"I'm A Before Picture": Deconstructing Spectacular Treatment Results

Lately when I look in the mirror I think, Eh.

I haven’t been exactly sure what’s going on. I just feel like I look tired. Or maybe…gray. Like a faded t-shirt.

I HAVE been wanting to get my tear troughs done again so maybe the dark circles are playing into what I’m seeing. My eyebrows are looking a little straight across again, instead of nicely lifted, so probably my Dysport is wearing off. And I pretty much NEVER use my prescription tretinoin cream or my hydroquinone. Those are the two products our aestheticians recommend for nearly everyone. And the thing is, I have them! At home! Why the heck is it sooo hard to remember to use product? It’s like my teeth bleaching trays…haven’t been using those either. This is my sob story.

So, in the midst of my faded-t-shirt-appearance-contemplation, Gina Jones, one of our two wonder women injectionists, sent me a before and after treatment photo of one of her clients:

There is a two week difference between the pictures. She is not wearing make-up and they have not been touched-up. I think the results are stunning. What strikes me the most is that, although the change looks dramatic, it’s also completely natural. Her features aren’t changed. She doesn’t look like, Hmmmm….what did she have done? She just looks rested and refreshed. Which is always the result we are aiming for here. Nature…just enhanced.

This client had the very same procedures I want to do (again) as well. Oooo…maybe we’ll do MY before and after pics soon!

So, let’s break this picture down by the procedures she had done:

Botox for forehead and glabella lines:

For this client, Botox was injected into the forehead and between the brows, causing some of the static lines to diminish: Botox relaxes the muscles underneath, allowing the overlying skin to smooth out, resulting in less apparent wrinkles. Recent research has also shown that Botox helps with skin elasticity for the same duration that it works on fighting wrinkles (about 3 months). This increased elasticity and smoothed lines results in a younger, relaxed, and more hydrated appearance.

Restylane for tear troughs:

I had this procedure done almost a year ago and loved it. I’ve had dark circles under my eyes my whole life, so waking up in the morning with my eyes looking rested and brighter was really a great feeling.

This procedure involves putting filler (generally Restylane or Belotero) under the eye. Restylane under the eye can accomplish several things.

  • If you have dark circles, filler provides a layer between the tissue and blood vessels underneath and the delicate, thin under eye skin, resulting in diminished dark circles.

  • If you have puffiness under your eye, the filler can be used to even out the bags and create a smoother look.

  • Similarly, if you are hollow under your eyes, filler replaces lost volume - usually near the orbital rim - creating a smooth, seamless look from the eye to the cheek bone.

Prescription tretinoin cream:

Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A – that is, they are chemical compounds related to vitamin A. Retinol, along with retinal, tretinoin, isotretinoin and alitretinoin, are part of a class known as first-generation retinoids. Topical retinoids were originally approved by the FDA for treating acne, but it was quickly realized that retinoids improved the skin in other ways too. Tretinoin is a generic name (you’ve probably heard of the brand name Retin-A). Some retinol creams are available without a prescription, but they are less potent. We offer prescription strength 4, 6, and 8% tretinoin cream.

How do retinoids work?

They exfoliate, help with skin cell turn over, and production of newer, more pliable and healthy skin. Retinoids also increase the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen. They give the skin a more hydrated and firmer appearance.


Increased skin thickness and firmness

Increased skin hydration

Reduce visible signs of sun damage

Reduce fine wrinkles

Improved skin tone and reduced hyper-pigmentation

Reduction in dark circles under the eyes

Improved skin texture

Reduced stretch marks

And they’ll give you a healthy glow

A glow! That’s what I need! As I said to Maricela, I feel like a before picture right now.

Ok, I seriously am going to start using my tretinoin cream. Starting tonight! I want to look just like this client.

I’m on it!