Cosmetic Medical Practitioner and 2020 Medical Aesthetic Practitioner of the Year award winner, Dr. Andrew Clark explains why natural-looking dermal filler and anti-wrinkle injections are achievable, along with the ‘reverse makeover’ and how to feel confident when explaining to your injector what you want.
Last year Australia’s annual spend on cosmetic treatments topped the $1 billion mark for the first time, according to the CPCA, with both dermal filler and anti-wrinkle injections seeing a significant rise in popularity.
It’s no secret this industry is booming, from the Botox brow lift, to tear trough filler and the lip flip, we’re pincushions open to experiencing all kinds of injectables for all sorts of skin concerns – and why not? We have access to some of the best cosmetic physicians in the world.
But as appointments are on the rise, it’s important to know what you’re in for, what to expect and what to do if something doesn’t feel right – before or after your treatment. So, we’ve enlisted Cosmetic Medical Practitioner and 2020 Medical Aesthetic Practitioner of the Year award winner, Dr. Andrew Clark to answer some of your most pressing questions.
Q: A large myth and misconception around injectables is that you’ll look ‘frozen’, or ‘pouty’, why is this not always the case?
A: Because people only know for sure that someone has had injectables when they’re done poorly and look fake or unnatural. Anyone who hasn’t experienced impressive, natural looking results for themselves will assume that these fake looks are normal and this fuels the myth.
When someone has had their injectable treatments done using advanced techniques that harmonise with that person’s natural features, the result will be that they simply look great for their age and refreshed, no one would know that they have had injectables.
The truth is that there are now so many people who are looking really fresh and good for their age thanks to cosmetic injectable treatments. Many cosmetic medicine practitioners are evolving and getting a better understanding of how to perform injections that rejuvenate without looking fake.
Q: Talk to us about the ‘reverse makeover’ and how often you see patients for dissolving filler and correcting injectables – what is the percentage in terms of your clientele?
A: In the past year I have performed ten times more dissolving treatments than I did in the three years before that. Even though dissolving is becoming much more common, it’s still only a very small percentage of our clients.
Q: What are the most common causes of this?
A: Sometimes it might be the clients themselves, as they’re striving for unattainable beauty trends they have seen on social media. However the blame should lie with the practitioner who did the treatments.
I think the problem is that some providers of these treatments are ignoring these basic ethical obligations because they care more about their revenue than about their client’s wellbeing. The clients that I see who ask for dissolving will usually tell me they were talked into having more filler than they wanted by their practitioner.
Q: So this is a great example of why it’s so important to be confident in telling your injector exactly what you want when in the clinic…
A: All cosmetic treatments are optional and are being fully funded by the patient, so the patient deserves to know as much as possible about any treatment they are considering, as well as how that treatment is likely to be helpful to their particular concerns.
A vital component to a good aesthetic outcome is that the practitioner must listen to the concerns of their patient, ensure they understand them and make a tailored recommendation to address these concerns. If your practitioner isn’t interested in taking the time to understand your wishes, I suggest as a prospective client you should walk away.
Q: I’ve seen patients get confused by the ‘price per mL’, what’s your advice for people in this situation?
A: Having more units of wrinkle relaxer or more mLs of filler than is appropriate can actually increase the risk of side effects like droopy brows or tissue necrosis. I don’t think it’s the consumer’s responsibility to understand and explain to practitioners technical aspects of which brand of injectable product or how many mLs they should have. A good practitioner will be able to make suggestions for almost any budget and guide the client to make the right decision.
Remember it’s the injector, the injection points, the doses and the way they understand and use their choice of product that determines the majority of your result.
If you ever find yourself in conflict with your practitioner about things like what brand to use or how and where to inject the products, then its best to walk out before any treatment and find another injector you are better able to communicate with.
Q: What’s your advice for people who aren’t happy with their treatment? What should they do and is there a protocol to follow with the clinic and injector they have been to?
A: Most practitioners will want to know if you aren’t 100% happy with your treatment. Experienced practitioners running a good clinic will welcome your feedback and do their best to make sure it’s easy and not embarrassing for you to explain why you’re not happy. They will invite you back to the clinic to look at the results and see if there is a fair way that your concerns can be addressed.
If you haven’t had a satisfactory response from the injector then try and get your complaint heard by the clinic manager or owner.
Q: What should patients ask for if they’re after ‘natural-looking’ injectables – and is this even possible?
A: Think about what a “natural looking” result means to you and explain this to your practitioner. If they listen and understand and explain back to you a plan that makes sense, then you are probably on the right path. If your result is too subtle and you can’t see any improvements, then what’s the point of doing the treatment?
If the practitioner has genuine “before and after” pictures that are in line with the results you are after then that’s another step in the right direction. I think what people want is to get a great improvement, but not to show any obvious sign of having a treatment. For me as an injector, the best compliment I could ever receive is when a client comes back to me and says “my partner/friend/sister etc. asked me why I looked so fresh but they didn’t suspect that it’s because I had injectables”.