top of page

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

I review our website analytics every month and ended up going down a rabbit hole with some of the info this week. I noticed that one of our most visited pages is this blog post! I'm not sure how that happened over the years - what searches in Google elicited these results - but after re-reading it, I think it's definitely worth a re-post. Six years later and all these thoughts, and all this info, still hold up:

Lately when I look in the mirror I think, Eh. I said the other day, I feel like a before picture right now.

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 tretinoin cream. This is one of the products our staff recommends for nearly everyone. And the thing is, I have it! At home! Why the heck is it sooo hard to remember to use products? 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 three wonder women injectors, 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).

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

Botox (Dysport/Xeomin) 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. 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.

Filler 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 a Restylane product or Belotero) under the eye. Filler 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 or Alpha Ret:

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). Tretinoin is available by prescription, and we also offer the Alpha Ret products, which feature a patented delivery system to help the retinoid penetrate the skin barrier with less irritation than the prescription strength.

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!

History definitely repeats itself in the anti-aging world. Today, about 6 years after this was first written, I'm still saying and feeling the same things! I want my tear troughs done, I need to use my tretinoin and I need some Dysport as well!

In fact, Iris actually injected my tear troughs today (and lips). The last time for both these procedures was one year ago, before my wedding. (A year is the average duration for most hyaluronic acid fillers).

I also mentioned to Iris today that I might switch up which retinol I'm using. Unlike 2015, I DO use my skincare products daily now....but I feel like I need some extra help, so maybe I'll switch to prescription strength. AND just like in 2015, I need some Dysport! Nothing seems to change over the years in the WANT category of anti-aging, and there's nothing like some needles flying at your face to help you feel as pretty as an "after" picture.

bottom of page