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Posted: 3 years ago
We spend an astounding £3 billion a year on cosmetic procedures (from Botox to fillers, lasers to dermabrasion), but most of these treatments, and those who perform them, are largely unregulated and unaccountable. In good hands they can be brilliant (and I speak as a Botox devotee), but in the wrong hands they can leave patients in pain, even disfigured.Having worked with some of the best anti-ageing doctors over the years, here is my guide to what to consider when planning a procedure – and when to walk away and go elsewhere.
1 Treat this as a serious, if mild, medical procedure – I liken it to root canal work. Would you have that done at a party drinking champagne? At a spa? By the girl who does your bikini wax? Or by a medically qualified doctor or nurse? If you don’t take it seriously, no one else will on your behalf.
2 Make a list of relevant questions before your appointment; it’s easy to go blank when faced by a doctor wielding a syringe. Ask for how long and how often they do that particular procedure – the more they perform it the better their skill. Ensure you have time to talk to them before you have the treatment. A cooling off period is a good idea, allowing you to go away and have a think about it.
3 Make sure you are properly ‘seen’ by the person who will be doing the procedure – and are not just part of a money making conveyor belt. They need to study your face, how it moves, to really know what to do and what not to do. Making you look younger doesn’t necessarily make you look better.
4 Take along a photograph of yourself from a few years ago so they can see your real younger self with a smoother brow, fuller cheeks and so on.
5 Don’t go to anyone who only offers one treatment – if you only have a hammer you can only bang in nails. You need to feel sure they have chosen the right treatment for you – not because it’s the only one they can do.
6 Restoring what we lose with ageing (volume in cheeks, a line-free forehead) invariably gets more natural results than changing what we have (thin lips, flat cheekbones). The eye can pick up the difference of just 1 millimetre so when pumping up the volume on lips and cheeks the more you have the less natural you look.
7 Ask what procedure you are having and exactly what is being injected into your face – and keep a record of it, the majority of those needing corrective work have no idea of what they had done in the first place.
8 Never, ever have anything permanent put into your face, be doubly sure that whatever goes into your face will have a life span of months at most, like Botox and the hyaluronic acid based fillers – if you hate the results you can be stuck with them. What looks good now may not look good in 15 years time when your face and fashions have changed.
9 You can always have more, so opt for the subtle. Frozen faces and puffer fish lips are not a good look – the ideal is to look like yourself only better – and a bit younger.
10 While there are no real cosmetic alternatives to Botox & fillers, there are those products that do go the extra mile, making us look that bit fresher, better and even younger…
Freeze 24.7 : Our testers tried this on just half of their faces and all saw a difference in firmness.
Frownies : Simple but effective, if you frown in your sleep stick one of these on and you wake to a smoother brow.
Dr Sebagh Deep Exfoliating Mask : A proper alternative to safe doctors peel – expect skin to feel velvety soft in minutes.
This Works No Wrinkles Night Repair : A mini night time miracle – use last thing to guarantee a smoother, fresher face by morning.
Sampar So Much To Dew Midnight Mask : Another favourite of our testing panel – use liberally whenever you need to look better fast – it’s especially good used overnight.