What You Need To Know About Botox & Fillers

What You Need To Know About Botox & Fillers

From preventing fine lines to redefining facial features, the anti-ageing possibilities appear endless with Botox and fillers. But when it comes to getting a treatment, what’s realistic? We put all our burning questions to aesthetic practitioner Dr Richard Sibthorpe, from the truth about 'baby Botox' to debunking the myths around lip fillers…

Firstly – what’s the difference between Botox and filler?

A simple rule of thumb is to remember that Botox is for lines of expression, whereas filler is for lines of rest. Botox relaxes the muscles that cause wrinkles, while dermal fillers act by replacing volume, lifting and, in some cases, stimulating collagen production.  

Is there anything you can do to reduce lines on the forehead?

Deep frown lines and forehead creases on an ageing face look different on everyone. If lines between the eyebrows appear only when you’re angry or concentrating, they’re best treated with Botox. However, if lines appear at rest and are deeper then I recommend using filler. If you’re bothered by deepening horizontal lines on your forehead, vertical frown lines between your eyebrows and crow’s feet, Botox can improve any or all of these problem areas.

Why is everyone talking about ‘baby Botox’?

Baby Botox is a less-is-more approach and has been my philosophy for the last 15 years. By using smaller doses, you retain some movement of the muscles and the result looks much more natural.

How long does Botox last?

The effects of Botox generally last three to four months but can last longer depending on the individual and the area treated. I have a few patients that get Botox treatments every nine months and quite a few where it lasts six months.

Can you use make-up after Botox?

Not immediately, no. Try to avoid touching the area and applying make-up immediately after your treatment to avoid infection.

What’s the best treatment for lines around your eyes?

Typically called crow’s feet, fine lines around the eyes are best treated with Botox. However, if you have lost volume in your cheeks and decide to get filler, this can help with fine lines around the eyes too – it’s a little like a balloon that has been inflated.

What can you do to get rid of deep lines that go from the nose to the mouth?

One of the most common uses for fillers is to treat deep nasolabial folds. The best way of treating these lines is by restoring volume to the cheeks and lifting the cheek – injecting deep beneath the muscle which acts as a lever to lift.

I look sad, tired and saggy. Can you help?

The non-surgical face lift is an innovative technique for creating a lifting effect using the smallest amount of dermal filler in strategic areas of the face. It’s a subtle and elegant procedure that creates a very natural youthful appearance whilst preserving functional anatomy and movement.

This technique enhances and lifts; reducing lines and wrinkles, dark circles or under-eye hollows, improving jowls and restoring contour to the jawline. Using fillers to lift and plump, this treatment will give you the results of a facelift, without having to go under the knife.

How can you get rid of dark circles?

Tear trough treatments are very effective if you have hollowing under the eyes. As we age our eye sockets become much more prominent and defined, making us look gaunt. With a precise amount of specially-designed dermal filler, you can add volume and structure to the tear trough, while avoiding the puffy, overdone look.

Are Botox and fillers safe?

They are perfectly safe. Botox has been used medically for years and was approved for use in the 80s. Fillers now are mainly hyaluronic acid, which is dissolvable and metabolised by the body.

Is it true Botox can be preventative?

Yes. Botox is preventative as it works on dynamic wrinkles, i.e. it acts on the muscles that create wrinkles when actively moved or activated. 

At what age should you get Botox?

This is a personal question but I would recommend Botox if your wrinkles are becoming more prominent or are starting to bother you. Of course, we all age at different rates and many factors play a part – our genetics, our lifestyle, smoking, hydration, nutrition, exercise, stress and any inflammatory illness or personal history of disease. Legally you cannot have Botox below the age of 18 and the youngest person I have treated is 28.

How do you know if your practitioner is reputable?

Always do your homework. Most reputable practitioners are registered with medical institutions or governing bodies such as the GMC (General Medical Counsel), BACM (British College of Aesthetic Medicine) and hold qualifications such as MB BS. Don’t be afraid to ask your practitioner what their experience is or ask to see some of their work – before and after photos are particularly useful. Most patients come to me by referral, so a recommendation from someone you know and trust is the best.

How much should you expect to pay?

Price varies between practitioners (but does not always reflect experience and reputation) and geographical location; e.g. London is expensive, and Harley Street and Chelsea are more expensive still. In London, expect to pay around £200 to £400 but be wary of anything too cheap – I’ve seen too many horror stories when it comes to cheap treatments.

Any advice for fuller lips without looking too done?

When it comes to the lips, it’s all about shape, proportion, volume and projection. Any good doctor will be able to advise you on this and the best proportions for your face shape. I use Juvederm, a hyaluronic acid-based filler, for the lips, which flows easily when injected to create a softer, more natural result that lasts. You should be wary of other products that are thicker and not really suitable for the lips. Overinflated lips are often the result of a poor injection technique and the wrong product.

Is there anything you can do to tackle ageing eyes?

Hooding of the eyes is a result of volume loss and support. This is best treated by fillers to restore that volume and at the same time give lift. Some of this loss and support arises from the temporal area so this needs to be treated as well. Botox is used occasionally to lift the eyebrow, but this is generally in a younger person with good muscle tone and less hooding.

Is there anything you can do to improve the appearance of your hands?

Yes, filler can be an option. As we age, the skin on our hands will become thinner; veins and age spots suddenly become a lot more prominent. However, there are various treatments available to improve the quality of the skin and increase volume loss, including filler.

What about a crepey chest?

Thanks to a new generation of injectables, it’s now possible to boost skin quality, meaning areas such as the chest can easily be treated. Volite, a hyaluronic acid-based product, targets three factors considered to be the most important in skin quality – hydration, smoothness and elasticity. I’ve had great results using Volite in treating the décolletage; skin looks tauter and sun damage lessened.

Can you improve the appearance of your nose without having a nose job?

Absolutely. Fillers can be used to smooth out minor nasal flaws to create the illusion of a more perfect nose. By injecting small amounts of hyaluronic acid fillers into the nose, small depressions as well as humps and bumps can be made to look as though they no longer exist. This procedure is relatively painless and lasts around a year.

Is there anything that can be done to boost your profile?

Like the rest of the face, the jawline can become loose and start to head south, but fillers can give a refreshed look. When injecting the jawline with a hyaluronic acid filler it must be injected along the natural angle, at the right depth and made symmetric to achieve a true aesthetic enhancement. The key is to know how much volume has been lost and to reinstate it appropriately.

What are some easy ways to improve your skin?

Remember that regular treatments are important in helping your skin look and feel it’s very best. However, to maintain the results and delay the signs of ageing, you need a daily skincare routine that’s tailored to your skin type and concerns. The key is a simple protocol using products which have proven scientific validation – remember just because a product is expensive doesn’t mean it’ll work wonders. When buying a cleanser, look for hydroxy acid-based formulas which will exfoliate the skin and remove dead cells as well as encourage new cell growth and collagen production; remember to use SPF every day; incorporate a vitamin C into your routine, a potent antioxidant that can improve radiance and clarity; and try retinol, a vitamin A derivative that can reduce the appearance of pore size, pigmentation and blemishes as well as fine lines, wrinkles and sun spots.
For more information or to book an appointment with Dr Sibthorpe visit DoctorSib.com

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