Injectables – What you need to know

Have you thought about injectables to improve your appearance?

I’ve been hearing a lot about injectables for anti-aging, but I really didn’t know a lot about it, so I decided to research and see if these procedures were something I might want to explore.  As diligent as I am with my skincare, I think once you hit a certain age, depending on your genetics, there may be things that you aren’t 100% happy with that can be addressed with injectables.  And what do I mean by injectables?  Neurotoxins (like Botox) and fillers.

Neurotoxins like Botox, or Dysport, are injected directly into the muscle below the skin to relax that muscle.  As we age we start to see wrinkles where our muscles are being used the most.  For a lot of us, that is the wrinkles in our forehead which we get from repeatedly making certain facial expresssions.  By relaxing those muscles, the wrinkle smooths out.  This is only temporary, though.  This procedure typically lasts 3-4 months and varies by individual.  So, if this is something you want to do, be prepared to go back to maintain that look.  Prices vary depending on where you go (I would recommend an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon) but I was quoted $525 by my dermatologist.

Fillers work differently than Botox – they are injected right below the skin and “fill” areas that we want to plump up, like under the eyes, in your laugh lines, lips or your cheekbones.  As with Botox, this is not a permanent result, but fillers last up to 2 years which would require less frequent maintenance.

My experience with Injectables

I have not been happy with how my under-eye area has been looking lately as well as the overall loss of volume in my face.  When my son told me that I looked so “crinkly,”  I decided it was time to go for a consultation with my dermatologist to understand what procedures would be able to address my concerns.  After discussing this with her, I decided on the filler in my cheek area.  This filler is made by Juvederm, and is called Voluma.  It is FDA approved, hyaluronic acid (which your body already makes naturally).   As I mentioned, it lasts up to 2 years (again the exact time varies by person and how quickly it is metabolized in the body).  The cost for this by my dermatologist was $900 for one syringe.  My derm told me usually two syringes are done for the procedure but as she (and I) believe in a very subtle result we decided to do just one (half a syringe per cheek).  Also, what I liked about the filler is that you see immediate results, unlike Botox, which takes a few days before actual results are seen.

My face was iced to numb it and then the dermatologist made her injections in the side of my face (below the temple where the cheekbone starts) and in the center of my under-eye area (along the cheekbone).  This was done on each side, with her stopping to show me her progress in the mirror.  It did not hurt at all; I simply felt pressure when she injected me.

I loved it in the office;  I actually met a friend for lunch right after the appointment and she did not notice anything!  However, later in the day I noticed that my cheeks were red and swollen at the edges of my face; the left side more than the right.  To be fair, my dermatologist did warn me that the left side would be a bit bruised and lumpy looking, but that it would smooth out.  To me, it looked like a golf ball sticking out.  At that point I  started to panic and wonder did I do the right thing?  Everything I’ve read says that it takes some time to spread out in the face and soften.  I started to see a bruise on the left side but was really not that sore. Luckily, my hair did camouflage most of the bruising.  I do really feel that my under-eye area looks more rested and fresher.  Also I like that the result is subtle – it’s good if no one notices anything.  I know that it’s there, and that’s what really matters!

before and after of injectable Voluma
The left picture shows the swelling on the left side of my face post procedure. The right photo shows the left side of my face as it looks today. The filler does soften over time.

If you are nervous about my description about the swelling, you can take a look at my before and after picture. One week post-procedure the swelling was down, and the look was starting to soften but I still had a faint bruise.  One month later, the bruising is completely gone, everything has settled and smoothed out and looks very natural-looking and more like me.  When I touch the areas where I was injected, I can’t feel anything under the skin.

Overall, I am happy with the results and have no regrets getting this procedure.  Based on what I’ve heard from others who have had this procedure, the results are liked even more around the 6 month mark; so I will check back in with you all at that time and give you my feedback of what I think at that milestone.  I believe that injectables can be a nice addition to a balanced skincare regimen depending on your concerns.  Any injectable procedure does NOT replace taking care of your skin with the correct products.

Have you had filler or Botox?  I would love to know your experiences.

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