Cosmetic treatments – how to strike the right balance
At Cityskin we treat people from all walks of life – full time mums, TV personalities, psychologists, stage performers, business people and much more.
The skill of a cosmetic practitioner is to understand your life and the results that you want to portray. We want to strike the right balance between line reduction and keeping the natural look.
Lifestyle factors to take into account
At Cityskin we take time to understand your lifestyle when tailoring your treatment. Some people want to reduce all their lines and want a completely smooth forehead, crows feet and frown. Others want a more subtle treatment that nobody will notice but them.
Factors that we take into consideration include:
- Who knows that you are having treatment?
- Is it important to you that people notice your treatment?
- What is your line of work and how much expression do you need?
- How much would it concern you if people noticed that you have had treatment
How expressive are you?
We have to take into account that everyone varies in how expressive they are when talking and even at rest. Some people use the frown and forehead a great deal in every day conversation and we have to be careful not to reduce this too much. We want to keep you looking like you and if you are expressive then perhaps accept more movement after anti-wrinkle treatment. This will keep you looking natural.
How expressive do you need to be in everyday life?
At Cityskin we have patients whose line of work requires them to be more expressive. A good example of this is patients that work as psychologists or healthcare professionals. They want to be able to show empathy through facial expression and be able to ’emote’ easily. In this case we would allow more movement in the face to keep that expressive ability.
Areas that need special care and attention
The area that needs the most care and attention is the forehead. Over-treating this area can result in a ‘frozen look‘ which can look obvious to others. Lips are another area where we have to tread carefully. Treating with large amounts of dermal filler can give the lips a much fuller look which may be noticeable to others.
The easiest area to treat and the first area we recommend treating to reduce lines is the frown area. You can use as many units as you like here without anyone noticing. It looks great when treated and can lift the brow.
Image 1 – a lovely example of reduction of forehead lines without looking frozen. 7 units used
Erasing all lines but retaining movement. Is this possible?
This is the most challenging scenario that we get asked. Some patients, especially those with deep lines, want to erase the lines entirely but still want movement. This is very hard to achieve. Anti-wrinkle treatments work by preventing muscles from receiving signals from the brain that tell them to contract. To reduce a line we need to, effectively, stop the muscle from contracting. By doing so this reduces movement.
The difficult balancing act is having to work out which is the priority. If we use the forehead as an example again we need to discuss whether patients want:
- A smoother looking forehead but reduced forehead movement and the potential, in some patients, to look more shiny.
- The ability to move the forehead more but having more lines after treatment.
We can give guidance but patients have to decide which their priority is. It is very hard to achieve both.
Anti-wrinkle treatments at different ages
Patients in their late 20s are probably the easiest to treat. They tend to have finer lines, higher brows and results tend to work more effectively and look natural overall. As we age, anti-wrinkle treatments become more difficult. I often say to patients that we need to achieve ‘congruity’ – the top, middle and bottom thirds of the face need to match both the hands and the neck/chest in order to look natural and not ‘overdone’. Sometimes we treat with less units in the crows feet otherwise the upper face can look smooth compared to the lower face, neckline and the age of the hands.
Read our guides to treatments at different ages here:
Forehead lines in your 50s and 60’s
As mentioned above – the easiest patients to treat are those in their late 20s as the eyebrows generally sit higher with little upper eyelid skin. As we age the brow tends to sit lower and the eyelids can look hooded and heavy. The forehead muscle is the only one that keeps the eyebrows lifted. Putting anti-wrinkle treatment into the forehead could drop the brow and make the eyelid skin look more hooded. At times like this we sometimes recommend not having forehead treatment, or consider upper eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) under local anaesthetic.
Tailoring cosmetic treatments – case studies
Case 1: 40 year old full time mum
A 40 year old full time mum comes into the clinic and has noticed fine lines in the frown, forehead and around the eyes. She feels these lines have developed in the last few years. Her aims were to look and feel fresher without it being too noticeable to friends at the school-gate. We recommended treating her more conservatively – using smaller amounts of anti-wrinkle product particularly in the forehead area where over-treating can appear more noticeable and ‘frozen’. Lines around the eyes and frown lines can be safely treated with standard amounts of anti-wrinkle treatment without looking obvious.
Case 2: 30 year old female working on the stage
A 30 year old singer and performer comes in wanting to look flawless on stage. She wears thicker makeup to reduce glare from the stage lights. In this case we could afford to treat the forehead with more units as the primary concern is reducing the lines under stage lights when wearing heavy makeup. The treatment will lead to a lovely reduction in her lines all round but she will have to accept reduced movement across the forehead, frown and crows area.
Case 3: 38 year old male tradie
We are seeing more and more men coming in for cosmetic treatment. Often they want to reduce lines without letting their mates being able to guess. This is easily done by not treating crows feet, or simply softening them. If anyone at work asks them they can smile and say that they have full movement so, of course they haven’t had anti-wrinkle treatment! Men, as a general rule, need 1.5 times as many units as women to achieve the same results. Have a read about treatments for men here.
Cosmetic treatments are highly individual and the skill of the practitioner is to understand what you are looking to achieve and your expectation from treatment. At Cityskin we love the challenge of treating individuals from all walks of life and tailoring treatment to get the absolute best results.
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