It’s becoming more common these days to normalize medical aesthetics, especially with celebrities like Eva Longoria and Christina Aguilera opening up about the beauty “tweakments” and injectables they trust for looking amazing all the time. We’ve come a long way in regard to the stigma often associated with treatments like Botox and dermal fillers. A decade ago, microneedling was the only type of treatment involving needles that many considered when it came to antiaging.
But there are still a lot of myths, misconceptions, and misinformation surrounding these procedures, especially within the Latinx community. There tends to be secrecy surrounding injectable treatments, especially with the concern of “el que diran?” — What will my friends and family say? Will my parents think I’m vain for not wanting to have fine lines and wrinkles? — which often contributes to the fears surrounding them. Still, while these are all valid concerns when considering modifying your face or body, it’s important to know what’s true from false.
That’s why we asked San Diego-based dermatologist Sabrina Guillen Fabi, MD, to debunk 15 of the most common myths surrounding beauty injectables. Whether you’re considering Botox or filler for the first time or simply curious about what it entails, below are some things to consider before booking your first appointment.
Injectable Myth #1: Botox Will Freeze Your Face
Reality: It’s normal to worry about looking “overdone,” but Dr. Fabi says Botox won’t freeze your face. “The results are ultimately dose dependent,” she says. “So an experienced physician can customize your dose to preserve movement and maintain a natural-looking outcome.”
Injectable Myth #2: Botox Is Only For Wrinkles and Noticeably Aged Skin
Reality: You might think of injectables as a solution to existing signs of aging, but they’re also used widely as a preventative measure. “Botox is excellent to prevent lines from setting in, and we can start creating those lines as early as our late 20s to early 30s,” Dr. Fabi says.
Injectable Myth #3: Getting Beauty Injections Means I’m Not Aging Well
Reality: What it means to age well is subjective, so it’s about doing what feels right for you. “Getting injectables is part of a holistic skin-care and antiaging plan just as much as eating well, exercising, and investing in a good skin-care regimen is,” Dr. Fabi says.
Injectable Myth #4: Getting Injections Means I Am Insecure and Don’t Love Myself
Reality: Dr. Fabi says, in many cases, it’s the opposite: “When we love ourselves, we are more likely to engage in self-care, which can include skin-care treatments, as well as lasers and injectables.”
Injectable Myth #5: The Long-Term Effects of Botox Are Harmful
Reality: While the fear that Botox can cause harm to one’s health in the long run is a valid concern, studies show that Botox is a relatively safe procedure and largely devoid of serious side effects.
“In a long-term retrospective trial we participated in at our practice, we followed 4,402 patients for over 10 years,” Dr. Fabi says. “We did not capture any long-term adverse events and found that same-age subjects who had regularly undergone botulinum toxins injections looked significantly younger than their same-age counterparts.”
Injectable Myth #6: Botox and Fillers Cost a Fortune
Reality: With Botox, you’re normally charged by unit or by the specific area being treated. This, of course, varies depending on how much you need per area, where you live, and where you receive the treatment. But the average cost of a Botox treatment, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, is around $408, while the average cost for fillers is $759.
Dr. Fabi advises creating a bespoke aesthetic plan with your physician so you can prioritize your concerns while keeping your budget in mind.
Injectable Myth #7: Botox and Fillers Are the Same
Reality: “Botox works by relaxing the muscles that cause lines and wrinkles, primarily in the upper face, and can be used to reshape the lower face,” Dr. Fabi says. “Fillers such as Juvéderm work by replacing volume. A hyaluronic-acid gel that absorbs water is injected to reposition tissue and replace volume in the face where it has been lost.”
Injectable Myth #8: Fillers Are Only to Add Volume to the Face
Reality: “If strategically placed, fillers can be used to reposition tissue and provide beautiful facial contours.”
Injectable Myth #9: Beauty Injectables Will Make Me Look Like a Different Person
Reality: One of the biggest fears around injections is that everyone will be able to tell and the results will look noticeable. Dr. Fabi says that’s not the case if done artistically. “Not all artists are Picasso, therefore not all injectors can provide you with an aesthetically pleasing and artistic result,” she says. “Make sure to look at an injector’s before and afters first to ensure your aesthetics align.”
Injectable Myth #10: Beauty Injectables Are Painful
Reality: If you’ve ever gotten a flu shot at the doctor, you know that no injection is pleasant. That said, if you have lower pain tolerance, there are plenty of options to ensure you don’t feel a thing. “Numbing cream can be used if needed to mitigate any potential discomfort,” Dr. Fabi says.
Reality: Injectable Myth #11: Beauty Injectables Are Permanent
Reality: “Most [fillers], specifically hyaluronic-acid gels, are broken down by an enzyme we make naturally in our body over time. That means you can typically expect your filler to last anywhere from months to years,” Dr. Fabi says. “Botox Cosmetic in trials has been found to last three to four months when using label dosing. Meanwhile, filler longevity is based on type, and HA fillers such as Juvéderm range in duration from six months to two years, depending on the brand of filler.”
Injectable Myth #12: Botox Is Toxic to Your Body
Reality: While it’s true that Botox is a toxin (hence the name botulinum toxin type A), “no studies have found that Botox, when dosed at doses that have been studied, is toxic.”
Injectable Myth #13: Botox Works Right Away
Reality: The drug gets taken up by the receptor relatively quickly but takes two to three days to start seeing effects. Newer forms of neuromodulators, such as botulinum toxin type E, are being investigated in regard to showing clinical effects in just hours.
Injectable Myth #14: Botox Can Get Rid of Any and All Wrinkles
Reality: “Botox can minimize the appearance of lines that are formed by expression — primarily of the upper face,” Dr. Fabi says. That said, it can’t treat deep-set wrinkles.
Injectable Myth #15: Women of Color Don’t Need Botox or Fillers
The bottom line is this: everyone ages. “Women with more melanated skin have been found to age slower than their Caucasian counterparts,” Dr. Fabi says. “But they age nonetheless and may benefit from Botox and fillers at a later age than Caucasian counterparts.”
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