It just takes one traumatic Botched® episode to convince medical aesthetic newbies that a trip to the derm’s office will leave them with blow-up doll lips and a face that looks the same angry as it does happy. But, as long as you do your research, there’s plenty of information out there on injectables and how to find the most qualified providers.
If you choose a licensed provider with plenty of experience in injectable wrinkle reducers and fillers, plus communicate your preferences during the consultation, chances are high that you’ll end up with results so subtle, friends and family won’t even notice. And that’s a really good thing — because the second people start speculating what you’ve had done, you may have already gone too far.
Below, six people from across the country share their experience with nearly imperceptible injections.
[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face, including the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet. Injectable filler is a temporary treatment that adds volume to areas of the face such as the lips, cheeks, and laugh lines. Like any medical treatment, both injectable wrinkle reducers and injectable fillers have potential risks and side effects. Talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you. And learn more now by chatting with a trained aesthetic specialist.]
"After I got wrinkle reducers to smooth the appearance of my forehead lines and the crow's feet around my eyes, the only comments people made were [positive remarks] about how [I] looked. Now, about a year later (with regular appointments no more than every three months), I get compliments all the time, but no one has ever asked if I got injected, not once. It’s no secret that I do, and I talk about it openly, but I don’t think anyone looks at me and wonders if I have injectable wrinkle reducers before I say anything. It’s pretty great." —Hallie, 29, New York, NY
"The first time I got wrinkle reducers, I was extremely nervous. To me, it was really important to still look like myself (just with less wrinkles!). I got injected in my forehead, elevens, and crow's feet; afterward, not even my boyfriend who I see every single day noticed. I still look like myself, but I like [the results] I see in the mirror now. In my opinion, it's very important to choose a practitioner you trust with your goals." —Caroline*, 28, Los Angeles, CA
"I made the mistake of telling a nurse 'just do whatever you think!' at my first injectable wrinkle reducer appointment, and I ended up totally [not happy with the results] a week later. When it finally wore off, I made sure to communicate my fears and preferences to a new doctor and I ended up with exactly what I originally wanted: [smoother] crow's feet and forehead lines, and the ability to still furrow and raise my brows in conversation. Being animated is part of who I am, and I don't want to sacrifice simple facial movements." —Melanie*, 31, Dayton, OH
"I've gotten injectable wrinkle reducers. I'm consistently getting positive feedback and comments from friends and even my hair colorist about how I look, but I've never once gotten a question or a comment that implied it looks like I had work done." —Martha, 29, Los Angeles, CA
"I have an extremely pronounced brow ridge with a couple of very deep-set lines — my brother describes it as 'early hominid,' if that gives you an idea. My ex-girlfriend used to encourage me to go with her to her dermatologist to smooth the appearance of the lines, but I didn't care enough to do anything at the time. As [time went on], though, it's only gotten worse, so I caved and paid for injectable wrinkle reducers in January. I like the results because they're more subtle than I thought they'd be. Only my closest female friends asked if I’d done anything . . . dudes don't pay attention to that stuff." —Tom*, 37, Washington, D.C.
"I usually get injectable wrinkle reducers and fillers once a year, and spend around $2,000. [They don’t] make a drastic difference in [the appearance of] my lines and volume loss. My husband can never tell and I don't really talk about it with my girlfriends — not because I'm hiding anything, but because I feel like they'd think I spent too much money for such a [subtle] result." —Rebecca*, 60, Boston, MA
[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers should not be used more frequently than every three months.]
*names have been changed