I fear that the inevitable is upon me. My fine lines have graduated into full-blown wrinkles and no topical anti-aging skin care cream is going to erase them -- it's time to call in the big guns. But which facial filler is right for me?
(I may be ready for Botox, are you? Take this quiz to find out.)
That's the thing about Botox, Juvederm, Restylane and the rest of the non-surgical anti-aging options available to us today. With so many to choose from and so much info about them floating around out there, the myths and the facts get muddled.
#1 Did you know that Botox and fillers don't work the same way? It's true. Many people think they perform the same basic function of filling in wrinkles, but they don't. It's true that they lessen the appearance of wrinkles, but many people don't realize that they work quite differently.
Dr. Derek Jones, Associate Professor of Dermatology at UCLA and Founder and Medical Director of the Skin Care and Laser Physicians of Beverly Hills explains it simply: "Fillers fill and Botox relaxes. Botox relaxes the muscle that's creating the wrinkle," as opposed to filler which simply fills in the wrinkle with product.
#2 Did you also know that Botox doesn't have to make you look like you can't show an emotion other than perma-surprise? If done correctly and with restraint, Botox will look natural and emotions will still be expressed on your face. Dr. Jones says that at most, the angry/perturbed look that occurs when you furrow your brow will be diminished. In the right amount, Botox will get rid of those negative emotions, but not affect any other movement in the face like lifting your brows or smiling.
He also warns that when Botox gets into the hands of people that don't have the right training, you'll see overly-dramatic results and people that appear emotionless. Therefore, he stresses, like with any medical procedure, to make sure your doctor is well qualified.
#3 Another myth that Dr. Jones debunks is the one about filler injections being unbearably painful. He says that for fillers that are combined with lidocane like Juvederm XC, people usually say on a scale of 1-10 that the pain ranks from two to three on average. Topical numbing agents applied pre-injection can also help minimize the pain even further.
#4 And, I for one, was happy to learn that you can't, in fact, get physically addicted to Botox or any filler. Although, you can become physiologically addicted to anything that makes you feel good -- and banishing wrinkles to Kingdom Come surely feels heavenly.
Learned a thing or two that you didn't know about the wonderful world of keeping us looking fab well into our 80s? Take this 12 Myths About Fillers and Botox quiz and you'll learn a whole lot more. Because, after all, an informed decision is a wise one.