Here at Who What Wear, we are very much of the mindset that every person has the right to do whatever they want when it comes to beauty without fear of judgement. Whether it’s embracing body hair (or shaving it all off) or opting for a full face of contour (or going for a no-makeup makeup look), we believe that beauty is all about finding ways to make you feel like your very best self. The truth is there is no right or wrong way to go about your beauty routine.
This is no truer than when it comes to aesthetic treatments. You see, while we don’t believe that anyone should feel pressure to get any particular aesthetic treatment, we understand that it’s something many want. As always, making well-informed beauty choices is imperative, but particularly when it comes to in-clinic aesthetics.
Typically, whenever we’re recommending skincare products to you, besides the obvious financial considerations, the stakes aren’t particularly high—if a product isn’t right, no major damage can be done. However, this certainly isn’t the case for more invasive treatments. Any procedure that involves clinical-grade products, prescription drugs or needles should be considered very carefully.
In recent years, aesthetic treatments have only appeared to grow in popularity. From lip flips to "baby Botox,” social media has allowed us to see the (sometimes impressive, sometimes disastrous) results of aesthetic procedures. So if you’re ever left wondering what some of these seemingly high-tech treatments actually do, keep scrolling to discover everything you need to know about some of the most popular treatments right now (plus, some non-invasive products that might help you out).
1. Lip Flip
It’s likely you will have seen people talking about lip flips on social media already. "The lip flip has become a popular request over the past year in our clinic,” reveals Yannis Alexandrides, MD, FACS, plastic surgeon and founder of 111 Harley St. "The process involves injecting Botox into the upper lip and the corners of the mouth,” he adds. The Botox works to relax specific muscles around the lip, causing it to flip upward, helping to slightly enhance volume and reduce "gummy” smiles.
It is considered to be a cheaper, less painful and more temporary way to achieve fuller-looking lips in comparison to filler. "It’s a great option for patients that want short-lived results (two to three months), who are possibly a bit nervous about lip filler,” reveals Nestor Demosthenous, a cosmetic doctor and the founder of Dr. Nestor’s Medical Cosmetic Centre in Edinburgh. In terms of pain, you can expect to feel a small nip or prick but little else.
In terms of complications, when it comes to most Botox treatments, these are rare providing you go to a certified expert and follow aftercare advice. "A side effect that can occur is that the muscle may over-relax," says Dany Kayle, a cosmetic Surgeon and the founder of Dr. Kayle Aesthetic Clinic in Dubai. "This may lead to muscles being too weak to pucker the lips or allow for drinking through a straw," he adds.
Average starting price: £100
Shop Lip Liners
Very subtly overlining your lips with a nude lip liner like this one can help give the appearance of fuller lips.
This cult lip liner has been used by beauty insiders for years to help deliver a fuller-looking pout.
2. Tear-Trough Filler
Another cosmetic treatment that has proved to be very popular in recent years is tear-trough filler. Experts regard this treatment to be the most effective way to minimise the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. And while before and after pictures on Instagram clearly show how effective it can be, it’s worth noting that it is a relatively invasive treatment.
"The tear trough is a deep crease between the lower eyelid and upper cheek, which can sometimes cast a shadow below your eyes,” says Kayle. Tear-trough filler aims to reduce the depth of the tear trough by injecting dermal filler, made with hyaluronic acid, into the area. "You might like to consider tear-trough filler if you have mild to moderate sagging under the eyes; have healthy, thick skin; and understand that the treatment is temporary,” he adds.
However, the nature of the skin around the eye area means that such a treatment should be very carefully considered. "The anatomy around the eyes is extremely delicate. If skin is too thin or too much filler has been used, the volumising effects of hyaluronic acid fillers can escalate, causing bulging and puffing. Only an experienced medical professional who has carefully planned the treatment with a deep understanding of the patient’s facial anatomy and skin quality should perform this treatment,” says Demosthenous.
Average starting price: £350
Shop Under-Eye Concealers
If you have dark circles that your dead set on covering up, this full-coverage, creamy concealer will exceed your expectations.
A more natural-looking under-eye cover-up, this affordable little tube from The Ordinary helps to disguise dark circles and still leaves skin looking like skin.
3. Botox & Baby Botox
Botox has been one of the most popular aesthetic treatments within the beauty world for years thanks to its wrinkle-reducing powers. "Botox is a toxin that temporarily limits the movement of muscles underneath the layers of your skin. Delivered by injection, it can be used to smooth the appearance of wrinkles. Remember Botox doesn’t fill lines,” explains Kayle.
Botox is suitable for those with existing lines and wrinkles who wish to soften the appearance of them and also for those who would like to prevent the formation of deeper-set lines. Results typically last between three and six months. As explained previously, the pain associated with Botox is limited to the small prick you feel at the injection site.
More recently, the term "baby Botox” has taken off on social media. In theory, the treatment doesn’t differ from a standard Botox treatment, but the results are designed to be much subtler. "The term evolved from the approach of treating patients appropriately. With a baby Botox procedure, we use the doses administered to allow more movement rather than taking it away completely,” says Demosthenous.
In terms of cautions, there tends to be a risk of bruising from Botox as well as drooping of the brows/eyelids. However, such situations are rare, particularly with baby Botox.
Average starting price: £100 to £350
Shop Plumping Skin Serums
No skincare product will ever get close in results to muscle-freezing, line-reducing Botox (no matter what the packaging says), but certain products can help minimise the appearance of fine lines in the short term. This serum is full to the brim with high-tech complexes that work to plump fine lines and deliver a moisturised, dewy and radiant finish.
With squalane, hyaluronic acid, and polyglutamic acid, this serum harnesses three skincare mega hydrators to help plump and smooth skin. While they work, copper peptide also helps to support collagen production.
4. Profhilo and Profhilo Body
Profhilo is another treatment that you are likely to have stumbled across before on social media. "Profhilo is a glow-giving injectable moisturiser that hydrates the skin. It utilises a high concentration of 100% pure hyaluronic acid and is a completely natural injectable,” says Demosthenous. It works to deliver hydrating, plumping moisture under the surface of the skin to boost radiance and plumpness, with results lasting up to six months.
Again, in terms of pain, you can expect to feel a sting at the injection site, but the pain soon passes. However, it’s worth noting that Prohilo isn’t for everybody. "Although it is a natural and safe product, some patients should avoid it, especially if you have bleeding disorders or a severely compromised immune system. Also, avoid if you are allergic to hyaluronic acid, are currently pregnant, or are breastfeeding,” warns Kayle.
A recent addition to the Profhilo treatment family is Profhilo Body. "It is the only injectable treatment specifically formulated for the treatment of body skin laxity,” says Alexandrides. "It is ideal for anyone who wants to smooth fine lines; rehydrate loose, crêpey skin; and achieve an overall improvement to skin elasticity on the abdomen, hands, knees, and arms,” he adds.
As with all of the treatments on this list, it is imperative that you visit a certified medical professional for your treatment.
Average starting price for Profhilo: £500
Average starting price for Profhilo Body, dependent on treatment area: £650
Shop Hyaluronic Acid Products
This refreshing, cooling serum plumps skin instantly for a radiant, youthful-looking finish.
Potentially one of the most adored body products out there right now, this lotion is jam-packed with hyaluronic acid to leave skin on the body looking healthy, hydrated and plump. Plus, it smells like marzipan—what's not to love?
5. Lip Filler
Different to a lip flip, lip filler injects dermal filler into the lips to create a fuller pout. "A hyaluronic acid–based filler is injected into the lip to increase volume and size. It works by not only plumping the lip directly but also trapping water within lips for plumpness,” says Kayle. Lip fillers can also help to improve lip symmetry and treat vertical lines. "Often, people don’t realise that achieving the look you want won’t necessarily happen overnight. The key is building layers in stages,” he adds.
In terms of risks, as with most filler treatments, there are plenty. "If not done correctly, filler can migrate, so always ensure you go to an aesthetic doctor who has a stellar reputation,” recommends Kayle.
"There is a chance of bruising and a risk of infection,” says Demosthenous. People with active infections, cold sores, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, blood clotting problems, or allergies to local anaesthetic should also avoid. In order to reverse the effects of lip fillers, the filler has to be dissolved, which is considered to be an uncomfortable process.
Average starting price: £250
Shop Plumping Lip Products
Containing spheres of hyaluronic acid, this non-sticky gloss packs one hell of a plumping, hydrating punch.
If you're fed up with the way that drying lipsticks appear to "shrink" the size of your lips, this highly pigmented balm delivers a beautiful wash of colour of lips while nourishing and plumping them at the same time.
6. Potenza/RF Micro-Needling
A new treatment on the scene, Potenza (or RF micro-needling), is a celebrity go-to. (Kim Kardashian raves about it.) "Potenza uses ultra-fine needles combined with radio frequency to penetrate the epidermis and trigger your body’s natural healing process,” says Alexandrides. "This regeneration process encourages collagen and elastin production, which rejuvenates and revitalises skin.”
Created to be performed on all skin types and skin tones, it delivers "firmer, tighter and younger-looking skin, as well as a smoother and brighter complexion, especially if you suffer from blemishes and scarring,” says Alexandrides. "You can treat the face, neck, jawline, body and around the eyes,” he adds.
And as for pain? It is a little uncomfortable. "Most of our patients say it’s a tolerable pain, sitting at around a four or five out of 10 on the pain scale,” Alexandrides says. "There is some downtime, approximately two to three days of redness, so we suggest giving yourself a week before a big event.”
Average starting price for five treatments: £2200
Shop Retinol Serums
Retinol helps to plump skin and diminish the appearance of wrinkles and works to speed up cell turnover to help diminish the appearance of scarring. This clever line of retinol serums allows you to work your way up through different strengths to minimise any irritation.
For seasoned retinol users, this powerful serum will yield impressive results.
Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous.
Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics.
While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best.
When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.
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