Longevity and Beauty:
The writer and activist Grace Paleo has said this: “In the end, long life is the reward, strength, and beauty.” She of course was not talking about cosmetic alterations to the face, but she was talking about having a high quality of life, and about what constitutes a good life. As humans, we’re living for longer and longer. Forty was the new thirty, and now fifty is the new forty. Women and men are beautiful at any age, and as a society we’re learning to appreciate that beauty. For some, wrinkles and other marks of old age become part of our identity. For others, it’s preferable to erase these marks entirely, or at least to minimize their appearance so that we look the way we feel inside: young, vibrant, and full of life.
Many of us, after having needles stuck in our skin, want the results to last for as long as possible. You’ve just booked yourself an appointment and shown up only to undergo something quite painful. The experience of getting injected can often be nerve-wracking, not to mention inconvenient. It’s natural that you want your new look to last quite a while. You don’t want the experience of these lip injections to be like taking your car into the shop for an oil change—something that you get done, and, before you know it, you have to go in and get done again—or like going to the dentist. You’d like to go into an appointment knowing that you’re paying for a noticeable change that will last. But those of us who are used to this type of treatment know that this simply isn’t the reality. You’re temporarily decreasing the appearance of wrinkles, not removing your wisdom teeth. What you’re doing is miraculous. It won’t last for forever, and you’ll have to learn to be okay with this fact. Dermal fillers generally last six months to two years, depending on the type of filler, the volume of filler you’re injecting, and your body.
Why don’t these treatments last for very long? What affects their longevity? Is there anything you can do to maximize the life of your treatment?
These are all great questions.
Any good facial treatment does involve some upkeep. There’s no getting around this simple fact. Certain treatments only last for six months because the filler eventually is broken down by our bodies. Depending on what the filler contains, and on an individual’s body, the time it takes for the filler to break down can vary.
Different fillers last for different amounts of time; some, depending on the type you get and the volume of the particular filler your doctor happens to be injecting in the session, can last anywhere from six months to three years. Hyaluronic fillers, for instance, will often last from four months to a year.
You’ll want to keep in mind that, in terms of longevity, the eye area is the one where you’ll get more bang for your buck. This is because most peoples’ bodies are slower to break down the filler in these areas. Generally speaking, areas on your face that move more tend to break down the fillers faster. Therefore, injections near your mouth or lips will dissipate faster than injections in your forehead. There’s not much you can do to make your filler last longer. That’s up to your surgeon (in the amount and type of filler he or she injects, and the space into which he or she injects it). As there isn’t much you can do to maximize the life of your treatment, we recommend doing your research before getting the treatment, so that you can make informed decisions about your injection.
As we age, we lose fat in certain places. We also lose bone mass. This is what causes sagging skin as well as excess skin, or the drooping you might see around your eyes and mouth. The more experienced the person injecting your skin has, the more they’ll likely cost and the longer this treatment should last. Certain doctors offer discounts if you’re purchasing a certain amount of filler which you could check into.
There’s not a whole lot you can do to make your treatment last any longer.
What are the risks of dermal fillers?
A small percentage of people who opt for dermal fillers (1-3%) do experience an allergic reaction. Sometimes your doctor will give you a test for this first, depending on the type of filler you’re getting. These are relatively rare, but you should be aware that this is a risk of these procedures. In some cases—with hyaluronic fillers like Restylane, for instance, a doctor can inject the area with something to break up the filler, if there is an allergic reaction or if you simply don’t like the results.
Another risk with these injections is overfilling your lips, cheeks, or other parts of your face—resulting in lips that look unnatural, cheeks that look puffy, or foreheads that look a bit glassy, with too much volume. In other words, the structure and shape is not what you wanted. We recommend you slowly ramp up the volume over multiple treatments, so that you get the look you want without overdoing it. Speak with SKIN CLUB about what your goals are, and bring pictures of lips you like, if you have them. Also take a look at our dermal fillers page for more information and before and after pictures.
In the two weeks prior to the procedure, doctors advise you quit taking any anti-inflammatories such as aspirin or Motrin, and that you stop taking vitamins, Vitamin E, and fish oil, as these, because they work to thin your blood, won’t do you any favors with bruising after the injections.
Make the Most of Your Treatment:
Well, if you’re in it for the long haul, you already know that it isn’t realistic to expect a treatment like this to last forever. Here’s our advice: make a ritual around going in to have an injection. Get a cappuccino in the morning beforehand (caffeine can also help numb the pain). Sit for a while and notice how you feel right now, and look forward to how you’ll feel after the injection takes place.
Overall, you can look at the temporary nature of these dermal fillers as a bonus. This allows you to slowly build up your lips or other parts of your face to the shape you want. Many even find it reassuring that they can always go back to the way they looked before by stopping treatments. The option is always there. Make sure that, as before any medical treatment, you research all of your options and that you talk with your doctor about any vitamins or medicines you’re taking, and that you hash out the operation plan in detail to determine the best way to meet your goals. For some, continued maintenance is not ideal, in which case you may want to opt for a treatment that is a bit more permanent.