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Which Beauty Procedure Is Right For You?

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - From celebrities on red carpets to television commercials, magazine ads and more, the pressure to look good, young and fabulous is ubiquitous.

Fortunately, there are some procedures that can help you achieve that. Minimally invasive treatments like Botox, fillers, photofacials and more are popular, but keeping up with the latest trends and determining the best procedure for you can be overwhelming.

Tori Smith, a registered nurse with Blush Aesthetics and Skincare in Dallas, said that there are three treatments that give you the most bang for your hard-earned buck. “Botox, number one, hands down,” Smith said without hesitation. “I like to call it a game changer. It totally gives you 10 hours of rest. It just refreshes your face and gives you an instant pick-me-up.”

Botox temporarily paralyzes the muscles, say, on your forehead and ultimately helps lessen the appearance of moderate-to-severe frown lines.

“Number two is the photofacial. The photofacial is a treatment that treats the dermis, the epidermis and then that top layer of skin. [It] goes into the skin and it creates kind of a dermal irritation,” Smith said, “but it helps to strengthen the elasticity, build the collagen, and it also helps to remove some of the photo damage on the top layer of the skin.”

In layman’s terms, it brightens your complexion and gets rid of spots and blotchiness. I had one last May and loved the results. It totally got rid of some sun damage I had on my left cheek. It’s not something you want to get done, though, if you will be in the sun, because your skin will peel. It’s also not what I would call a “pleasant” procedure but WOW are the results worth it: I had a clear, even complexion with no more sun spots!

Third on Smith’s list? Fillers like Juvederm and Restylane, something most people like to do in the laugh lines surrounding their mouths. “Filler is a huge non-invasive procedure because it helps to soften all of the lines in the skin,” Smith said. “It just kind of softens the face so it doesn’t look jowly or heavy.”

What about the lips? You’ve seen those overplumped duck lips on Hollywood celebrities or, let’s be honest, some of your friends. A little filler can be good. Too much? Not so much. “A lot of people, of course, like a little advancement in their lips, but the big lip is definitely out,” Smith said. “No more duck lip. No more lips entering before you enter the room.”

So what about the nitty gritty? Does it hurt? Cost a lot? The answer depends on your pain tolerance, and what is important to you.

As for the pain of the Botox needle? It’s not that bad. “I was scared going into it,” said Botox fan Katherine Pratt. “I am a big wuss. I don’t like shots or going to the doctor. They described it as a bee sting. I said, ‘I don’t like bees.’ But actually, it really doesn’t hurt at all. You hardly feel it. It is just a small little prick and, for what you get, the minimal amount of pain it is so worth it.”

Filler is a little more painful.

As for the price, photofacials in general start around $350. Filler is charged by the syringe; Botox by the unit. The procedures start around $300 or $400. Again, these are ballpark figures.

The results last a while. Botox results last around three months and fillers up to a year. Photofacials are good to get a couple times a year, but you must be vigilant about using sun protection if you get that procedure. A maintenance treatment like a hydrafacial is a good way to keep your complexion glowing.

The latter is my new favorite. It’s affordable — starting around $95 — and it cleanses, exfoliates, extracts and hydrates your skin. It’s not a spa facial, which is more about relaxation. It’s more of an intense, pain-free facial that leaves your skin radiant. Love!

So, how do you find a qualified professional? That’s not easy. Experts recommend talking to your friends and finding out what has worked for them. The American Society of Plastic Surgery can also help you find a licensed medical professional. Once you find someone, consult with that individual. Not every treatment is right for every person.

Pregnant or nursing? You’re not getting Botox. Dark skin? Photofacials aren’t for you.

Finally, do research and ask a lot of questions. A good practitioner is happy to take the time to ease any fears or concerns that you might have, and help you determine what treatment will have you looking your best.

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