There are very few of us on this Earth who are 100% happy with the way we look 100% of the time. That’s not a comment on human insecurity so much as it’s an acknowledgment of reality: As human beings, we are more liable to notice things that stand out as areas of improvement than we are to note the things that don’t. While sometimes our insecurities are inflamed by modern media, it’s fair to say that we’d notice things even without that “helping” hand.
So it’s not a big surprise that so many of us look at the possibilities offered by cosmetic treatments, and wonder if we could benefit from a bit of a makeover. There’s also no harm in making the most of what you’ve got, but where is the line? At what point does seeking a 1% gain become something more serious like body dysmorphia? And what is to be gained by having a treatment? We’ll have a look at these questions below.
Focus on gentle changes
Let’s be clear about one thing: some things in life benefit from radical change, but our physical appearance is not one of them. From crash dieting to drastic plastic surgery, making aggressive changes does not result in healthy outcomes most of the time. Something which can change seismically in one direction, can change back just as fast. And it usually comes with a trade-off too. Something simple like teeth whitening can make you feel better and have beneficial health effects. It’s worth prioritising that kind of change over drastic modifications, and you’ll gain in confidence as you see the change develop.
The essential changes are inside
As a heading, that may sound like soft self-care speak, but when we say real change comes from inside, it’s actually scientifically accurate. Cosmetic treatments can work, but you need to be ready to undergird them with lifestyle changes. Otherwise your body’s processes will undo the changes you’ve made, and there is always a law of diminishing returns with repeat treatment. So if you’ve had treatment to lift tired-looking eyes, don’t go straight back to a life of burning the candle at both ends. Work with your body to support the changes you’ve made.
Accept the limitations of what can be changed
Perfection is an unattainable goal, and as we noted in the first line, precious few of us are 100% happy with our appearance 100% of the time. That includes people who already use cosmetic treatments to change things about their appearance. So it’s useful to go into any cosmetic procedure with a realistic mindset about what it will achieve. Facial massage, for example, will make your skin feel and look fresher, but it won’t “take twenty years off you” (Spoiler: nothing will, and that would look ridiculous).
However, as long as you accept that these procedures are a tune-up, not an overhaul, and that you need to work for long-term results, there’s certainly nothing wrong with looking for a refresh.
**This post has been contributed**