The lunch hour “facelift

Botox and the like often get a bad rap in the media and celebrity tabloids. The well-documented “platypus lips” and “frozen face” stereotypes are all too familiar, especially in Tinseltown. So what’s the real story behind these brand name face fixers?

Plastic surgery isn’t the only way to stay fresh-faced all the way through your 50s. Injectables – a class of prescription medicines administered by injection – are making waves for being fast (most treatments take less than 20 minutes), highly effective and affordable.

As a Senior Faculty for the Scientiae/P.A.L.E.T.T.E. Injectable Filler Neuromodulator Training Program, I’ve personally trained over 700 surgeons, physicians and other medical professionals on advanced injection techniques and the most effective use of these products. My conclusions: Not all injectors and injectables are created equal.

Here are my top four market picks:

1. Botox Cosmetic

It is the industry leader in wrinkle management for a reason.

Scientific name: Onabotulinumtoxin A

Works by: Blocking nerve impulses to select groups of muscles in the face that cause wrinkles.

Is most commonly used: Between the brows, around the eyes and the forehead. The only FDA-approved indication is the glabella (between the brows). In experienced hands, the product has far-spanning clinical uses.

Usually lasts for: Three to five months – this time frame will vary depending on several factors, including the patient’s metabolism. Athletes tend to require more frequent treatments. Age is also a factor – less is more in older patients.

2. Juvederm

A go-to dermal filler for nasolabial folds, lips and cheeks.

Scientific name: Hyaluronic acid (cross-linked)

Works by: Replacing lost facial volume and filling in wrinkles and folds. Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in your skin, providing it with structure and volume, but it depletes with age.

Is most commonly used for: Correction of moderate-to-severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as prominent nasolabial folds. The product is also commonly used to augment cheeks, fill in hollowed eyes and plump up thinning lips.

My preferences: Juvederm is my go-to injectable for the lips, producing long-lasting, natural, predictable results.

Usually lasts for: Nine to 12 months. This number will vary depending on where the product is injected and by how often it’s injected.

3. Radiesse

Scientific name: Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) microspheres in a sodium Carboxymethylcellulose gel

Works by: Establishing a synthetic “scaffold” under the skin. This provides an internal structure for the newly formed collagen, which means firmer, fuller looking skin.

Is most commonly used to: Diminish the appearance of moderate-to-severe wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds, corners of the mouth and the chin.

My preference: Although a little pricier than the hyaluronic acids, Radiesse, in my hands, has clear advantages in certain areas of the face: Augmentation of temporal hollowing and cheeks, jawline reshaping and hand rejuvenation. Because the product is white, it isn’t a great candidate for superficial wrinkles and etchings as the filler. When injected too superficially, it can be seen through the skin. A no-no.

Usually lasts for: Up to 12 months

4. Restylane

The first FDA-approved injectable filler for lip enhancement in patients over the age of 21.

Scientific name: Hyaluronic acid (cross-linked)

Works by: Adding volume to the skin, filling in wrinkles and folds and plumping up lips. Although Juvederm has been used for years in off-label lip enhancement, Restylane is the first product on the market to receive FDA-approval for use in your kisser.

Is most commonly used to: Correct facial wrinkles and plump up your pout.

Usually lasts for: Six months

More anti-aging treatments

Trend alert: Vampire-inspired anti-aging treatments
The knife vs. the needle: Pros and cons of non-invasive procedures
Anti-aging treatments that don’t work


Comments are closed.