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What to Know Before Getting Botox, Fillers and Other Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Procedures

Botox bottles and syringe 1 | Dermstore Blog

Cosmetic surgery has been around for years, but the thought of knives and needles (not to mention, the steeper costs) leaves some of us feeling faint and discouraged. That’s not to say that it hasn’t gained considerable ground, but in recent years—and perhaps, thanks to the Kardashians—we’ve seen a significant rise in minimally invasive procedures like fillers, Botox and lip injections. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported over 15 million of these procedures in 2016 alone (compared to less than two million surgical procedures).

“The data supports the trend that I see in my practice and the industry in general. In fact, the trend for invasive procedures has been declining for the past 10 years,” says dermatologist to the stars Harold Lancer, M.D., F.A.A.D., founder of his eponymous skin care line Lancer and creator of the celebrated anti-aging protocol The Lancer Method. “If you think about it, that makes sense—at least in the US market, where there is a strong trend for a more natural, healthy look.”

As a supporter of the trend, Dr. Lancer believes it will only continue to grow, given the many options available for men and women who wish to keep their best face forward without having obviously gone under the knife. Or as Dr. Lancer likes to call it, “fresh not frozen.”

Know the Risks

Whether you’re planning your first foray into Botox or contemplating total body hairlessness, medical procedures—invasive or not—require research and preparation. Most of them involve certain risks. “Cosmetic procedures need repetition and require maintenance, so getting the desired result takes time and investment,” explains Dr. Lancer. “Any procedure can have complications, and they range quite dramatically. There’s also a chance the procedure won’t work. On the other hand, overtreatment can affect the symmetry of the treated area and can even become lumpy, particularly for those who have more sensitive skin. At its worst, there is also the potential of stroke, blindness and even death.”

As for the best age to consider in-office treatments, Dr. Lancer says it’s not really a question of how young or old you are, but a matter of needs and personal preference. “Each individual has a personal want or need, and it’s the physician’s job to educate that patient on what is appropriate for their specific situation,” he explains.

Read on to find out Dr. Lancer’s top tips and recommendations for the most common in-office procedures.


Who should get it: Anyone who desires reduction of the ravages of excess facial expression or fine lines and wrinkles. 

How often to get it for best results: Neuromodulators/volume replacement procedures usually need to be replenished every 4 to 6 months.

Average cost per treatment: $250-$1500, depending on area treated and volume needed

What else you need to know: Patients need to remember that this is a medical procedure, and they must choose a board-certified physician in a clean, medical setting.

Best at-home products to pair it with:


Who should get it: Anyone looking to restore the normal light/shadows of facial shape—jaw, under-eye, temple.  This is for those who want to address inconsistencies to help fill a void. 

How often to get it for best results: Volume restoration is variable patient to patient and it is important not to overfill.  Recommendation is each area being treated twice per year.

Average cost per treatment: $250-$1500, depending on area and volume used

What else you need to know: As in Botox, always choose a board-certified physician and have it done in a clean, medical setting.

Best at-home product to pair it with: Eye Contour Lifting Cream


Who should get it: Those looking to improve texture and refine dark spots and discoloration. 

How often to get it for best results: Intervals of 4, 6 and 8 weeks

Average cost per treatment: $250-$1500 depending on area treated and volume needed

What else you need to know: Like most medical procedures, inadequate aftercare may result in scarring and infection.

Best at-home products to pair it with:


Who should get it: People with body hairs darker than the color of their skin.  

How often to get it for best results: In 4-6 week intervals. Number of treatments are anywhere from 10 and beyond.  

Average cost per treatment: $250-$1500, depending on area treated

What else you need to know: Burns from hair-reduction procedures are not uncommon, so technique and quality instruments should always be considered.

Best at-home products to pair it with:


Who should get it:  Those who want to freshen complexion and improve skin’s radiance.

How often to get it for best results: Repeat every 4, 6 and 8 weeks.

Average cost per treatment: $250-$1500, depending on area treated and volume needed.

What else you need to know: If done with bad technique or inferior instruments, scarring and infection can occur.  This is a medical-grade procedure that should be performed in a sterilized environment.

Best at-home products to pair it with:

The Importance of Proper Skin Care

While some may think a good skin care regimen is enough to save them a trip to the dermatologist, Dr. Lancer says that may not always be the case. Certain skin concerns can be easily addressed from the comforts of home, but, chances are, it won’t be enough to replace a well-performed and much-needed facelift. He does, however, stress the importance of maintaining a daily skin care routine.

“Quality home care should always be the first avenue of approach to remedy a concern. From there, patients can decide if there’s a need for a procedure,” he adds. “In general, maintaining nutrition, exercise, keeping stress down, using mild skin care, staying out of the sun as much as possible and using sunscreen is a must,” says Dr. Lancer.

Beauty Reporter

Janeca Racho

With over 10 years of writing and editing experience, Janeca Racho has worked with clients in the fashion, entertainment, food, health and travel industries. An adventurer at heart, she will gladly trade her heels for a good pair of hiking shoes and skip hotels to camp under the stars. She loves horror movies, googling ingredients in her beauty products and backpacking trips with her toddler. Her newfound obsession: nude lipstick.