Good news about photos, fat cells and Belkyra
I nearly dismissed the invitation altogether. Botox and cosmetic treatments aren’t really my thing. But, coming from an acquaintance in the fashion biz, the opportunity piqued my interest. So I made my way to the swanky Thompson Hotel, where I mingled with beauty writers and editors in a cozy modernly-styled meeting room. After thoroughly enjoying a polite-size portion of smoked salmon and fruit (okay two). I turned off my phone, set aside my judgments and sat down to learn about Belkyra, a new innovation in medical aesthetics.
Belkyra, as the speakers explained, is the first FDA and Health Canada approved non-surgical, injectable treatment for moderate to extreme sub-mental fullness, also known as the double chin. Okay, I’m listening. Apparently, 1 in 4 women feel injectables are an everyday beauty procedure, not unlike dying one’s hair, according to Toronto dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Kellett. And it’s a cross generational trend. Top among 20-somethings, she said, are breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and botox treatments. And among the 50-somethings, 50% admit to a disconnection between how they feel inside and look outside. Yep, that’s my sister!
At 40, yes, I’m aware of fine lines, pregnancy-stretched skin, and the fallen horizon of my cleavage. I also have undyed hair, clear painted nails and selective mistrust of medical science. Injections and surgeries just don’t fit for me or my budget. I listened to the trends, attitude and science behind the treatment. And as I did, my opinion opened up. According to Dr. Vince Bertucci, President of the Canadian Dermatology Association, this is how Belkyra works. Deoxycholic acid, which is produced in the gall bladder, is a naturally occurring molecule that breaks down fat in the body. The acid is injected in anywhere from 10 to 40 precise points in the area under the chin, based on a customized map of treatment. The injection destroys fat cells and, after sufficient treatments, fat ceases to accumulate in the area. Seems pretty straight-forward, actually.
Understanding the science kept me listening, but it was Dr. Kellett’s points about the personal motivations and benefits of treatment that spoke to me. A woman (or man) of any age may have fullness under the chin because of genetics, weight gain or aging. Of course, in the case of weight gain, exercise, nutrition and lifestyle must be part of the conversation. But what about the woman who’s already made those changes and feels fantastic aside from one nagging area that’s beyond her control? That was the case with Nadia*, a member at the gym. After vastly improving her lifestyle, losing 80 pounds, running a half-marathon and maintaining her weight loss, Nadia opted for a tummy tuck. By this point, she was in her mid-twenties, accustomed to success and had a positive outlook on life. I got the sense that the excess skin from her weight loss was the last bothersome thing hanging over her. She gave the surgery serious consideration and made her decision. I can appreciate that.
Then there’s Nikki*, a personal friend of mine. Same story, but replace runner with devoted gym-goer. As far as her loose skin, she says she’s just accepted how her body looks dressed versus how it looks naked. I can appreciate that too. To me, these were both healthy personal decisions. I don’t know if anyone within my circles has had injections. I can’t say it’s ever come up in conversation. But within Dr. Kellett’s examples of real life pain points, there was something I could most certainly relate to – the selfie chin! Yes, that horrible double chin in an otherwise great shot that completely calls for a retake. And of course, the before and after profile shots that she shared were very impressive. In some cases, the change took years off a person’s appearance.
In a one-on-one discussion after the presentation, I asked Dr. Vertucci about any special considerations for darker complexions. He confirmed that a variety of skin tones, including those of black people, were represented in the clinical trials. As I’m composing this article, I’m waiting for a response via his representative regarding skin with a history of keloids. (If you’re reading this, I’m still waiting for an answer)
I’m not sure I’ll ever be part of the 25 per cent of people booking Botox treatments like hair appointments, but it was eye-opening (pun intended) to learn more about the entire subject of medical aesthetics. I see that it’s become more common than I thought, and that services aren’t exclusive to the bourgeois crowd. We have an entire middle class generation growing up in the age of this modern, medical approach to beauty. I love what that does for a woman’s options on an individual level but wonder about ill-effects on real life beauty ideals as a whole. Imagine ten years from now my daughter may come home from high school saying, “C’mon mom, everyone is doing it!”
*names have been changed.
What you think about this new treatment? Would you consider it?
Not into this type of treatment? Here are my personal tips for taking a great selfie without a double chin.
© 2016 Debbie King. All rights reserved. Contact Debbie King or Supafitmama for permissions.
Photo Credits: Belkyra Website, Gianmarco Policelli