For beginners the world of aesthetics can be daunting with words that you may have heard of in media, films and around your circles but because there is lots of misinformation and skewed perceptions it’s good to have a 101 guide in aesthetic treatments.
What is Aesthetics anyway?
When you are in a field of expertise you often forget that others don’t know your terminology. Aesthetics is the umbrella of treatments that improve your overall look. Not just make you beautiful. In dentistry they use the term aesthetic dentistry for dental procedures that make your teeth look better or pretty (whitening, veneers, teeth straightening etc). The same goes for the face and even the body.
In short people often say aesthetic treatments are botox and fillers, but it is so much more! Anything that helps you feel more confident about your appearance is under that umbrella of aesthetics; skin, unwanted hair, lines and wrinkles, balance of features, weight and overall health. It is NOT about looking fake and overdone. We need to be moving away from ‘I want lip fillers’ to ‘my lips are very thin and bother me, what should I do?’.
What is the difference between Botox and Fillers?
I get asked this a lot. I assumed people knew because of media and films, but even some (only some) medical professionals don’t seem to know. I’m not even kidding. I have heard the terms “botox in the lips” from more than one of them. And it’s perfectly normal to be “naive” to these things. Botox and fillers are two totally different substances and are used in completely different ways.
Botox: This is actually a trade name for a substance called Botulinum Toxin. It is the bi-product from a bacteria which has been used to target unwanted muscle action. Used for spastic muscles in Cerebral palsy, overactive bladders, excessive sweating and unwanted wrinkles from frowning. Because it is a prescription only medication, you are not allowed to promote it’s use in any way.
In aesthetics Botox is mostly used to soften wrinkles that are as a result of muscle movement; like frown lines, forehead lines, smile lines and smokers lines. To read more, see my blog Botox decoded. You will find the industry now refers to it as anti-wrinkle treatment/ injections or wrinkle relaxing injections.
Fillers: The proper term is dermal filler, which is a treatment that provides volume by injecting the substance under the skin. The substance is Hyaluaronic acid which is a naturally occurring particle within your skin. The idea of the treatment is to restore volume that has been lost with age, but is often used for beautification purposes too. In essence it can help restore the framework on which the skin sits and therefore help with sagging and hollows. It can pretty much be injected anywhere but typical places are; lips, tear-troughs, cheeks, chin, jaw, and hands. It can even be used on the nose as a non-surgical nose job.
Skin Boosters: This is actually also a filler, often containing hyaluronic acid and some other water drawing ingredients, but is much more liquid and helps to plump out the skin (restoring volume within the skin structure). Hence boosting the skin. This helps with the appearance of finer lines and wrinkles that happen because the skin quality changes with age and tends to become crepey. Botox can’t fix all wrinkles.
Other skin treatments: Chemical peels, micro needling, mesotherapy, LED lights and laser therapy are some of the skin treatments offered by aesthetic practitioners. These can help with pigment concerns, acne and other skin conditions, texture issues and overall quality of the skin. If you are concerned about your skin or would like to improve it, it would be easier to speak to a practitioner who can guide you to which would work better for your particular case and then explain further about that treatment. Your skincare routine plays a big role here and should not be overlooked when considering having a treatment.
So much more: Laser hair removal, thread lifts (like a face lift), medical weight-loss, fat reducing treatments, vitamin supplements, hair growth (for balding) and probably much more. Like I said, aesthetics is so much more than Botox and fillers.
A beginners guide to aesthetic treatments
This is just that, a beginners guide, a basic explanation of the fundamentals and often misperceived treatments to help you start asking the right questions. For a comprehensive guide you can take a look at Alice Hart-Davis’s book Tweakments Guide. (Or stick with me and I’ll eventually talk about it all)
Rather than look at a treatment menu, you want to seek out a professional that will understand your concerns and come up with a treatment plan that will address those concerns. Choosing the right practitioner is the thing to research (watch this space). If you do have any further questions, message me.