Botox & Fillers – showing you the non-technical side of going under the needle
July 1, 2016
Just before I left for my trip to the UK, in fact exactly two weeks before, I decided to take the plunge and engage in something I’ve been really scared of doing, mainly for the sake of research but also to see if it really makes such a major difference. Trust me, it does. I will never ever think the worst when women talk about having botox and fillers done, never. Apart from the cosmetic reasons people do it and tend to sometimes get carried away with it (google botox gone wrong and you won’t sleep for a week) there are other more legitimate reasons women opt for the needle. Many, like myself, had experienced such immense weight loss that losing so much fat results in losing collagen around the facial area too. That’s when one starts looking too wrinkly and haggard for your age. I’ve always been extremely lucky when it comes to strong and healthy skin and at 40 I’ve never felt the need or seen any reason to ‘have any work done’. After all the weight loss I noticed fine lines around my eyes and mouth looking more defined, the area under my eyes seemed sunken in and the collagen that normally accentuated my naturally high cheekbones seemed to have sagged somewhat. Although I was ecstatic about my new dress size, I suddenly started looking my age when no one could ever believe my age due to my good skin. When this opportunity came along I grabbed it with both hands and rode it like a stole it. In this feature I decided to stay away from the technical completely and show you the plain and simple facts. If it works or no. The before and after. Is it sore or not. Affordable? Sure. Worth it? Definitely.
First off, you need to take a good long look at yourself in the mirror. Decide what areas of your face bothers you, where you wish your face still looked plumped and youthful and where you might want to smooth out wrinkles a bit. Remember to be realistic because this is not cosmetic surgery so no you can’t make your nose smaller but bonus point, you can make your lips bigger! Secondly you have to research different clinics and find the right cosmetologist for you. Someone who’s work you can see, read testimonials and feel confident in going to. Lastly, make your appointment and go for a consultation. In my case I went straight for Dr Dalize Willemse who is situated at Skin & Body Renewal at Willowbridge, Cape Town. The moment I met her for my consultation I knew this woman was going to be the best option I could have possibly received. She is in one word, absolutely amazing. She has the most gentle and reassuring bedside manner, she is extremely professional, she is a well experienced doctor in her field and has had years and years to perfect what I definitely call an art. At my consultation I sat with a hand mirror in front of me and she asked me to point out my areas of concern. Of course not being an expert in the field I could only show her where I wished my skin was less lined and more plump and after listening to me stumbling forward and not knowing exactly how to phrase it she kindly took over and ‘created’ the most beautiful image for me of what it possible and what she can do for me. She had a way of explaining exactly why something sags in a certain area, how it can be fixed and what needs to be done that I left there feeling extremley excited and optimistic, knowing I’m definitely in the right hands.
The day of my appointment was a week later and on arrival I initially dreaded the ‘before’ photos (see above) but today, looking back I’m so glad I have them to see the difference. Compared to the ‘after’ photos (see below) I can 100% see and understand why this has become such and empowering procedure for so many women out there. I want to state for the record that in the ‘before’ photos I am wearing absolutely nothing on my skin, just my skin care products I applied the morning before I went for my appointment. In the ‘after’ photos I am wearing a very slight bit of BB cream only, no concealer, no highlighters and a smidgeon on tinted lip balm. The lighting in the two sets of pictures are also different because the ‘before’ photo’s where taken indoors in the consultation room and the ‘after’ photos were taken in natural light here in my bathroom in Surrey. Lighting or no, BB cream or no – there is a MAJOR difference in my opinion but it still looks like me. Note the difference in the fine lines around my eyes, the sagging of the corners of my mouth, the plumpness of my cheeks/cheekbones seem more structured and my lips are fuller (that was my only point of vanity – I wanted fuller lips!) The sagging of my brow area look less and my eyes look more ‘open’ due to that. I’m no expert photographer, but in my opinion the work Dr Dalize has done has been phenomenal.
All the time during the procedure she kept explaining to me what she was doing, how I will be experiencing where she’s injecting (that definitely comes with years of experience) and although I can solemnly swear I felt NO PAIN all through the session, I did experience the feeling of pressure or a slight but painless sting when she worked on the left side of my face. I was amazed to learn that the right side of your face registers less or no pain where your left side experiences the pain, if there is any. The reason I felt nothing was because before Dr Dalize started working she applied lidocaine to my face. This is a clear petroleum looking jelly that has a topically numbing effect so you feel absolutely nothing in about 10-15 minutes after application. The effect lasts for about 30-40 minutes. When she started working on my lips Dr Dalize gave me four dental block injections (which of course are normally very painful but I didn’t feel because of the lidocaine!) to make sure the sensitive lip area causes no pain whatsoever. My experience being comfortable and painless was a top priority which of course I appreciated greatly. If I had any pain I would probably never have gone through with it again, but the way it was done I’m like – hit me again! Sometimes, depending on skin types and your skin structure you might have little blood vessels close to the surface and sometimes they can bleed just a little for a few seconds. To prevent excess swelling and bleeding Dr Dalize used surgical gloves, filled with water and frozen with the result being ice fingers which she could easily place in my eye corners, under my eyes etc to get into small and awkward places without being uncomfortable and also to stop swelling and numb skin even more, just to make sure.
When I got home that afternoon you can just imagine how long and up close I sat with a hand mirror to study every inch of my face. I could see immediate results, although botox takes about 10-14 days to ‘set/activate/develop’ and lasts for about 6 months while fillers are visible immediately and last for about 9 months. Initially I experienced a little swelling, a very few amount of dots here and there on my face from the injections and a little bruising around my mouth that lasted about four days. I was not in agony at all, there was a slight ‘bruised’ pain but it was not bad at all and after about a week I was completely good to go with no scarring, swelling or bruising left. Technically speaking I could apply makeup the very next day and go traipsing around already, but being the controversial person I am I wore these ‘battle scars’ like a badge and just applied mascara and lipstick if I really needed to go out. It is now a month after my appointment with Dr Dalize and to this day I’m so extremely grateful to her for the way she handled me and our session and I have had so many people asking me (as they always do) where they can find a trusted doctor for botox and fillers and I have with no qualms at all, referred them to Dr Dalize and the Skin Renewal group.
When it comes to aftercare, the BIODERMA CICABIO ARNICA CREAM for bumps, knocks and bruises, as well as the BIODERMA CICABIO CREAM for irritated, damaged and sensitive skin. These two creams was all I applied for the first three days (multiple times a day) after my session. It helped for the bruising and the little bumps and I honestly don’t know what I would have done without it. Slipping back into day and night skin care, I opted for, after being strongly referred to it, to a big favorite of mine, SKINCEUTICALS. The above four products from the range is what I’ve been using twice daily (apart from my cleansing routine), with an added facial oil from another brand which adds extra moisture I need here in the UK with it’s colder climate. Here’s what these four products are good for:
- As a day time serum I use the CE FERULIC before I apply my facial oil. CE Ferulic is one of my absolutely favorite products from Skinceuticals. It reduces visible signs of photo damage to the skin. This means the formation of wrinkles and dark spots are minimized and eliminated with the continued use of this brownish serum with it’s watery consistency. It helps skin naturally protect itself against free radicals and is perfect for use on sensitive, dehydrated, aging and uneven toned skins.
- The moisturizer I use day and night is called AGE INTERRUPTER. It is a rich cream formula that helps aging skin with it’s loss of firmness and elasticity. I cannot tell you how much I adore this product. It simply melts into skin and only a small amount is needed because it spreads to easily. When life happens and skin ages, it becomes lax, thin and can crack and become dehydrated, not to mention the wrinkles. This cream is a brilliant way to firm up skin that is starting to sag. I’ve been completely obsessed with it since I started using it. (I’ve since also started using it’s accompanying Age Eye Complex Eye Cream two times a day with amazing results).
- Because CE Ferulic is a vitamin C based product it is important to use a really good sun defense system. For that I’ve implemented the ULTRA FACIAL DEFENSE SPF50 in my day time routine, just before or after my moisturizer, depending if I’m wearing makeup or not. I found the above mentioned cream a great base for foundation or BB creams, so in that case I’ll apply my sun screen before my moisturizer. This broad spectrum moisturizing sun screen has a beautiful consistency that lets the fluid spread nicely. My sensitive skin loves the almost soothing feel of this fluid on my face and I often apply it to the back of my hands also. This is such an important step in my skin care regime because since I’ve had my session at Skin Renewal I realized even more how important it is for me to try and ‘prolong’ the effects as long as possible by using the correct products. Premature aging due to sun damage will skin age faster, so this UVA/UVB fluid has become my best bloody friend!
- As my night time serum I use RESVERATROL BE. It has a jelly consistency but once it gets into contact with your skin it massages in like a dream. With aging skin loses it’s ability to fight free radicals and repair itself at night. With this skin loses density, elasticity, firmness and radiance. This serum helps kickstart the skin’s natural process of protecting itself against free radical damage with it’s pure and stable Resveratrol presence in the formulation. After this serum I’ve also recently started applying Hydration B5 Serum from Skinceuticals to add extra moisture and I’m loving the effect these combined products are having.
This pic was taken about ten days ago, early morning before my training. No filter, no makeup, just my Skinceuticals products and facial oil from another brand. Happy me with my duck lips!
I honestly hope this feature has shown you that botox and fillers is not a shame to have done, it’s not a swear word, it’s not taboo and in actual fact – only the cool kids have it done. The key is to identify your area of concern, find the correct doctor (well, I’ve done that for you), put your big girl panties on and proper aftercare. Being the professionals they are, the staff and doctors at SKIN & BODY RENEWAL all were incredibly knowledgable, helpful, patient and even after my experience made sure everything was in order. I’m proud of my experience, and when asked if I’ll do it again I’ll most definitely answer you with a resounding YES!
Did you like this post? Share it with your friends!