Not a week goes by without someone asking me, “I’m thinking about getting some fillers or doing Botox. Do you think I should do it?” As an esthetician who has been working with skin (and subsequently staring at faces) for the last 25+ years, I am a trusted resource for my clients when it comes to these things. And because I’m not a nurse or doctor (so I don’t personally perform these procedures), I have no ulterior motive other than giving my true thoughts for helping someone in their quest to look their best. Here is how I address these questions when I am asked.
The first (and most important) question I always ask when someone is considering altering his or her face with fillers or Botox is “What is bothering you and what are you wanting to improve?” I pay very close attention to their response, as this will guide the opinion that I give. What I am also listening for is what gave them the idea in the first place. Was it a friend who had something done? Was it a doctor or nurse that suggested they needed to do it? Did you read something online about a celebrity who is having such procedures done and looks amazing for their age?
For most people (especially those in their 20s and 30s), it’s usually influenced from a friend who had something done. Examples of responses might be, “Well, my friend had a tiny bit of Botox done above her upper lip and it gave her a little bit of plumpness. It looks really natural.” Or “My friend had a little bit of filler under her eyes to not make them look so hollow.” Or “My friend had some fillers put in her cheeks to make them look more plump.”
Whenever I hear these kinds of responses, it immediately signals a red flag for me because I want to hear about things that they don’t like about their own appearance— not about what their friend did. I’ll immediately ask, “When you look in the mirror, are you frustrated with what you see?” What I discover a lot of times through this conversation is that many people don’t really have an issue with their face at all, they are simply experiencing FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten people to really think through the reasons why they are considering these types of procedures only for them to discover that they are creating a problem where there was never one to begin with.
Other things I hear are “I’m looking old and feel like I should do something.” This type of answer is certainly understandable (especially for those ages 35 and up). When I get this kind of response, I will grab a mirror and have them actually show me on their face what they don’t like. Through this conversation, we might discover that some things can in fact be improved with fillers or Botox (deep wrinkles, a thin upper lip, sunken in under eyes that make dark circles more prominent, are a few examples) while other things they mention they don’t particularly like (large pores, brown spots, clogged pores and bumps) cannot be addressed through dermal fillers or Botox. Instead, what their skin needs is to be resurfaced to make it look smoother and clearer. This can be done effectively through chemical peels, at-home peels (like Triple Berry Smoothing Peel), or various other skin treatments. And at the very least, nightly use of a well-formulated product with retinol like our best-selling Advanced Resurfacing Serum should be used by ANYONE that wants to turn back the clock on their skin. (Trust me, this stuff works.)
Lastly, what I hear a lot is people saying, “My doctor thinks I would benefit from getting a little filler put in.” I have mixed reviews on this one only because I know that some doctors are aggressively looking to incorporate more of these types of cosmetic procedures into their practices because patients have to pay cash and it doesn’t go through insurance, so it can be quite profitable for them. Some might be pushing this onto their patients when maybe it’s a bit premature. It’s all about trust so hopefully you can find a good skin professional or doctor who you feel is being completely honest with you and is looking out for your best interest.
Pro Tip: When going in for a consultation to get dermal fillers, find a doctor or nurse that will sell you the syringe, and then will save some of it for use on future visit. What I mean by this is that doctors who say they have a very conservative approach (which of course, is always the best approach—especially for first timers) will not use an entire full syringe in one visit. They will do a small amount and then will encourage you to come back in two weeks to do a check up and use a little more if needed. I don’t feel it’s best to go to a doctor (or nurse) who doesn’t encourage a slow approach and just fills you up using the entire syringe on the first visit. (Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule.)
What I know to be true is that we are so easily influenced by what others do and how others look, which all plays into our own insecurities. My job as an esthetician can often be like a counselor in that I can often get to the real issue of what’s going on. Through being a good listener and by asking my clients the right questions, I can help guide them to the right answer. And once in a while, a client will even come to the conclusion for him or herself that they are simply unhappy with their life and that making changes with a relationship or their career is what is really needed.
As with all of my blog posts, I’m sharing my personal experiences about working in the beauty profession, so I hope this gives you some helpful insight when considering Botox and cosmetic dermal fillers. Make sure to do it for YOU and only you, not what society makes you think you should do. You are not missing out if you don’t get fillers or Botox, but if you think it will make you happier and more confident, then go for it.
Here’s a few other helpful posts that you might enjoy about this subject.
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