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Last week I was invited by the global pharmaceutical company Allergan to a two day master class in London. For those of you who don’t know, Allergan are the manufacturers of Botox and Juvederm Dermal Fillers, amongst other areas of specialism.

 

So why was this such a big deal?

I don’t normally blow my own trumpet but it was a real confidence boost to know that out of the UK’s 3500 practitioners who use Allergan products, that I fell into the top 10% of elite injectors who were invited.

Like any industry, there are certain people who you admire and look up to. Individuals who are thought leaders and industry pioneers, dedicated to their craft. These people help lead the way, shining the light for others in terms of skills, knowledge and best practice.

In the world of cosmetics for me and countless others that pioneer is Dr Mauricio De Maio. Mauricio is a plastic surgeon originating from Brazil, who for the past 20 years has specialised in the treatment and education of non-surgical injectables. He helps other practitioners within the industry by lecturing around the world on techniques for best practice. To be given the opportunity to attend 2 days mastery with him was a big deal. I was fortunate to attend his two-day class last year, so this year was an in-depth follow up.

So what did the 2 days involve?

Over the 2 days we were introduced to five models ranging in age from mid thirties to mid sixties, all with different facial concerns and needs. We were taught different approaches in facial rejuvenation techniques and I must stress, results were very subtle and natural, Which is so important to me, as I dislike anything false or overdone.

So what does this mean for you?

Most importantly that I’m doing things as I should be and that I’ve learned some amazing new tips and tricks to bring you the best in terms of natural age maintenance results. It’s also highlighted that a client may focus on something they dislike with regards to ageing, but may not understand the sequence of events that’s taken place on the face to bring about that change. The sequence must be treated for optimum results and slow down any further rapid decline. This means treating various points strategically on the face using small amounts of product to optimize the end result. These points are called the MD Codes.

If your knowledge on dermal fillers and how they can help you is limited, then the following info and video will be extremely useful.

Which areas of the face can dermal fillers be used?

Their greatest use is in their ability to replace lost facial volume also known as sagging. Loss of volume starts around the mid thirties. This may be evident in areas such as the mid cheeks. You may see the cheek become more flat, almost like you’ve lost your apples. This leads to the under the eye area becoming more visible and hollow.

Nose to mouth lines may feel deeper and the jaw line may have lost its definition. Jowling of the skin around the chin may be seen and the skin on the chin may begin to dip and pucker. Dermal fillers can be used very subtly within these areas, improving the appearance of the skin and helping to create a fresh subtle lift.

The word filler sounds scary to some and the biggest fear for most is not looking like themselves after treatment, or looking overinflated. I must admit, I don’t like the word filler either, it almost sounds somewhat industrial.

Dermal filler injecting is an art. The end goal should be to refresh and rejuvenate the skin, so no one can put his or her finger on why you look so fresh. I maintain that this can be done by placing small amounts of strategically placed hyaluronic acid under the skin, so rather than filling out, the treatment is acting like an anchor subtly holding the skin structures in place and improving the look of the skin and sagging.

So lets talk safety

There are hundreds of filler brands on the market and out of those, only some are FDA approved for safety. Out of the FDA approved, as an injector, there are still differences in terms of feel and quality.

For me the dermal filler has to tick the following 3 boxes for safety, quality and results.

  1. The filler range should be FDA approved for safety and results and manufactured by a reputable company, with a long history of excellence and dedication to training and support.
  2. The filler should be hyaluronic acid based. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the skin, so essentially you’re putting back into the skin what you’ve naturally lost.
  3. Hyaluronic acid is temporary based. Should there be a complication or undesired result, it can always be dissolved and broken down.

I’ve experienced injecting other dermal filler ranges, but for me nothing feels as nice to inject as Juvederm. The result is so light and natural.

  • Juvederms new Vycross range is amazing to work with and consists of 3 different grades in terms of lift capacity.
  • Voluma – Highest lifting capacity, used in areas such as cheeks, chin and jaw
  • Volift – Medium lift used in areas where high lift would be undesirable, such as nose to mouth lines.
  • Volbella – The thinnest consistency, for use in areas which can only tolerate thin amounts of product, such as under the eye and lip lines.

As an injector what’s the most frustrating aspect of working with dermal fillers.

For me the perfect scenario would be that a client attends for treatment and I have an endless supply to the perfect amount of product needed to get the job done.  This ultimately gives the best result possible. Sadly for the majority, budgets aren’t open ended, so for many i have to try to deliver the best result possible, using small amounts of product, within the clients budget.   As you may have already guessed, if a client needs loss of volume to cheek addressing, jaw contouring and support, jowls and naso folds softening, I need to be able to access the 3 different Vycross ranges. This can prove more costly than expected for some.

Each syringe of dermal filler contains 1 ml of hyaluronic acid gel. Although that sounds like a lot, were you to squeeze the contents out on to a teaspoon, 1 ml really isn’t much. Think in terms of giving 5 mls of Calpol to a child.

It’s hard to fully predict the outcome

When a client asks how many syringes needed the best I can do is estimate. Results and lift can vary greatly from person to person so sometimes lift may be quicker than expected and less product needed than originally estimated, or alternatively the skin may not responding as quickly as expected, thus more product required.   Affecting factors include skin quality, extent of volume loss, individual anatomy and physiology of underlying muscles and bones.

 

To conclude, the results from dermal fillers can be amazing if in the right hands and quality product used. Results last from 12 to 18 months, depending on the grade of dermal filler used and where injected. A staged approach to treatment is sensible, to ensure subtlety, rather than trying to fix every area of concern at once.

It’s important to discuss your expectations with your practitioner to ensure you’re both on the same page.

A full medical consultation must be given before treatment is carried out.

I hope this has been useful.  Please get in touch should you have any further questions.

Gemma xx