I am the first to admit I love cosmetic medicine. I openly tell the world about having had wrinkle relaxers and my love of injecting.
Performing dermal fillers for lip enhancement, cheek contouring and filling lines and folds around the mouth and jaw is probably one of my favourite ways to spend my day.
I love seeing women smile again once I fill in their oral commissures or add volume to their cheeks helping to lift their jowls and nasolabial folds. The dermal filler syringe is my magic wand.
However I have yet to have experienced the procedure for myself
I tell clients day in and day out about the procedure, potential side effects, pain and longevity of results however I really have no personal experience.
So I decided to go under the needle myself. So behold my dermal filler diary (it is a bit confronting seeing your own before and after photos - talk about mug shots)
A bit of background
I have felt very self conscious about my cheeks for the last 18 months or so. Although I doubt anyone has noticed, let alone commented, I have noted a loss of volume and the decent of my malar fat pads in my cheeks. This has resulted in a loss of my cheek contour and the appearance a ‘flat face’ and loss of the ‘S curve’ when I see myself in profile. Because of this I had started to get early nasolabial folds and the appearance of deep smile lines around my mouth. See smiling gives you wrinkles. This would normally be fine but I hate the build up of makeup in the lines at the end of the day, making them all the more noticeable.
Most of this is a result of me losing a lot of weight in a very short period of time (6kg in about a month – which I certainly didn’t need to lose) in order to drop weight for a boxing match in 2014. I have regained most of the weight but my cheeks were never the same again. I see this all the time with women who yoyo diet. This, combined with inevitable intrinsic ageing, lead to me seeking help for my cheeks.
The day of the procedure
I saw the wonderful Kerry at KE Aesthetics who is an RN with over 19 years of injecting experience . Kerry has done some of my training in dermal fillers and was the only person I trusted with my face. We came up with a plan to use two different fillers for the cheeks. 1ml in each - 1ml of a softer more volumising filler to lay on top of the bone to replace the lost fat and one harder or ‘stiffer’ filler to give me the sharper contour of my cheekbones back. I got a bit greedy and also had 1ml of a softer filler to fill the smile lines around my mouth and add hydration to my lips.
All in all the procedure was a breeze. We used a topical super strength numbing cream ans I hardly felt the cheek injections aside from the initial sting and a sense of pressure. The lips were painful but certainly bearable and I distracted myself by watching Kerry inject me in a mirror. Now I finally understand why lots of my lip enhancement client's get a bit teary - it's purely a reflex I swear!
The end result
My lips bruised up quite a lot and I had to wear lippy the next day at work to stop the questions (I actually told a friend I was boxing again and got punched in the mouth ooops). In regards to pain and discomfort, two paracetamol and a cool compress that night was all I needed and the following day I really felt back to normal. It was really hard not to continuously touch my new cheeks though. But there were no lumps or irregularities in the dermal filler so no need for further massaging.
A week on I feel completely back to normal, although the hyaluronic acid from the fillers is still integrating itself into my skin so the final effects aren’t completely evident. There is no more swelling or bruising and I have actually stopped wearing as much makeup as my skin feels more hydrated and smooth! The smile lines around my mouth are no longer noticeable and I can visibly see my cheek contours again. I feel like me but a little bit fresher.
The plus side is noone has noticed aside from those I have told and every comment I have had is very positive.
Here are some side by side comparisons.
Now the addiction begins…
What other treatments do you think I should try next? Feel free to read more about dermal fillers here.
Dr Kate x