By Alice Hart-Davis, creator of www.thetweakmentsguide.com
We need to talk about tweakments, we really do. Tweakments – aka non-surgical cosmetic procedures, such as Botox, fillers and skin peels – are becoming increasingly popular, and ever more widely available. They’re not yet on every high street but with the advent of Superdrug’s in-store clinics, we’re moving that way.
Tweakments get mentioned on chat shows and in gossip columns. They’re all over social media. They even make it into the news when something goes wrong. Everyone knows the words ‘Botox’ and ‘fillers’ but mostly, that’s all they know. Press them on details, or ask them how these procedures work, and you’ll find most people are very much in the dark.
Aesthetics gets discussed in sensational terms – worst celebs with pillow face! My lips nearly exploded! – which only fosters the general feeling of alarm and revulsion around the topic. I guess ‘subtle tweakments enable people to enhance their looks’ isn’t such a hot headline – though goodness knows, it’s what every person curious about aesthetics wants to know.
This shock-horror approach means that the hush and secrecy and stigma around tweakments is taking a long time to fade.
That’s why I’m calling for a more open and honest discussion around aesthetics. Because if everybody talked about tweakments a bit more, there would be more understanding and less judgment around the topic for the older age group, who are still remarkably cautious about moving towards treatment and who fear being viewed as silly or vain by their peers for seeking to maintain their looks.
A wider conversation would mean greater awareness of the need for seeking out a safe, medically trained and highly experienced practitioner. So many people presume, wrongly, that because tweakments are medical, they will somehow be regulated. Yet the dire lack of regulation around aesthetics means that too many cowboy (and cowgirl!) injectors operate with impunity, wreaking havoc with their needles and vanishing without a trace, leaving others to clear up the mess they’ve made of their patients’ faces.
A more frank approach might help younger patients, who are all mad for bigger lips and enhanced cheekbones, to understand that choosing the cheapest practitioner can end up being expensive — emotionally as well as financially – if things go wrong.
And if only celebs would start to talk openly about how crucial tweakments are to maintaining their looks, that would change the conversation completely. Celebs usually say they tried Botox once, but it made them look weird, so they never went back to it. Instead, they claim that what really works for them is going vegan/ doing more yoga/ some new magic face cream. Yeah, right. There’s a whole world of tweakments out there, from laser facials to high-intensity focussed ultrasound and – trust me – celebs are having them all. And that’s nothing to be ashamed about or to hide.
If we all knew how much they rely on tweakments, we might start to talk about procedures in terms of routine maintenance, too.
So that’s what I’m doing with my website, and on social media. Trying to open up the conversation around tweakments – for everyone’s benefit. Come and join me.