Every once in a while, as you gaze at one of your favorite celebrities who just really hit the big-time, you start to wonder…. what in the world did she do to herself? She still looks sort of like herself, but somehow things just seem off. Even stranger, you know she is young, and she seems a little less wrinkled, but she also oddly looks a lot more like an older woman than she did a few months ago. How does that happen?
In the wake of an injectables revolution, one must consider the old adage- all things in moderation. Fillers and toxins are fantastic aesthestic tools, and when used properly, can yield tremendous results. But if things get out of hand, they can really backfire.
For one, some lines are meant to be on your face, and completely removing them makes things look a little strange. For example, nasolabial folds (aka, laugh lines) should be soft and not make you look like a wooden puppet, but if you really flatten that entire upper lip area, you start to look like a doll and not a human. What’s more, complete flattening makes the lip look longer, and that looks more masculine. And anything masculine on a woman will start to look old.
There are several areas of the face that have this same limitation when overly smoothed, but this is not the only potential pitfall with injections. At this point, so many people are so overdone that the overdone look has its own stigma. You can spot the look from across a room, and it has the connotation of an older person trying to look young beyond what is possible. The interesting thing about this is that, when a young person starts to look done, she will start to look like the older woman trying to look young, and will then start to look OLD! The more tells there are, the worse this gets, until eventually you just can’t tell who is who anymore.
The good thing about most of these methods is that they do wear off, so if you go too far there is usually room for reprisal. But if enough needles have been enough places, scar tissue will form, and this is a one way situation. Patients may not realize that no cut does not mean no scar- it only means tiny needle shaped ones. A couple of them twice a year won’t do much in the long run, but if you’ve used five syringes in your cheeks every quarter for ten years, there is in fact no turning back. And at that point, sometimes surgery is the better answer after all.
In treating patients with fillers and Botox, I always consider what the natural younger version of them should look like. The intention is to slow time and preserve identity, all the while without letting anyone know that you are doing anything. Beauty extremes seldom succeed, and there is also just so much your skin can handle without fighting back. Be aware that this type of fight generally isn’t pretty.