Change Doesn't Happen Overnight: Why Consistency and Maintenance Matter

What on earth would I do without Body Tonic and the talented ladies here? They keep me, and all our lovely clients, aging in reverse. Literally.

When Iris first showed me my before and after picture from 2014 to now, I was shocked. Not so much at the dark circles under my eyes (I’ve had those since I was a kid) or even the hollowness of my cheeks (I used to work out a great deal more than I do now), but at my skin quality and the sun damage! Holy heck! I truly don’t remember having that. Maybe that’s because I didn’t care, or maybe I thought there was nothing I could do about it.

After seeing my melasma in that before picture (the darker pigment on my forehead and cheeks), I immediately went to my old file to see what skin treatments I’ve had over the years. This is such a perfect illustration of how dramatic change does not come with just one treatment. The change in my skin quality and facial volume took place over seven and a half years.

They skin treatments I’ve had with Kit to treat melasma, sun damage, and texture are as follows:

Intense Pulsed Light photofacial, 2014

Whisper Laser Resurfacing (ablative), 2015

Halo Laser Resurfacing (ablative and non-ablative) and Nano Laser Peel (ablative), 2018

Forever Young Broadband Light (BBL) photofacial, 2020

Skin Pen with PRP and BBL, 2021

There were also several microneedling treatments over the years, a few light chemical peels, and about one Hydrafacial a year (usually at birthday time).

And of course we can’t forget to mention professional-grade skincare products. Before I worked here, I used face wash and that’s probably it. I don’t remember having a moisturizer and if I did, I’m sure it came from Target. I think I also used some form of facial sunscreen, but again it was drugstore-quality. As the years have passed working at Body Tonic, my product closet has grown immensely. We are lucky (and very grateful) to receive product samples to try, and we all amass are own stockpiles of favorites.

A few favorites (and also products that work on texture and pigment) are: Skin Ceuticals CE Ferulic (antioxidant to correct environmental damage and prevent further damage), Skin Better’s Alpha Ret Intensive (retinol to help cell turn over, skin texture and elasticity), Even Tone (for pigment), and ToneSmart SPF Compact. I use many other products, but a core regimen should always include an antioxidant, a retinol, and a sunscreen.

Now let’s turn to injectables. What about all my volume loss that Iris and Gina corrected over the years? A question we are often asked by clients is: How long will the filler last? The answer is generally nine months to one year, depending on your own metabolism, the treatment area and the particular product used. Personally, I do a lot of cardio, so I burn through product quickly.

One of the very noticeable differences between my before and after pictures is the amount of volume in my face now compared to 2014. I estimated how many syringes of filler I’ve had over 7 and a half years. This is not an exact figure, but I estimate about 42 syringes! That’s about 6 syringes of filler per year.

Here’s the filler treatment breakdown:

Lips: I always get my lips done before my birthday, so that’s one syringe per year. Products used: Restylane, Defyne and Kysse

Jaw: I’ve had my jawline done maybe three times, and that’s anywhere from 2-4 syringes once a year. Products used: Radiesse

Cheeks: I’ve also had my cheeks done (maybe not every year, but definitely multiple times) and that’s usually two syringes. Products used: Lyft, Radiesse and Voluma

Tear troughs: For tear troughs we use delicate filler that metabolizes more quickly so that’s about 1 syringe every 9 months. Products used: Restylane and Belotero

If six syringes per year sounds like a lot, just think about the fact that one syringe of filler equates to only one teaspoon of product. And larger facial areas, like cheeks or jawline, require more filler because product in those areas act like scaffolding for building volume.

Last but not least, what about neurotoxin? Botox, Dysport and Xeomin not only diminish wrinkles but they also improve skin’s pliability and elasticity which helps give a more hydrated, youthful look. Personally, I do neurotoxin about 3 times per year. I estimated about 60 units per treatment, plus I had my neck micro ‘toxed once, and I periodically get Botox for TMJ (about 15-30 units in the masseter about twice a year). So I estimate I’ve had about 1650 to 2000 units of neurotoxins over my seven and a half years here.

None of these calculations are in themselves out of the ordinary. We certainly have plenty of clients that do multiple syringes per year, keep up with their neurotoxin appointments, and do maintenance skin treatments one or more times each year. The biggest take away point here though is the need for consistency and maintenance in cosmetic procedures. There is no "one and done". It’s an all-around approach to treating your skin: correcting, protecting, and preventing.

As I once heard someone remark about seeing positive change from working out: This isn’t Amazon Prime – change doesn’t happen overnight!