January 27, 2022

Hiding face

Celebrities often make somewhat outlandish claims about the secret to their eternally youthful looks, and even if they do have aesthetic treatments, like botulinum toxin or dermal filler injections, they have a habit of looking fresh and amazing, but if you try and copy them, as ‘normal’ people, you can sometimes be left looking fake and unnatural? What’s that all about?

Dr Tim Pearce was asked to share his insight and comments on this phenomenon based on the points raised in this recent video – Why Botox makes celebs look perfect but you look plastic (scroll down to watch the video right here).

In this blog, Dr Tim outlines four of the reasons why he believes that this inequality exists between the rich and famous and you and I when it comes to aesthetic treatments. He discusses the approaches that will help patients to recognise good aesthetic practitioners and help aesthetic clinicians change their injection practice to keep their ‘normal’ patients looking just as fresh and fab, and not ‘weird’ or unnatural.

Dr Tim will be discussing more medical aesthetic training tips as part of his upcoming webinar series, so if you’re looking to increase your CPD-certified learning and want to learn more skills to make you a better clinician, then step one is to register for the free webinars by Dr Tim.

Dr Tim Pearce shockedWhat goes wrong with aesthetic injections to make patients look weird?

There is a wide spectrum of aesthetic results demonstrated in practice – ranging from so mild as to be ineffective at making a difference to the patient, certainly beyond the placebo effect, all the way through to grotesque and unnatural body modifications that draw media scrutiny.

The most interesting thing for aesthetic clinicians who believe that appearance is a function of health and not just a way to express yourself is when things go wrong – when people aiming to look beautiful end up looking weird. We want to know how that can happen and understand why?

The vending machine approach – the patient designs their treatment

These days, it is common knowledge that you can rent a Harley Street clinic by the hour, so it is no longer an indication of competence or skill that you can demonstrate a Harley Street address, and this may be a warning sign if you’re booking patients in one after the other to cover the rent.

In such cases, the patient is the one designing the treatment – a back-to-back appointment list for the day that is booked in as “Botox 3 areas, 1ml lip filler, Botox 2 areas, 2ml cheek filler etc.” is not going to lead to natural results if patients are booking themselves onto a convey belt of generic treatments preordained by their credit card booking.

This is the vending machine approach to aesthetic treatments and is a recipe for weird results. There may be a discussion (consultation), but the business model works by the patient ordering (booking) a treatment and that treatment is then delivered by the practitioner. Assuming it is consented for and there are no contraindications, the primary goal is simply satisfying the patient and giving them what they have bought and paid for.

This is even more obvious with the advent of package deals which include a mix of botulinum toxin (by several areas) and dermal filler (up to a quantity of mls). There are ways that you can guide patients, and still sell packages, but it is harder if you have to undo the patient’s expectation and renegotiate with them sat there in front of you. Dr Tim suspects that rarely happens and the proforma treatment (and result) is delivered – cue the weird results because the patient has designed their own treatment without any guidance, skill, or knowledge around what will work best for them, the intricacies, and subtleties of their face.

This vending machine approach is simply commercial, treating aesthetic medicine as a commodity – the patient pays, you do the thing they have requested and paid you to do. With this approach there is no guidance, or a skilled approach

The commodity approach – trying not to waste product

The same problems with ‘weird’ results can be noted if either, or both, the patient and the aesthetic practitioner find themselves overly emphasising the importance of not wasting the products that they are paying for, treating them as a commodity whereby you want ‘all’ of what you have paid to receive – whether than is 1ml of lip filler or 6ml for a full-face package.

In this case, the injector also wants to be paid for what they have sold, so both become fixated on the goal of using all the product, likely at the detriment of the aesthetic result, when a less is more approach, regardless of the cost or wasted product may be a better option.

Learn more about why you’re worth so much more than the price-per-1ml of the products you use and why instead, you are a complex and valuable aesthetic clinician.

The feedback approach – celebs get told if results are weird

As we known from the Dunning-Kruger effect, confidence is typically greatest amongst those with the least amount of competence.

In the UK, we have some serious failings within the system that is the aesthetic sector. This allows a proliferation of aesthetic training in cosmetic injectables to be promoted specifically at people with zero qualifications who pay for ‘training’, but do not achieve a regulated qualification.

Those same people can then go on to set up training schools and academies themselves, within weeks, completely unchallenged, and thus there is an explosion of new aesthetic injectors with no experience who have only been taught injection techniques on a narrow area of the face with no consultation, aesthetic awareness, or clinical skill.

Alongside, there is a world of complication risk with respect to diagnosis, treatment and clinical decision-making in high stress situations that is impossible to teach in a few hours to this same cohort, so they remain completely unprepared.

The end results are that they tend to become indoctrinated into believing that they are just as equipped as every other injector because all training in cosmetic injectables is the same, no matter your background, and approach treatment in a fearless manner.

The aesthetic sector is failing because it has no enforceable, official standards, either with respect to aesthetic results or patient safety.

The one-size-fits-all approach – a lack of a well-being goal

Aesthetics ConsultationAs an aesthetic clinician you should be aiming for the goal of maximising the health and well-being of your patient through the medium of improving or enhancing their appearance.

Appearance affects three vital aspects of human health – how you feel, how you behave, and how you are received by others. Thus, every consultation should be an analyse of those factors, every treatment designed to optimise appearance with respect to the patient’s personal story.

Learn more about how to justify your decision to treat a patient  with a medical aesthetic intervention.

If both the patient and practitioner believe that appearance is superficial, and merely a way of expressing oneself, or the patient is sold a one-size-fits-all package of injectable treatments and not an analysis of their personal journey with an individualised treatment plan, or the injector simply delivers cookie-cutter style injection techniques to the same template for every patient they see, then weird results are more likely.

Aesthetics Mastery Show

Why Botox makes celebs look perfect but you look plastic

This blog accompanies a recent Aesthetics Mastery Show, where Dr Tim Pearce discussed how celebrities keep their eternally youthful looks without looking fake look after Botox and fillers. Dr Tim outlines the 4 reasons he thinks this inequality exists, and explains how injectors can change their practice to keep their patients looking fresh.

Watch the full Aesthetic Mastery Show episode here:

Are you still anxious about delivering cosmetic injectables safely?

If you want to learn more about mastering medical aesthetic treatments and complications or conquering the anxiety of where to place your needle, then register for the next Dr Tim webinar.

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Dr Tim Pearce eLearning

Dr Tim Pearce MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCGP founded his eLearning concept in 2016 in order to provide readily accessible BOTOX® and dermal filler online courses for fellow Medical Aesthetics practitioners. His objective was to raise standards within the industry – a principle which remains just as relevant today.

Our exclusive video-led courses are designed to build confidence, knowledge and technique at every stage, working from foundation level to advanced treatments and management of complications.

Thousands of delegates have benefited from the courses and we’re highly rated on Trustpilot. For more information or to discuss which course is right for you, please get in touch with our friendly team.

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