Our face is not only the first thing we notice about one another, it’s also our primary mechanism for communicating and conveying our feelings. Similarly, our face is center stage as an indicator of age, and the development of wrinkles and fine lines can make it difficult to properly convey what we’re feeling. The development of deep, fine lines around our lower face and/or forehead can make us appear permanently angry or upset, and can age us more rapidly than we’d prefer. One solution for these issues is the use of neurotoxins and dermal fillers. More interestingly, some studies show that reducing our ability to frown after the use of face injections may actually also reduce the feeling of anger or sadness.
While you can’t stop time, you can take action and return your face to a more cheerful, less pensive appearance. In expert hands, the correct fillers and neurotoxins can be injected in a way that results in a natural appearance and a face that looks fresh.
One of the main causes behind the development of these stressful lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet is an overall loss of volume across facial skin. Volume loss is a natural part of aging, but can also be provoked by exposure to UV rays and other harmful elements over an extended period of time. Fighting the effects of volume may seem overwhelming at first glance but incredible advancements in the field of cosmetic technology mean that reversing the effects of volume loss are now as simple as a customized combination of cosmetic injectables accompanied by lip and dermal fillers.
One of the most popular issues to treat is the “perma-frown,” the drooping that occurs in the lower half of the face. Other patients suffer similar “sad face” due to the development of permanently lines in the deep nasolabial folds, or “parenthesis” lines, that run from the corners of the nose to the mouth, as well as the “marionette” lines that run from the corners of the mouth to the chin. These are the two most common areas that can be addressed through the use of fillers.
Psychological studies show over and over that facial expressions can physically evoke the exact emotion they usually reflect. Smiling more makes people happy, frowning often evokes anger or sadness. Called the facial feedback hypothesis, it implies that forcing your lips and cheeks into a smile can make you feel happy, and scowling can make you annoyed, at least to some extent.
In a 2006 study, graduate student David Havas of the University of Wisconsin-Madison decided to study people who had received Botox treatments for the area of the forehead that constricts into a frown. Havas wanted to determine if this treatment affected the patient’s ability to feel certain emotions. Could this treatment address both how they convey emotions and feel them? Could this alleviate some feelings of depression?
Presented at the Society for Personal and Social Psychology, Havas studied 40 volunteers who were planning to receive neurotoxin treatments in two weeks. Before treatment, they read statements with particular emotions:
After reading each sentence, the volunteers pushed a button to indicate they understood it. Then, two weeks after their face injections, they repeated the exercise.
In each instance, volunteers pressed a button stating; “I’ve read and understood this state” button. Before and after treatments, participants pressed this button just as quickly when the sentence conveyed something happy. But when it conveyed something angry, sad, or unhappy, people took longer to read and understand it. The emotions simply did not compute as easily as before their sadness and anger muscles were paralyzed.
While there aren’t many studies after this 2006 version, the findings from these 40 patients are interesting and valuable to those unsure of seeking treatment – it certainly couldn’t hurt!
Deciding on the right type of filler and injectable can be overwhelming. Fillers and injectables come in many forms and treatments and deciding the best fillers for the face should always begin with a thorough consultation and exam with a cosmetic professional in order to determine the product that can best achieve your desired results. Whether you’re looking to highlight your natural bone structure, increase volume, or decrease deep lines and wrinkles, there’s a solution for you.
It’s important that patients work alongside a cosmetic professional that understands the importance of evaluating where facial volume is most prominent and working on a long-term solution to target those particular areas. For some patients, wrinkles and loss of definition occur more noticeably around the eyes. For others, sagging begins to occur around the jawline before it shows up anywhere else.
Those who lose a significant amount of volume around the mouth tend to have the appearance of a frown while the loss of volume in the cheeks can create a look of significant fatigue. Fillers and injectables applied everywhere can lead to an unnatural final appearance, however, a careful approach to targeting problem areas is sure to leave patients looking renewed, rejuvenated, and with a fuller and more youthful look in the end.
Perhaps the only thing better than a refreshed, clean, and youthful face, patients are able to walk out of the office on their own and get back to their busy day and are confident showing off their rested look in the next day’s Zoom meetings. At most, patients have reported redness or sensitivity at the treatment site for a few days following the procedure, but this type of discomfort is easily treated with over-the-counter pain medication as needed.
Patients who are looking to completely eliminate the potential for procedural discomfort can always request to have anesthetic cream applied to the treatment area prior to the procedure. Similarly, physicians will often offer patients an ice pack to apply to the area to reduce the potential for swelling once treatment is complete. While minimal results can be seen the day of treatment, the most drastic changes with face injections are often seen within a few weeks following treatment as the muscles absorb the full effect of the injections.
Perhaps the best part of getting facial fillers is how easy it is to start the process! It’s as simple as contacting Dr. Wright’s team at the Laser Lipo and Vein Center for a consultation, sitting down to discuss your ideal outcomes with Dr. Wright and our team, and getting the injection scheduled! We’re here to help you talk through what you’re looking for and how we can help you get those desired results to feel your best in your next Zoom meeting! Before you know it, colleagues will be asking you what your secret is for such a restful and fresh look.