As a skincare line born in a plastic surgeon's office, we are lucky to have a front-row seat to all of the latest innovations in both surgical and non-surgical treatments, not just for the face, but for the entire body.
Over the years, we've seen many patients at The Plastic Surgery Clinic and MD Beauty Clinic specifically look to injectables like Botox and dermal fillers to rejuvenate the skin and address common concerns, and the one thing we've come to understand and appreciate is that cosmeceutical skincare and injectables are each great on their own, but they're even better together.
Much to our relief, it seems we've finally reached a moment in our culture where the taboo and secrecy around injectable treatments has fallen away. Once something women whispered about to one another, they're now treatments that are as routine as manicures and blowouts, and we're even seeing men fully embracing the benefits of a little Botox or filler here and there.
Since we work so closely alongside our sister company MD Beauty Clinic, we've compiled something of a crash course in injectables in case you've been curious to try, or wondered if they can replace a multi-step skincare routine altogether (spoiler alert: they can't).
Before we proceed, let's make one thing clear: our motto when it comes to any sort of self-care or treatment approach is your body, your rules. We know that non-surgical treatments aren't for everyone, and we're here to answer any and all questions or concerns you might have if you just don't know if they're something you want to check out.
Botox vs. Dermal Fillers
The loss of volume, moisture, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles are all part of the natural aging process. We know that using a cosmeceutical skincare line that incorporates regular chemical exfoliation from AHAs, antioxidants like Vitamin C, peptides and more can combat these concerns, but injectables like Botox and dermal fillers are meant to take it one-step further and help reverse some of these concerns.
Botox is one of the world’s most popular aesthetic treatments, and it grows in recognition every single year. It is a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum, an organism found in our natural environment. There are a few different versions of this neurotoxin (you may have heard of others like Dysport and Xeomin), but our clinic uses Botox exclusively. It has the longest history of use, is the most widely used on the market, and has more published papers about its safety and efficacy than any other toxin.
For the face, Botox works by relaxing the muscles which cause those fine lines and wrinkles. It can also be used to create a more open look to the eye, to raise the brow or correct asymmetries like uneven eyebrows. It has been cosmetically approved to treat fine lines and wrinkles in the upper face, on the forehead and around the eyes.
When you get a Botox treatment, it takes around 3-5 days to see the results set in, and about 2 weeks for it to show the complete result. On average, treatments last 3-4 months and there is no downtime.
Dermal Fillers are different from Botox because they specifically address loss of volume and are hyaluronic acid based. If you are looking to smooth out and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and folds, restore volume in your skin, improve facial contours, and plump up thin lips, dermal fillers are the way to go. Dermal fillers are particularly effective when treating the cheeks, chin, jaw, and lips.
There are a multitude of dermal filler options, and our clinic uses the Juvederm family of products. This area of the industry has really evolved over the years, with specific filler options designed for lips, tear trough/under-eye areas, and even where you want to change the shape and contours of the face (for example, your nose, jawline, chin and more).
When you get a dermal filler treatments, results appear nearly immediately, with full effects settling in after about a week. Like Botox, there is no downtime.
Can injectables replace skincare?
The short answer here is no. While we are big fans of the way injectables can take our skin and overall appearance to the next level, we know that great skincare is the foundation of maintaining a healthy glow and taking preventative measures (if you can get away with fewer units of Botox or longer times between filler appointments, wouldn't that be ideal?).
You can sort of imagine your regular skincare routine the same way you would an eating and exercise regime - having an ongoing, daily approach to managing your skin's health helps ensure you can minimize the total need for injectables, the same way we know that daily healthy physical habits keep us in good health overall. Think of injectables as a way to treat loss of volume, symmetry and physical changes to the skin, and skincare as the way to stay healthy, protected and glowing.
I tried filler - and I didn't love the results. Am I stuck with them until they fade?
Any trusting non-surgical clinic will have hyaluronidase on-hand to dissolve filler if you decide you don't actually love the results. Look for a clinic that offers this and is transparent about it.
Are injectables my only option when it comes to treating concerns like volume-loss and fine lines?
Not at all. Again, this is where having an awesome skincare routine is essential - the sooner you build a routine that incorporates regular cleansing, exfoliation, hydration and sun-protection, the less likely it is you'll see a lot of these common concerns becoming prominent over time. Pair that with a lifestyle that includes lots of rest, water-consumption and healthy food and exercise, and your skin will be in great shape.
And finally, we can't say it enough - we're big fans of simply embracing the changes life throws our way, including what it does to our skin. Some things like fine lines are inevitable and come with the privilege of aging, and whether you choose to leave them as-is or treat them with something extra is between you and yourself only.