First things first: growing older isn’t a problem to solve. Let’s establish that we’re all going to age and shrivel eventually, as part of nature. Secondly: while women can decide what to do or what not to do with their bodies, there’s still that annoying, sometimes painful, dilemma of being judged for your choices about your appearances. Lastly, doting on your appearance is also a form of self-care and self-improvement…even if your own version of self-care will involve the B word—botox; or the F word—fillers. So whether you’re curious or just considering, we’re here to help you brush up on your injectables knowledge, with wise words from Skin Inc’s resident injectable expert, Dr. Windie Hayano-Villarica.
MYTH #1: Everything you inject is all the same.
FACT: Funnily enough, a lot of people still think botox and fillers are the same thing. In simpler terms, Dr Windie first explains botox, “we use[botox] for active muscle contraction that causes movement of primarily facial expression lines or ACTIVE wrinkles. You can think of it like creases on your leather shoes or sofa. The constant movement causes a fold or a wrinkle on areas that you always use. Active wrinkles are different from passive wrinkles, which are reflective of your habit, environment and genetics. Passive wrinkles account for the quality of the skin but active wrinkles reflect your facial muscle use.” As for fillers, she says, “Fillers from the word itself, fills. They are meant to volumize, provide structure and fill in troughs, correct asymmetries and remodel the face without surgery. All of these are accomplished using different products but the most common and probably safest in the market are hyaluronic acid fillers.”
MYTH #2: Botox is only for wrinkles.
FACT: Did you know that a lot of celebrities get their underarms botoxed so they don’t sweat? “Botox can be used for tension headaches, blepharospasm, cervical dystonias and sweating. It’s been used in many fields and has a great safety profile. Cosmetically, we use it for active wrinkles, facial reshaping and excessive sweating,” Dr. Windie tells us.
MYTH #3: Fillers should only come as a last resort.
FACT: Nope. Fillers have so many uses, especially for people whose concern is an asymmetrical face. As Dr. Windie shares, “If you have facial asymmetry, fillers can be very useful and safe. It depends on the indication and I think age is really not a factor. Patients who need chin augmentation and fillers are probably one of the best options out there. Most of the time, aging starts becoming evident in the 30’s so that is a really good age to start. I like corrections at this age because you don’t use too much product, it is very gratifying and since the patient is young, the effects last longer because the biologic reaction and the body’s ability to repair is still optimal at this time. It is preventative for sure and I think if people get over that thought that these are reserved for older people, they can benefit more from these procedures. If genetically, you have let’s say, sunken eyes or cheeks, it will already be evident even in their teens. I think fillers have a role in such cases even when the patient is young.”
MYTH #4: Botox will freeze your face.
FACT: The myth is false! Badly done jobs really give injectables a bad rep, and make people afraid of it, such that when someone decides to go for it they’ll only want “this part” done. But that’s not really the case. Dr Windie tells us, “For botox, everyone thinks you will have a frozen face. This is not the case and really the idea is to soften lines not obliterate your face of all expression. As a doctor, I individualize treatments and take a long time studying faces because each one is unique. Our faces are not identical on both sides. One must take that into consideration. The thing is, muscles move as a unit. There’s an interaction of muscles and you really have to be very aware of anatomy. It is a peeve when some patients say, I only want this area done and not this but what they don’t realize is that there are kinetic vectors to consider and these affect cosmetic results. For this same reason, you need a trained doctor to do this type of work. I have been doing this for so long but there’s always something new.
MYTH #5: Fillers are a dangerous injectable.
FACT: Yes this is true, BUT—and that’s a big but—this is why you need to have it done by expert hands. People who claim they can do it simply because they know how to inject a substance don’t know the damage they can inflict—which is why Dr. Windie warns strictly against taking fillers lightly. “Fillers are very challenging because you can do a lot of damage with it. It’s a wonderful thing, fillers. Very gratifying and it’s instant gratification without any downtime or surgery. I personally love doing it because the effects are amazing and really life changing but it does pose challenges because the learning curve is high and no matter how trained you are, you can have unwanted side effects. People have gone blind, had a stroke or had nose tips necroes (death of a portion of tissue) because of fillers, so it’s not as easy as people think it is. I think a lot of the “scary” looking people you see out there are from bad filler jobs and it’s unfortunate because this is really a great product to use and done correctly, it can address a lot of aesthetic concerns immediately.”
MYTH #6: Fillers and botox are completely unnecessary for younger people.
FACT: Wrong! Anybody, depending on the person’s needs and wants, can be a candidate. “I think if people shift their perspective of ‘pang-matanda,’ they will be pleasantly surprised. In the long run, it is cheaper coz when you are fixing something, it takes more effort and more money. But if have been doing some form of maintenance, you will really reap the benefits not just now but later on.
“I think people should also change how they view these procedures and quickly dismiss it as vanity and not necessary. Taking care of yourself means you are capable of taking care of others. You also tend to feel good about yourself and it contributes a lot to your mental health. It translates not just in your appearance, but also in how others view you,” shares Dr. Windie.