This post is part of my long-term partnership with Carolina Facial Plastics. Quick warning…if seeing or talking about needles/injections makes you squeamish, you might want to skip this one!
It’s been great to be partnering with Carolina Facial Plastics again now that I’m on the other side of pregnancy and breastfeeding. While I loved that time of life and didn’t mind skipping out on things like retinol and Botox, it’s been wonderful to feel like my body is my own again and to have more freedom when it comes to products and treatments.
Last month I wrote all about the skincare routine that Terri Edson, CFP’s medical aesthetician, designed to address the needs of my skin from both a hormonal and aging perspective. If you missed that post, you can read it here. I am still loving the products and the results that I am getting from them.
INJECTIONS AT CAROLINA FACIAL PLASTICS
And this post is all about the facial injections that I had with CFP’s nurse practitioner Courtney Whitley back in December for areas/concerns that needed a little more help than skincare products could provide, and that could be addressed non-surgically through injections like Dysport/Botox and filler.
In my appointment with Courtney, I shared the following concerns:
- Jaw clenching
- Eye asymmetry
- Under eye circles
One of the things that I appreciate most about being a client at Carolina Facial Plastics is that whether I’m working with Dr. Kulbersh, Courtney or Terri, the first thing they do at the beginning of every appointment is ask for my input.
They look to me to identify problem areas and/or things I’d like to improve. They never come at it from a place of listing out the things they could “fix” on my face. In my seven years of working with Carolina Facial Plastics, I have always felt listened to and never felt sold to. My treatment plans have always felt very personal. No one has ever made me feel that there is anything wrong with me or my face, and they follow my lead in making suggestions to help with things that I identify as issues.
Here’s a quick overview of the areas we treated back in December with Dysport (similar to Botox) and Restylane (filler).
Courtney injected Dysport directly into my masseter muscle, which is the large jaw muscle that you can touch and feel when you chew or clench your teeth together. I have VERY strong and overactive masseter muscles and injections are literally the only thing that help me with 24/7 clenching. I guess I technically still have the habit of clenching but the Dysport weakens the masseter muscles just enough to make it so that you reduce damage and wear to your teeth and stress on your jaw and neck. You can 100% still chew and eat like you normally do. I don’t even notice a difference with chewing.
Another benefit of the Dysport injections in my masseter muscles is that it softens my jawline and the overall look of my face. I already have a fairly thin face with angular features so this softness is very welcome!
You can a detailed account of my very long history with jaw clenching and how injections have brought me relief in this post.
Let me start by saying that facial asymmetry is SUPER common and you can go so down the rabbit hole of picking apart your asymmetries. That said, for the last couple of years I have noticed in photos that my left eye always appeared a bit smaller than the right. I felt like it was getting worse and it was bothering me. My eyes just “felt” different from one another.
I had surgery on my eyes when I was five years old and it was to the point where I was concerned that maybe there was some complication from that going on. I made an appointment to see the eye doctor last year and after an exam he said my eyes were totally fine, I just had a droopy eyelid. While I was very relieved there wasn’t a problem with my eyes, a droopy eyelid was a bit of a bummer.
I shared the droopy eyelid story with Courtney and after her exam she told me that it wasn’t my eyelid but rather a muscle under my left eye that was pulling in a way that caused it to appear smaller than my right. WHO KNEW!? I was excited when she told me that she inject Dysport to relax that muscle and open up my left eye a bit more.
If you want to learn more about Dysport, there is so much information on the Carolina Facial Plastics website.
UNDER EYE CIRCLES
Under eye circles are something that I’ve dealt with for most of my adult life from both a hereditary and dark coloring standpoint. Well, let’s just say that having a toddler and a work schedule that’s all over the place doesn’t do me any favors in that area! I asked Courtney if there was anything we could do to improve the appearance of the circles and she suggested Restylane filler to add volume to my under eye area so that the circles weren’t as pronounced.
I swear to you that I barely feel the Dysport/Botox injections. They feel like tiny stings and any redness/inflammation from them goes away super quickly. Filler is a bit more uncomfortable for me. It’s a more involved injection and it takes longer to place it. The first thing Courtney did was apply a numbing cream to the area where she would be injecting filler. I also took her up on squeezing a stress ball throughout the filler process!
One of the best and most comforting things about getting injections at Carolina Facial Plastics is that Dr. Kulbersh is fanatical about using the absolute best techniques possible. For facial fillers, he has coined his own phrase called the “needle-less injection.” Instead of a bunch of needle sticks to inject the filler, Dr. Kulbersh has trained Courtney to use a blunt tipped microcannula. The cannula is long enough to reach many areas of the face from the one tiny hole. This limits the amount of needle sticks and also reduces the risk for and incidence of bruising.
You can read tons more about facial fillers…what areas they can treat, FAQs, types of fillers, injections techniques, etc…on the Carolina Facial Plastics website.
BEFORE AND AFTER
Here’s a super casual before and after shot. I haven’t had a single person comment about the injections or ask if I had anything done and that’s a win in my book! My goal is to look as much like ME as possible, but to feel good in my own skin. My injections are natural and I don’t feel “frozen” or “overfilled.” (At all!)
I don’t want anyone to read this post and feel like they should be getting injections or that there is anything wrong with their face, aging or having wrinkles! I truly embrace that aging is a gift but I also think it’s okay to want to age as gracefully as possible. I respect every single woman’s choice to do what is right for her body.
Have you ever tried any facial injections?
Do you have any questions about facial injections? I am happy to write a follow up post with answers and to bring in Courtney and Dr. Kulbersh where needed! 🙂
Photos Deeana Kourtney Photography.
Dang! You look great! It looks just like you but with a little more….zing!
Thanks for sharing your experience! I think it’s totally cool for anyone to do anything they want to their bodies! Whether it’s fillers, plastic surgery, makeup, no makeup… whatever makes you feel good! I’ll probably start Botox in the next few years for a few wrinkles. I’m less interested in fillers.
love love this post Jen! very informative but super thoughtful, too. I’ve been thinking about this for over a year, but then moved and new job, etc…now that i’m getting settled into the new town i need to find a derm. aside from my terrible skin (BCCs and moles galore), botox is my first question and treatment i’m dying to get done. you look AMAZING. and as an eye doctor, i’m SUPER curious as to what surgery you had as a kid on your eyes and also what muscle was causing your left eye to look smaller… 🙂
I’ve been thinking about filler for under eye circles. Are you happy with the results?
Such an interesting and brave post. I have had facial Botox and lip fillers. The work has been so subtle that no one has ever noticed. To me that is a sign of good work. It makes me feel better about myself and I’m not hurting anyone with that!
I have been told that I have really strong muscles in my jaw which leads to clenching. Why can’t I have really strong abs?!!!!
i would be interested if you keep up the under eye filler over time. i have been told that eventually it can be difficult to keep having it. i wont use the right terms here…but basically it doesnt always break down evenly under the eye and after repeated treatments can potentially leave u with almost small bumps or raised areas and then you have to get another injecting to basically dissolve it and start over. my dermatologist actually showed me her own results of this and it scared me away a little. i know there are possible complications with everything but spending $$$ to not like something to then have to spend more $$$ to fix it back just keeps me away from it.
ive had botox and have had good and bad results. first time i got super droopy eyelids. i couldnt even wear mascara for a wile as my eyelashes were hitting my eyelids and i had a monster headache for almost 6 weeks. vanity sent me back again to try with another doctor and the results have been better. i didnt know…doctors use different dilutions of botox and this one used a more diluted version and way less on me and it worked better.
i also agree….please dont tell me what i should “fix” on my face. especially if i do not bring it up. the other thing is the price is so expensive for things that dont always last very long. i wish there was maybe an “intro” price to try something at a bit of a reduced price to see if you like it/tolerate it. if its that good, people will then pay full price…at least i would be willing to try more if that were the case. thank you for the post and the honesty !!!
I remember first seeing you in a commercial and have followed you thru the years. I appreciate your honesty, wit and hard work. You put a healthy way of looking at fillers.