The topic of cosmetic enhancements has always fascinated me, not to mention speculating about whether or not someone has “had any work done”. My hands often wander up to my own face as I contemplate my disappearing jaw line…#mirrormirroronthewall
I remember my mother's attempts to ward off her frown lines by faithfully applying special scotch tape to be worn over night. She also went through a series of grimacing neck stretches to keep her jowls at bay. We do what we can. Some of us just throw on a designer scarf.
A recent get together with my sister began with a visit to her doctor for some “maintenance work” (translation: Botox). I finally got to meet the man who “does” my sister (and at least one other friend) and to have an interesting chat with him about some of the newest and best anti-aging procedures as he deftly needled my sister’s brow into submission (His fabulous view into Coal Harbour and the North Shore mountains is a good distraction from all those tiny injections, by the way).
Things To Consider
It's one thing to sit by and watch someone else get a forehead full of jabbing injections but would you want the same treatment for yourself?
Although Botox is so refined now you still have to consider who wields the needle, however fine it might be. There is an art to it. Make sure that your doctor of choice has had proper training and maintains a good track record for natural results with his or her patients.
Also, you need to know what age concerns you are addressing when getting any injections. Being self-aware and happy with yourself to begin with should be a given and will make a big difference to your anti-aging enhancements (or if you choose to even bother with any).
The “number 11” area, those vertical creases which appear over the nose and between the eyebrows are a huge aging concern for men and women alike and were at one time the bane of my sister’s existence. These troublesome lines add years to the appearance as well as contribute to the “bitchy resting face” syndrome. However, the more you get Botox, the better your skin gets over time and the longer the pleasing results last. I have really noticed the difference in my sister’s face since she started with Botox treatments.
You're Curious, Aren't You?
As I watched Dr. X minister to my sister and carry on a lively conversation with us at the same time, it got me thinking about “things to do/budget for when I’m earning money again”; a topic which keeps me happy because I get to make lists.
Although choosing a doctor and dermatologist is largely based on word of mouth and according to one’s needs, the initial meet and greet is deeply personal. There really needs to be a connection and trust factor in place between you and the doctor. I consider myself to be fairly well read on the subject of beauty and I try to be up to date on the latest procedures, cost, availability in Canada, risk factors, etc. when it comes to any anti-aging measures that do not come out of a jar. Believe me, I’m going to do my due diligence and be informed about the doctor I choose to provide me with any cosmetic service - especially if it concerns my face.
Oh, and just a side note: Although I’m writing about faces here, we are a whole package. Taking care of oneself as a whole is obviously implied.
Another note: This blog post is only my opinion and musings. I’m not an expert, a doctor, nor have I had anything “done”. I’m simply taking what I do know, and what I am considering for myself with regards to non-invasive beauty treatments and writing about it because the subject as a whole, interests me (especially the before and after pictures). I’m not suggesting that any of you rush out and do stuff to your faces or any other part of your body, nor am I endorsing any particular product, procedure or administrator of such. What I am suggesting is that you like yourself to begin with and to be well informed on the subject of anti-aging, as it applies to you and your concerns, if any.
Dr. X asked my sister what she was looking to achieve with the treatments she was considering - what she would like to see in the mirror. She replied “myself at twenty-five.” He suggested that she bring along a picture of herself at that preferred and ideal age on her next visit - it would give him a map of how to address her concerns.
Let me stress this: he’s not going to make her twenty-five again, but he CAN restore volume. I’ve seen his handiwork on my sister’s face from a few years ago and believe me, it was so subtle that only the three of us knew anything had been done. Ironically, with results that good, she was eager to talk about it. She looked rested and refreshed. For her personal concerns, it was loss of volume which he tailored to her natural facial shape. Her lips were HER lips. At age twenty-something. As my sister said so eloquently, “It looked great for about four years - it’s only recently that I look caved-in and gaunt in the cheeks. I look like I’ve been dragged through a knot hole.” (OK, this very dramatic comment by my sis was meant to be funny. She looks great - people who meet her for the first time often clutch at their chests upon learning her age and gasp, "You're HOW OLD???")
One of the things that Dr. X said really struck me. He said “Smile. Remember to smile when you look in the mirror because everybody looks better when they smile - and it makes a difference in your outlook”.
Be realistic in your goals.
I think the goal these days is to look refreshed, happy and confident. To look like your best version of yourself.
Dr. X then consulted with my sister regarding where and how he could fix that loss of volume for her if she wanted to go ahead and add that on to her initial Botox treatment. He also told her the specific injectable that he would use, the areas where he would treat, how many units it would take and what the cost would be to achieve the desired result.
Ultimately - is it something she wants to pay for at this time - does it fit her immediate budget? Can she live without it? That’s the ticket for anyone considering cosmetic treatments.
Personally I have always tried to maintain my “best self”. I continue to take good care of my skin within the budget that works for me. The foundation of great skin helps me decide what I want to start adding to my beauty care regime - whether it will be an injection of some sort or a radio frequency tightening treatment, for example. Restoring and maintaining my original contours in a pleasing and natural manner - to refresh - would be my goal. Having more natural facial fat also helps shape my treatments. Although we are sisters, we have totally different faces and have aged differently. I’ve said it before and Dr. X repeated it too; I have completely different aging concerns and have had a different level of stress and experience in life from my sister, or from anyone else for that matter.
For now, I’m still getting by with dimmed lights and a forgiving hairstyle with bangs. However, I am starting to notice my increasingly worrisome resemblance to old photos of my lantern-jawed ancestors. Duct tape is not an option.
Will I or won't I, when it comes to cosmetic procedures? Be it frozen, tightened, injected, plumped, rejuvenated, exfoliated or removed all together, only my doctor needs to know, along with the handful of people who read my blog.
...but I am considering it.
Dr. X’s business card is within easy reach…after all, a few “units” of prevention is worth a pound of cure.