[By Tania Hui]
The quest for beauty has claimed its fair share of victims. Here are some modern day “Frankenstein” horrors that we would do well to pay heed.
What is it: Pillows are meant for sleeping but when your cheeks resemble two potato sacks, it’s time to pull the brakes. This is the latest horror to emerge from the over-zealous injection of facial fillers. Everyone can inject fillers, but only a few qualified professional can inject them well. Some celebrities will do well to heed this caveat too as some (we won’t mention names here) are looking a trifle bloated. Many ladies, in a bid to chase their youth, overfill their faces and their cheeks with fat or other dermal fillers. This leads to a puffy, bloated look that is a dead giveaway of simply too much filling.
How to avoid: Our face does lose volume with age, explaining why facial fillers have gained in popularity over the years as ‘The Tool” for rewinding the ravages of age. However, as with everything, too much of a good thing can be bad. Similarly, for facial fillers, the trick is in knowing where and when to stop. For those who have already fallen into this “pillow trap”, Dr Tan Wang Theng of The Sloane Clinic advises “It is best to combine dermal fillers with a skin tightening treatment such as Ulthera for a more natural result. If you already have had too much hyaluronic acid fillers injected, you can ask for a hyaluronidase remedy that will melt away excess fillers, restoring your face to its original condition”.
Go for: Latest techniques in rejuvenating face with dermal fillers involve using softer and more natural hyaluronic acid based products that are also happily reversible, meaning you can simply ‘melt’ them away if you think you’ve gone overboard. Experienced doctors will use only strategic amounts to give the face the optimal contour and glow it needs without over filling. The Sloane clinic’s Baby Drop Fillers treatment is one such example of less is more. It is a complexion enhancing treatment that uses soft fillers such as Restylane Vital to restore the skin’s natural suppleness and glow without volumizing the underlying tissues to create an unnaturally puffy look.
What is it: Lack of facial expression, mask-like faces… no this is not Parkinsonism or the return of the zombies. This is simply a face subjected to way too much BOTOX®. “The danger is when someone chases the lines, the end result is inevitably an unnatural-looking face” says Dr Low Chai Ling, medical director of The Sloane Clinic.
How to avoid: Don’t overdo the BOTOX® department and don’t chase lines. Some patients point to every single line on their faces and yell for more BOTOX®. The reason why you can move your face is … well, because you are alive! Understand that not all facial lines are meant to be erased. Having some remnants of your normal facial expressions is a blessing, not a treatment failure. The best BOTOX® treatments are those that are administered “au naturel”.
Go for: Nowadays, medical professionals advocate a lighter dosing of the good old botulinum toxin as well as a gentler technique in administering the toxin known as “Mesobotox”. This delivers the botulinum toxin into the superficial portions of the skin, allowing the toxin to work only on the most superficial fibres of the muscle, leading to a more natural and balanced result.
What is it: Lips this huge run the risk of being mistaken for swelling from an anaphylactic reaction. Yet many unsuspecting A-listers succumb to this beauty blunder, oblivious to the sniggers around them. Overfilled lips that are disproportionately bigger than the rest of the facial features qualify one to be given the dubious honour of owning a trout pout. The lips lose their natural curvaceous shape due to the over injection of fillers. Instead of a delicate cupid’s bow shape, these puckers look like two cylindrical bread rolls adorning the lower face.
How to avoid: Fillers for the lips are meant to enhance the lips, not up their sizes a few notches. Your lips are created as such for a reason— to blend in with the rest of the face. With age, our lips become lined, they may even thin out slightly, using fillers to gently reverse these age-related changes can truly transform a tired appearance. However if your goal is to double the size of your existing lips, think again. Your lips should not end up looking bigger than it did when you were a teenager.
Go for: Some doctors combine treatments to restore the sexy pout of the lips without overtly upsizing them. “I like to add a tiny, tiny touch of Botox to the edges of the lips giving them a sexy pout. I usually do that with a small volume of natural fillers to ensure that I create lips that look sexy, not artificially huge” says Dr Chua Han Boon from The Sloane Clinic. “A combination of Botox with fillers ensure that I only need a small amount of fillers to achieve the ideal look.”