If you are 50 or older, you may start to notice that your mouth is doing weird things. For me, my upper lip is slowly disappearing and my mouth turns down, even when I am maniacally happy. Maybe your marionette lines are suddenly screaming for attention. Has a life of smoking finally caught up with you? For those who fear looking like they’ve “had work”, there are subtle solutions. Again, if this doesn’t bother you, God Bless You. Truly. But if you would like a little something-something, read on.
For those who would like a little rejuvenation, there is help.
After Nurse Megan, at FACE Form + Body, dealt with my horror show of an under eye sitch, it was time to address my mouth. My mouth area wasn’t sparking joy but I was nervous to let anyone touch my lips. Terrified of looking weird, looking different, having giant lips and not looking like myself held me back. Because I was so happy with what Nurse Megan did to treat my under eyes, I felt good about finally tackling this.
I cannot emphasize enough, how important it is to find a practitioner that you can have total confidence in. Look for people who listen to you, who work WITH you and involve you in the decision-making process. You should never feel pressured or like someone is upselling you on more treatment than you need. After dealing with the people at FORM Face & Body for over a year, I feel 100% safe in all of their hands.
Down To Work
Once again, fixated on my shrinking upper lip, I assumed we would just throw some filler in there. Good to go, right? Much like with my eyes, to help deal with that upper lip, we also had to look at what was going on around the whole area.
Nurse Megan explained that it’s not as simple as filling the lip a bit. As we age, our skin slackens and loses elasticity. Our lips (especially the upper) start to curl back inward, shrinking from view. This is a natural part of aging but if you already have thin lips, you will likely notice it more acutely. Angelina Jolie is NOT going to have this worry when she hits sixty.
She started by asking what bothers me. I mentioned that I hate that I always look sad or angry. If one more dude tells me “cheer up” on the subway, I’ll scream. I look cranky in so many photos of myself when I KNOW I was enjoying myself. No wonder people are scared to talk to me.
She pointed out that this was not just my thinning lips, it was, potentially, the downward pull of my DAO muscles. Who knew I even had those muscles and who know they might be really strong? The depressor anguli oris (DAO) muscle attaches to the corner of the mouth and the bottom of the mandible (lower jaw), just to the side of the chin. It is one of the muscles which helps make a frown.
Now I want to brag about how strong my DAO muscles are!
She recommended a bit of botox to relax that muscle. If it works and stops them from pulling the sides down so much, problem dealt with. If botox doesn’t have the desired effect, we know it’s something else and we will take it from there. In that case, it’s likely a problem with volume loss and skin laxity, something botox will not fix.
Remember, it takes a good two weeks for the botox to fully kick in so have patience. My goals are not extreme but I started seeing an improvement after week one. I want a softening, not an erasure, of lines and wrinkles and things that make me look tired, not things that show some age. My age is something I’m proud of.
After some examination, I realized that I prefer rounded shape of the right side of my lip. The left has a more severe peak to it and it sharply declines and disappears. Megan studied my lips, took photos, we looked at them together and decided that the wise first step was to work toward softening the look of the peak on the left. She’d fill that side out a bit to better match the right. She also dealt with a bit of a dip that caused an “m” shape to the underside of my upper lip and added a soupçon to my lower lips to keep everything balanced.
Now, this is the treatment plan for me.
Everyone ends up with their own, unique, plan so keep an open mind. A great aesthetic nurse knows more about facial anatomy than you do so you let them guide you. They help you get the results you want but it might not be exactly how you thought you would get there.
FORM Face and Body has changed their lip treatment pricing. It is now $600, with the option to start with a full syringe or just a portion. For three months following your initial treatment, you can go back for touch-ups, up to a total of one syringe. This is perfect for new people, like me, who are a bit wary and want to start small and build their results over time!
In the meantime, book your own consult with the team for a trusted approach to aging gracefully.
As always, although my experience was generously hosted by FORM Face + Body my views and opinions are very much my own.