The most frequently-asked question of most first-time aesthetics injectable patients is, “What will the results look like?” To get an in-depth understanding of the entire experience — and the effects — of a medical aesthetics appointment, we bring you Under the Needle™: A look at individuals’ journeys from beginning to end.
For many people, a sister is a valued confidant. A partner in crime. A shoulder to cry on, or a hand to squeeze. Sisters-in-law decidedly do not have the same reputation, but if you’re as lucky as Jenn and Kellye, you’ll get all that and more — including someone to book injectable wrinkle reducer appointments with.
[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers are used to temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face such as the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet. They should not be used more frequently than every three months. Like any medical treatment, they have potential risks and side effects. Be sure to talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you. Have more questions? Chat with our team of trained aesthetics specialists now.]
It’s a warm summer day in Manhattan when the two sisters-in-law enter the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York® to see Yoon-Soo Cindy Bae, MD, board-certified dermatologist. Jenn, the co-founder of a global advisory firm, is not her usual peppy self, as she is really nervous to try injectable wrinkle reducers for the first time. She’s in her early forties (“I tell people I’m 50, so they tell me how amazing I look.”) and has come in to Dr. Bae’s office because she would like to treat some lines on her forehead and between her brows.
Kellye, a stay-at-home mom in her late thirties, had initially planned on coming along solely for moral support, but decides that in the spirit of camaraderie, she will see if she’s a candidate for injectable wrinkle reducers for lines on her forehead, too. She declares herself “super excited” to try the treatment, and shares that she’s mostly concerned about her spouse’s opinion.
Some of Jenn’s fears are put to rest when she meets Dr. Bae, who has performed “countless — thousands, tens of thousands” injectable wrinkle reducer treatments. The dermatologist examines Jenn first, and has her make a series of dramatic facial expressions, ranging from angry scowls to exuberant grins.
Dr. Bae’s watching to see exactly how Jenn’s face moves and how her wrinkles look at rest, which will inform how she gets treated. “When you animate, you make fun faces, and I wouldn’t want to block that,” Dr. Bae explains. “You will still have a few forehead lines [after treatment].” She plans on treating Jenn with injectable wrinkle reducers in her forehead and in her elevens.
According to Dr. Bae, communication like this is key when it comes to injectables — for both the licensed provider and the patient. Especially if you’re a first-time patient, it’s essential to share your expectations of the results, so you can achieve the aesthetic that you’re looking for.
It’s also important for first-timers — and really everyone — to understand exactly what the treatment entails. “For some first-time patients, I take baby steps so that patients can ease into their cosmetic treatments,” says Dr. Bae. “Many times, I find myself educating my patients on my treatment approach for them more compared to what they expected.” This can be as simple as advising a patient on the treatment that’s best for them (rather than what they think they need), or redirecting them from wanting to look like a celebrity. “I explain that I treat each individual person,” adds Dr. Bae, “because someone else’s [look] may not complement their facial structure or their specific features.”
After watching Kellye make the same series of facial expressions, Dr. Bae decides that she, too, is a candidate for injectable wrinkle reducers, and readies the two patients for treatment. She wipes down each woman’s forehead area with an alcohol-saturated pad to cleanse. Kellye fearlessly goes first, barely flinching as Dr. Bae administers the treatment. A few injections later, Kellye declares the experience “fantastic!” with hardly any discomfort. Jenn, however, is still nervous and wary — despite being ready to try injectable wrinkle reducers.
[Editor’s note: Individual experiences may vary.]
To help soothe her patient’s hesitations, Dr. Bae hands over a mirror and has Jenn repeat the facial expression exercise, pointing out where she’ll inject as she watches. “See how you have these lines here on your forehead, without movement?” she asks Jenn. “We want to [treat] that so that it’s nice and smooth, but you can still animate.” Jenn clutches the arms of her chair as Dr. Bae injects her forehead. Once the doctor is finished, Jenn visibly looks surprised at how it only felt like pinches.
Dr. Bae shares with the two that there is little aftercare regarding injectable wrinkle reducers. She does warn them of a possible headache later that day, but tells them not to be scared. “You might feel like there’s a band around your head,” she explains. She tells them not to fight the sensation, and after scheduling their follow-up appointments, sends the sisters-in-law on their way.
Before and immediately after treatment
One month later, Jenn is clearly satisfied with the results of the treatment, despite all her nerves going into it. “I’ve been telling everyone I got injectable wrinkle reducers,” she confesses. “I’m making my next appointment now — and I’m interested in trying other medical aesthetic treatments, too.” She admits this is partly because she felt very comfortable with her provider. “She’s very honest and will tell me to ‘do this, not that,’” Jenn says. “It’s a good sign when a doctor says no to you,” agrees Kellye.
Kellye is pleased with her results, too, sharing that she didn’t experience any side effects, but definitely noticed the smoothing effects, especially in pictures. “I already want to do it again!” she says. She had also been concerned that her husband wouldn’t like the results, but that turned out to not be an issue. “He didn’t notice a difference at all,” she shares. She then added a note of context: “He also didn’t notice when I dyed my hair blonde!”
Dr. Yoon-Soo Cindy Bae is a paid Allergan® consultant.