Cosmetic injections like Botox and dermal fillers are not replacements for the care of your skin. Here’s why.
Cosmetic injections are hugely popular these days. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Botox injections were performed over 7 million times in 2016, and dermal fillers came in at 2.6 million1. The average age a person receives cosmetic injections is also lowering dramatically. Where cosmetic injections were once treatments that were predominantly sought by women in their late 40s and 50s, we are now seeing higher numbers of patients in their early 30s and even in their 20s beginning consistent use of Botox and fillers. These numbers show us that cosmetic injections are not simply a passing trend; they are a growing mainstay of cosmetic culture. But what, if anything, do these injections do for the long-term health of your skin? Are they substitutes for quality care of your skin? If you’re receiving cosmetic injections, do you still need to bother with professional-level skin care services (non-injections), and do injections like Botox and fillers manage the biological aging processes of your skin?
At the most basic level, (most) cosmetic injections are a quick-fix to common cosmetic concerns like expression lines and hollow features. Botox, by impeding muscle function, causes a facial muscle not to express in the way it would without the toxin present. This can greatly decrease the appearance of expression lines, and that is more than enough to make many patients happy. Dermal fillers are used to restore volume to the skin, improve the appearance of facial contours and smooth/soften creases and lines. Though dermal fillers and Botox can significantly improve the appearance of facial features, neither will slow the aging process or maintain the health and integrity of the skin. Cosmetic injections have their place in the beauty realm, but they are not replacement for skin care treatments and properly designed home care regimens.
Because cosmetic injections do not balance, nourish, or protect the skin itself – they do nothing for slowing the aging process or correcting problematic skin conditions. It is important to note that if you are (or plan on) receiving cosmetic injections, your skin tissues do not stop changing with age. Your skin will still need care. The two modes of services – cosmetic injections and skin care treatments – should be seen as complimentary services not mutually exclusive. Just as a facial can not impede your forehead muscle function, Botox cannot improve sun damaged skin, provide protection from oxidation, reduce inflammation, or balance skin hydration.
I am often asked by my guests if I think it is “time” for them to start getting injections. My personal opinion on injections is this: if the appearance of a certain feature is causing you actual anxiety – go get your injections, but don’t forget your skin! If you don’t love the fact that we’re all going to age, but those tiny little lines don’t really bother you so much, I say hold off – and don’t forget your skin! Whatever you do – just don’t forget your skin. We are quick to confuse cosmetic injections and skin care; the two are dramatically different.
For happy skin, you want nourishment, protection, and balancing. A properly designed home care regimen and specially selected skin care treatments should support those goals. Healthy, balanced, happy skin will make for a much better overall appearance than through injections alone.
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons; 2016 Top Five Cosmetic Minimally Invasive Procedures Chart