Take a look online and you’ll see dozens of horror stories about people who went for cosmetic injectable treatments and felt like they came out looking worse than they went in. Many of these people complain of frozen faces and lopsided appearances.
Stories range from the extreme to mere disappointments, with patients simply not seeing the results they expected based on their research or advertisements. This clearly isn’t the case for everyone. In fact, there are far more success stories about injectables as there are failures.
But just why is it that so many people have such different experiences with the same product? The answer is in the injection skill level or the injector.
NO TWO INJECTORS ARE ALIKE
When it comes to cosmetic injections, no two practitioners are alike. Each has a different skill level and some are more dedicated to continuing education than others. Some are conservative, while others are far more aggressive in creating treatment protocols. As a result, you may not even find consistency from injector to injector in the same medical spa.
The absolute most important thing to consider when choosing an injector is experience… period.
A strong, skilled injector will have at about five years of steady experience and a good reputation. Someone who has been in the industry that long is more likely to be keeping up with current trends, new techniques, and product changes.
It’s important to note that practitioners who do cosmetic injections do not need to be doctors. As a matter of fact, a lot of medical spa doctors don’t start out in cosmetics, but turn to the practice later in life. The number of years they’ve been a doctor is completely irrelevant. Even plastic or cosmetic surgeons may be skilled at surgical or laser procedures but have no real experience with the aesthetics involved in creating a look with fillers or neurotoxins like Botox.
Many offices operate under the supervision of a medical director, with incredibly talented and well-trained nurses and technicians performing injections. They operate under the doctor’s medical malpractice insurance, so there is protection in place if there is an error or issue (note that the incidence is incredibly rare). The doctors, nurses, and technicians are all trained to deal with health complications, should they arise.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A SKILLED INJECTOR
So, what should you really look for when choosing a clinic or injector? First and foremost, don’t allow any clinic you’ve never visited to pressure you into same-day injections. Providers should be willing to set up consultation appointments; some offer free consultations and some charge. A select group will put the fee for your consultation towards your first service if you decide to move forward.
INJECTION SKILL AND REPUTATION MATTERS
Don’t be bashful when it comes to asking around. Reputation matters and word-of-mouth speaks volumes. Do you have friends who have had similar procedures done? Ask who they use and what they like or dislike about their injectors. Check on social media sites, their Facebook page, or their Instagram to see how people respond to them. Take reviews with a grain of salt, but be cautious of anyone with mountains of negative feedback.
VISIT THEIR CLINIC
First impressions matter. Is the office clean and bright? Were you greeted warmly upon arrival? The treatment room should be clean with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, as opposed to something cold and clinical.
Are the technicians, nurses, or doctors asking you questions and listening to your answers or are they attempting to educate you without hearing you out? There is nothing wrong with walking away from a facility that makes you uncomfortable.
CLINIC SAFETY STANDARDS
Are you confident in the facility safety standards? A clean office matters, but how do you feel about the way the spa handles their equipment, needles, and vials?
Did the person you meet with discuss the potential risks associated with cosmetic injectables? While adverse side effects are rare, it’s important your practitioner be familiar with potential issues so that they can be handled quickly if they do arise.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what’s acceptable – but it’s good to do a little bit of research first. You need to feel confident that the people working with you have safety and emergency protocols in place.
ASK FOR A INJECTION PORTFOLIO
This is incredibly important. Ask the injector if there is a portfolio of recent patients you can take a look at. The portfolio should include before and after shots of actual patients who have visited the same facility, as well as excerpts that demonstrates their skill and ability to handle complex cases. A lack of real-life experience, or an ability to prove it, is a red flag. Move on.
PROOF OF CERTIFICATION
Ever walk into a doctor’s office to see a wall full of certificates? How does that make you feel compared to an office with nothing on the walls? While it doesn’t really matter if your practitioner is a nurse or a doctor, they should still have some sort of certification or proof of when and where they were trained on how to use the products you’re considering. They should be able to speak easily about their training and show you documentation, should you ask for it.
AVOID FIXATING ON PRICE; FOCUS ON VALUE INSTEAD
Price is honestly the last thing you should consider when it comes to cosmetic injectables. They’re an investment. You’re looking at several hundred dollars per vial of filler or a couple/few hundred dollars worth of Botox depending on the number of units you need.
While facilities often offer discounts and sales, most often based on what their manufacturers allow, the prices are pretty standard and tend to fall within the same range. Be cautious of anyone offering a price that is too much lower than the status quo. They’re either desperate for business (and you should wonder why), or they’re trying to get rid of excess stock (also questionable).
The decision to have cosmetic injections is incredibly personal and can have a major impact on the way you look and feel. Take your time and consult with as many practitioners as you feel you need to see before making a decision. It’s better to build a long-term relationship with a high-quality injector than it is to hop around from place to place. The more time you take to make your decision, the happier you’ll be in the end.