Confessions of a cosmetic junkie: I finally found a treatment that delivers natural results

Our cosmetic junkie frets about her latest procedure

It’s no secret that I am always up for trying new treatments; I am fascinated by modern medicine, procedures and technology.

But, there is a disclaimer here, I only try something if I need it, and after extensive research.

So, as I approach middle age, I notice my skin is starting to sag a little bit. Nothing too drastic, but it’s losing a little bit of its lustre.

I do look fresher and what I love is, I don’t look puffy.

I have had filler in the past, but to get the results which will make a difference, I would need to have a ton of filler, which would result in an over-filled, puffy and very unnatural look, which I am not keen to pursue (as I already have a naturally round face).

One alternative suggested to me, is Sculptra. I have long been sceptical about Sculptra, as unlike filler it can not be dissolved if you don’t like the results. This scared me.

I had read years ago of the adverse effects of Sculptra, namely lumps under the skin. This was my biggest fear.

My doctor, Stephen Lowe, assured me that (as Sculptra has been around for many years – and was originally used to treat HIV patients, who had massive fat loss in their faces) that the procedure had been refined, doses changed and product ratios redefined.

I did lots of research, and from what I could see (if you went to the right doctor who is experienced) this procedure is safe, effective and has little to no side-effects – providing you adhere to the treatment guidelines. I even spoke to a leading plastic cosmetic surgeon in the USA just to get advice – that’s how anal I am. Because let’s face it, this is your face, and if the treatment can not be reversed, it’s a biggie.

You have to be 100% committed and secure in your decision.

Doctor Lowe advised me he wanted to be conservative in my treatment plan. First, we would do one millilitre, followed a month later by another mil. I also had to be aware that this treatment did not give instant results.

Results would be evident about a month after the treatment and continue to improve. I am not very patient, so this was a nightmare for me, but trust me, it’s worth the wait.

The other great thing, is this treatment lasts around two years. Which means less time in the doctor’s chair and more time enjoying life and getting more from your hard-earned money.

Pre-planning

I went off all my fish oils a week prior to having my treatment (to help prevent bruising). I exercised and made sure I was healthy.

Day of treatment

I was extremely nervous, as I had never had Sculptra before. I was given numbing cream and gas. My doctor did a series of photos, drew on my face (impact points, where the product would be spread etc) and talked me through the procedure. He took his time and made me feel extremely comfortable.

Pain factor

Three out of 10. What on earth was I so worried about? It really didn’t hurt at all. I would say IPL laser was 100-times worse, and most people don’t mind that at all. For me it was easier and more comfortable than Botox.

Bruising/swelling

I didn’t bruise at all (unusual for me). I had a bit of swelling but that is the water which is injected along with the product. My face felt ‘squishy’ for a few days. It felt tender to touch. The water in the product dissolves after a day or two, and you don’t look any different (just remember, this treatment takes a month or more to work, and full results should be seen three months later).

Aftercare

You must massage your treatment area five times a day, for five minutes each time and for five days. This is a non-negotiable. It helps the product settle and prevents lumps forming. I massaged using Cosmedix rescue balm – it made massaging easier and also helped to moisturise my face at the same time. No alcohol for 24 hours, no strenuous exercise or hot and cold extremes, no blood thinning medication, no using active products such as AHA’s for 10-14 days post treatment. I cannot stress enough that adhering to the above is crucial in getting a good result.

Cost

I pre-paid for my 2ml and it cost $1399 (1ml is $800, so pre-paying for the complete treatment was the best option).

Result

Our cosmetic junkie is rapt with the result
It took three months to see the change, but our cosmetic junkie is rapt with the result, pictured right.

I can see a lifting in my face, my cheek bones look more defined, my skin texture has improved, it looks smoother. I do not look overdone, just more lifted in a not-to-obvious way. No one would know I have had anything done. Although people have commented on how good I am looking. I do look fresher and what I love is, I don’t look puffy. It has been four months since my first treatment and three months since my last treatment. I am considering going back for 1ml more, as I feel to get the desired look more is needed (I will however defer to Dr Lowe’s advice). The plan for me was be conservative, and I am glad we were, as it is easier to get more, and not at all easy to get rid to it, in fact you can’t.

Worth it

100% – but remember to keep your expectations in-check. It takes three months to see the results. After the first month you will see a gradual improvement. I am very happy with the result. My skin also looks firmer, the texture is much better, and I do look ‘fresher’ and slightly lifted.

Which is the result I was after. Natural. I love it.

Remember

If you feel any pain, feel lumps etc after your treatment, call your doctor ASAP.

This treatment is not suited for everyone. So please get professional advice.

Ensure your doctor is conservative. You can always get more if needed after a few months.

I paid for this treatment myself. I went to Dr Stephen Lowe at Total Face Group Chatswood, in Sydney, who I trust implicitly and who is very precise, professional and in my opinion one of the best.

He is honest, has integrity (so very important) and has never let me down. If I want something done which isn’t needed – he will tell me, and he won’t do it.

You can reach Doctor Lowe at Total Face Group, Chatswood, Sydney.

This article are my opinions based on my experience. Please remember to seek professional advice before you do any treatment. Research, referrals and recommendations are key.

Before and After: Please note I have no make-up on in either picture above. The after, I kept my lip gloss on. I had the minimal amount injected, our plan was to be conservative – many people get double or triple what I had done. I can notice a lifting around the eye, cheek-done and mid face area, which is exactly what I wanted. The texture of my skin has also improved.

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