The Myths of Cosmetic Medicine

…and why you should ignore them.

Statistics reveal that Australia’s love affair with cosmetic procedures – such as dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections – is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia (CPCA) has released figures indicating that Australians’ cosmetic expenditure is thought to be the highest per capita in the world[1].

Yet, ironically, many men and women do not admit to having had ‘work done’, even though last year about 500,000 Australians invested close to $1 billion in cosmetic treatments[2]. This staggering figure suggests that you probably know at least one adult who has either flirted with the idea of a cosmetic procedure, or booked themselves in. Much of this secrecy is due to social tensions and taboos that are as old as Cleopatra’s milky bath.

Let me try and debunk some of these for you, starting with the oft-heard opinion that…

It’s ‘unethical’ to fiddle with nature!

OK. Just ignore these moral ‘nay-sayers’! Chances are, they use foundation, hair dye or moisturisers without thinking twice. Science has constantly improved and evolved cosmetic tools so that we can look and feel better. Just think about that bright red lipstick the flappers used in the 1920s.  The modern version is creamier, more long-lasting and moisturises your lips at the same time. It might even sparkle!

Let’s face it, people have been fiddling with what nature bestows on us for thousands of years: the white lead-based foundation of the Elizabethan era, the strange fake ‘moles’ and wigs of the 18th Century and even corsets were all beauty enhancers. Colouring hair is an enhancement. So is straightening your hair, curling those eyelashes, sporting contact lenses of a different hue, waxing and dieting. The list just goes on and on. At some point, each one of these procedures was new, and exciting. No doubt there were people who were just as outraged by fake moles as those who resent freezing a wrinkle in 2018.

If you are still not convinced by this argument, let me leave you with one more example…

Orthodontics.

Why is it acceptable to straighten our teeth, but the thought of using lasers or needles to improve skin tone is sliding into some kind of moral abyss? It just doesn’t seem logical to me.

Everyone has the right to choose improved self-esteem over the fear of upsetting someone who actually has no right to judge them. 

The overdone, plastic look

We all know this look:

The over-inflated lips bulging out from the distorted selfies of Insta-land…

Strange, lumpy cheekbones reflected in the shiny pages of celebrity mags….

Eyebrows that look like they have been coloured in with crayons...

Those facial muscles that are desperate to emote but are frozen in a strange tableau of inertia…

To name but a few.

As with any profession, you have a variety in skill levels and outcomes. Dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle treatments can look natural and authentic – it is all about finding the right physician for the outcome you want to achieve. More importantly, these procedures can boost self-esteem by dealing with issues that many have battled with for years.

  • Examples include:

  • Acne scars

  • Surgical scars

  • Eye bags

  • Worry lines

  • Jowls

  • Uneven pigmentation

These conditions can have genuine and lasting impacts on a person’s confidence. It is at this point that cosmetic procedures shift away from the grey area of ‘fiddling with nature’ for vanity’s sake and into the (much more ethical) territory of providing genuine assistance to people.

The ‘overdone’ look is still desired by a certain demographic, with the majority looking for a natural looking result – and this can be achieved by seeking out a qualified cosmetic doctor who specialises in anti-ageing and cosmetic treatments. He or she can enhance your looks in a natural and subtle way, or provide assistance in dealing with issues that have nothing to do with fashion but are instead a personal concern.

So…look away now from these plastic women in that magazine! Turn the page! That look is not the only look you can achieve.’ And neither should it be!

 

Only the rich and famous can afford to have cosmetic procedures

This is no longer the case, as the statistics above demonstrate. The fact is that skin clinics seem to be popping up on every corner, and consequently, the price of wrinkle freezing, fat freezing, microdermabrasion and laser treatments are now much more affordable to the average Joe.

Unfortunately, cheaper prices don’t always translate to safe or expert hands.  Always research the practitioners before you book in. It isn’t worth ending up on an episode of Botched for the sake of saving some pennies.

Finally, if you are worried that people will judge you if you choose to use cosmetic procedures, just remember that a large proportion of the population are also choosing to slow or conceal the signs of ageing, or to enhance their natural features. You are not alone.

So it can’t be that taboo, surely?

[1] Increasing number of Australians considering nonsurgical cosmetic treatments, Media Release, CPCA, 9th September 2016.

[2] Seven surprising stats about cosmetic procedures, Australian Doctor, 11th May 2018.

 

Dr Paul RobinsonComment