You’d have to be living under a rock to not know that injectable facial intervention of all kinds have now become mainstream. Young women (and men!) approach the beauty aspect of injectables like any other beauty practice, like haircuts, hair colour, laser hair removal, facials, photo-facials, lash extensions and manicures. Getting a little facial tweak here and there has been taken out of the over forty hush-hush-no-one-talks-about-it world of the socialite and entered the Instagram world of seventeen year old girls going from no lips to a pout she could only dream about in the past.
From injectables to fight ageing, to injectables with your girlfriend on the weekend has been an evolution in North America over the past ten years. It’s gone from the plastic surgeon’s office to the medi-spa around the corner. This transition has made it very easy for anyone who feels like they could use a little more help than they can get from a jar seek out treatments. However, the other side of the coin is that many places are offering random humans willing to stick needles in your face, and these humans are not doctors. I went to one place, just to check it out, and they said they would FaceTime a doctor, then the nurse would administer the shots. I’m sure there are nurses out there who know how to administer fillers and paralytics, but I did not feel comfortable with that scenario. When it comes to my face, I want an expert.
We all know the injection disasters we want to avoid. The decidedly non-human looking duck lips, the frozen face, the Mr Spock brows, or the over-filled face that looks flat, shiny and puffy. The whole point of “facial rejuvenation” is the rejuvenating part. Unless you WANT to look like a different person, and if that’s your thang, go for it. My fear of injectables came from that person, and we all know one, who has gone over the deep end, the one that makes you think “her doctor should have his licence taken away”. I didn’t want to lose my face, because at fifty years old I’ve become attached to it.
I’m 50 now, but waited until I was 48 to first try Botox. I just had a few little shots because I was afraid to do more. It takes around ten days or more to kick in and when it did, I felt like I had found heaven. Honestly! I didn’t do it again for almost a year, and then when I did, I wondered why it took me so long. You can usually go around four months between shots, give or take, as everyone’s mileage will vary. I did n’t like the TONS of lines in my crow’s feet – a few are ok. I had way too many. I didn’t like my lined forehead and I did not like the lines above my upper lip. Years of sun worshipping and driving in a convertible, before we knew what sunscreen was, was not kind to my poor face.
I first met Dr Jennifer Pearlman on the Internet – yes really! We follow each other’s social media accounts, and her laser focus on women’s health and wellness always resonated with me. Her approach to ageing is “rejuvenation” and I love that. I don’t want to be someone else, I just don’t want to look more tired or old than I actually felt. I’ll qualify that statement – how I feel is not how you feel or how anyone else feels. And what we see in the mirror either bugs us or it doesn’t, and talking about women’s faces as they age is deeply personal. Dr Pearlman has been working with Botox since it first came on the market and is a national expert on the subject. She travels often, and watches trends and methods used by doctors around the world, as well as training doctors in her unique methods. This is her passion and it shows.
Dr Pearlman came to Ottawa for the National Women’s Show this past April, and I met her there to talk further about me trying some injections. I knew I wanted more Botox, but I also wanted to try a filler. Botox helped my crow’s feet and forehead lines, but it wasn’t doing the trick above my lip. Dr Pearlman gave me some Botox where she thought it was needed and gave my lips a little boost with filler, specifically Revanesse. I was afraid to to do too much in my lips so Dr Pearlman was conservative in her application. I was so excited to see the effects! Filler can cause a little swelling and any injection can cause bruising, so I was prepared for those. Luckily I did not have any issues with bruising or swelling.
One of the things I noticed at the Women’s Show was the women watching me in Dr Pearlman’s chair. They were very curious, so I encouraged them to come closer and see what I was getting done. They seemed relieved, and asked me questions about why I was getting certain things done, did it hurt, etc etc. There is a weird culture of secrecy with injectables and most women do not want to talk about it. I don’t know why. Do women want people to think they are naturally younger looking? I think it’s more about shame. Women are shamed for everything we do and wear, so why not pile on about this? Think of the celebrities and public figures who are judged for having “work done”, and whose faces are picked apart piece by piece, and ridiculed. It makes me sad AND angry. Those women’s faces are no one’s business but theirs. Just stop. The irony is that most of the critics are younger women. We are all sisters, and need to support each other, not tear each other down.
I kept looking in the mirror, watching the progress, and was amazed at how subtle the changes were. After a week or so I could see the effects of what Dr Pearlman did, and I LOVED IT! What I love even more is that she is so careful and judicious about maintaining the integrity of our existing faces. Unless you knew me really well, it was very hard to see what she had done. I just looked…rejuvenated!
Fast forward to July and my visit to see Dr Pearlman in her wonderful clinic in Toronto. No, it’s not a tony office in the middle of Yorkville. It’s a cozy, professional and inviting space located near Yonge and St Clair in Toronto, with plenty of parking and zero pretence. Her staff are lovely and made me feel quite welcome.
My first visit was with her medical aesthetician, Renna. She spoke to me about my skincare concerns, and asked me what products I use on my face. Then, I had a lovely cleansing facial to prepare my skin for Dr Pearlman using her signature line of skincare. I’ll add here that Dr Pearlman’s line of skincare was used on my face and I was very impressed. Actually, her Eye Complex is one of my favourite eye creams. And her HydraGlow Serum is one of the loveliest hyaluronic serums I have ever used! If you are looking for medical grade skincare that is gentle and truly fragrance free, you must check out her line. Renna’s approach was gentle and professional, and she imparted a feeling of calm which is important. I was a little nervous, but the vibe at Pearl MD Rejuvenation is “calm confidence”. I was in the right place.
Then, I sat down with Dr Pearlman in her office. She asked me about all my concerns and what I hoped for. She told me about which of her injectable services would be best for me, while her assistant applied numbing cream to my mouth. The lips and surrounding area are very sensitive, so the numbing cream is necessary for the patient’s comfort. Thank heavens!
I complained again about the lines above my lips. It’s possible to get Botox above the lips to freeze the muscles there so you don’t pucker, but a) it makes whistling next to impossible (true!) and b) doesn’t last very long. Dr Pearlman told me I’m a “purser”, hence the lines. So I got a Pearl MD Rejuvenation Mini-Lip, and she used the filler Emervel, in which the main component is cross-linked hyaluronic acid.
I also was quite distressed by my “chicken neck”. If you have it, you know exactly what I mean. There is not enough cream in the world to fix that issue. Dr Pearlman gave me Botox under my chin, I barely felt it, and within a week or so, my neck was completely smooth. Honestly, this is some kind of magic and I recommend anyone feeling their chicken neck is prematurely ageing them to investigate this option. I nearly cried when I saw I could take photos for my blog and not have to crop my neck out.
I got a little Botox on my forehead as well. The Botox that made me happiest was the brow lift. Just enough Botox above our brows, on the outside, can lift our eyes just enough to make us not look sad or angry, which was how I felt.
Here I am the next day:
And three days later, with just a little powder, bronzer and mascara:
Just as I wished, there is no drastic change. Just enough change to make me happy when I look in the mirror. Dr Pearlman is all about “rejuvenation” and this is exactly what I wanted. My husband and daughters have told me multiple times that they love my face the way it is. That said, they also want me to be happy in my skin. My daughter are modern women and see injectables as completely normal, with zero judgement. But, they did not want me to look like a Botox zombie with ridiculous lips, and my husband was actually quite nervous. After all was said and done, my husband can barely spot what was done, and my daughters, more attuned to this, are impressed. My younger one was home for couple weeks recently and kept saying “Mum your lips look amazing!”. Success!
Facial rejuvenation is not the only thing they do at Pearl MD Rejuvenation. They can help with hormones, diet, skincare and have many health and wellness programs they can customise to help you find your best self. I had a brief chat with the Pearl MD Clinic nutritionist, Marni, which was so helpful. I try to eat well and think I know how to do exactly that, but she still had useful tips for me which have helped.
Jennifer Pearlman is such a warm and friendly person, and her caring nature comes across as soon as you speak with her. When someone has true passion about what they do, it shows in the quality of their work and simply when they’re working. Dr Pearlman is having fun when she works, and her enthusiasm is contagious. Of course, when someone’s wrist is right next to my nose, chances are I’m going to notice a scent. Not strong, not overwhelming, but just enough to let me know I’ve met a kindred spirit – one who smells amazing. I won’t give away Dr Pearlman’s signature scent, you’ll have to discover that on your own. But I will tell you it’s a gentle fragrance that leaves you wanting more, and, it’s one in my collection too 😉
So, to wrap it up, this is my personal experience. I would not hesitate to encourage anyone who has been thinking about injectables to go for it. You want a doctor you can trust. Due to the fact that so many women are secretive about what they “get done”, getting a recommendation isn’t always easy. How to do homework? Check online reviews. If you’re in Toronto, or would go to Toronto, I cannot recommend Dr Pearlman, her lovely staff and clinic enough.
Questions? Ask me! I’m happy to answer any inquiries you might have about what I had done. Post below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For serious questions about what you might want and/or need, call or email Pearl MD Rejuvenation ASAP. There is no time like the present!