My patients want to look better – a little lift, smoother wrinkles and lines, no pigmentation or melasma, get rid of that acne scarring and spider veins, younger hands/neck/chest/hands, stronger/more masculine jaw (mostly men), softer features (mostly women), improved profile with decreased fat (yes, I said it, fat) under the chin, and so on. But all patients also want this: “I want to look natural”. Or, “I don’t want my friends/family/spouse to know that I am getting ‘work’ done”. Or, “I don’t want to look like one of those men/women.” In a way, this is a paradox. But in a way it’s really the right way to think about a non-invasive cosmetic patient – it’s possible to look your best and natural at the same time.
So what defines a successful cosmetic procedure:
Look natural. To me, this is most important. While non-invasive procedures really can change the way one looks, keeping your natural appearance always looks best. Just think of that friend you have that had “too much work”, or that celebrity who reappeared and looks unrecognizable. Does anyone really think they look great?!? Enhancing one’s appearance always looks better. This can easily be achieved with non-invasive treatments, such as botox, fillers, and lasers. Cutting edge technology and medical advances have revolutionized what it means to “have work done.” Microneedling with PRP can stimulate collagen and improve pigmentation. Fraxel can help smooth out wrinkles and lines, as well as acne scars. Clear and brilliant laser can decrease pore size and leave your skin glowing with fewer blemishes – all with minimal down time.
Small changes over time add up to improve one’s appearance. That’s what I tell my patients daily. Sure, we could “do it all” today. But do we want to? I would rather layer deep fillers, such as Radiesse, with more superficial ones, like Juvederm or Restylane, on different visits. Not only to avoid a drastic change in the patient’s appearance, but also because it looks better and more natural. Lasers may require multiple treatments, and “turning it up” may leave patients looking worse.
Combination of different treatments always works better. Using fillers, botox and lasers together produces better overall results. Why? Because each of these treatments is designed to improve a particular problem. No one product works for everything.
Touch ups/continued treatment are important. While some products last longer than others, no product or treatment lasts for ever. So one needs to have realistic expectations of the upkeep necessary.
Don’t forget good skin-care. Good skin-care is easy. It only required three basic things – gentle cleanser, sunscreen and moisturizer. Sure, one can do a lot more, but doing the basics can produce great results.
So next time you see me in the office for a cosmetic consultation, have this in mind. We will work together to come up with a treatment plan that will have you looking natural and your best at the same time!