A cautionary tale about the overuse of cosmetic facial procedures, its not-so-pretty consequences – and what measures one must take to ensure their end result doesn’t end up another ‘botched’ statistic. Written by Dr Anushka Reddy
Robin Wright. George Clooney. Brad Pitt. Jane Fonda.
What do the abovementioned individuals have in common? Well, besides the fact that they are all incredibly talented performers, they’re also Hollywood A-listers who’ve not only maintained their jaw-dropping good looks for decades but, unbelievably, also appear 10 years younger.
Now, while it’s a given that movie stars of the super shining kind are obviously blessed with mutant beauty genes, their DNA structure can only take them so far.
Like the rest of us mere mortals, the famous and impossibly good-looking are still human – and thus, will age like the rest of us. And they know this… which is why most of them seek a little aesthetic work here, and a little nip-tuck there in order to keep on looking bold and beautiful. Most of them got it right (as per the name dropping above), but sorry to say, there are those who got it wrong. Very wrong…
On that note, we have cited some examples of the unlucky celebs who’ve gone a little crazy overboard on the facial surgeries and injectables, where their facial reconstruction extravaganza has left them with trout pouts, frozen faces and pillowy cheek cases – rather than the youthful, natural look they were aiming for.
So, it’s with this in mind that we ask: how did this happen? What went wrong? Can it be corrected? And the biggest question of all being: what procedures will result in a natural, fresh look – instead of an unrecognisable version of oneself?
Let’s take a look-see…
It’s been a ‘Rocky’ road for some celebrities, especially the likes of Sylvester Stallone for instance. Regrettably, this once ruggedly handsome heavy-weight actor has not managed to age gracefully – and this is despite his wads of money and Hollywood fame.
Sadly, Sly Stallone – as he is affectionately known by many of his fans – appears to have followed in his late mother’s footsteps, Jackie Stallone, when it comes to cosmetic procedures. He’s had a facelift (or five?), as well as his fair share in botulinum toxin injections – leaving his face looking stretched and unnatural. It’s like he was trying to look “exactly” like he did when he was young1.
As for Sly’s mom, Jackie has confessed to having multiple facelifts and fat transfers, as well as non-surgical procedures such as botulinum toxin injectables, fillers and chemical peels. Sad to say, due to the great number of these procedures, her face has been left disfigured and lumpy.
What went wrong
Now, while all of these treatments are recommended and perfectly acceptable when it comes to maintaining a refreshed and rejuvenated look, patients may sometimes be led astray by unscrupulous doctors wanting to make a quick buck and recommending treatments that are not necessary.
Nicolas Cage and Courtney Cox
In the era where Nicholas Cage was the biggest action-hero on the planet and Courtney Cox was the most popular performer on television, they were both blessed with the quintessential gorgeous movie-star looks to match their careers. Alas, the years that followed were not kind to them looks-wise, as both of these celebs have appeared puffy and unnatural at certain stages in their lives.
What went wrong?
The puffiness may be a direct result of over-filling with dermal fillers or fat transfers, while their frozen looks may be the result of high doses of botulinum toxin. This is why it’s imperative for aesthetic injectors to underfill rather than overfill facial areas. Overfilling could result in filler migration, or lead to the area looking puffy, lumpy and abnormal.
The good news is that injectables such as hyaluronic acid (HA) can be easily dissolved – in fact, to the point where it can successfully remove any lumps or bumps that may cause an area to look unnatural (such as the lips).
The bad news is that, unlike fillers, botulinum toxin injections cannot be reversed. So when having this procedure, it’s essential not to have very high doses injected as this completely freezes the face. That said, however, the results of botulinum toxin do wear off after 2-3 months, so should there be no natural facial movements due to over-injecting, the effects of this treatment are only temporary.
As aesthetic injectors, we need to have a feel for beauty – to understand that it is both an art and science to create beautiful faces.
Due to a strong focus on achieving a natural look, doctors are performing both non-invasive and facial plastic surgery procedures in a manner that can achieve a fresh and rejuvenated appearance.
I feel there is a great responsibility now, more than ever, for doctors to guide their patients toward procedures that will help to maintain a natural, good-for-your-age look (instead of performing treatments that are more invasive and difficult to reverse).
Honesty and managing patient expectations go hand in hand. I always recommend looking at the doctor’s portfolio to see if the results they produce look natural. It is also imperative to see these faces in animation, as poor botulinum toxin and filler placement can be more prominent while the face is moving. A classic example is Kylie Jenner. Her photos look great, but as soon as she starts talking you can see her lips look unnatural and overfilled, giving her a ‘duck lip appearance.’
Meanwhile, plastic surgery also has its place – especially if non-surgical interventions are not producing the desired results. However, surgery is more invasive and difficult to reverse if you are not satisfied with the outcome.
The take-home message here is this: should you choose to have aesthetic treatments, go to an experienced medical doctor you trust. An AAMSSA registered aesthetic doctor, specialist dermatologist or plastic surgeon who understands your needs but is willing to guide you so that your expectations are met.
And most notably, a doctor who has the knowledge, experience and expertise to achieve natural-looking results in a safe manner, but is also willing to say NO if the need arises.
Written by Dr Anushka Reddy MBChB (Wits)
Dr Anushka Reddy is the owner of Medi-Sculpt, Aesthetic & Anti-Ageing Solutions www.medisculpt.co.za
- President of the South African Association of Cosmetic Doctors (SAACD) www.cosmeticdoctors.co.za
Dr Reddy has regularly contributed to various publications such as A2 Aesthetic & Anti-Ageing Magazine, Woman and Home, Longevity, Elle and The Star. She has also appeared on TV programmes such as Carte Blanche Medical, Top Billing, Eastern Mosaic, Maatband, Hello Doctor as well as CNBC Africa.
A2 Disclaimer: This article is published for information purposes only, nor should it be regarded as a replacement for sound medical advice.
This article was written by Dr Anushka Reddy and edited by the A2 team EXCLUSIVELY for the A2 Aesthetic & Anti-Ageing Magazine Autumn 2021 Edition (Issue 36 – Mar 2021 to Jun 2021).
A2 Magazine prints only four magazines each year – reporting seasonally on everything you need and want to know about aesthetics, anti-ageing, integrative medicine, quality and medical skincare, cosmetic dentistry and cosmetic surgery in South Africa – where to go, who to see, what to expect, something new and so much more! Never miss an edition – click here for more info about where you can buy the print and/or digital copy of A2 Magazine (including back copies).
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