Whether you’re new to cosmetic dermatology or a seasoned skincare enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of fillers and Botox™. They are two of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedures today, famed for their ability to restore a youthful glow, smooth out wrinkles, and enhance facial contours. But have you ever wondered about the science behind these treatments?
Today, we’re exploring how your body metabolizes fillers and Botox™ and how to use that information to get the most bang for your buck from your skincare investments.
Understanding the Basics: What Are Fillers and Botox™?
Dermal fillers, often referred to as “fillers, ” are injectable substances that add volume to the skin and help diminish facial lines and restore a smooth, youthful appearance. Different fillers are available, each formulated with various active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, Poly L-lactic Acid, or Calcium Hydroxylapatite.
While fillers add volume to specific areas, Botox™ works a little differently.
Botox™ is a purified form of Botulinum toxin, but don’t let the word “toxin” intimidate you. The FDA has approved it, and it has a long track record of being safe and effective. It’s a neuromodulator that relaxes the muscles beneath your skin, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles caused by facial expressions. Botox™ can be used to treat a variety of concerns, from forehead lines and crow’s feet to bunny lines on the nose.
The Metabolization Process: What Happens After the Injection?
So, you’ve gotten your fillers or Botox™ injections, and you’re enjoying your refreshed appearance. But do you know what happens next?
Just like everything else we introduce to our bodies, these substances undergo a process of metabolization.
In the case of fillers, your body gradually absorbs them, breaking them down over time. With hyaluronic acid fillers, for instance, your body employs a team of hyaluronidase enzymes to break down the hyaluronic acid into smaller units, which are then naturally eliminated. It’s like your body’s clean-up crew, ensuring nothing overstays its welcome.
The longevity of fillers can vary depending on the type used. For example, hyaluronic acid fillers can last anywhere from 6 to 18 months, while Poly L-lactic Acid fillers can last up to 2 years. But remember, these are just averages. The actual duration can be influenced by several factors, including age, skin health, lifestyle habits, and even how your body metabolizes the filler.
Botox™ has a slightly different journey. Once injected, Botox™ binds to the nerve endings in your muscles, effectively pausing the signals that cause muscle contractions and, thus, wrinkles. Over 3-6 months, your body processes the Botox™, breaking it down and excreting it. Just like fillers, several factors determine the longevity of your injectable. For instance, the muscles around our mouth are used more frequently (for talking, eating, etc.), leading to Botox™ being metabolized quicker in this area than others.
When administered correctly by a skincare expert, both fillers and Botox™ are considered safe with few, if any, side effects.
Prolonging the Effects of Your Injectables
While you can’t change your metabolism rate, there are certain practices you can adopt to enhance the longevity and effectiveness of your injectable treatments.
Good hydration isn’t just for thirst-quenching; it’s your secret weapon in the fight for youthful skin. Keeping your body hydrated can help maintain the volume and efficacy of hyaluronic acid fillers, so ensure you drink plenty of water daily. You should also invest in a good moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated from the outside in.
A solid skincare routine is as much about what you put into your body as what you put on it. A balanced diet packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids can do wonders for your skin’s health. These nutrients help to protect and repair your skin, which in turn can extend the life of your injectables.
Just as a good workout can leave you with a post-exercise glow, regular physical activity can also boost the longevity of your fillers and Botox™. Exercise increases your circulation, eliminating toxins and delivering oxygen and nutrients to your skin. So, lace up those sneakers and get your heart rate up – your skin and your fillers will reap the benefits!
Note: Intense workouts immediately after treatments can accelerate injectable metabolization. Avoid vigorous exercise for 48 hours following your treatment.
The sun may feel great on your skin, but too much exposure can take a toll on your injectables. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily shields your skin from harmful UV rays. But don’t stop there. Embrace sun-smart habits like wearing protective clothing and hats, seeking shade during peak sun hours, and wearing sunglasses to protect the delicate skin around your eyes. Remember, every step you take to reduce sun damage helps prolong the effectiveness of your treatments.
Regular Professional Consultations
Last but not least, never underestimate the importance of regular check-ins with your skincare professional. These appointments are vital opportunities to assess how well your fillers or Botox™ are holding up and make adjustments as needed. Think of your skincare professional as your guiding star in the vast universe of aesthetics. They’re there to help you navigate and make the most of your treatments, so keep them close and make the most of their expertise!