Who says KUWTK wasn’t educational? Here’s what we learned about fillers from the Kardashians
So, it’s the end of the line for the popular show Keeping Up With The Kardashians. After 14 years, we will no longer be privy to the goings-on of one of the world’s richest and most famous families.
Whether you wanted to know about the Kardashians or not, they’ve entered pop culture permanently. All the sisters have launched fashion and/or beauty lines; graced the covers of infinite numbers of magazines, and have even started their own lifestyle websites.
They’ve also made us more aware of dermal fillers and what they can do to transform your face – and body.
Image below: @kimkardashian/Instagram Main image: @kyliejenner/Instagram
What We Learned About Fillers From The Kardashians
The new generation
While most such dermatological procedures were usually undertaken by women over 35 to fill in wrinkles and deep lines, today, dermal fillers are being used to reshape the faces of much younger people.
They’re usually vegan friendly and pretty natural, using substances like hyaluronic acid, which is similar to what your body produces, to fill up areas of the face that have lost volume.
Unlike a long-lasting facelift, the use of dermal fillers usually lasts from three months up to two years. This means if you like the look you’ve achieved, you will have to spend time and money keeping it up. But if you look at loads of celebrities who have benefitted from the use of dermal fillers, there’s no question they’re worth it.
The entire Kardashian clan is a great example. These women have used so many fillers, they’ve completely transformed their face and lip shapes! In fact, some dermal filler deals are named after them — like the Kim K Package or the Kylie Package.
It’s well known that Kylie utterly and totally transformed her face whilst in her teens. It’s likely that she had some surgery, but much of her look is down to the use of fillers.
Perhaps worryingly, there is no minimum age limit for when you can get fillers in the UK. Many believe teens should have the chance to grow comfortable with their natural looks, and should allow their faces to completely mature before altering them.
However, most clinics won’t treat people under 18, and those that do will require parental consent. Since social media has already altered the perception of beauty through the use of filters and Photoshop, it seems teens and younger people today think nothing about completely changing their appearance, no matter how beautiful they may already be. But once you begin using fillers, they can become highly addictive.
Additionally, though most people feel fillers are safer than surgery, it should be noted that they are less regulated in most places. Yep, that’s right: those who provide these procedures don’t need a license or any training to start injecting somebody’s face with fillers — despite the risks of infection, lumps and tissue scarring.
Surgery isn’t necessary
Here is what the Kardashians taught us about dermal fillers with respect to surgery: the latter isn’t necessary. Instead of undergoing a risky and painful nose job, you can, for example, simply reshape your nose with dermal fillers, as Kim is rumoured to have done.
Though mama Kris is believed to have had a facelift, the Kardashian’s dermatologist, Dr Simon Ourian, says this isn’t necessary, especially for younger patients. “The two most popular procedures are dermal filler injections for an instant cheek-lift and the Ultra Neck Lift to address skin laxity,” Dr. Ourian told Us. “The cheeks sag and wrinkle as you age. Properly placed dermal filler injections can correct age-related volume loss and provide contour and lift… [And the Ultra Neck Lift uses] a radio frequency and ultrasound treatment protocol [on the neck] to tighten the skin and promote the growth of new collagen.”
However, Harley Academy founder, Dr Tristan Mehta, stresses that it is incredibly important to go to the right medical professional to have anything done to your face. “Some treatments are definitely riskier than others”, he says. And that includes getting filler injections under the eye and on the nose. “Relatively common side effects can include swelling and bruising. An infection is possible, so sterility during the procedure is important. Extremely rare (although devastating) consequences can include permanent scarring and even blindness.”
Unfortunately not all centres are very professional. “There is an alarming number of people taking pseudo courses to do aesthetic injectable treatments and who, in my opinion, are not adequately trained to do the job,” says Dr Mehta. “I think the problem that we are facing is that even though we have tried to get a unilateral level of quality, the key area in which we are failing in this country is at the education level. There is such a diverse offering – from a 2-day course to a full-time qualification, to anything in between.” Scary!
You can play around
Remember when Kylie sported those huge, bee stung lips? She overfilled them, but that’s fine. Most dermal fillers are not permanent, and they’re even reversible. Yep, that’s right! If you decide you are unhappy with the result, your injector should be able to administer Hyaluronidase, which will dissolve the filler. Check that they can before you proceed.
However, be careful – this comes with its own risks of swelling and possibly an allergy – so whilst it is very effective, Dr Mehta warns it shouldn’t be seen as a magic eraser of filler. “Good injectors should be able to avoid this situation by fully understanding your ideas and expectations before treatment,” he says.
They’re not for everyone
Fillers definitely aren’t for everyone. Madonna famously over-filled her face, giving her a puffy, tired look. And Khloe,for example, says she hated the look of fillers.
“[Fillers] did not work for me. I looked crazy, and I still think the effects are in there. I went to have it all dissolved like three times,” she once said.
“My face was so f***ed I had to go and get this whole thing dissolved. It was a bummer and now I’m afraid to do it again. And I’m almost like, I swear things are still in my face.”
Fillers are best used on thinner, firmer faces that are losing volume, and of course, the quality of the work, not the quantity of filler, is key.
Fillers aren’t just for faces
Kim famously went live on TV to have her derriere X-Rayed to prove she wasn’t sporting implants in her behind. Of course she’s not! Those cheeks are thanks to fat injections.
Also known as the Brazilian Butt Lift, this procedure involves removing your own fat from one area of the body (usually the belly), and transplanting it into a part you want to look fuller. Most of the Kardashian sisters have undergone this procedure, which is long-lasting and much safer than implants.
A twisted – or a stronger – sense of self?
The truth is – the Kardashian girls were always beautiful, long before they started using fillers. While a tweak or two may not have been so noticeable, they’ve gone to the point where some of them look like cyborgs.
With the Kardashians raising the beauty bar so high, you just can’t help but wonder if the use of dermal fillers is introducing unrealistic beauty concepts to the Instagram generation. Indeed, there are actual filler packages aimed at making Instagrammers looking more photogenic on their feed! These packages focus on eliminating the shadows under the eye, enlarging lips and making cheekbones seem more predominant, for example.
While some criticise the Kardashians for introducing unrealistic beauty expectations to teens, others praise them, saying that they’ve paved the way for trans people to feel more comfortable about going under the knife.
Of course, the main example of this would be Caitlyn Jenner, the father of Kylie and Kendall. Would Cait have been as comfortable undergoing such a radical transformation without seeing her daughters experiment first?
On the other hand, New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Tabasum Mir said in her professional opinion the Kardashians have had plenty more than fillers. They’ve all had plastic surgery, too – and that may be damaging not only their psyches, but those of the young people they influence, too.
‘She is still growing,’ she said of the dangers of Kylie having so much plastic surgery. ‘I mean, a little lip filler is not that big of a deal because it goes away, but what bothers me is when people say it is natural or they were born like that. You give this false information to all these young girls.’
Dr. Mir said psychologically, Kylie will always be striving for ‘this perfection that just doesn’t exist’.
‘I do these procedures,’ she noted. ‘I am a proponent of these procedures. But if you are not right on the inside, nothing is going to make you beautiful.’
Wise words indeed.