What is Botox?
Botox has been around for cosmetic purposes more than 10 years. It has safely been injected in millions of patients. Botox is a purified protein that used to relax the muscles of facial expression that cause wrinkles. Repeated activity of facial muscles will eventually causes lines and wrinkles in the skin. Botox injected into these muscles causes these wrinkles to not only smooth out, but also to prevent them. But what will Botox do to your facial expression?
What Botox will do to your facial expression.
The goal of Botox injections is not to completely freeze the muscles, but to relax them enough to smooth and prevent wrinkles. So what Botox does to your facial expression is usually good. Relaxing frown lines can make you look less angry and tired. Botox forehead is used to perform a brow lift. Botox crow’s-feet can make your eyes look wider. Botox lips can make your lips poutier. All of these effects from Botox will make you look younger and more refreshed but still have normal facial expressions.
How to get rid of facial wrinkles.
The first thing to remember is those wrinkles didn’t form overnight and will not go away overnight either. Getting rid of wrinkles takes a multi-faceted approach coupled with continued maintenance. There is no miracle cure that will take care of every wrinkle. A general understanding of why wrinkles form is needed to properly treat them.
What is Collagen?
The building block of skin is collagen. When we are younger we make plenty of collagen and its all in good shape. As we age, mostly due to sun exposure, our collagen production slows down even to the point of losing collagen. This loss of collagen causes wrinkles, sagging and generally older looking skin. The key to treating wrinkles is to identify the factors contributing to loss of collagen and restarting collagen production.
A great way to look at getting rid of wrinkles is to imagine the face as a canvas. The canvas itself is your facial skin. Things like Botox and Juvederm are the paint. With a fresh, new canvas, an artist can paint a beautiful picture. However, starting with a damaged canvas, even the best artist will have difficulty painting on it. So trying to use Botox and Juvederm to fix wrinkles on sun damaged skin will also not be very effective. The best first step is to rebuild the canvas, the facial skin, so that Botox and Juvederm can do what they are designed to do.
So how do we restart collagen production? The cells that produce collagen are in the deep layer of the skin, the dermis. We must reach them and stimulate them to produce new collagen. There are several ways to do this. Laser resurfacing is the gold standard and involves a Fractional CO2 laser. The laser beam penetrates the dermis and directly stimulates the collagen cells. The heat generated by the laser also causes the upper sun-damaged layer of skin to peel while causing the collagen already present to tighten. Laser resurfacing produces great results but does have 7 days of recovery.
An easier, less aggressive method to stimulate collagen production is microneedling. Microneedling uses multiple small needles to penetrate into the dermis and directly stimulate the collagen cells. Performed in-office under local anesthesia and has much less recovery than laser resurfacing. It is repeated every 6 weeks to get maximum collagen stimulation.
Skin care products are also key to stimulate collagen production and keeping it going. No reason to spend money on expensive procedures and not protect you investment with the right skin care products. Retin A and other retinols directly stimulates collagen cells to make collagen. If one product is used, it is Retin a for its anti-aging properties. There are many other growth factors, peptides and antioxidants that are able to promote and prolong collagen production.
So we have now rebuilt the canvas with collagen stimulation procedures and we are maintaining it with skin care products. This is a great time to add Botox and Juvederm to our regimen. Botox injections, as we previously discussed, relax the muscles of facial expression causing facial wrinkles. Juvederm allows us to fix the other major sign of facial aging, volume loss. Cheeks are refilled, lines smoothed and lips plumped. The combination of collagen stimulation with Botox and Juvederm, gives you long-lasting results.