In the age of the selfie, where millennials demonstrate almost as much of an interest in cosmetic enhancement as baby boomers, the readiness to go under the knife isn’t what it used to be.  Whether to get back to a busy life, a demanding job, or an Instagram following, today’s younger aesthetic consumer is seeking accessibility, minimal downtime and natural-looking, near-instantaneous results. 

Enter: Injectables, a category of cosmetic innovation that has captured the attention of millennials seeking the most results with the least intervention. Non-surgical and needle-based, this kinder, gentler alternative to surgery involves injecting a ‘filler’ (aka hyaluronic acid) into the skin to address – and even help prevent – many of the visible signs of ageing on the face. It can also be used to ‘refine’ features by enhancing or finessing certain attributes, achieving the effect that high-definition makeup seeks to produce. 

We asked Dr. Julia Carroll, a Toronto-based board-certified dermatologist and leader in the field of minimally invasive skin rejuvenation, for her thoughts on injectables, the category of non-invasive, non-surgical aesthetic treatments that has younger consumers taking notice.  Here’s what to know and how to get optimal results from injectables, even on a limited budget.

Why are millennials turning to injectables?
Millennials are proactive, pragmatic and willing to spend money on treatments that get results. They are cosmetically experienced and know what they want and what they don’t. They may have under-eye hollowing or a chin that doesn’t project optimally. They may want to take a preventative approach to inherited family traits, like crow’s feet or marionette lines, while others are just looking for general beautification. Often, their focus isn’t on looking younger; it’s more about refining.  The effects they once sought to create with contouring makeup, they now want to achieve with injectables.

Are injectables considered a ‘gateway’ procedure to more aggressive intervention down the line, or can they be an end in themselves, replacing the need for plastic surgery?
These days, most people, especially younger people, aren’t interested in surgery. Our injectable techniques today are the opposite of paving the way to more aggressive intervention: the majority of patients can be maintained with injectables indefinitely, especially if they start taking care of their skin early. 

Often, when you ‘fix’ one area of your face, you realize other areas need some help as well for the effect/symmetry to be optimum. Do injectables have the versatility to make it happen without looking ‘overdone’?
The last thing you want to do is take a little bit of product (filler) and inject it into lots of places, which is the instinct when you are on a budget. It’s far better to apply it to one ‘high impact’ area like around the eye or lips. When I consult with patients, I always come up with a whole plan. This is something that can be completed in a week or two (if money is no object and/or to coincide with a big event) or over the longer term, if the person is on a budget or if there is no event-related timeline we need to work towards. 

If you bruise easily, respond poorly to aesthetic treatments like waxing or suffer from skin conditions like acne or rosacea, does it preclude you from being a good candidate?
Dermatologists deal with such challenges on a daily basis so we can work around it without a problem, often resolving existing skin issues and injecting filler in the same appointment.

How can a first-time patient make the most of the initial consultation?
Setting up a consultation prior to any procedure is key to making sure you and your professional are on the same page in terms of hopes, expectations and reality. The most important thing to know is whom you are dealing with in terms of background, training and experience and whether they’ll be doing the procedure themselves or delegating it. It’s also prudent to get a sense of the products they are using and what they are made of so you understand what’s going into your face. And, of course, you want some insight into the ‘big picture’ plan: beyond your next filler, what is your practitioner’s holistic vision for helping your face and skin look its best?  

Any other tips for finding the ‘perfect professional’ to do your procedure?
If you look at the faces of the practitioner and the office staff and realize it is a not an aesthetic you like, this is a bad sign. Look for a doctor who’s look and the look of the team match your aesthetic. Just like a relationship with any doctor, you want to have a discussion about concerns and what the plan is and ensure you have a common vision for your treatment plan and results.

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