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7 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Facial Aesthetics

Unless you actually work in the industry, you might not know much about facial aesthetics treatments. It’d be like us knowing about the inner workings of a supercharged V8 or how autotune works in the X Factor!

Well, we decided it was time to lift the curtain and share some insider info with our readers.

Last week we put out a call to the world’s best healthcare professionals, asking them to share some interesting snippets about facial aesthetics — and some related treatments. Here’s what they said!


#1 Facial aesthetics can trace its history back to sausages

The stuff we use for our facial aesthetic treatments is called botulinum toxin (BTX) type A — it’s a catchy name, we know! What most people don’t know is that BTX can trace its history back to sausages!

Back in the 1820s, a German doctor called Justinus Kerner became interested in food poisoning, specifically, people who were becoming unwell after eating blood pudding.

Dr Kerner knew there must be something in the food that was making them ill and eventually honed in on BTX. He even went as far as injecting himself with the substance to test its effects!

Alongside some suggestions for treating and preventing food poisoning, Dr Kerner also laid the foundations for the therapeutic use of BTX. So, next time you’re in for an anti-wrinkle treatment, you can thank 150-year-old German sausages!


#2 Social media is influencing treatments

As social media continues to play a greater role in our lives, it’s inevitable that it will influence the decisions we make regarding our appearance.

Earlier this month, we spoke to Dr Behrooz Torkian, a facial plastic surgeon at the Lasky Clinic in Beverly Hills. Dr Torkian revealed that half of all his clientele come in with social media imagery and he believes these images are starting to guide his patients’ choices.

Years ago, my clients would come in with pictures of their favourite celebrities, but now they want to look like the most perfect (aka filtered) version of themselves.

More and more young folks are coming to me with either their own mega-filtered selfies or random pictures found on social media of beautiful people who are masters at using filters.

These pictures are setting the standards for today’s beauty ideals and plastic surgeons need to be subtle artisans – and our tools are fillers and BTX.


#3 Facial aesthetic treatments can help with depression

Okay, this one might seem unbelievable but there’s actual evidence to back it up. In 2013, a scientific study showed that BTX injections can help treat depression.

But why?

Well, according to the study, there’s mounting evidence to suggest:

a role for facial expressions in the pathophysiology and treatment of mood disorders.

In other words, your emotions are (in some way) tied to your face. One of the study’s researchers Marc Axel Wollmer explained the findings, saying he believed the treatment “interrupts feedback from the facial musculature to the brain, which may be involved in the development and maintenance of negative emotions.”


#4 Collagen is a thing of the past

When most people think about dermal fillers they think about collagen. It’s been the buzzword in facial aesthetics for what feels like decades.

Well, not anymore.

Here’s Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Debra Jaliman, on collagen’s new replacement, hyaluronic acid.

Ten years ago we had collagen fillers, which some people were allergic to. It required two skin tests and 3% of people were allergic to it.

One of the biggest advantages of hyaluronic acid fillers is that they’re very natural and require no skin testing for an allergic reaction. The other big benefit is that if a physician makes a mistake while injecting and there is a lump, it can easily be dissolved.

Hyaluronic acid fillers have advanced so much in the past 10 years. We first got them in the US in 2003. Before they were all very similar so you could use one type of filler for smile lines and other areas of the face.

Now there are different types of fillers with differing amounts of hyaluronic acid in them and differing particle size. So if the filler is made up of very small particles, it is better for fine lines. If it has very large particles, it is good for deep nasolabial folds (smile lines).


#5 BTX isn’t just for natural looking skin

While BTX is mostly known for its effects on wrinkles and skin, experts know that it can do so much more just smooth skin.

Here is Jennifer Dean, founder of San Diego-based Rancho Santa Fe Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, on the use of BTX:

Did you know that BTX isn’t just for smoothing out wrinkles? In some patients, cosmetic dentists will use it too to reduce the distance the upper lip will move when smiling.

This is to address a ‘gummy smile’ in patients where contouring the gum line itself is either not an option, is insufficient, or the patient simply prefers not to.

Lip fillers can be used to create a similar effect, however, some dentists will also use lip fillers in the traditional sense to enhance the general aesthetics of the lips.


#6 Facial aesthetics and fillers are 2015’s top treatments

We spoke to Dr Daniel C. Mills, President the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, about which treatments topped the tables in the US. Here is what he had to say.



Botulinum Toxin

4.2 million


Hyaluronic Acid Injections

2.1 million


Laser Hair Removal

1.1 million


We have seen a pretty significant increase of about 20% in nonsurgical procedures over the last five years. Thanks to ongoing advances in both technology and technique, more patients are pursuing these less invasive than ever before.

Last year the most popular noninvasive procedures were Botulinum Toxin (4.2 million) and Hyaluronic Acid Injections (2.1 million) as well as Laser Hair Removal (1.1 million), Chemical Peels (600,000) and Microdermabrasion (557,000).

Another procedure that wasn’t in the top 5 but is rapidly rising in popularity is Nonsurgical Skin Tightening, which went up 58% in just a one-year period. This can be attributed to the minimal downtime required for the right candidate and the new devices on the market.


#7 BTX has therapeautic uses too

BTX is mostly known for its cosmetic properties, helping smooth out wrinkles and create more natural looking skin.

However, as early as the 1960s, medical professionals started looking into therapeutic uses for BTX.

Since then it’s been used to treat crossed eyes, eye twitching, excessive sweating, urinary incontinence, tennis elbow, Bell’s palsy and a host of other conditions.

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