When Gabrielle Woodworth, a makeup artist, decided her own face needed enhancing, she took advantage of her general practitioner’s good deal on injectables to plump out her lines and wrinkles.
“She was cheap, and I wanted those lines erased, so I said, ‘Fill ’er up!’ ’’ the 56-year-old Stony Brook, NY, resident tells The Post. But while Woodworth had been getting fillers for the prior six years, this time, the results were awful: “My face looked swollen and lumpy and my lips were so humongous that my friends said I looked like Daffy Duck!”
Horrified, she took a client’s advice and reached out to Manhattan dermatologist Marina Peredo to banish the bloat. “I sent pictures to her office and they squeezed me in for an appointment,” Woodworth says. “Dr. Peredo injected [dissolving agents] and massaged my face, and after 20 minutes, I walked out of there normal.”
All over New York, people are deflating facial areas they had artificially plumped up. Doctors who previously wanted to correct every crease or depression are taking a more conservative approach, often reversing the work done before them.
They join Yolanda Hadid, Kylie Jenner and Courteney Cox, who have all publicly discussed how they’ve done away with injectables. “I’ve had all my fillers dissolved,” the 53-year-old Cox told New Beauty magazine. “I feel better because I look like myself.”
While some injectables like Sculptra can’t be melted away, Restylane and Juvederm, which are made with hyaluronic acid, can be. Doctors recently started to inject sodium bisulfate, previously used to break down calcium deposits, to dissolve Radiesse, another filler.
Dr. Craig Foster, a Manhattan plastic surgeon, says he’s seen his fair share of overfilled faces.
“The ‘liquid face-lift’ was promoted as a substitute for surgical procedure, but ended up distorting people,’’ he says. “They [patients and doctors] thought a little looks good and a lot looks better, but thankfully, that is changing.’’
Filler is still being used, but more sparingly.
“There has been a shift in aesthetic style,’’ says Manhattan dermatologist Anetta Reszko. “People no longer want to look different; they want to look like a more rested, fresher version of themselves. This was a learning curve for doctors as well. Initially, the goal was to be make a face flawless, but now we want more expression and for people to look age-appropriate.’’
Manhattan dermatologist Paul Frank says that even filler that initially looks good can shift position. “Especially around the eyes, injectables can rise to the surface and look bumpy or get a bluish cast,’’ he says. “Every day now, I am adjusting down.’’
Best-selling romance novelist Karen Drogin, who writes under the name Carly Phillips, experienced just that. The Westchester resident began to notice dark circles and fine lines around her eyes. Last winter, she visited a local plastic surgeon, who injected Restylane into the area.
“After a year, I really started seeing lumps under my eyes, and it made me uncomfortable,’’ she says. “Injections usually wear off after a while, but these weren’t going away and I didn’t want to walk around like an advertisement for bad filler. Dr. Reszko injected me and pressed into the area to smooth it out, and by the next day, I looked so much better.’’
Removing fillers takes as much artistry as it does to inject them. When actress Jenny Mollen took to Instagram to chronicle the removal of her filler, photos revealed a large contusion above her mouth, which required laser treatment.
To avoid similar bruising, Dr. Lyle Leipziger, chief of plastic surgery at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital, says it’s important to avoid aspirin, green tea and other things that can interfere with blood clotting. And while removal results can be seen in as little as 15 minutes, the melting agent hyaluronidase can keep working for 48 hours, and sometimes dissolves unevenly — which is why, he says, it’s best administered serially, over several days.
“If you try to do too much at once,” he says, “you can go from fullness to a depression.’’
Of course, if that happens, you can fix it — with a little filler.