Beauty comes with a price, the question is what is the price and how can we minimize them? When the Korean plastic surgery craze hit, and produced clones of women looking eerily like each other, it was only a matter of time before regret sets in. True enough, women who had their faces altered so substantially they eventually lost their individuality and started looking like any other woman on the street starting to seek plastic surgery reversal to regain some semblance of themselves.
For the rest of us who may not have gone to such drastic measures in the name of beauty, there are nevertheless many other pitfalls we may succumb to as we navigate the tricky path to looking younger and better. Here are some of the beauty pitfalls of aesthetic treatments and how to avoid them.
＃1 Hyperpigmentation aka making things worse
Always be wary of the doctor who is so desperate of getting your business that he promises miracles in a single session. Especially for us Asians who have darker skin types, no lasers can clear all our issues in one session. When a laser is applied at too high a setting, it may cause PIH or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Many studies have shown better clearance of pigmentation when it is done judiciously over several sessions, with the use of sunscreen between sessions.
Not all lasers are suitable for your skin. Your friend may receive an IPL for her freckles but your patch of pigmentation may be more melasma than freckles and may need a different therapy such as BB Aquatouch. Understanding that every skin and every problem is different and not rushing your results is the best way to attain a flawless complexion safely and effectively.
Do: Go for fractionated skin renewal lasers such as Fraxel light if you want an overall skin improvement rather that targeting individual pigment spots that may result in a patchy end result.
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#2 Duck Lips aka too much lip fillers
Lip fillers are making a comeback ever since Hollywood celebrities showed us just how important a good pair of lips are. However the key in lip fillers is not so much how much fillers was used but the technique. Think of it like a hairstylist cutting hair. It isn’t how much is cut but how it is cut. So don’t be focused on finding the cheapest fillers and getting the maximum quantity for your buck, rather find a doctor with a filler technique that you can trust.
New age lip fillers isn’t just about putting in as much as your lips can hold, it’s about position and accentuation. “Respecting the shape of the lips is very important” says Dr Low Chai Ling, founder of SW1 Clinic who has had many years of experience treating lips. “Looking at the overall proportions of the face will enable you to create a lip that is most attractive for that particular face”.
Do: If you are a newbie to lip fillers, consider lighter fillers such as Revitalift Lips. They use softer hyaluronic acid material such as Volite and is used mainly to hydrate the lips and reduce fine lines without changing the overall volume. Think of it as a more permanent ‘lip gloss’ effect.
#3 Zombie face aka over-Botoxed
Anti-wrinkle injections using BOTOX have been proven to not only reduce fine lines but also slow down the formation of future lines. The main pitfall is that some women over do this and end up with faces devoid of expressions. Not a good look at all. “Nowadays my patients prefer a natural “botox” effect” says Dr Chua Han Boon, also from SW1 Clinic. “This allows them full range of facial expressions as normal but reduces their wrinkles and lines by 50-60% so they look younger but totally natural as well”.
Do: try a lighter version of Botox called Micro Refine. This is dilute doses of Botox administered to the the superficial layer of the skin and not the muscle. It is mainly used for reducing pore size of the skin but has a gentle skin smoothening effect on fine lines as well. Because the Botox protein is not injected into the muscle unlike traditional Botox, it has little to no effect on loss of facial expressions.
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#4 Overfried aka burns
Turn up the heat takes on a new meaning if you get burns following any aggressive treatment. It isn’t just lasers that can possibly burn your skin, it is also face peels and very strong creams containing AHA or retinols. The takeaway here is that when something promises ultra fast results, it is usually too good to be true. Know your skin and always start slow and gentle. If you are testing any new product, don’t be over zealous, instead patch test on your wrist to see if your skin can take it well.
Do: When it comes to skincare, go for those that can benefit your skin in the long term using targeted ingredients such as Gene Therapy, which works by protecting your DNA from accelerated aging. There is no need to subject your skin to harsh peels or ingredients which can do more harm than good in the long run.