FACE VALUE: Cost of Filler $400. True Cost of Filler $400K

“I’m so sorry, but I simply couldn’t get past her puffy cheeks and over-inflated lips. I know my bias is unacceptable, especially in the current climate of conscious culture, but I couldn’t ignore the fact that she would be representing the face of the company if we hired her.”

Today I had the opportunity to catch up with a good friend who happens to be the president of a major international company. He is in town to hire an Australian CEO to oversee the Asia Pacific arm of the business, a job that offers a salary package in excess of $400K.

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Why treat your face like a jigsaw?

Non-surgical facial injectables have become the most sought after cosmetic treatment worldwide. Yet, now it is established as a safe, effective and essential part of keeping us looking at our best I am constantly amazed at the haphazard way patients approach their facial treatments.

While no-one would contemplate having three or four dentists or cardiologists, patients seem to think nothing of going from one clinic to the next for their facial injectables. They will get their forehead treated with one clinician, their mid-face filled at the next and another specialist for laser treatments. They treat their face like a jigsaw puzzle, a collection of separate parts rather than the face as a whole.

Lecturing around the world I have noticed this is a growing trend everywhere – be it Europe, the United States or Asia. And it comes at a big cost. At a time when new advanced treatments and products are delivering unprecedented results, these patients are missing out. And worse still, we are starting to see more patients with suboptimal results and a disharmonious facial appearance because they don’t have an overall facial treatment plan.

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My husband will divorce me if he finds out I've had Anti-wrinkle Injections & Fillers!

For years, I have had patients confess that they have to hide the truth and make a secret of having had anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers from their husbands.

"He will divorce me, he doesn't believe in those things, he thought I looked good for my age but I have never had the courage to tell him."

Clients have gone to great lengths to hide treatment times, booking in while their spouse is away, telling them the bruise or swelling is from laser treatment for capillaries and paying cash for their treatment, using personal credit cards and never taking a tell tale receipt.

At times, I have even been party to a little creative camaraderie and become somewhat adept at offering suitable ideas for my female clients to excuse various treatments. “Perhaps, tell them you have an allergy or an insect bite or it’s a result of dental work or even that Dr Liew is trialling new skin treatments for dermatitis.”

Shocking but true and after years of wondering why these harmless stories needed to be told, I have finally understood what the husbands at home fear

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What’s wrong with growing old gracefully?

For some reason, almost every health and beauty journalist I meet, loves to ask me the same question, regardless of where I have been interviewed. Australia, LA, New York, Paris, Shanghai or Tokyo, it’s becoming predictable.

Not wanting to sound too harsh, controversial or bold, but my answer to them is that in my opinion there is absolutely nothing remotely gracious about growing old at all. Yes, one can grow old gracefully in character, manner and poise, but visually, it is simply not physiologically possible. Don't believe me? Just look at our own grandmothers or to our beloved mothers in law.

The simple fact is that as we age, we start to look a little sad, sometimes angry and often very tired and all of this is normal, the ageing process is not kind to anyone.

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