For those that monitor the beauty world, or participate in it often, the common problem or fear of looking like Mr Spock after having cosmetic injections done is well and truly out there. These days, it’s normal for us to hear of people voicing concerns over whether or not they can get rid of their frown lines without ending up with an unnatural look.
So how do you get cosmetic injections without the Mr Spock feel? We must admit, we’ve given this look to a few patients in our early days, but we’ve learned the hard way and now know exactly how to avoid this. But we’re also well aware of the many other providers who still end up giving these results, for a wide range of reasons. We often see patients come in who have had cosmetic injections elsewhere, and their brows are arched up heavily on the outside, giving them a very unnatural appearance.
In this post, we’ll go through how we can prevent this for you as a patient, so that you don’t look unnatural and you don’t look overdone. The Mr Spock look is probably the biggest giveaway that you’ve even had this procedure done in the first place, so instead of making this hallmark obvious, we’ll show you how to avoid this type of look altogether. We’ll also run through how you can identify bad cosmetic treatments and whether or not someone has undergone the procedure themselves.
How do anti-wrinkle injections work?
Essentially, you can spot a poor job from a mile away, if the person doesn’t look refreshed or ‘more attractive’. Anything other than that, and they’ve basically gone down the wrong path during their treatment.
However, to understand why results matter and differ so much, you need to be aware of the anatomy surrounding this area of the body.
Firstly, the frown consists of two main muscles: the corrugator muscle – which pulls a certain way and gives you the legs eleven look, or vertical frown lines. Then there is the procerus muscles. These head towards towards the nose, and when pulled, give horizontal lines across the nose. When you frown, you get a scrunching of that area in the centre, resulting in vertical lines from the corrugator muscle and a horizontal lines from the procerus muscle.
So, often, we inject about five points into these muscles to help them relax. This includes injecting the procerus muscle in the centre. We then move onto the corrugator muscles, where we place injections on either side of the procerus.
The other muscle we deal with in this area is the frontalis. This muscle starts at the brows and ends at the scalp, and allows our forehead and brows to move up. You can think of this as an elevator of the eyebrows. Often, this muscle is relaxed to stop the formation of wrinkles in the forehead.
>> See Dr Chan in action by watching our video here. <<
We also have an antagonist to this muscle – which is the one that is positioned just above the eyes. Typically, this muscle pushes the eyebrows downwards. We call this the orbicularis oculi muscle and it does the opposite of the frontalis muscle, which elevates. They are in an endless battle of tug of war.
The problem with who can give anti-wrinkle injections?
So, it seems simple, right? But why are there so many issues with this area? Why is it that we constantly see people who come in with the Mr Spock look?
One of the underlying reasons is the way that most practitioners are taught, even from day one. The same teaching is going on today in some workshop, somewhere out there in the world. Some new injector is learning about the treatment for the first time and they’re teaching them the wrong approach from the outset. That’s the first mistake.
So, what’s the rule they teach you?
‘When injecting the frontalis muscle, inject everywhere you like, except a centimetre over the outer brows. Don’t inject that area.’
Basically people inject all around the whole frontalis muscle. As a result, a little bit of muscle remains active, while the rest is getting some form of relaxation and isn’t moving. What you end up with is elevated lateral ends of the brow, creating that unnatural look. So, if you inject the whole forehead and not that little bit above the brow – on the lateral parts of the brow – you’re going to end up with compensation of that part of the muscle. That is probably one of the primary errors when it comes to those learning and actioning the treatment – injecting and leaving that area out.
The reason they say not to do this is because there is a fear that if that area’s injected, it may cause the brow to drop. This is because the frontalis muscle is the only muscle which elevates the forehead. So, the concern is usually centred around if you inject the frontalis muscle, that’s going to cause a drop of the brow. And the patient will complain of heavy eyelids and heavy brows.
But that’s not the case and it’s not true at all.
What determines whether you’ll get a brow drop or not will primarily be due to pre-existing anatomy or pre-existing genetics. If you have a heavy brow and heavy eyelids, you’re more predisposed to it. It also depends on the total dosage of the injection used during your treatment. This is a bigger determinant than anything else in terms of whether someone will feel and look unnatural after they’ve undergone the treatment.
In a nutshell, when practitioners avoid injecting this area, it gives the patient a false impression of eyebrow elevation. It actually just makes them look really weird. The key here, is to avoid injecting just the central parts of the forehead.
When the frown is injected too high – that is, instead of injecting in the frown itself – the anti-wrinkle injection goes into the frontalis muscle and diffuses upwards. What happens is that the muscle is kept still, with the frontalis held stagnant in the centre. Meanwhile the lateral part of the muscle compensates by shooting upwards.
What to do before getting anti-wrinkle injections
Luckily, we’ve got a handy little test you can do yourself, to see if you are likely to get this Mr Spock effect. We recommend doing this test before you head to a practitioner for treatment.
To complete this test, take three fingers and hold the central part of your forehead down and raise your eyebrows. Assess whether you see any elevation. If you botox your frown and the middle part of my frontalis muscle, you will would get the Mr Spock. We like to think of this as a litmus test to see whether you are a likely candidate for getting the Mr Spock look.
>> Learn how to assess if anti-wrinkle injections are right for you using this DIY test by watching our video here. <<
How to get the best results
The best way to get achieve a natural look from cosmetic injections in the forehead muscle is to actually do lots of little ones. And that’s how we like to approach it. The results are much more natural, with frown lines that aren’t too high and muscles that haven’t been infiltrated. It all appears nice and low – exactly where they should be.
In some instances, we like to inject under the brow as a form of ‘insurance policy’. This is because it helps protect against the effects of the cosmetic injections in the forehead muscle, which tends to push down. This will then neutralise that effect. However, if we don’t inject this area, there will likely be a lot of elevation and that’s going to look weird.
So, that’s how we make sure you don’t look like Mr Spock – proper experience, attention to detail and careful techniques.
If you’re thinking of getting anti-wrinkle injections but have been turned off by the unnatural look you’ve seen around, we can show you the best way to achieve the results you’re after. Get in touch and book a consultation by calling the Victorian Cosmetic Institute on 1300 863 824.