Botox... really?

We take a closer look at the growing trend for injectables in the UAE

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When people hear the word ‘Botox’, images of expressionless women looking like plastic dolls often spring to mind. But does it have to be like that? Caitlyn Davey gets to the point of injectables.

As extreme beauty treatments get more and more outrageous, what are people really prepared to do to change the way they look, and what results do they ultimately want to achieve?

Many people opt for injectables, a form of non-invasive cosmetic surgery in an attempt to achieve the required results – and these are far less traumatic to the body than face lifts and various other youth-enhancing procedures. The two main forms of injectables, injections into the layers of the skin to create a smoother face, are Botox and dermal fillers. Managing director of Aesthetic Polyclinic, Sela Al Asadi explains, ‘Botox, or better known scientifically as botulinum toxin type A, is primarily used to treat frown lines between the eyebrows, crow’s feet and other wrinkles and fine lines on the forehead and around the lips that tend to accumulate over time, as a result of years of squinting and frowning. The Botox treatment works on these wrinkles by temporarily relaxing the underlying muscles and results are usually seen in just a few days.’

Dermal fillers are less drastic than Botox; a natural base that is simply designed to plump up or volumise the skin. Sela says, ‘Fillers help fill in and smooth away facial lines, acne scars or other skin contour deficiencies. They are also used for lip and chin augmentations and certain nose corrections. Most fillers today are hyaluronic acid-based and are injected into different layers of the skin depending on depth of the wrinkles.’

Sela says clients can get carried away, but responsible doctors will inform the patient if they are reaching their limit – injectables are not about changing the face, rather enhancing natural features. ‘The secret is to make slight changes in one’s face or take years off of your appearance without raising suspicion. Our goal is to make our patients not look like they were worked on, but to look relaxed and refreshed, and like they have been taking great care of themselves. The talent is not in the injecting alone, but in having an artistic and realistic touch by understanding how to bring a more youthful, attractive look to the patient’s features without erasing the character of their face.’

While injectables are designed to enhance the face, some people can take it to the extreme for various reasons. Sela says it’s sometimes about deeper problems rather than a wrinkle or imperfection in the face: ‘Our target patients are those seeking a holistic look for their face, one that accounts for the face as a whole, by restoring or enhancing their features to create balanced and natural beautiful looks. Nevertheless not all patients we see have the same realistic expectations. “Red flag” patients, as we call them, are those who come to see us with the expectations of looking like someone else. This is an expectation that can never be met. Those are usually overfilled patients who are never satisfied and always want just a little more.’

Sometimes, the changes clients request are more than just a minor tweak or improvement. Sela says, ‘There are two cases where injectables are not a solution. An overly mature, sagging face and neck is difficult to correct with injectables and even if it can be done the effect is only short lived and will prove to be uneconomical for the patient in the long run.

‘The second case is for those seeking psychological comfort from what the injectables can promise to achieve. Someone looking to completely change the way they look is a patient who needs to be properly assessed. Cosmetic procedures are not a game. They were never made to completely change people’s appearances nor make them look like their favourite celebrities or airbrushed models. People need to make the choice of having cosmetic procedures because they are seeking facial improvements and not complete transformations or for preventative anti-ageing reasons. Realistic expectations and conservative cosmetic treatments are meant to create natural looking results that we describe as, “You, just better.”’
Aesthetics Polyclinic, Khalidiyah Street, Al Khalidiyah, behind the BMW Showroom (02 681 8711).

Clinics that offer injectables

Kaya Skin Clinic
Various locations including Mazyad Mall, www.kayaskinclinic.me (02 553 4246).

Delma Medical Center & Spa
Al Nayhan Camp, www.delmamedical.com (02 448 1800).

Silkor
Al Khalidyah, next to BMW Showroom, www.silkor.com (02 681 6070).

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