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Everything You Should Avoid When Choosing Tweakments

Photography Marcel A Mayer

From routine brow lifts to lunchtime lip fillers, in recent years, ‘tweakment’ culture has exploded into the mainstream. Born out of a desire to look good for our always-on lifestyle and live out the filtered ‘perfection’ of social media in real life, the desire for cosmetic enhancements has only been accelerated by the pandemic, as the majority of us now have our faces constantly reflected back to us over Zoom and FaceTime.

According to Jenni Middleton, director of beauty at WGSN, feeling the urge to have tweakments is only going to increase. “With working from home and increased video calls expected even after the pandemic, this trend will continue,” she says. It’s no wonder, then, that many of us might be considering our options when it comes to non-invasive cosmetic treatments.

But how can we ensure that we’re getting the best out of the tweakments on offer? What do we need to be aware of, and what should we try to avoid? To find out more, we asked the experts for some tips.

Dr Ashwin Soni, plastic and reconstructive surgeon, on facial fillers and Botox

“Ask what type of filler your provider is using. There are so many options on the market, some of which are poor quality. I would recommend a filler that is hyaluronic-acid based, not permanent, and one that allows dynamic facial movement.”

“Discuss your aesthetic goals with your provider and whether you are going for a natural look. You can often gauge the provider’s ethos from their website and social media pages by viewing their before and after pictures.”

“Immediately contact your provider if there is any skin discolouration of the treatment area or if you notice significant bruising. The discolouration may indicate a serious complication of filler, known as vascular occlusion, which is when filler is mistakenly injected into a blood vessel.”

“If there is any bleeding immediately after the procedure, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the affected area.”

“Don’t have your first filler treatment just before an important event, such as a wedding. I often advise my patients, who have never had treatments before, to test it out several months to a year before their wedding if they can. If they need a top-up closer to the time, then this can be done if they tolerate the initial procedure and are happy with the results.”

“Don’t focus simply on cost. Many patients can be attracted by cheaper procedures. If providers are cheap, it often means that either they don’t have the experience needed or they’re potentially using cheap ingredients, or both. Remember that if complications arise, it can end up being much more costly, so ensure you know who you are going to for treatments.”

“It can take up to 10 to 14 days to really see the true results, so don’t worry if you haven’t noticed an immediate change after Botox. A Botox brow lift can take up to three weeks to fully ‘take’, so be patient. Your provider should follow up with you after the procedure to check that you’re happy with the results and that the best result has been achieved.”

Emma Coleman, dermatology and aesthetic nurse, on lip fillers

“Ice the lips frequently for the first 36 hours after lip filler treatment to help reduce swelling.”

“Do not overly massage the lips in the first two weeks – this can cause swelling and lip filler displacement. However, you can start to massage the lips three days after the treatment if there are any obvious lumps. Use firm pressure with the thumb and forefinger once daily.”

“If you experience bruising, alternate application of warm and cold compresses to the area to resolve the problem faster. However, if you experience any pain, or hard, boulder-like lumps or a paling of the lip colour, contact your practitioner immediately as these can be signs of vascular occlusion or loss of circulation in the lips, and must be treated immediately.”

“Avoid alcohol for 48 hours after having lip fillers – it’s a blood thinner and changes how the blood clots. It can also cause bruising to come to the surface, which may not otherwise appear.”

Amar Suchde, aesthetic practitioner, on jaw fillers

“Only ever agree to the procedure if it is carried out by a doctor, dentist, pharmacist or nurse.”

“Afterwards, avoid UV light and wear SPF sunscreen.”

“Refrain from exercise for at least 24 hours afterwards to minimise swelling.”

“Avoiding eating very chewy food for two weeks afterwards.”

Dr Anjum Jahan, cosmetic dentist and facial aesthetic practitioner at Sante Clinic, on Botox

“Ask about the brand of Botulinum toxin being used – some clinics offer other brands, so it is important to know which brand will be administered.”

“Frown repeatedly immediately following the injections as this can help with the uptake of the medicine in the muscles of the forehead.”

“Don’t take blood thinners, ie ibuprofen or aspirin, two weeks before treatment as these medicines can lead to increased risk of post-treatment bruising. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult your practitioner.”

“Don’t rub or massage the treated area in the first 24 hours as this could lead to the medication spreading to unwanted areas.”

“Don’t go to saunas or have cryotherapy [use of low temperatures in medical therapy] as the extreme temperatures could lead to the destruction of the Botox.”

“Don’t sleep face down (if you can help it) after treatment as this could also lead to the Botox spreading into unwanted areas.”

Dr Harryono Judodihardjo, Belgravia Dermatology, on Botox

“Don’t have Botox if your skin is too loose as this can cause a droopy or a heavy brow appearance.”

“Don’t go to sleep or exercise for about four hours after the Botox injection.”

“Take photos of your face before and after, so that you can see the effect of the treatment.”

Dr Anastasia Therianou, dermatologist, on facial threading

“Keep skin hydrated as much as possible before the procedure by drinking lots of water and minimizing nicotine and alcohol in the week leading up to your appointment. This way you can help decrease the healing time and reduce the risk of bruising and swelling.”

“Stop taking supplements seven days before the procedure as multiple over-the-counter ingredients such as ginkgo biloba, omega-3, vitamin E and more thin the blood, increasing the risk of bleeding, bruising and swelling. You can resume them seven days later.”

“Don’t wear make-up for two days post-treatment to allow your skin time to heal and avoid secondary infection.”

“Make sure you don’t have any dental treatments booked for a week before or after the procedure.”

Dr Baldeep Farmah of Dr Aesthetica, specialist in tear trough fillers for under the eyes

“We use a microcannula, an extremely thin tube, to inject dermal filler into the tear trough. It’s better and results in less bruising than other methods.”

“Avoid exercise, steam, sauna and make-up in the first 24 hours afterwards.”

“Allow two weeks before any further treatments to face, such as facials or laser hair removal.”

Martine Jarman, aesthetic skin practitioner at SkinGenius, on wrinkle correction and facial volumising

“Don’t just rely on dermal fillers to get the desired result. Ask for a treatment plan based on your specific skin goals. A combination therapy approach using skin rejuvenating treatments such as radio frequency microneedling and skincare will maximise results.”

“Introduce a powerful hyaluronic acid into your skincare regime. Topical HA serums deliver surface hydration to the skin, improving the appearance of crow’s feet, nasolabial folds and help restore plumpness and smoothness.”

Dr Aoife Turner, aesthetic and plastic surgeon, on minimally invasive eye lifts

“Don’t wear eye make-up for one week while the area heals.”

“Sleep with extra pillows under your head if possible – this is a top tip for after any surgical or non-surgical facial treatments as it reduces swelling, fast. “

“Be prepared to allow it to heal and enjoy the results after a couple of months.”

Read Next: Are the Covid-19 Vaccines Safe for Facial Fillers?

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