Getting a little ‘tweak’ used to be something done discreetly but after the past 18 months, the mention of fillers or Botox barely raises an eyebrow.
According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s Global Survey, 53,064 non-surgical procedures were carried out in the UK in 2019, an increase of 7.6% on the previous year. And that was pre-pandemic…
Since lockdown ended, the number of tweakments has sky-rocketed with regular Zoom meetings creating more self-criticism. It’s not just the stereotypical middle-aged women seeking tweakments either; today’s clients are both male and female - and as young as 25.
Whether it’s poutier lips, sharper cheekbones or a more chiselled jawline, ‘tweakments’ are no longer taboo – in fact, they are the talk of the town. Scarlet Spy gets the lowdown from Dr Jane Leonard, GP-turned Cosmetic Doctor.
What exactly is a 'tweakment'?
You’ve probably heard the word ‘tweakment’ banded around a lot this past year or so. It covers a variety of non-surgical techniques and therapies, mainly done to your face using injections. Forget general anaesthetic and going under the knife, you can conveniently nip out for a quick lunchtime ‘tweak’ and you won’t need to hide away from the world for a few weeks afterwards (mostly).
Two of the most popular ‘tweakments’ are Botox and dermal fillers - what’s the difference?
Botox, aka botulinum toxin, is a potent neurotoxin injected into the muscles. In technical terms, it inhibits the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction – basically, it blocks your brain’s ability to tell your face to frown causing localised relaxing of the face muscles. This helps to reduce and prevent unwanted lines and wrinkles.
Botox and fillers do similar jobs but Botox tends to be used on the top third of your face - forehead lines, crow’s feet and frown lines - while fillers are used on the bottom two thirds – cheek, lips and chins. Even ear lobes are getting in on the action, apparently.
It’s worth noting that Botox injections can be used to correct existing facial lines and wrinkles, as well an anti-ageing treatment to help prevent lines and wrinkles developing as we age. It typically lasts between three to six months, dependent on the dose used and how strong the facial muscles are. To maintain smooth skin and keep lines and wrinkles at bay, you should have Botox injections every three to four months, but this varies from person to person.
Ok, so Dermal Fillers?
Dermal Fillers are clear smooth gels which contain hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the dermis of the skin and is essential for the volume and elasticity of the skin.
As we age, the natural hyaluronic acid content of our skin decreases – which is where fillers come in. Injected deep into the dermis, they help replace the skin’s natural hyaluronic acid, introducing volume to areas where it has been lost and smoothing unwanted lines and wrinkles on the skin’s surface.
As well as replacing volume, dermal fillers can also be used to add volume, shape and definition to the face. From contouring the lip line and creating a perfect cupid’s bow to sculpting Cara Delevingne-esque cheek bones.
The rise in facial contouring has increased the popularity of chin fillers which help to create definition in the lower third of the face. When injected in combination with the cheeks and jawline, it can create the desirable heart-shaped face.
What is Profhilo?
Known as the ‘acceptable injectable’, Profhilo contains one of the highest concentrations of stabilised hyaluronic acid on the market. Its structure makes it different from fillers and allows it to flow smoothly over an extended area to target dullness, offer instant hydration and ‘remodel’ the skin.
What are your top tips for the tweakment-curious?
Do your research and choose someone with a medical background who can spot if anything has gone wrong. Botox is a neurotoxin and things don’t always go right.
So, whether you’re needle adverse, sit firmly on the tweakment fence or are on first name basis with the local medi-spa, one thing’s for sure: ‘tweakments’ is the word on everyone’s lips.