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In this day and age, we are much more comfortable with cosmetic treatments and plastic surgery than we once were. Where there was once something of a stigma surrounding cosmetic enhancement procedures, the advent of reality television and the openness of celebrities regarding these procedures has made them much more approachable. Where once people often went straight to plastic surgeons for even smaller procedures like filler injections, now qualified professionals also administer them at medical spas and other outlets. This accessibility has also made them more affordable. Injectables like Botox in particular are no longer considered difficult to find, and therefore are procured by “regular” people, whereas they were once reserved for the upper echelons of society. With that being said, many still remain confused about what many common procedures really are. This is why you often hear people referring to things like Botox lip injections, whereas most lip fillers are other substances entirely. For the sake of our knowledge and well being, let’s look into some of the most common cosmetic procedures, and what they really involve.

2. Lip Injections

Lip injections were once only seen on celebrities, and treated with a bit of shame. Now, everyone from famous Youtube stars to those in your neighborhood may get lip injections on a regular basis. Lip injections are used to enhance the appearance of the lips, making them fuller and smoothing out wrinkles in the lips. They can be applied to the upper or lower lip, or both, and are usually administered to specific locations to plump them up. Botox, despite the common confusion, is not a filler. It can be used for the lips, in what is called the Botox lip flip. It can relax the muscle above the lower lip, making the lower lip protrude. But due to the “duck lip” appearance that can occur if it is done incorrectly, many opt merely for lip filler, like Juvederm and Restylane. Usually, these injections will cause some temporary swelling, which dies down and simply leaves the lips fuller. They can last anywhere from six months to a year, and can be dissolved early if patients don’t like the look.

2. Botox Facial Injections

Today, Botox is most commonly used around the face, though it can be applied to different parts o the body. It’s extremely popular; in 2018, it was the top non-surgical procedure performed, and has held the top spot on the list of cosmetic procedures performed in the United States since 1999. It essentially relaxes the muscles where it is injected; this will allow the face to stop tensing and wrinkling in those areas. Some get Botox to treat wrinkles, while others begin having injections done in their twenties to prevent wrinkles from forming. Botox can also be used to prevent migraines, and can even be injected in the armpit to prevent sweating. It usually lasts around three to four months, which means that if you don’t love the effects you don’t have to stick with the injections.

3. Chemical Peels

Chemical peels sound a lot more complex than they actually are. You can have these done at med spas, and it is used to smooth out the skin and remove rough patches. A peel can also improve scarring. Essentially, it will remove the outer layer of the skin through the application of a specific solution, which can, but does not have to, involve an acid. The regenerated skin is usually smoother than it was before, and though there is often some dryness and initial burning involved in the peel, it usually will have low side effects and is an outpatient procedure. Think of it as “resurfacing” the skin

4. Face Lifts

A face lift is not something that can be done at a med spa! This procedure is surgical, and must be performed by a plastic surgeon in a hospital. There are many different techniques involved, but the point is to “lift” a sagging or wrinkled face and provide a more youthful appearance. Usually, there is the removal of excess skin, and the tightening of underlying tissue.

Ultimately, nobody needs a cosmetic procedure. You should only get one if you want one. But if it’s right for you, do your research and go for it!

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