Top 5 Celebrity Favorite 'Tweakments'
The popularity of cosmetic procedures has grown immensely over the past several years. For example, in the United States alone, there has been a 50% leap in the number of lip augmentations performed since 2000! This significant jump is largely a result of celebrity aesthetic trends, and this article will describe a few of the most popular celeb beauty “tweakments.”
Botulinum Toxin (“Botox”)
Botulinum toxin, commonly known by one of the popular brands as “Botox,” is an injection used to temporarily relax contraction of the facial muscles to smooth the appearance of wrinkles and to prevent new wrinkles from forming. Botulinum toxin injections are the #1 most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure in the United States.
Botulinum toxin is a protein obtained from bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. Although it can be dangerous in large amounts, only a tiny and controlled amount is used for cosmetic and medical purposes. There are a few different brands of Botulinum toxin used for cosmetic purposes, including Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin®.
Any differences between the three are minimal if at all, and expert injectors may simply prefer one to another. Depending on the brand, Botulinum toxin injections are FDA-approved to treat various areas of the face. For instance, Botox® is FDA-approved to treat wrinkles on the forehead and the lateral sides of the eyes (“crow’s feet”), while Dysport® is only FDA-approved to treat the forehead area.
Many dermatologists also use Botulinum toxin “off-label” on all other areas of the face. There is no doubt that a majority of celebrities on the red carpet swear by regular Botulinum toxin injections every 3-6 months to keep a glassy smooth face!
Facial Contouring with Facial Fillers
Many individuals have perfected the art of facial contouring with carefully applied bronzer and highlighter to enhance the appearance of high and pointy cheekbones, a chiseled jawline, and the coveted V-shaped face. Recently, many celebrities have taken contouring a step further by having dermal facial fillers injected into specific areas of the face to create more dramatic facial angles and to restore volume to the face for a more youthful appearance. Today’s sophisticated facial fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, a natural substance found in the body. Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that helps the skin retain moisture by attracting water molecules and provides volume and structure when injected beneath the skin.
Similar to Botulinum toxin, there are different available brands of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers that vary based on the particle size, concentration of hyaluronic acid, and the way the hyaluronic acid is cross-linked in each particular product. A cross-link is a process that allows linear hyaluronic acid molecules to be linked together which allows them to maintain their shape and prolong disintegration from the body. For example, dermal facial fillers can be used to enhance the apples of the cheeks, make the jawline sharper, and even to give a slight chin lift. At the hand of a board-certified dermatologist with extensive training in aesthetic injections, strategically placed dermal fillers can give the patient a beautiful and youthful refreshed look.
Fat Reducing Injections
Who wouldn’t be interested in a fast, easy, and effective way to banish fat in stubborn areas? With recent advances in technology, there are a few available options targeted at dissolving or melting fat in combination with regular exercise and a healthy diet. Kybella® is the only treatment that is FDA-approved to banish fat cells specifically under the chin (also referred to as the submental area).
This popular treatment to fight the “double chin” is made from a chemical called deoxycholic acid, which is a synthetic version of the same compound naturally produced by the liver to help digest fats. Kybella® is injected in a grid-like pattern under the chin in a relatively fast procedure that causes mild discomfort. There may be some burning and stinging during the procedure and some minor swelling that should decrease within 2-3 days. Once these fat cells are destroyed, they can never return for fat to re-accumulate. Clinical studies have shown that effective results are seen with 6 treatments spaced one month apart.[4,5]
Radiofrequency Skin Tightening
Radiofrequency skin tightening is a trending treatment in Hollywood for red carpet-ready legs, arms, face, and really just about anywhere on the body! Radiofrequency skin tightening treatments are claimed to provide a multitude of skin miracles, from treating wrinkles to cellulite to sagging eyelid skin. There are several radiofrequency devices, including Thermage® and Thermitight®, on the market aimed at improving aging skin. A simplified explanation for the science behind these devices is that targeted radiofrequency energy (heat energy and gentle vibrations) can kick start the skin’s own renewal process and lead to collagen remodeling. Some people notice their skin feels tighter after just one treatment, but multiple treatments are often needed and effects are temporary. Although some studies show promising results for the use of radiofrequency for skin tightening, the exact mechanisms and degree of effectiveness are still unclear.[7,8]
A “laser facial,” is not an official name of any laser or treatment. Laser treatments aimed at improving texture, shrinking pores, and making the skin “glow” are referred to as laser facials. Usually, this consists of a 15–20 minute treatment but may require additional time for numbing the skin depending on the type of laser used. One of the most popular laser facials consists of a two-step treatment: first a YAG laser, followed by an IPL treatment. YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) laser treatments help to brighten and tighten the skin, along with treating mild to moderate wrinkles over time with multiple treatments. IPL (intense pulsed light) is not actually a laser, but a light source that works to reduce redness, hyperpigmentation (such as dark spots and melasma), and overall photodamage. Many laser treatments have acquired the well-earned nickname of “laser facials,” due to their effective results of refreshed and glowing skin, earning them a sure place in many celebs’ skin care regimes.
Risks are minimized if patients receive injections and laser treatments from a board-certified dermatologist after a thorough consultation.
- https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2017/plastic-surgery-statistics-report-2017.pdf. 2017 Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Statistics. 2017.
- https://www.surgery.org/sites/default/files/ASAPS-Stats2016.pdf. 2016.
- Palm MD. Filler frontier: what's new and heading West to the US market. Semin Cutan Med Surg.2014;33(4):157-163; PMID: 25830247 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25830247.
- Humphrey S, Sykes J, Kantor J, et al. ATX-101 for reduction of submental fat: A phase III randomized controlled trial. J Am Acad Dermatol.2016;75(4):788-797 e787; PMID: 27430612 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27430612.
- Jones DH, Carruthers J, Joseph JH, et al. REFINE-1, a Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 3 Trial With ATX-101, an Injectable Drug for Submental Fat Reduction. Dermatol Surg.2016;42(1):38-49; PMID: 26673433 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26673433.
- Anolik R, Chapas AM, Brightman LA, et al. Radiofrequency devices for body shaping: a review and study of 12 patients. Semin Cutan Med Surg.2009;28(4):236-243; PMID: 20123422 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20123422.
- Araujo AR, Soares VP, Silva FS, et al. Radiofrequency for the treatment of skin laxity: mith or truth. An Bras Dermatol.2015;90(5):707-721; PMID: 26560216 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26560216.
- Fritz M, Counters JT, Zelickson BD. Radiofrequency treatment for middle and lower face laxity. Arch Facial Plast Surg.2004;6(6):370-373; PMID: 15545529 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15545529.
- Negishi K, Tanaka S, Tobita S. Prospective, randomized, evaluator-blinded study of the long pulse 532-nm KTP laser alone or in combination with the long pulse 1064-nm Nd: YAG laser on facial rejuvenation in Asian skin. Lasers Surg Med.2016;48(9):844-851; PMID: 27605491 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27605491.
- DiBernardo BE, Pozner JN. Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for Skin Rejuvenation. Clin Plast Surg.2016;43(3):535-540; PMID: 27363767 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27363767.