How long is this going to last?
That’s the number one question in all aesthetics. We will do, invest, and make efforts that seem crazy to most all in the name of skin rejuvenation. We don’t care if the treatment requires us to wear a mask of bird poop or bathe in our own plasma as long as we see results. We don’t ask how but we do ask how long. We ask it when purchasing product, when thinking about a skin treatment, when considering a procedure, when consulting a plastic surgeon, and just about anytime we are weighing the options of our potential aesthetic investments.
The good news is that the answer is FOREVER. Well, kind of…
Talking about expectations and the lifespan of an aesthetic treatment is always a tricky conversation. As a practitioner you want to be completely honest with your patients and create realistic expectations. But you also want to be encouraging and share all of the ways in which you can help your patient reach their aesthetic goals. That’s why I was so excited when talking with plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Yula Indeyeva, and she shared how she talks with her patients about expectations.
Dr. Indeyeva explains seeing aging as a conveyer belt. When we’re born we’re placed on the conveyer belt of aging and off we go! As children most of us are riding along without a single thought of our aging skin. This is the time that we are likely outside accumulating all the sun damage that will come back to haunt us later in life. If only we could go back in time and tell that stubborn teenager to listen to your mom and wear the sunscreen! A tan is not cute!
But I digress…
Once we hit adulthood that’s when we start noticing the fine lines, discoloration, skin laxity, and rough texture start to slowly show up and, for many of us, that’s when we start caring about our skin. The degree to which you care about the appearance of your skin varies from person to person so not everyone will find themselves sitting in a consultation room with an aesthetician or physician. But for those of us that do, we will inevitably have the “How long will this last?” conversation. The question we’re really asking is “how long will I look as good as I look the day after the treatment?” That’s what we want to know because that’s how most of us measure the value of the investment we are going to make.
To answer that question, let’s go back to our conveyer belt. When we have a treatment done, regardless of if that treatment is something minor like a chemical peel or something major like surgery, what the practitioner is essentially doing is picking you up off of the conveyer belt and setting you back. How far you get set back will depend on what treatment you’ve had done. Cosmetic injections may set you back a few years, while a facelift may set you back a decade or more. What is the same, no matter what you do, is that once you get set back down on the conveyer belt, it keeps moving. The aging process does not stop because you had something done. You are still living, still aging. What has changed is that you are starting again on your conveyer belt further back than you were before your procedure. Yay!! So in a year, or in five years, or in 20 years you are going to look that much better than you would have naturally. So, in that sense, the results do last forever. You’ll always be that much further back on your conveyer belt!
What it does not mean is that you will always look like you do on the day after your procedure. You are still moving on your conveyer belt and the aging process is still happening just as it was before you were picked up, and eventually you will see those signs of aging return. Aging is a fact of life. We can’t stop it but we can do a lot to slow it down!
So what can you do to ensure that you get the most longevity out of all your cosmetic treatments, procedures, and surgeries?
Take care of your skin and you will prolong the appearance of a more youthful face (and body!). As Dr. Indeyeva shared, when a patient cares for their skin they will see better results from their treatments, procedures, and surgeries. Good skincare helps create healthy skin that heals faster, looks better, and maintains results longer. Dr. Indeyeva always recommends a skincare routine that includes vitamin c, retinol, and sunscreen. Nothing will diminish your results faster than unprotected sun exposure. Remember what you wish you could go back and tell your teenage self, wear the sunscreen! That is important advice for your adult self too!
The next time you’re thinking of investing in a cosmetic treatment of any kind, don’t ask how long the results will last, ask how far back they will set you on your conveyer belt!
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Until next time, SkinCrushers, take care of your skin and take care of each other!