A good friend recently invited me to a no cost consultation with her young and very dashing "plastics physician". When we arrived for her 10:30 am appointment in an affluent suburb of North Dallas, the waiting room was full of women who all looked gorgeous and were wrinkle free with noticeable pouty lips and flawless skin.
Even more interesting, they were all in their late 20s or early 30s like my 28 year old friend who had already had experienced "injectible" lips that had lost their plumpness.
My goal? To get more information on this new type of self transformation known as "injectible beauty".
When our time arrived my friend and I were ushered into a stunningly beautiful office. My friend wanted a consultation with Doctor Injectible, my code name for this well-known plastics physician, to have her lips redone with Restylane, which she absolutely "loved".
It provided, in her terms, instant Angelina Jolie, Meg Ryan, Lisa Rinna and Jessica Simpson style pouty lips. Although Angie's lips are said to be really hers, Jessica, Meg Ryan and Lisa have all supposedly been Restylane enhanced. Jessica Simpson actually confessed to her lip job although she claims she has given up on the injectible enhancements.
Once we were in front of the doctor I asked him what type of work he performed and he explained he did absolutely "no surgery" and specialized in "injectibles", lasers, peels and related beauty enhancements.
Dr. Injectible provided a brief overview of the difference between the current injectible plastic experts versus traditional plastic surgeons. The key difference? The injectible experts never do surgery while the surgeons may do injectibles but they also do a variety of surgeries including face, eye and chin lifts, breast augmentation, tummy tucks and other well-known self-improvement operations.
Dr. Injectible's expertise, besides injecting Restylane - the FDA approved hyaluronic-acid filler - included expert placement of Botox, Phenol, TCA (Blue Peels) and glycolic peels (AHA, Retinol infused) as well as a wide range of laser treatments including the TriActive Laser Dermology System by Cynosure which also has FDA approval. Hair removal laser treatments are also available.
The TriActive Laser, according to the doctor, is a noninvasive laser treatment which breaks up the fat cells associated with cellulite. The TriActive shrinks the cellulite cells and smoothes the skin.
To achieve the best results some patients require up to 16 individual TriActive treatments at approximately $1,000 a pop. Usually the first week of treatment includes two of three laser sessions to kick off the cellulite shrinking.
The total treatment time might last for several weeks with possible touch-up treatments after the initial sessions. Of course if you gain weight after going through The Triactive Laser treatments all bets are off. But it beats surgical treatments. Right?
This plastics expert also offered Radiesse and Perlane injections along with dermabrasion and a dizzy array of specialty facials designed to peel the years and sun damage back without any blood loss. My head was spinning with all the information and non-surgical options available.
The conversation turned to the advantages and disadvantages of me having Botox injected for a tiny wrinkle (in classic Feng Shui face reading it is the Mark Of The Widow) on my forehead and for plumping up the area around my eyes. The doctor enthusiastically informed me I "was a great candidate for excellent results for my forehead and around both eyes". In fact, he told me, Botox was "on special" and my estimated cost would be $500-650 depending on how much of the poison had to be injected at how many different sites.
In addition, I could also take advantage of the "two for one" special discount if I had Restylane injected into my lips at the same time I had the Botox injected into my forehead and around my eyes.
The consultation turned to the pros and cons of the various peels offered. I discussed my past experiences with glycolic peels and the TCA peel, also known as The "Blue Peel". Although I had fabulous skin for almost one year after the TCA peel I had years before, I was reluctant to again go through the horrendous pain during the application process.
Specifically I mentioned I had literally been screaming the last time I had the peel. Doctor Injectible laughed and explained how far the TCA peel has come since my last torture treatment. Besides using special ice packs to neutralize the intense burning which occurs when the peel burns the top layer of skin off, they provide pain killing drugs.
I explained that my last plastic surgeon insisted I have a series of ten glycolic peels before having the final TCA peel. Dr. Injectible noted that is sometimes suggested for peel virgins but since I had suffered through a previous Blue I would be able to bypass the glycolic and go straight for the full blow peel treatment. Since the last Blue Peel literally turned me into a bright blue Smurfette with large sheets of peeling skin I was nervous to commit. Even though they promised virtually no pain.
I also reported my last plastic surgeon allowed me to snip the peeling blue skin sheets with a sterile scissors to avoid hanging blue stuff off my face. Dr. Injectible made a face and told me "we don't like any snipping, pulling or assisting with the skin shedding process".
After discussing additional Restylane lip injections with my companion, it was agreed she would consider laser hair removal as well. I was also encouraged to consider a Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) treatment to remove a few scattered sun spots and freckles that had popped up from years ago sun damage on my very fair Irish skin. Unlike some lasers, the IPL works equally well on both red and brown splotches. The IPL is also known to assist with Rosacea.
Once Dr. Injectible had answered all our questions, given us price quotes on the various injections, lasers and peels, he ushered us to the front desk where one of his assistants arranged multiple appointments, which took advantage of the various "specials".
After agreeing to have Botox injected into my forehead and around my eyes, (considered multiple site injections), Restylane into my lips and an IPL treatment, I was shocked by the total cost I had racked up during my "free consultation" by agreeing to all these treatments.
Did I have any of the injections, laser treatments or peels? No. I decided to enter a self imposed cooling off period to weigh all my options and research each treatment further. With the latest reports on possible Botox dangers, I wanted to really consider all the dangers and benefits. I was also concerned about Restylane worrying about overly plumped lips.
What exactly is Injectible Beauty? It is beauty treatments centered around a wide range of injectible treatments including, but not limited to lip plumping with Restylane or similar, line and wrinkle removal with Botox, skin spot removal with IPL lasers, skin resurfacing and a range of peels fine tuned with follow-up Botox and Restylane treatments.
Injectible Beauty treatments are most often provided by doctors who specialize in plastics. Plastics doctors may or may not also perform cosmetic surgery. Some doctors prefer to only offer injectibles for a number of reasons including less risk of complications and very quick results.