Injectables have long become a common means of cosmetic self-enhancement. The average woman’s regular trip to her friendly neighbourhood medspa more often than not includes a regimen of injectables, be it botox or fillers. She’s probably blushingly modest about her beauty secrets but the fact remains that injectables are extremely popular. From your party planning socialite down to the average stay at home Mom, most females know a good beauty tool when they find it! What’s interesting is that the masculine of our species are becoming privy to the use of injectables too.
The beauty of Restylane, Juvederm, Botox as well as a list of differing injectables, is that they offer a non-invasive yet highly effective alternative to facial rejuvenation. Dr Mark Youssef of Younique Cosmetic Surgery www.youniquecosmeticsurgery.com is a Los Angeles based doctor who has taken the advantages of several injectables combining them into a package known as the Liquid Facelift. The Liquid Facelift utilizes a combination of injectables to refresh, enhance as well as mould the individual’s face.
Not only does the Liquid Facelift address lines, wrinkles and depressions in the face, it can also enhance features such as the lips, cheekbones, chin, jawline and even the nose!
I ventured down to Dr Youssef’s MedSpa in Santa Monica to get the full story on injectables and their possibilities.
Step into the inviting ambience of Younique Cosmetic Surgery at the corner of Lincoln & Wilshire, and you’ll be pleasantly greeted by its friendly, caring staff. The girls at the reception Lori and Kelly make the visit so social and warm, that you’ll soon forget you’re visiting a doctor’s office. Dr Mark Youssef himself exudes a relaxed air of confidence & patience, generously giving his time to truly analyze a patience face before suggesting a treatment.
This young, affable doctor appears to have quite the fan club. In fact I had heard so many rave reviews about Dr Youssef’s techniques that I was looking forward to experiencing a demonstration myself!
Interestingly, Dr Youssef was born near the Egyptian pyramids before his family moved to Southern California. I suspect that his Egyptian roots and perfectionist nature probably influence his sense of aesthetics. In his own words he states that “Some doctors feel that cosmetic surgery is just a job; I’m not one of them. I take pride in my work as a surgical art. ”
The good doctor is a regular physician on The New You, created by the producers of The Swan, due to air this fall on NBC. On the show, he performs various cosmetic procedures using the latest in cutting- edge aesthetic technology. No stranger to Hollywood and the media, he’s been featured in a variety of publications, including Star Magazine and INtouch, and TV shows such as Access Hollywood.
He’s also an international guest speaker in addition to publishing numerous articles in national and international scientific journals. In addition, he has trained and mentored hundreds of physicians around the world through various teaching programs and has injected over 10,000 patients.
I waited in the doctor’s office having already consulted with the doctor in the past. He had given me his notes on what he felt would be the ideal enhancement for my face. I appreciated the fact that he advised me to go for slight improvements rather than encouraging me to do more.
Dr Youssef entered the room, greeting me warmly as he proceeded to begin the demonstration. I observed his care and attention to detail. He carefully and deliberately examined my face between each round of injections. Given that I’m young and didn’t require much ‘enhancement’ he was still able to make subtle injections in my cheekbones and lips that delivered a very natural yet refreshed look.
I asked the doctor to explain his approach and technique. With every face being so unique, I was curious to discover how he is able to refrain from the cookie-cutter results a lot of doctors fall into.
As Dr Youssef explains, “ What I observe in a patient is their static and dynamic lines. Static lines are carved in even when a person is not expressing themselves physically. Dynamic lines only show up when you smile. As you grow older, these lines remain even when you’re not smiling.
Once I’ve recognized the nature of the line or depression, I choose an injectable designed to address it. Botox essentially works best on dynamic lines because it treats the muscle and not the skin. In a nutshell it relaxes the muscle that creates the line. Botox is great for crow’s feet, between the eyebrows and forehead lines. It disrupts the process of muscle contraction and essentially paralyzes the muscle; the contraction is stopped, and the wrinkles disappear for about three months.
Now the filler works to fill in the grooves that create static lines. Fillers fill in a depression or a groove, plumping up the skin where necessary. I make sure to use a minimal amount to fill in lines so there’s not too much to make it look unnaturally full. Injectable fillers can plump thin lips, enhance shallow contours, soften facial features, correct fine lines and enhance the skin. A lot of people confuse botox with fillers, but they have two entirely different functions.”
He goes on to say, "Depending on the patient’s age, results can be comparable to surgery. In fact non-invasive procedures such as Botox, Juvederm and Laser are our 3 most popular procedures. If you start early enough in life you can maintain the same look that a facelift can offer. Ethnicity does play a part in the ageing process too. Lighter skin tends to wrinkle faster, so if you’re Irish you’re going to have to start your beauty regimen a little earlier than an African American. Sun exposure is also another factor to consider. The more you expose yourself to the sun and the elements, the more you have to counteract that with an appropriate beauty regimen.
When you hit your 30’s that’s when lines start to carve in on skin. By and large, most thirty-somethings should probably begin actively consider benefiting from injectables.”
I ask Dr Youssef to delve further into the concept of the Liquid Facelift. He explains, “ With the Liquid Facelift you experience a reduction in wrinkles and a lifting of certain areas of the face with no surgery and no down time. It’s really pretty magical because you’re accomplishing something that could only be achieved by surgery once upon a time. You get the effect of a facelift with essentially just needle injections.
If you’re older you can see a tremendous amount of improvement in areas such as the cheekbones and the under eyes. With age there is a hollowness in the face and facial tissue sags due to gravity. As you older you start to look skeletonized, with deeper lines and more carved in wrinkles. In this case , my approach is more 3 dimensional, I focus on filling up areas that require volume replacement.
I also use injectables for revolumizing the lips, filling in shadows, the corners of the mouth, the smile lines, augmenting the chin, reshaping the nose to smooth out bumps, restructuring the jawline and the list goes on. It really depends on the individual face and its requirements.
The amount of injectable used is also a key factor. It’s like a tank of gas, the more gas you put in the more mileage you get and the longer your results lasts. But at the same time you want to inject just the right amount to offer a natural look.
That’s why the injector’s skill is so important. It’s a fine line between enhancement and transformation. I have patients who come in wanting a dramatic change and I usually negotiate with them and reach a happy compromise. I’m more inclined to conservative changes that are proportional to a person’s age or body structure. Sometimes I get patients who are looking for a really over the top, exaggerated result. If we can’t reach a compromise, I’ll refer them to a doctor who is willing to give them the result they are looking for. I’m very careful with all my patients. Every single patient is a walking advertisement for me, so I make sure that I deliver a result that I’m proud of.”
I was curious to know more of his experience dealing with a largely female dominated clientele. He says, “I originally started off as an OB/GYN before being retrained into cosmetic surgery 6 years ago. Because I’m certified in OB/GYN I have years of experience dealing with women’s issues. The benefits of that background is that I relate to women well and they relate to me. I’ve become really attuned to women’s needs and female patients feel very comfortable with me.”
I went on to question Dr Youssef on his experience on the show the New You “The show is actually the recreation of The Swan. We shot a few episodes and it was a wonderful experience because it involved a team of medical professionals from a cosmetic dentist, psychologist and so on. It’s not just about the external cosmetic change, an individual has to address the internal changes that occur for a complete transformation. Even if you make someone pretty on the outside, they’re not going to feel pretty until they feel it on the inside. If someone was bulimic or depressed or had poor self image, all these issues were addressed. In addition there was a doctor of internal medicine who monitored their blood pressure, their diet and calorie intake so it was a holistic approach to health and beauty. ”
In addition to his media appearances, Dr Youssef also trains other doctors “ At this point we are doing 1 training a month in our facility in Santa Monica. We have doctors coming in from around the world to be trained. I get invited regularly to do cosmetic procedure trainings in the US, Taiwan, France and so on. I’ve gone to large conferences where there are translators and to large courses in the US for a number of different companies. We also host a lot of personal one on one trainings in our office so that they can truly practise and perfect the art of injecting.”
Finally I asked the doctor how we would describe himself in 3 words, “ Perfectionist, approachable and sensitive”. The description fits him to a T !
I left the MedSpa feeling pleased with the experience and with a firm resolve to make injectables a regular addition to my personal beauty regimen. How could anyone resist a full, luscious pout? Not me !