We recently asked the absolutely lovely and utterly brilliant Mary Munro from Taunton Aesthetics, to help us out with some information for treating lips that are impacted by the menopause. Mary did just that, but she also shared much more with Glowday. In her piece below, we really get to understand why experienced nurses like Mary make such incredible aesthetic practitioners, and why aesthetic treatments are more than just a bit of vanity-led Botox.
How To Treat Menopause Lips
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I held dying people's hands after my shift.
As a nurse I have always loved helping my patients, supporting them in their hours of need. Within a hospital setting it would be during an acute phase of their chronic condition or at their end of life. Nursing has been much more to me than putting a plaster on someone’s knee or giving them medicine, for me it was about how I could impact someone’s wellbeing with the care and attention I showed them and their families and the love I would share with them to truly show them I understood what it was they were going through.
The day I said this is what I want to do forever
When I started my aesthetics journey, I really didn’t believe that it would impact my life in the same way that my usual nursing job did. But over the first couple of years, I started to morph my idea of aesthetics of just treating lips and lines into something much much more.
It was all down to one patient, a lovely lady who had been encouraged by her husband to seek help from an aesthetics practitioner. This lady walked up my path with her head hung low and as she stepped into the clinic her aura just oozed shame, embarrassment, and fear. When we spoke, she could barely look me in the eye, it was a painful experience for her to discuss the impact that the ageing process had had on her. During this consulation, I listened to her, and made my suggestions. She went away to think about it and a week later, she had her treatment.
Two weeks later, she visited for her follow-up. A different woman walked up my path! The same physiological woman, of course, walked into that room but oh my word a truly transformative affect on her wellbeing had taken place. She looked like the same woman, just a little fresher, but her confidence was through the roof! She held eye contact with me, tears in her eyes were that of happiness. This was the day! This was the day I said: “I want to do this forever” I had changed this woman’s life in so many ways, I had made a lasting impact on her self-confidence and this made my heart sing. I got what I wanted from my job – satisfaction, I had helped this woman and her outlook on life- she could move forward, she was empowered and she was happy!
From that day on I have based all my consultations and treatments as a treatment for physical and mental wellbeing. Much more than a set of lips or 1 area of Botox.
Women grieve for the woman she saw in photos 20 years ago.
The average woman who comes to my clinic is a woman in her peri-menopausal or menopausal stage of life. 95% of these ladies all use the same words, express the same emotions on how their looks make them feel. Treating the lips of the wonderful menopausal woman who come to my clinic, is my absolutely favourite treatment to do at Taunton Aesthetics. I adore the work I do for them purely because it makes such an impact on their mental wellbeing.
Perioral lines are a big topic in my clinic. My ladies feel that this is the feature that makes them feel the most insecure. Loss of volume and definition to the lip, the little lines that have formed around the edges and the lipstick that bleeds into the white lip. She can’t understand why she got these lines as she didn’t even smoke! Ageing can be hard and I find that women almost grieve for the woman she saw in photos 20 years ago.
A before and after of Mary's treatment of the perioral lines, a typical symptom of ageing during the menopause.
Treating Perioral lines is my favourite treatment
I love treating this area because I feel that it makes the most impact for my ladies, it really gives them a boost of confidence and self-esteem, allows them to feel themselves again. And yes she goes out and buys a new lipstick to wear 24 hours post treatment! Why on earth shouldn’t she?!
Most of my ladies aren’t after a lip that a younger lady would be asking for, a lady in her 50’s isn’t someone who is chasing trends, she just wants a little refresh, some structure, rebalancing and harmony to her lip. Every smile is unique and so too is the treatment to achieve the goals and the desired outcome.
During consultation I really examine the lip and assess which of the lines we can really make an impact with - you can’t always gain perfection, not with dermal filler alone anyway. Alternative modalities maybe required to enhance the skin around the lips and of course a great medical-grade skincare and SPF to maintain the results and to slow the ageing process down. But as a rule, the majority of the lines will lift with a few little tricks and precisely placed filler.
How I treat menopausal lips
I start with my signature move that allows me to untether the deeper wrinkles using a cannula – a long tipped tool that’s blunt so it doesn’t cause trauma. Not only does it help lift the wrinkle, but it also allows me to boost the skin's natural collagen slightly too – win win!
Using a premium grade dermal filler, that’s soft yet strong, but has good longevity I inject just under the vermillion border to provide the lip with some structure as this area will have softened over time. The thickness of filler will depend on the patient's needs, but I ensure I keep to the ratios of a patient's facial features, as keeping the ratios correct is paramount to achieving a natural look and one that doesn’t look ‘done’ or ‘odd’ for my ladies.
The quality of the skin of the white lip will determine how I treat the lines that remain. Sometimes adding filler directly under the little lines using a tiny needle, or fine threads of filler using a cannula to lift, or skin boosters to encourage collagen synthesis or even micro-needling to resurface on a separate appointment.
Use of a neuromodulator such as Botox will also prolong the longevity of the dermal filler by relaxing the strong muscle called the orbicularis oris, it’s a circular muscle that works like a purse string, when we relax areas of this muscle this allows the skin to smooth out allow some of that collagen magic to build back under that wrinkle. It doesn’t last very long so retreatments at 12 weekly intervals are advised for the best results.
You can see in this before and after photo how the appearance of the perioral lines is significantly reduced after Mary has worked her magic!
Why I advocate Glowday
If your looks are getting you down, there are treatments out there but it’s an incredible minefield as to where to start looking. Therefore I wholly advocate Glowday. All the practitioners are medically trained, verified, insured, and have reviews from real customers. There isn’t anything like it and its fabulous.
A consultation with a medical practitioner doesn’t mean you have to go through with a treatment, you don’t even know what it is you want! I always tell my patients to go home after a consultation, have a think. You should consider if the consultation with the practitioner made you feel at ease, relaxed and safe. If so and you’re happy with their quality of work, then do it! You won’t regret it. We all have our reasons why we seek help but ultimately do what makes you happy. Don’t be that lady that couldn’t look someone in the eye for fear we are looking at her aged face and judging her.
Be happy. Be confident – feel empowered. I’m here for you when you’re ready!
Thanks to Mary for such an incredible insight into her work, her ethos, her values and for giving us a glimpse into some of the life-changing treatment she does. If you'd like to book in with Mary you can do so here, but if you're looking for a someone closer to home to help you with your appearance, which may have been impacted by ageing and the menopause, you can use our search tool here.