There is a lot that can go wrong when you start overdosing on injectables like Botox – just look at Madonna, Nicole Kidman and Courtney Cox. This however hasn’t made it any less popular with women. According to a recent report by consultancy McKinsey, the global aesthetics injectables market could grow by 12 to 14 per cent a year over the next five years as new technologies and an expanding portfolio of dermal fillers and biostimulators come to the fore. “While the younger generation are loving skin boosters [also known as biostimulators], my clients are open to everything and aren’t shy about it,” says Maryam Zamani, London-based oculoplastic (eye and surrounding region) surgeon and founder of cult beauty line, MZ Skin. “We have so many different options available to treat various concerns, so I tell my clients it’s about identifying what they want, then mixing and matching treatments if necessary.” Injectables are increasing in popularity, primarily because they are a less invasive alternative to plastic surgery and can target a variety of concerns such as sagging skin, frown lines and excessive sweating. They are also extremely versatile and can be used on various parts of the body. “The most popular area for Botox is between the brows, the [abdominal] 11 line, the forehead, and crow’s feet. For fillers, the chin is number one followed by the cheeks. Biostimulators can be used on the whole face and neck,” explains Philippines-based dermatologist Vickie Belo . 7 things you didn’t know about Botox, from pain to side effects Another plus is the fact that they are accessible and convenient. All they involve is a quick visit to the dermatologist’s office or clinic, with little downtime required – in most cases, patients can leave immediately after. One of the biggest risks is managing expectations when it comes to the final result. “I work with patients to devise a detailed treatment plan before we begin. The appointment may be short but they should also be prepared to come back – there’s no such thing as a quick fix,” says Zamani. “I also don’t believe in doing anything as a ‘preventive’ measure – if you have an issue then fix it, if you don’t, it’s not necessary. Don’t experiment with your skin for no reason,” she warns. If you want to get rid of those crow’s feet but don’t know which treatment is best for you? Here’s the 101 on the most popular injectables out there. Are Botox and dermal fillers the same thing? Although they are equally popular, Botox and dermal fillers serve different functions. Botox is considered a neuromodulator and, like others in this category, it is designed to stop the release of neurotransmitters that signal muscles to contract. In short, it stops involuntary muscle movement which can create fine lines and wrinkles. In contrast, Zamani likens dermal fillers to implants, which are injected just under the skin’s surface to volumise or fill an area of the face for a more natural look. Where do skin boosters fit in? Although they haven’t been around as long as dermal fillers or neuromodulators, biostimulators are designed to improve the skin’s quality by promoting hydration, smoothness, firmness and brightness. The original vampire facial, which involved injecting platelet-rich plasma into the skin, is considered a skin booster. It has quickly been replaced by more cutting-edge products including NCTF (new cellular treatment factor), which involves injecting 59 minerals, vitamins and peptides into the skin, and exosomes, which share the same regenerative properties as stem cells to boost collagen and elastin production. How long do these injectables last? Nothing good lasts forever. Zamani says that neuromodulators like Botox should last around three to five months. Some dermal fillers, especially those made from hyaluronic acid , will last for shorter periods of time (say three to six months) while others can stay in the skin for up to two years, depending on their ingredients and consistency. Skin boosters can be done every few weeks initially, then once a month to once every three months. Belo also warns that some products may lose their effectiveness the more you use them. “Some people have used so much Botox for 10 years or more that they have developed a tolerance for it, and it no longer lasts. As such they would have to try another product with longer lasting results such as Xeomin,” she says. How do I know which product to choose? It’s not up to you to pick the right product. For example, there are over 100 types of dermal fillers available. For the best results, seek the advice of a professional who can identify your concerns and work with you on a treatment plan that suits your individual needs. Remember, it’s a work in progress. “Different parts of the face have different consistencies and needs. Your doctor should be knowledgeable about what product to use for each part of the face. Cheeks need thicker fillers to hold it up, while lips need softer fillers so kissing feels natural,” says Belo. Inside Rihanna and A$AP Rocky’s rags-to-riches family life I’ve heard about ‘natural’ fillers – do they exist? Many dermal fillers are made using hyaluronic acid, which like collagen or elastin, is also present naturally in the skin. This can lead people to mistakenly believe that it is more “natural” than other types of fillers, but that isn’t necessarily the case. “I hate the word natural. It’s a bad misrepresentation of what’s out there. Many of these products contain chemicals that have been tried and tested to ensure their safety and efficacy,” says Zamani. Belo adds: “The only natural organic filler would be your own fat.” I’ve gone all Nicole Kidman. Can I reverse any of these treatments ? Some fillers, including those made from hyaluronic acid, have an “antidote” (in this case an enzyme known as hyaluronidase) that helps it dissolve into the skin faster. Other types including Radiesse are much stronger and are irreversible.