If you’ve got to the stage where you’d like to try a spot of toxin to relax your frown lines, or are wondering whether one of those injectable moisturisers like Profhilo would work as well for you as it did for your friend… but your nearest and dearest is dead set against the idea of you stepping into a tweakments clinic – what can you say to ease their worries, without prompting a major argument?
It’s completely understandable why your partner, or your siblings, or your children, parents or girlfriends might not want you to go anywhere near a needle. They love you as you are, for your gorgeous self, and don’t even see the minor surface issues, the frown lines or pigmentation spots, that are bothering you. Besides, we’ve all seen what bad cosmetic work looks like. They’re scared that’s what’s going to happen to you if you go for treatment, and then, what would their friends say? And then there’s the cost of it all.
It’s a widespread issue
‘I see this in 50 per cent of my patients,’ says Dr Hilary Allan, of the Woodford Medical clinics. ‘They will often plan treatments around when their partner is away so they can recover before they return or siphon off cash so there is no financial trail. It’s sad that in this day and age, the partner (almost exclusively male) has so much power and control. I think a lot of the time the partners are concerned that treatment will make them look overdone and ridiculous like some celebrities we see in the media.’
‘Then there is the cost, and if you don’t have your own income and rely on money from your partner it can be an uncomfortable discussion. These treatments are still not deemed as important as having your hair done or buying a new outfit.’ Clearly, the grown-up thing to do is to discuss the whole subject in a calm and sensible manner, but rational discussion tends to go out of the window where tweakments are concerned.
So, what can you say? I asked some of TTG’s top practitioners for advice.
Focus on skin health
‘It can be helpful for partners to discuss our more natural regenerative approach,’ says Dr Julia Sevi of Aesthetic Health in Leeds. ‘This allays fears that their dear one may end up looking like somebody else’s dear one!’ Dr Julia finds that talking about treatments for skin health or skin regeneration can be less contentious than discussing cosmetic jabs. ‘Creating healthy skin is a healthy lifestyle choice, like good nutrition and going to the gym. By regaining and retaining skin health we look better, and research shows we also feel better. And when a patient feels better their partner feels better, too!’
‘Toxin has also been shown to lift mood as well as brows,’ she adds. ‘The theory is that it acts through various neuronal pathways, and positive feedback from the mere act of not being able to frown. An extra benefit to the partner is that they don’t feel ‘in trouble’ all the time because after treatment, their loved one looks happier. We have some couples who both come for treatment but neither one knows about the other. Of course, we observe the utmost discretion and respect.’
‘In truth many patients do not tell their partners that they have aesthetic medical treatments. This can be because they enjoy having something just for them, without disapproval, or sometimes just to avoid any concern or argument. Sometimes, our patients ‘come clean’ after many years of treatment because their partners don’t understand why they are ageing faster. At this stage their partner’s fears about treatments melt away because their other half looks so fabulous and natural – then they book in themselves.’
Talk about subtle, natural results
Dr Suha Kersh of 23MD in London always tells her patients that it’s important to have the right motivations and realistic expectations, and aim for a result that will refresh the appearance and reflect wellness. ‘It is also important to begin the journey gently and to have a good consultation with a qualified doctor to go through expectations and how to achieve a subtle and natural result.’
‘Once our patients have defined their expectations and are focused on a natural-looking rejuvenation, then it may be easier to communicate that to their partner and gather their support and confidence,’ she says.
There’s no magic formula
‘In truth there is no magic phrase to use,’ says Dr Hilary, ‘and we don’t really know what their relationship with their partner is like, so we just help them to feel better about themselves and if that means being complicit, then so be it. I always encourage a discussion with their partner to reassure them that we are creating a more pleasing and content person and just returning their face to how it was a few years ago. We aren’t changing them into a new person who will be unrecognisable.
‘I once treated a lady with toxin whose husband was dead against her having any treatments. Three weeks after the treatment he took her out for a meal and said, “You look really well. You don’t need any of that Botox!” to which she replied, “Well, I’ve already had it and that’s why I look so good!” Once it was out in the open, he was reassured by how great she looked, so it all ended happily.’
The Tweakments Guide Takeaway
If your nearest and dearest aren't keen on you trying a tweakment, try discussing the way treatments address skin health and regeneration as part of a healthy lifestyle, and emphasise the way that all TTG practitioners are great at delivering subtle, natural results.
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