filler is directed injected directly,  different kinds  of fillers can be layered for a natural look by adding fullness . This results to lifting the skin closer to its original state, softening of the nasolabial lines, and diminishing the jowls. Sculptra, a non-hyaluronic acid filler can induce substantial amounts of collagen over time and is great for fat dystrophies. When injected into the temples, it can create  a more youthful upper third appearance. 

Mild correction may require one or two syringes while more extensive correction will take three to four. Don't worry about looking like a bullfrog or a lion because judicious placement of fillers does not create that. A professional consultation where experts weigh in on what you need based on your structure, fat/collagen loss and skin elasticity is crucial to achieving that natural "pro-aged" look. 


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