For some the idea of eternal youth is enticing, for others the desire to live a life without fear of ageing prevails over any beauty treatment offered.
For a long time, much of the beauty industry has found itself in the midst of an anti-ageing epidemic. Products claiming to rid wrinkles and lift skin fill the shelves and from the age of 25 we are encouraged to consider prevention products or treatments.
Botox and fillers became an everyday treatment for many with some clinics even offering ‘lunchtime treatments’, quick enough to do on your lunch break and for a surprisingly reasonable cost.
In 2017 a study revealed, 28 percent of women under 25 admit that they “regularly” worry about signs of aging, and this number increases to 42 percent for those aged 25-34 and then 54 percent for those aged 35 to 44.
This anti-ageing culture seemed to tell us that any sign of ageing was unacceptable and that there was always a way to combat it, every famous face seemed to be going back in time.
Fast-forward a few years and despite its ongoing popularity, many who once hailed fillers as the holy grail of youth are beginning to reject it. Everyone from Nicole Kidman to Kylie Jenner are turning their back on the needles and some are even having fillers removed.
Are we entering an era that embraces our natural faces or is this simply a phase?
There once was a time when going to get fillers meant dramatic and overexaggerated features, whether it was pouty lips or ultra-high cheekbones, the result was always pretty drastic. Despite these dramatic adjustments, speaking of getting fillers was not a trendy topic.
These days getting fillers doesn’t necessarily mean you need to completely alter your appearance and it also isn’t too taboo to mention you have had something done.
New York dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank says; “By the early 2000s, fillers really started booming and becoming part of the normal vernacular of cosmetic conversation, instead of just for ladies that lunched.”
This culture shift has led to dermal fillers becoming an everyday treatment to smooth lines, plump lips or subtly enhance facial features with minimal effort. Over the years, new innovations such as hyaluronic acid fillers that give a dewy look have been introduced and with every new advancement comes an onslaught of devoted famous fans.
Part of the tremendous popularity of fillers comes from the undeniable celebrity following. Everyone from Cameron Diaz to Nicole Kidman have admitted to the use of fillers and in 2015, Kylie Jenner opened up about getting lip fillers. Following this, Google searches for ‘lip fillers’ shot up by 11,300 percent in 24 hours and within a year, they are among the top five, most requested, nonsurgical, cosmetic treatments.
It is unsurprising that the industry quickly became obsessed with the power of fillers, the then eighteen year old built a beauty empire seemingly thanks to her lips and Simon Cowell said that the use of cosmetic treatments extended his career by a decade. Made popular by models, reality stars and celebrities with a huge following of fans hoping to emulate their look, with higher demand these treatments become more accessible and are no longer reserved for those in higher places.
But what danger can come with these enhancements?
Although fillers have become a far more normalised part of many beauty regimes, experts insist they should not be taken lightly and can sometimes carry risks.
Dermal fillers are approved by the FDA, but injecting anything into your face can be dangerous if the correct precautions are not taken.
As the popularity of dermal fillers and injectables grew, many jumped on the bandwagon and began offering treatments in their beauty salons and spas. Although available at a number of places, it is important to see a licensed and trained physician for any injectable treatment. If injections are not done correctly, you run the risk of issues such as infection, discoloration and lumps.
As with any procedure, fillers come with their own risks. The most common side effects include bruising, redness, pain, or swelling, all of which are expected to go down after a couple of weeks. In rarer cases, complications occur if filler is injected into a blood vessel, highlighting the importance of seeing a professional.
Overall fillers are deemed to be mostly safe, but aside from any medical risks, there is also a chance you won’t be happy with how they look or may regret getting fillers altogether. According to a recent survey, 32 percent admitted they regretted getting fillers or felt it was not worth it and with a number of celebrity followers turning their backs on the needles,
What is fuelling this u-turn?
Just when we thought the filler craze was here to stay, in 2017 the kick back began. As a number of celebrities began falling out of love with injectables the impact on the once sought after ‘insta-look’ began to break away too.
A swathe of celebrities and famous faces opted to dissolve their fillers, from Courtney Cox to beauty tycoon Huda Kattan and even Love Island star Molly-Mae Hague. Known for her high-glam looks on screen, the reality star admitted she felt she had ‘gone too far’ with her lip and facial fillers. “My advice to anyone thinking of getting it is: don’t…” she told fans in a Q&A.“I just wish I’d never got into that whole stupid filler craze.”
Many that once made the decision to get dermal fillers, did so under the impression that much like a dodgy haircut, if you decided you didn’t like them they would wear off in around 6 months time. However, this may not be strictly true. New research conducted by Dr. Gavin Chan found that filler can actually last for many years and although after six months it may look as though it has disappeared, it may have just migrated to other parts of your face resulting in puffiness.
The final nail in the coffin has to come down to our (slightly) newer beauty standards. As TikTok continues to dominate the social media world, so do those who use it. Generation Z are championing a more natural beauty ideal and the birth of ‘Skinfluencers’ has encouraged us to enhance our natural beauty rather than opt for potentially dangerous tweakments.
That being said, wherever we are beauty standards will follow and despite the culture shift there is still a desire to fit into a particular look but it is safe to say our obsession with fillers is on the decline.
It may seem like a long-shot, but yes natural alternatives to fillers do exist. They may not give the exact same result as a needle does but for those of us wanting to avoid ‘freeze face’ or just prefer the use of natural products, there is a way.
Antioxidants like topical vitamin C can keep the skin looking tighter and fresher. They also work to fight against free-radical damage, reducing the tell-tale signs of ageing and leaving skin looking firmer and wrinkles less visible without the use of injectables. Try adding Versed Found the Light Powder for a potent dose of Vitamin C into your routine.
Retinol is an extremely effective ingredient that has the power to connect to almost any skin cell receptor site interrupting the damage and wrinkle inducing process caused by free-radicals.
Skincare products containing hyaluronic acid will help trap much-needed water and hydration into the skin. This is great for long-term plumpness and glow. Of course, it won’t actually get into the dermis of the skin like filler can but can help skin look more plump and bright.
If fuller lips are what you are after, a lip plumping gloss may be the next best option to fillers. Despite being more temporary than injectables, there are plenty of great options that can give lips a pouty-boost. Try the Rodial Collagen Booster Lip Lacquer for long lasting fullness.
Although there is no miracle routine to emulate the effects of injectable fillers, good skincare and the odd contour trick can often be enough to create a desired look.
With so many filler fans now seeing the trouble that comes with the once harmless tweakments they favoured, might it be time to freeze fillers for good?