I find it fascinating how we teeter on the verge of discussing/not discussing the procedures and services we buy in to.  There’s a part of me that wants to keep secret and lay claim to “I was just born this way, and am aging gracefully/slowly.”  How does that serve anyone but me, though?  I think about the women I’m most drawn to and their frank openness about the anti-aging experiences they’ve had.  I adore them for their willingness to share.  Today, I want to share something that works beautifully for me each time I have Botox, Juvederm, and most recently, Juvederm Volbella XC.

(Quick primer: Botox relaxes “worry lines” between brows, on forehead, and crows’ feet.  Juvederm is a hyaluronic acid gel filler that gives volume to areas of laxity like cheeks, the parentheses around mouth, and lips.  Volbella is the newest Juvederm product that provides a very subtle fill for vertical lines around lips aka “smoker” or “straw-drinker” lips.)

I’m a bruiser.  I bruised horribly last year with some oral surgery.  I bruise nearly every time I have Botox.  For me, bruising is the price I pay to the beauty gods, for participating in a practice that’s goes against aging “naturally.” That’s ok because nature has given me Arnica and the scientists at Allergan have formulated HA5.

Arnica is an anti-inflammatory supplement that helps prevent bruising and treats sprains.  It’s an alpine flower that is processed into a tiny tablet; it’s easily found at Whole Foods or most any vitamin shop.

Because I’m such a bad bruiser, I start taking arnica 3-4 times a day, three days before my injection appointment.  Then, I continue for another two days after.  Sometimes I still swell or bruise a little, but the difference between taking and not taking it is a week or more of purple bruising.

Along with my arnica, I must have my HA5 by Skin Medica.  It’s a topical form of hyaluronic acid that helps set up and keep my injected sites plump and moisturized.  Hyaluronic acid is a substance our bodies make, albeit in diminishing amounts as we age, and it’s a humectant.  It draws moisture from the atmosphere and keeps it locked into our skin.  This rejuvenating hydrator is the key to making my injection results last longer.  And now HA5 has been released in a lip formula, too.  (see “Lip Service, Part 1”).  It’s a 2-step smoother and plumper that happens to have a long-wearing gloss component.

I’ve had a very positive lip service experience.  I was a scaredy-cat, but when I jumped in, I realized there’s no turning back.  Care to share your experience?  I’d love to hear it.  Please leave comment below!  xo, P

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