There are sooooo many myths around wrinkle relaxing that it’s sometimes hard to know what’s real and what isn’t. But one question that often pops up with regards to the anti-wrinkle treatment is, “Will I look weird?” It’s a fair enough question. After all, there are so many pictures in the papers of people who’ve had treatments that have left them looking a bit odd. But most of the time, it’s not even wrinkle relaxing they’ve had done. It just seems to be the name that everyone knows, and it’s lobbed around to mean aesthetic treatments as a whole. So, does wrinkle relaxing ruin your face? I spoke to aesthetics nurse Emma Goldsmith, owner of The Babington Clinic, who gave me her thoughts on injectable treatments and whether it makes you look weird, and shared some wrinkle relaxing before and afters for us to take a look at. Come on; let’s take a peek!
Will Injectables Make Me Look Weird?
It looks so FAKE
Might seem like a strange place to start, but, a lot of the time when people mention someone’s “bad Botox”, they actually mean bad filler. I recently had a friend message me with a picture of her busted lip after an accident, and the caption read, “looks like I’ve had bad Botox”. She meant lip filler, but I didn’t have the heart to correct her at the time, as it looked pretty painful. But it’s this general lack of awareness that gives Botulinum toxin (commonly called Botox) a bad name.
So, what is the difference between wrinkle relaxing treatments and fillers? Well, one helps reduce the appearance of dynamic wrinkles - the ones that appear when you make certain facial expressions, like when you frown and you see those two vertical lines appear between your eyebrows (11s or frown lines), or when you smile and you see crow’s feet appear. Fillers, on the other hand, are used more for treating static lines - the ones that don’t go away when you change your expression. Fillers also add more volume to facial features, and lip fillers, cheek fillers, under eye fillers and temple fillers, and can add more structure or definition to features, like jaw fillers or chin fillers.
Anti-wrinkle treatments and fillers are TOTALLY different substances and do TOTALLY different jobs. But, in the right hands, they can be used together to give subtle, rejuvenating results.
Will it make me look weird?
In the nineties and early noughties, wrinkle relaxing got a bad reputation for making people (mainly celebs) look weird, and some who fell foul of that were Nicole Kidman and Kylie Minogue. But that’s because they had too much and ended up looking frozen. The key to aesthetic treatments is to take it slowly, see a healthcare professional who truly knows what they’re doing and embrace the less is more approach. A good practitioner will always treat you as an individual, not go for the cookie cutter approach.
One great practitioner who knows the importance of this approach is aesthetic nurse Emma Goldsmith of The Babington Clinic. She says,
“Bad toxin treatments looks weird. Good treatments, where the product has been injected skilfully, carefully and precisely, does not look weird! It is in the skill and experience of the injector.
When it comes to anti-wrinkle treatments, I’m a believer that dose equals duration. So, when patients ask for "baby Botox", this can be done, but they would likely be disappointed with the results. They will get the movement that they desire, but it would likely wear off after a few weeks instead of a few months. Botox is actually just one brand of prescription medicines called neuromodulators, and like all medicines it has a recommended dosage.
But, like taking any drug, each time you take it, it may have a different effect. For example, sometimes when you take paracetamol, it works really well and other times not so well. It all depends on lots of different factors. I believe the same can be said for each time you have anti-wrinkle injections. So, the skill lies in the injector being able to properly assess you, making sure that there are no other factors that might affect your treatment, and making sure your dose is adjusted accordingly. This avoids overdosing or underdosing, which is when you can start to look weird.
Many patients are not aware that the active substance in medicines like Botox - botulinum toxin - works on muscles and not directly on the skin. Not all patients are ideal candidates for this treatment, particularly if skin laxity is a concern. It stops muscles from moving, to avoid the skin above forming lines from repeated movements. So a consultation with an experienced practitioner will ensure that your concerns are understood and the appropriate treatment plan formulated. Although a one-off treatment might give great results, most patients will benefit from tailored treatments as advised by their clinician."
Why does wrinkle relaxing sometimes make people look weird?
As Emma mentioned, above, there are a few factors that can contribute to a weird or fake look. So, what exactly are these factors? And what should you be aware of when looking for a great aesthetics practitioner?
Emma explains, “Factors that can make toxin treatments look weird include seeing an unskilled injector who uses a standard pattern of injection for every single patient. People are not textbook, and injection patterns should be adapted accordingly. My advice to patients is to look at a practitioner’s before and after pictures, and ensure that they care for a variety of patients - for example, younger or more mature patients, male and female.
Wrinkle relaxing treatments will also look weird if you only choose to treat an isolated area of the face. For example if you only choose to treat your upper face and not your lower face. Wrinkle relaxing is great at feature enhancement, for example eliminating crows' feet around the eyes, but if the rest of the face is extremely wrinkled then this gives a very bizarre outcome. A good injector will recommend a holistic approach to your skincare treatment regime. There are some great uses for botulinum toxin to consider that complement the better known upper face areas - for example, the Nefertiti neck lift.
Anti-wrinkle injections should make you look like you, just fresher. It should not make you look stony-faced or devoid of emotions. If you choose to wear makeup, it should allow the makeup or skincare to sit better on the face. It should give you the confidence that you deserve. It should not make you feel self-conscious and full of regret.
Wrinkle relaxing is one of my favourite and most popular treatments, and that’s because it is not permanent. You can amend your treatment plan for each session and be personalised for each patient. But it does take a skilled and experienced injector to make this a safe and effective treatment.”
The proof is in the pudding: What does good wrinkle relaxing look like?
Ok, so we know what bad wrinkle relaxing treatments make you looks frozen, waxy and and…well, just a bit weird. But what exactly does good wrinkle relaxing look like? Here are some amazing examples by the wonderful Emma:
Softening Crow's feet. Emma's client looking fresh and rejuventaed.
Smoothing forhead and frown lines
Smoothing forehead lines
Relaxing 11's and forehead lines
How to avoid "frozen" face
In summary, yes, aesthetic treatments can look weird if done by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, or uses a cookie cutter approach, injecting the same amount in the same places in everyone they treat. But, when done right, wrinkle relaxing can also give a refreshed and rejuvenated look. Here are three tips that should help you avoid looking weird!
1) Choose the right aesthetics practitioner
Select a medically qualified practitioner who is well-trained in aesthetics. Botox (and other brands of botulinum toxin) are prescription-only medicines, so see a healthcare professional.
2) Look at before and afters
It’s always a good idea to look at practitioners’ before and after photos before deciding if they’re the right fit for you. Don’t like their work? Move on to the next!
3) Read reviews
It’s also advisable to look at reviews before booking in with an aesthetics practitioner. That way, you can see if they are reputable, if other people like their work, and if they have ever had any issues. But make sure they are trusted reviews from people who genuinely have had treatments.
So, there you have it. Wrinkle relazing done right doesn't leave you looking 'done'. It's for normal women and men who just want to look fresher. And that's exactly what results you'll get when you're in the right hands.
Fancy experiencing incredible anti-wrinkle results for yourself? You’ll find amazing practitioners on Glowday, as well as being able to view their before and afters and verified reviews. Check them out now to get glowing!