Skin Deep

Injectibles may make you look younger - but make sure you go to an experienced practioner

One of the biggest questions I get from first-time injectable patients is, “Will I look different?” and my answer is always, “You’ll look like yourself, just better.”

Cosmetic dermatology is an art as well as a science, and when you select a properly trained physician with extensive experience using injectables, you’re virtually guaranteed to be happy with the outcomes so long as you have reasonable expectations. With just a few injections here and there, you’re sure to look younger, more rested and your friends and family are more likely to ask if you just got back from vacation rather than if you had something done.

Another line I hear frequently is, “My husband won’t let me get injections because he hates how they look.” That’s probably because he’s seen more than his fair share of frozen faces with big lips and over-stuffed cheeks. Like I said before, a doctor with an artistic eye strives for natural results, and when you’re in good hands, the outcome should be virtually undetectable—and customized for your face and your goals. If you see a group of women out at lunch or dinner and they all have the same lips, cheeks or “look,” I’d recommend not going to their doctor.

One of my favorite things to hear from patients is that none of their friends or family know they’re been coming to me for injections for years. They might be out with girlfriends who say, “Don’t ever get Botox or Restylane, you look so good, and people who do that look so fake!” This is possibly the best compliment I (and my patient) can get.

So where did this “over-filled” trend come from? Certainly not men, because I’ve never met one who prefers that unnatural look. I don’t think it comes from women either, because we scrutinize our appearances more than anyone. My theory is that overdone injectables are partially the result of doctors who may suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, and their perception of facial aging may be skewed.

Another widespread problem is unqualified injectors, like those found in medispas and on cruise ships. These people do not have adequate training or experience to get natural looking outcomes. Case in point: I recently met a girl who interviewed for a job at a medispa, and they were going to give her one day of training before allowing her to start injecting patients. Some doctors and dentists get one weekend of training before they start wielding syringes. On the other hand, dermatologists and plastic surgeons go to school for roughly a decade to learn about the anatomy of the face and proper injection techniques.

So the bottom line is, don’t trust your beauty to anyone who isn’t the equivalent of a methodically trained master artist, and avoid a beginner with a handful of crayons. And if you’re in doubt, feel free to contact us at or for referrals in your area.

Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist, author and CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami.

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