Botox and fillers–how they can, in fact, age you | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

There’s no denying that some celebrities and socialites have fabulous and toned physiques despite being of a “certain age.”


However, a close inspection of their photos will reveal that they are beginning to look alike with their soaring eyebrows, triangular-shaped faces, trouty pouts and slanting eyes.


These women have features so feline that the international gossip rags call celebs with such faces part of the “Celebrity Cat Club.”


Another variation is the “pillow face,” where so much filler is injected into the cheeks, they begin to look unnaturally plump, like a fluffy pillow.


Perhaps the difference in the beauty business then and now is the number of women who rush to the doctor even if they’ve not hit 40—the typical age women kick-start their anti-aging regimens.


In one picture, this young personality’s lips were so pumped up, her lips couldn’t seem to smile properly. It’s what Vogue magazine calls “the face of interdeterminate age”—where 40-year-old women can look 20, and 20-year-old pretty young things can look 40 with their waxy, mannequin-like features.


‘Pillow face’


There is no doubt that a little Botox, plus fillers and laser administered with a light hand on the right candidate can lend a more youthful look, says Dr. Jean Marquez of the Skin Specialist Clinic.


“As one ages, people do not only develop wrinkles but also lose fat on the face. One can develop hollow cheeks or a flattening of the center of the face. That’s when we recommend dermal fillers to augment those areas and give them some volume.”


But for those who don’t really need it, high cheekbones can degenerate into cheeks that resemble marshmallows. Unfortunately, a little work done on the face, coupled with positive feedback from friends, often encourages one to do the treatment again—at higher doses.


While the “pillow face” is obviously caused by overdosing on fillers, the “cat face” is the effect of having too much of everything. Brows overarch when too much Botox is administered on the forehead, making it very smooth. It can also cause the center of the brows to drop.


In the case of too much fillers, the cheeks press against the sides of the eyes, making them look smaller and slanted, especially when one smiles. The overall result is not a youthful look, but merely of one trying to look young. On a young face, the look is a stiff, unnatural one that only adds years.




Luckily, Botox and most fillers wear off after a few months and are thus reversible. Semipermanent fillers last one to two years, while temporary fillers last four to eight  months.


“In these instances, too much filler will eventually be reabsorbed by the skin. If lumps develop, a substance can be injected to melt the lumpiness. But if one gets permanent fillers, that can be a problem. Silicone is usually used for permanent fillers, so if a patient comes in with lumpy permanent fillers, this has to be removed by a plastic surgeon, and that can leave scars,” adds Marquez.


So how does one avoid falling into this trap?


Look at your options first.


Marquez usually recommends firming treatments such as Ulthera or Refirme, or Ipixel or high-powered fractional lasers to smoothen the skin.


Should one opt for fillers and Botox, ask first to see the doctor’s “look book” of before-and-after photos, and start with small amounts for less-drastic effect.


“A face that looks natural is the goal, not a face that looks angry even when you’re not,” says Marquez.


Dr. Jean Marquez, The Skin Specialist Clinic, G/F ESNA Building,  Timog Ave., QC. Tel. 3748087


The author is the former editor of LOOK Magazine. She is editor of

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