The art of aesthetics
Most aesthetic clinics advertise a 'menu' of treatments - you can book services like 'jawline filler', 'tear trough filler' or 'skin boosters'. But what exactly are these?
How do you know what will suit your face?
When is jawline filler appropriate?
What is a tear trough?
How many units of anti-wrinkle product are needed for your own features?
And how many ml's of filler are needed to give you a natural but also long-lasting result?
This way of advertising and treating patients is completely wrong in Dr Jake's opinion - these are medical treatments, patients need guidance and first, an examination and diagnosis is needed to plan your treatment.
First your signs of facial aging, anatomy and internal motivations for wanting a treatment need to be properly understood and explored. Otherwise you risk mismatching you 'wants' (picking random treatments from a menu) with your actual aesthetic needs (what your face and features actually require anatomically).
Dr Jake will do a lot of information gathering before treating you including:
- asking you to complete some in depth forms after booking in for your appointment (these are emailed to you when you book in)
- on the day talking through these and your deeper background to fully understand what your own tastes, ideals and any anxieties about injectables are
- taking clinical photos to fully assess what your aesthetic and anatomical needs are
New patients tend to book in with an injector with a specific area or feature that they want to improve. But the process of facial aging and enhancing beauty is much more complicated than softening some lines or doing an isolated filler treatment. Often the area that you might want to focus on is just one symptom of a more complex chain of events and more global changes to the face as a whole. This is where Dr Jake differentiates his work and results from other injectors.
Facial aging and facial anatomy are very complex - sometimes the features and signs of aging seen on the surface are only the tip of the iceberg. This is why an expert assessment is needed and treatments need to be done in a way that also respect your natural features.
Who are you?
Before any injecting is done, it's important to understand who you are as a person and your overall outlook. For example, what you do for living, how you want to portray yourself and what stage you are in life are some key questions that might need to be considered before committing to a particular treatment. It might sound obvious, but a 30 year old males needs are very different to a post-menopausal 55 year old female. A lot of information will be explored prior to your treatment in your pre-treatment questionnaire, medical history and then on the the day in your consultation as needed.
Dr Jake will also explore your emotional motivations for wanting a treatment. Understanding how you think about yourself, what the underlying motivations are for you wanting a treatment and how you feel on the inside - understanding this information will help unlock the best way of planning your treatments. The more honest and open you are, the better the alignment of your expectations and your treatment outcomes will be.
Why are clinical photos needed?
Clinical photos are always taken and Dr Jake will go through each image with you. This is done so that you understand your own face, your unique features and how the ageing process works. The signs seen in your photos dictate why some treatments are recommended - or perhaps aren't. So please don't be offended if Dr Jake sometimes says no to a particular request. Your face is special and the core principles of a beautiful result rely on working with your natural anatomy to maximise it's potential.
Whether you're only concerned about a few minor wrinkles or have more significant signs of aging, it's important to understand that it's the combination and harmony of all of your features together that determine your overall look. Expert injectors don't usually treat small or isolated areas of the face - it's too simplistic and often looks unnatural because the area treated won't blend in with the surrounding anatomy. The classic example of this is lip filler treatments that don't 'fit' with the rest of the face and look very out of proportion or 'done'.
Dr Jake often gives his new patients some simple analogies when explaining why certain treatments are recommended in a particular order. Three common stages are sometimes suggested but every plan will be different and is bespoke:
1) Foundation: When you build a new house it needs solids foundations first - and our faces are no different. As time goes on, the 'foundations' of our face slowly but steadily change. This leads to some of the earliest signs of facial ageing such as deflation, volume ,loss and minor sagging. The first priority in most patients is to ensure that the basic structure of their face is better supported.
Facial aging is actually very predictable and so we tend to treat the 'midface' because acts like a strut on a bridge - it helps support the rest of the face and gives better shape and lift if done correctly. Foundation treatments include:
the lateral cheek
the anterior cheek
the area in front of the ears (known as the 'pre-auricular area')
Next we often work on improving the 'contour' the face - think of this concept like the frame of a painting. Without a solid shape, the canvas of the painting won't be held in place and the canvas will sag. So in stage two of a filler treatment, we often treat three specific areas to help contour and restore a more youthful shape of the face:
By restoring a sharper definition and outline, we can hugely improve your overall aesthetic.
3) Refinement: Finally we might work on making some minor refinements to some of the smaller details in a third stage of treatments. These typically amplify the result of the foundation and contour treatments but don't always look good when done on their own. There's little point I having nicer lips if the rest of the face looks tired and doesn't match. Refining smaller areas of the face can help amplify your overall look and might include treating:
the tear troughs
the naso-labial folds
the marionette lines
small lines and details
Without smiling, have a look into the mirror. If you're totally honest with yourself, do you see any signs of tiredness, sagging or maybe you somehow look slightly sad or even a bit angry in some way? Or maybe your face is rounder than it used to be? Perhaps you'd like to look a bit more feminine or what about looking more attractive or even younger?
When Dr Jake practices, he uses a technique called the MD Codes™ and these types of aspirations and motivations for wanting treatments are key indicators for how your treatment can be planned. In simple terms, instead of patients deciding that they want a specific but often arbitrary treatment like 'chin filler', 'cheek contouring' or 'lip filler', instead in your consolation the overall 'message' of your face will be assessed to help plan what treatments are best suited for you.
If for example you can see signs of sagging or tiredness, this approach ensures that your wants are aligned with your aesthetic needs, rather than doing non-specific treatments that won't upgrade your overall look - and in some cases may actually downgrade it by looking unnatural or out of proportion.
Taking your emotional judgement into account is a very patient-centric and tailored approach to facial aesthetics that gets to the bottom of why people book in for a treatment in the first place. There's no right or wrong way to consult patients and sometimes it won't be required as every patient is unique.
The emotional motivations can be grouped into four main 'negative' features and four main 'positive' features. The negatives will always be treated first - by removing signs like tiredness or sagging your overall look will always be upgraded, no matter what your goal is:
Negative emotional attributes
Positive emotional attributes
I want to look more contoured/slimmer
I want to look more feminine/masculine
I want to look more beautiful
I want to look younger