What is ‘Too-Far Face’?

Temporary aesthetic procedures have long been popular but while some manage to keep the work safely on the side of subtle, others go overboard.

From Courtney Cox to Meg Ryan, we’ve seen a steady rise in what’s been dubbed ‘too-far face’ – the description given to people perceived to have overdone the injectables. From the toll it takes on your skin to how to reverse the effects, we put all our burning too-far face questions to the experts.  

Firstly, what exactly is ‘too-far face’?

“Too Far Face describes those who have undergone cosmetic work to such a point they no longer look natural. This is generally down to either use of excessive dermal filler product, injecting technique or a combination of both." Dr Ross Perry, medical director of Cosmedics UK

What are the tell-tale signs?

“The classic signs are:

  • Overly frozen or expressionless face
  • Over filling with dermal filler causing puffiness and water retention especially in delicate areas like the eyes
  • Over filling lips can cause back-tracking of filler past the vermillion boarder which causes the classic trout pout
  • Over filling around the eye can cause congestion, slug-like appearance of tracks of filler around the tear trough area when it is injected too close/superficial to the skin surface.”

 Dr Jane Leonard, aesthetic specialist

Does the tipping point for these kinds of cosmetic procedures vary from person to person?

“Yes. It can vary depending on the expectations of the patient and unrealistic goals set by the practitioner – too much too soon can actually have the opposite effect, making someone look older. When it comes to dermal fillers, a surprisingly small amount of product is required to achieve a natural looking and significantly refreshed result. There's often no need to use more than the minimum dosage required and no reason to 'pump up the volume' excessively.” Dr Ross Perry
 
“Everyone’s face is different. From experience, especially related to the corrective work I do, I feel the problem can sometimes occur when practitioners treat each case with a ‘template to follow’ rather than assessing and treating each face individually. Some people need more filler to achieve the same results as another person. Some people are very sensitive to Botox, while others may need double the dose to achieve the same effect. Some people breakdown products such as filler quicker than others therefore the effects don’t last as long. Plus, people’s facial muscles vary in strength and positioning, therefore Botox injection sites will vary greatly. All these points must be taken into consideration and will affect how much and how often a person needs a treatment.” – Dr Jane Leonard

Can a doctor refuse to give someone more cosmetic treatments, or is it up to the client if it’s not life threatening?

“Patients have to remember that Botox is paralysing the muscles. Excessive filler can cause the client excessive pain so it can be irresponsible to give the client more than is needed.” ."– Jordan Carter, health specialist at Gear Hungry
 
“As doctors, we have a duty of care to our patients, whether it is lifesaving or not. We have an ethical obligation not to cause harm to our patients. From a moral point of view, I will not do procedure on any patient if I feel it will not benefit them on a physical and psychological basis.” Dr Jane Leonard

Does too-far face come from having too much of one procedure, or a combination of treatments (like fillers, Botox and lasers)?

“We find it’s often a lot of procedures that have been done over a short period of time.  Too much filler in a short space of time can really have a detrimental effect on a client’s face.  It is best to think of it as this: you wouldn’t go into a hair salon with black hair and expect to be platinum blonde with one treatment. Botox and fillers work in the same way.” – Jordan Carter

What happens under the skin if you inject too much?

“Over time, filler stretches and weighs down the skin, which means you need more filler with each visit to the cosmetic surgeon, which will stretch the skin and tissue even more.  Over long periods of times, fillers can stretch the tissues under the skin actually accelerating the ageing process in the long run. Too much filler injected into the bottom half of the face can give a puffy unnatural appearance and you can get drooping from the upper part of the cheek.” Dr Ross Perry

How long does it take for Botox and fillers to wear off?

“For Botox, it takes 3-6 months. With filler it depends on the type used. Filler varies in thickness (i.e. how tightly crossed-linked the particles of hyaluronic acid). Thicker filler lasts up to 12 years, while thinner can last up to six months. Again, both varies from person to person, depending on how quickly you break it down naturally.” – Dr Jane Leonard

Are there any treatments designed to dissolve quickly?

“Fillers such as hyaluronic acid-based fillers are gradually broken down by the body, lasting around 6 months.” – Dr Ross Perry
 
“With Botox, once it is injected the effect starts and you have to wait 3-6 months for that to wear off. Hence it is so important to have it injected by a practitioner who fully understands the mode of action of the drug, and equally facial anatomy, so it hits the right muscle and retains the movements of muscles you don’t want to hit.” – Dr Jane Leonard

Are there any treatments that can reverse the effects?

“Only Hylase can reverse the effect of filler. This is an enzyme that breaks down filler containing hyaluronic acid. Nothing can breakdown down Botox other than time!” – Dr Jane Leonard

What do you recommend people take into consideration before going ahead with these kinds of procedures? 

“A common misconception is people feel they will get their desired look in one treatment. It can take several treatments for lip fillers to achieve the desired look - and even take up to a year. People need to consider this before treatment and shouldn’t be afraid to decide against a treatment after the consultation. If you’re having any doubts, it is wise to step away from the process and revaluate what you want. Of course, it goes without saying patients should do their research. Social media can easily influence one’s decision making when it comes to obtaining treatment and sometimes this can be great. However, using traditional methods for research is a must.” – Jordan Carter

“It’s important to find a recommended and fully qualified Dr or cosmetic practitioner when looking to get any kind of procedure of treatment. Look at their previous work, have a thorough consultation beforehand and be realistic about your expectations.  Ask any friends who may have had these treatments - they should look well but not ‘done’ - if they would recommend someone. Check the credentials and don’t be tempted by cheap deals.” – Dr Ross Perry

“Choose your practitioner wisely. Always go for a medically qualified injector with experience. In terms of treatments, Botox and filler do give amazing, face-changing results, but be realistic in your aims and share them with your injector, so you are both on the same page before you start. Also, look at the person injecting you and how they look. There are so many of us doing aesthetics these days, but our personal and professional styles vary immensely!” – Dr Jane Leonard

Check out our 5 top-rated cosmetic doctors for Botox and fillers here.

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