5 THINGS TO KNOW NOW, BEFORE UPPING YOUR ANTI-AGING GAME
Updated: May 14, 2019
Over the last decade, the medspa industry has taken off. Social media sites showing videos of patients receiving treatments are at your fingertips. Models, celebrities, and socialites are all sharing their experiences and opening up a
bout their anti-aging treatments.
Celebrity before and afters are posted side by side and provide a fun guessing game for trying to decide what the
star has had done: Botox? Fillers? Rhinoplasty? Or just great make-up contouring.
With this wealth of internet knowledge also comes photos of botched treatments and warnings regarding their safety. And, just as you can see all the beautiful work, you also get a glimpse of the not-so-pretty work. Lips are enhanced well beyond their natural shape and symmetry. People are moving from simple anti-aging to full on facial transformations, resulting in them looking “un-natural.” Others may comment that they don’t even look like themselves.
On the flip side, you have a growing amount of the population who wants to “age gracefully” and/or “wants a natural” remedy for aging. Essential oils, supplements, and natural creams like coconut oils are being positioned as effective anti-aging treatments. With the multiple ideas on how to age , there is somewhat of a rift in where people stand on these medical treatments. Here’s what you need to know to make a more informed decision on how you choose to age. This segment will weigh in on what I’ve seen as a practitioner and discuss how I’ve cultivated my personal viewpoint on anti-aging.
First: What is anit-aging?
To me anti-aging is an attempt to freeze the aging process in its tracks and many times even reverse the aging that has occurred.
Many patients do come in for enhancements, ie I want my lips bigger and better, not just restored to their youthful selves, or to change their look all together, ie non-surgical nose jobs or chin projections; however, the majority of the patients I see are looking for an actual anti-aging solution. They want to slow down the aging process and look like they did before they had fine lines and sagging skin.
To clarify: antiaging does not equal unnatural enhancements.
You will know you’ve achieved a natural anti-aging look when you have botox or filler and your friends say, “Wow you look great.” or “You look rested....what did you do differently?” They know you look refreshed, glowing, and overall rejuvenated, but they can’t tell what you did. They don’t look at you and say OMG your lips!
Second: You get a choice in how your anti-aging process goes.
Your practitioner will give you all the steps and information needed for a full anti-aging treatment. This will likely include skincare, neurotoxins (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin), fillers, collagen stimulators and resurfacing treatments. You get to choose where you want to start. I always suggest skin care as an initial step with or without a neurotoxin. Remember, aging is a process and so is its reversal. When using medical aesthetics instead of surgery, you will have to back out of the state of aging you are in. This takes time, and is also the reason that you wont look like a “freak” after just a little botox or one syringe of filler.
Those oversized lips and large apply cheeks on your girlfriend, who needs to pump the breaks on her injections, didn’t happen over night. That was a few trips and multiple syringes later that lead her to that point. Relax, if her look isn’t for you, that’s ok, you can request a more natural look.
You get the choice to tip toe into this. Any good practitioner will sit down with you and discuss options, but most importantly, they will listen to you. For example, I had two patients come to my office, around the ages of 25-29, wanting to start the anti-aging process with a little Botox. They were nervous and excited and terrified. They did not want to look frozen, but rather wanted to jump on the “baby Botox” wagon. Fair enough! After discussing all the risks and benefits of using neurotoxins, what to expect with the treatment, and post treatment expectations, I gave them my assessment of how much product I would recommend. Even a light dose scared them, so we went a little lower. We discussed that the risk of lowering the dose meant it would wear off sooner and/or not be as effective, but they were ok with this. So, we did what was comfortable for them. They returned a few months later, satisfied and ready to do more.
Third: Not all anti-aging involves putting a synthetic product or “toxin” into your face.
Welcome all of my organic and natural friends. If your all natural oils and coconut cream based products are woking for you, awesome! But I have to say, I’ve had several patients filter into my office using these products, but feeling they need something more. Well, I have that too! I am a firm believer that good skin starts with good skincare. There are several amazing lines that are organic and natural that work. A few things I recommend adding to your oils are vitamin C and hyaluronic acid products. Vitamin C has been used in the cosmetic and dermatologic world for a long time. It’s one of the most researched products we use. We know it works! However, not all serums are created equal, so make sure you do your homework. Also, there are a lot of mild laser based treatments that can help boost collagen stimulation and help you maintain your natural glow and youthful look without all the needles and toxins. This however, does lead me to another point. Wether you use toxins or not, it is good to know that there is Xeomin, a purified neurotoxin, that is now available for the naturalist in you! And, it works amazingly.
Forth: Start now! The sooner you start your anti-aging journey the better.
Don't’ worry , if you started late, there are still a ton of options that don’t involve going under the knife. But, start now! The younger you start, the less you will need per sitting of injections, and the less noticeable it will be that you’ve done anything. Starting a good skin care routine now will help you maintain your youthfulness in the years to come. Trust me, your future self with thank you! I’m pretty sure none of you will look back in 30 years and say, “I wished I hadn’t taken such good care of my skin!”
Fifth: It’s an investment. I’m going to get a little ranty here, so brace yourselves!
We spend hundreds of dollars getting our hair done and another hundred per month (at least) getting our nails done. We will spend 150 upward to a few thousand dollars for a handbag and another for the perfect pair of shoes. Yet, we will turn our noses up at a 200$ skin care product. In 5 years you will likely have a different handbag, worn those shoes out, and wont even remember what color your nails were this time last year, but you will still have to look at yourself in the mirror. Please, please, please do yourself a favor and spend the money to invest in a good skin care regimen and anti-aging treatments. Your body is a better investment than the things you wear on it.-end rant
So basically, all anti-aging starts out looking natural. It’s your choice as to whether you end up looking “over done.” Make a pact with your girlfriends to talk to each other should one of you start to get to the carried away side of things.
Talk to your practitioner about your goals and ask them to scale back if even their idea of a minimal treatment freaks you out! Start small, good skincare is a great start and your practitioner can guide you towards the best products. Don’t forget, anti-aging is for everyone! Unless of course, you're ok with looking older than you have to. No judgement if thats your plan, but as for me, I’ll choose to still look 40 when I’m 50.
Have a beautiful day, ♔Queen Cosmetic Injector
Ashley McShurley, ACNP-BC
Copyright 2019, Ashley McShurley- Queen Cosmetic Injector, All rights reserved.