Injectable treatments for aesthetic purposes are far from rare these days, especially among millennials, yet the topic remains taboo for many. Researching the subject can almost feel like a dirty little secret you're trying to keep (Psst ... you're far from alone). To understand more about injectables and how to learn if they're right for you, we tapped the expertise of Meredith Kent, MS PA-C, Owner of Skin CoLAB in Ada.
Kent shared there are two common types of injectables: wrinkle relaxers (ex. Botox, Dysport) and dermal fillers (ex. Juvederm, Restylane). The difference? Wrinkle relaxers are a general term for a neuromodulator, which basically puts muscles in a temporary timeout. Results show up two to 10 days after treatment. Fillers, which are made up of hyaluronic acid, are all about adding volume and provide instant results.
"The goal isn't to freeze your face," Kent said. "It's all about getting the perfect dosage 'recipe' for the specific targeted muscle."
Know you want some enhancements but aren't sure what treatment will be best? Consultations with the experts are the ticket! It's here you can discuss your goals, learn about potential side effects, etc.
"We'll start with some skincare that I know will offer results and we'll do a little wrinkle relaxer. Then in a couple of weeks, we'll decide how we feel. Because sometimes that's all it takes to look and feel refreshed," Kent said. "Injectables are typically right for like most people, it's just finding the right dose, in the right location. It's not like a cookie cutter factory of Botox."
Kent emphasizes the importance of doing your research and visiting a qualified provider—someone you can trust, who will meet you where you are, make you feel comfortable and start slow.
"Being educated and feeling super comfortable with who is injecting you is most important," Kent advised. "You want to make sure someone's going to be there for you ... and it's not going to be some pop up shop that's long gone."
According to Kent, good injectable treatments should make you look like you do a lot of yoga and drink a lot of water.
"Our objective is to make you look like the most refreshed version of yourself," Kent explained. "It's not to give you giant lips or golf ball cheeks. It's to artistically incorporate filler in a restorative way. And there are plenty of different techniques to do that."
Remember: You're not signing up for a lifetime subscription with injectables. Kent says wrinkle relaxers typically last around three months, while fillers are more like two years. Not a fan of the results? You'll have to wait it out when it comes to wrinkle relaxers, however fillers can be reversed, if needed. And no, you won't wake up with a deflated face.
And let's be clear—there's no shame in doing something that makes you feel confident and like your best self. And what others do to their own bodies is their business alone. All about injectables? Rock on! Not your thing? That's OK, too.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.
This article originally appeared in the Feb/Mar '22 issue of West Michigan Woman.