Regardless of exactly how you celebrate the holidays, the period between Christmas and New Years is a time when we all want to look our best. Whether we’re reuniting with old friends, seeing former work colleagues again after many years, or visiting with relatives from out of town, we want to feel confident and radiant—not self-conscious.
Alas, if you’re experiencing early signs of aging, you may be dreading holiday reunions rather than looking forward to them. Fortunately, nonsurgical anti-aging solutions like Botox and dermal fillers (e.g., Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, etc.) can help: These safe, noninvasive treatments can erase fine lines and wrinkles and restore lost facial volume. In other words, they can make you look many years younger, without you having to undergo any surgery.
How Do Botox and Fillers Erase Wrinkles?
There are essentially two “types” of wrinkles: Dynamic wrinkles, which are a product of muscle creasing, and wrinkles caused by the breakdown of collagen and elastin. (Collagen and elastin keep skin smooth and supple, but the production of these compounds inevitably declines with age.) Botox is needed to treat dynamic wrinkles and fillers are used to correct wrinkles created by poor collagen production. Here’s how they work:
Botox is carefully injected into the muscles in various “problem areas,” usually around the forehead region. Once it has been applied, these muscles start to relax; their normal contractions are halted temporarily by the active agent in Botox. As a result, dynamic wrinkles surrounding the treated areas no longer appear when the patient smiles, frowns, or laughs.
It’s important to be aware that this effect is only temporary and having Botox injections will not harm your facial muscles in any way. If you don’t like the results of your first Botox treatment, you can simply wait three months and the effects will wear off. However, if you do like the wrinkle-free look Botox produces, you can talk to your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon about getting a fresh round of injections. Continued Botox treatments will often encourage the muscles to remain in a relaxed state, meaning that the patient will not require as many rounds of Botox in the future to remain youthful looking. Many patients find that after three rounds of Botox injections, they only need to get follow-up injections every six months.
Dermal fillers are just as effective and convenient as Botox, but they have a different mechanism of action. Rather than relaxing the facial muscles, fillers literally “fill in” the imprinted lines that Botox can’t treat. They can fill in other imperfections, too, such as hollows under the cheeks and eyes and acne scars. This effect is essentially twofold owing to the compounds used to create dermal fillers. Many popular fillers, such as Juvederm, are made from a substance called hyaluronic acid. This compound, which is found naturally in the human body, stimulates the production of collagen. Dermal fillers, therefore, both have an immediate “filling” effect (that is, the gel directly fills in wrinkles) and they help to improve the skin’s condition over time.
Though dermal fillers are also temporary, they last longer than Botox, Most people only need to have dermal fillers re-administered once every six months. Moreover, some newer varieties of dermal fillers may last for up to a year, while specialized acne scar fillers are often permanent.
Why November is the Ideal Time to Get Holiday Botox and Fillers
While Botox and fillers like Juvederm are extremely convenient anti-aging solutions, it’s a little-known fact that their results are not immediate. It generally takes about one week for the effects of Botox to become fully evident, while most dermal fillers need at least two weeks to settle. Some patients experience mild swelling or unevenness immediately after having dermal fillers injected, and this can temporarily interfere with the appearance of the results. Likewise, as stated above, many dermal fillers are comprised of compounds that boost the production of collagen and elastin. As such, their initial effects are gradually improved upon by the body’s natural healing response. Many patients report seeing continued enhancements in the firmness and volume of their skin for one to two months after having dermal fillers injected.
By having Botox and dermal fillers administered about a month ahead of the holiday season, you’ll be ensuring that their effects are in full swing by the time you sit down to Christmas dinner. Better still, because these treatments are completely noninvasive, you won’t have to take any time off work in order to have them. You can schedule these procedures during your lunch hour and head back to the office afterward, meaning that you’ll be able to save all of your vacation time for the things that really matter. So, why not give yourself the gift of confidence this holiday season?