Wednesday 6 February 2019

Beauty Curious: Cosmetic Enhancement Q&A

This post was sponsored by Allergan. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own

Let's talk about the c-word: Cosmetic Injectables, that is. After baring my soul in a previous blog post all about my relationship with plastic surgery, how I opted to have a pretty dramatic elective surgery done on my face and my experience with judgement afterwards, I had an overwhelming response from you guys. Let me just stop to say that I am so eternally grateful for the support that I continue to receive from you, and the conversations we create together - I don't take it for granted.

With the conversations generated from that post, I realized that there is still a lot of curiosity around the industry of cosmetic enhancements. With the rise of celebrity influencers famously enhancing their features with the help of their plastic surgeons, the industry of cosmetic enhancement seems to be more prevalent than ever. And yet, there's still a stigma that surrounds elective enhancements; an industry on the rise and yet a secrecy among those who partake and those who are simply looking for more information.

In an effort to alleviate some of the stigma surrounding cosmetic enhancements, making people more comfortable seeking out information and making informed choices, I was lucky enough to meet with Dr. Lisa Kellett to get some questions answered regarding the world of cosmetic enhancements and injectables.

Dr. Lisa Kellett is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, a Diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology, a member of the Canadian Dermatology Association, the Canadian Laser Aesthetic Surgery Society, and the Toronto Dermatological Society. Dr. Kellett has a unique approach to cosmetic enhancements and skincare by developing and supervising individualized, specialized treatment regimens for each patient in a way that puts even the most anxious patients at ease. You may also recognize Dr. Kellett from the numerous media outlets that she shares her expert advice on - when we first met, I recognized her immediately from The Marilyn Denis Show! Dr. Kellett's vast knowledge in the cosmetic and skincare industry, as well as her friendly demeanor have a way of putting patients at ease, and I certainly felt this when we met on a brisk Fall afternoon.

I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Dr. Kellett in the gorgeous DLK on Avenue, a state-of-the-art skincare facility located in beautiful Yorkville. After being offered water, I was promptly whisked away by DLK on Avenue's manager George and graciously offered a seat in a private waiting area to speak with Dr. Kellett. I was armed with questions relating to cosmetic enhancements; a number of my own, and those that I had collected with I had asked about questions through my Instagram story.

Our conversation started much like a typical consultation for treatment would begin for cosmetic enhancements and skincare options. Dr. Kellett went through my intake form, and made sure to get an overall idea of my general health before proceeding with the consultation. Health, after all, does come into play when considering any sort of cosmetic enhancements - it is your body. I noticed as we continued our conversation into my own goals for my overall appearance, Dr. Kellett steered the conversation to ask questions based around how I would like to feel - less tired, fresher, more youthful- not just any insecurities that I would like to address. This helps to place my trust in my doctor, so that they can work with their expertise to help me achieve my overall goals in the consultation. And of course I had to ask before beginning my interview if any procedure I was interested in would make me look like a different person.  This is where Dr. Kellett's philosophy and work differ from traditional injectables:  "It should be imperceptible - you should just look a lot fresher. If it's done well, nobody will be able to tell where I injected."

Here's a selection of frequently asked questions relating to cosmetic enhancements, injectables and skincare with Dr. Lisa Kellett's expert answers.

How long do wrinkle reducing fillers last? What happens to wrinkle reducing filler after it's run it's course in your body? 

Wrinkle reducing fillers lasts between 3 and 4 months. It's broken down in your muscular junction and it's metabolized there. It's just gone after it's run its course.

What about other fillers? What are Juvederm fillers for, how long do dermal fillers last, and what happens once it's run it's course in your body?

Juvederm fillers are completely different. They are hyaluronic acids. The hyaluronic acids that are in fillers are synthetic versions of the hyaluronic acids that are naturally found in your skin already. That's why it integrates so well in your tissue, since you already have the same substance in your body - you make it there. We actually know that the simple action of injecting hyaluronic acid will stimulate your own collagen. If you look at a before-and-after photo after all fillers have dissipated, you will be better off than if you had done nothing because you start to produce your own collagen. It's very interesting!

In your experience, to achieve the best results, what sorts of questions should individuals ask injectors? Should people be area-specific, or should they discuss what their overall goals are?

I would start with overall goals because oftentimes individuals come in for consultations and don't know what they need. They know what they see in the mirror, they know that they might look tired or that they want to be more refreshed, or that they have some fine lines. They often don't know how to get there, how to achieve a look that addresses their main concerns. So when an individual expresses their overall goals for what they want to achieve, but then mention a specific area of concern, that may not address their overall goal. I like to find out what bothers people the most first, and go from there. Start with people's chief area of concern, what brings them into the office - but then have a plan to achieve their overall goal.

Is facial reconstruction possible with injectables? Specifically reconstructing a jaw.

I will actually inject into the jaw to lift. As we age, we can lose the structure in our jawline. To fix this, I have to enhance an individual’s jawline laterally to lift. So the answer is yes, you can certainly do that.

 What about building a weak chin? Is this achievable through injectables?

Absolutely. Instead of doing a physical implant like silicon, for example, you can actually use filler to enhance a weak chin.

Do you think that injectables are the future with cosmetic enhancements, taking the place of surgery?

Absolutely, there's no question. If I can achieve a completely refreshed more youthful appearance, address people's concerns with injectables - there's no question. I will have clients that address their chief complaints to me and wonder if they need surgery. I tell them "don't do surgery - give me an hour." It's so much easier on an individual, and from a professional standpoint. There's just so many options available with injectables now that actually address chief complaints better than traditional surgery. For example, if you were to do a facelift, you make your skin tighter but you don't replace your face's volume.

What age group do you tend to see the most clients coming in?
Usually around mid-thirties is when patients start with injectables. In my younger patients, it's typically area-focused. For example, I've seen patients who are quite young with smaller lips and are interested in lip enhancement. But from a rejuvenation point of view, it would be early-to-mid thirties.

What about women that are 60+? Are there options for rejuvenation?

Oh yes, there's still lots that we can do. It's totally about your own concerns and what bothers you - we shouldn't get stuck on age. Genetics also come into play as well; genetically those who are fair-skinned with light eyes will age faster than someone who has more Mediterranean skin - as an example. The dermis is thinner - it's just the way your body is made and the way you are.

For more involved cases, for example changing the shape of someone's jaw with injectables, what is your advice?

You need to got to someone who understands a particular procedure and does a lot of it. Go to a specialist, either a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist.

What are your thoughts on injectables being so widely available? It seems as though every where I turn, an establishment is offering cosmetic injectables - even hair salons sometimes!

I would say that the only people that you want to go to are specialists; people who train in their program to preform cosmetic injectables. These would be plastic surgeons, dermatologists, ear nose and throat doctors, etc. These are the people who will have five to six years of training of doing this. I would equate it to this: if you have a problem with your heart, you go to a cardiologist. A problem with your brain, go to a neurologist. Go to someone who is a specialist. This is not an area to price-shop. You need to trust and develop a relationship with your practitioner and that will enhance the experience and give you the best results in the long run.

The big takeaway is to go to see a professional whom you have a relationship with and who you are comfortable with. You want to trust a professional to give you professional recommendations. I always say that just because you hear a recommendation, doesn't mean that you have to do it. You need to do what's right for you. Some people aren't comfortable with injectables - then don't do it! But I think it's important as a woman in medicine to tell patients that my job is to give you all of your options, to make you well-informed. When you're well informed, you make the best decisions. And sometimes the best decision for you is not to do anything. You're the only one who knows where your comfort level is. Patients will ask me if they're ready; I tell them "you'll know when you're ready." And sure enough, when they're truly ready they'll come back in and say confidently "I'm ready!" You should never feel pressured to do anything. You should do it for yourself.

I want to give Dr. Lisa Kellett a huge thank you for taking time out of her busy day to answer my questions; I learned a lot from our talk and I hope that you guys did too.

What do you guys think? Are cosmetic enhancements something that you're interested in? Do you feel comfortable talking about them with friends and family? What is your biggest takeaway from my chat with Dr. Kellett? Let me know! Let's keep the conversation going.

xo Joƫlle


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