It’s 2019, so we’re not going to pretend anymore that getting plastic surgery is some kind of weird taboo that women do in dark rooms on their 40th birthday. Embracing the chance to change something on your body that you feel insecure or uncomfortable with is f*cking awesome, and stigmas are not. And if you’re going to do something, it’s better to have all the information than to go in blind because you were too embarrassed to do research and end up with a botched procedure, right? Right. That’s why we chatted with Dr. Gary Linkov, a Facial Plastic Surgeon from New York to answer all your questions about preventative, non-surgical, and surgical facial procedures.
Which Facial Procedures Are Most Popular?
Nonsurgical: Botox, Filler, Chemical Peel
Surgical: Rhinoplasty (nose job), facelift, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), and lip lifts are growing in popularity
When Should You Start Non-Surgical Preventative Treatments?
Although rumours and Instagram ads may suggest otherwise, Dr. Linkov believes that the only truly preventative strategy is botox. He’s had clients who start as young as their early 20s, ranging to about late 20s to early 30s. So if you’re still a child and scared of needles like me, there’s no need to panic. You can still prevent those wrinkles in due time.
How Do You Know If You’re Overdoing It?
It’s not hard to spot an overkill face (we’re looking at you, Tori Spelling), but when you’re in the heat of it, how do you know if you’ve gone overboard? Dr. Linkov says that with Botox, you’re too far once you’ve lost the ability to show emotions through facial expressions and have difficulty animating your face. This low-key sounds like a really good thing that I’d 100% be down for, but it doesn’t look so cute.
In terms of filler, you want to avoid anything that looks disproportionate to the rest of your face. Like, you can legitimately pick anyone from the cast of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and go as far in the opposite direction as possible. The facial procedures are meant to enhance what is already there, not build cheeks from silicone. For lips specifically, you want to avoid an anterior projection that is unnatural, aka you don’t want to look like you’re making the duck face all the time (unless that’s your strategy, then go for it).
How Do You Fix Botched Work?
In his line of work, Dr. Linkov has seen plenty of botched faces. He says the most common type of corrections he performs for non-surgical procedures has to do with too much filler being injected or filler being injected in the wrong place. In that case, he needs to dissolve all the filler and start from scratch.
For surgical facial procedures, rhinoplasty is often one that needs correction. Sometimes too much cartilage is removed during the initial surgery, causing the nose to lose shape or sink in. Or Maybe Becca from Long Island got her nose job the summer before college and did way too much coke so now the bridge of her nose is collapsing. But like who really knows, we all started with a deviated septum anyway, right?
How Do Patients Decide The Best Course Of Treatment?
A lot of what Dr. Linkov spends his time doing is actually talking to patients and truly understanding their concerns. He likes to get a background on what procedures they’ve done prior to coming to see him, as well as their tolerance for various intensities of treatments. It’s also vital that Dr. Linkov has time to properly analyze a client’s face to choose the right method of approach. The bottom line is your surgeon should work with you, not for you, to help determine the best way to achieve what you’re looking for.
When Is The Best Time To Get A Facelift?
Dr. Linkov suggests getting a facelift once the jowls start to show *shivers* and there is some heaviness forming in the neck. Usually, this happens in the mid to late 40s for most women, but it can be later for some lucky betches. The trick, he says, is to do the facelift while the underlying muscle still has good integrity and strength. If you try to get a lift too late, the muscle will have already thinned out and will not support a transformative lift.
Do Facial Gyms Help Wrinkle Prevention?
So apparently taking a spa day to have someone smack your face doesn’t count as going to the gym. Shame. Dr. Linkov says there is very little data to show that facial gyms and wrinkle-prevention exercises actually do anything. In fact, strengthening muscles may even promote wrinkles, since wrinkles are from the activity of the skin’s underlying musculature. It’s fine, you tried.
Who Would Preventative Treatments NOT Be Beneficial For?
If you have limited wrinkles (even when you smile or do a double chin or whatever weird sh*t Snapchat prompts you to do) you don’t actually need preventative botox. Lucky. Fillers, on the other hand, are never really 100% preventative, according to Dr. Linkov, so no one should be trying that out before they want to commit to it.
How Do You Choose A Location And Person?
While these procedures can be pricey, there’s no benefit in trying to cut costs. Dr. Linkov says a lot of people often hunt for the best price per unit of Botox or syringe of filler, but those are also the faces that get botched and have to end up paying more for corrections in the future. Dr. Linkov instead strongly recommends picking a doctor by their experience to treat the face and maintain safety as their top priority. Some treatments can have side effects that range from mild to more severe, so having someone who knows what they’re doing and can do it well is very important. He also suggests that you make sure your injector has the appropriate antidotes, such as hyaluronidase for fillers, and to ask what type of filler is being injected.
What Are Typical Price Points For These Procedures?
Botox: Anywhere from $10-25 per unit or $200-500 per area
Filler: $500-1000 per syringe
Chemical Peel: $200-300 per treatment
Is There Any Downtime?
Botox: Rarely any downtime
Filler: Can have bruising or swelling for up to two weeks, but usually one to two days of downtime
Chemical Peel: Depends on the intensity of the peel, but about one week
Rhinoplasty, Facelift, Liplift: One to two weeks of downtime
What Are The Side Effects?
Botox: Paralysis of neighboring muscles, bruising (rarer)
Filler: Bruising, swelling, vascular occlusion (including skin changes, or in rare cases, blindness)
Chemical Peel: Scarring, skin pigmentation changes
Rhinoplasty: Swelling, bruising, breathing issues, cosmetic deformities
Facelift: Scarring, bleeding, facial nerve damage