Jon`Ric Medical Spa & Wellness Center is Now Offering VelaShape!

We have some exciting news! Jon`Ric Medical Spa & Wellness Center is now offering VelaShape!  This new, non-invasive treatment helps you battle stubborn fat and cellulite in just a few treatments!  You can smooth, tone and tighten areas of your body where stubborn cellulite seems to linger.

Learn more about VelaShape from the company itself!

VelaShape® is a non-invasive body contouring treatment for circumferential and cellulite reduction*. VelaShape enables you to safely achieve a toned, contoured and well shaped body in typically 3 treatment sessions (single treatment protocol is also available); making you look and feel more youthful. VelaShape provides dramatic results without downtime or significant discomfort.

Which areas can be treated with VelaShape?

Cellulite treatment areas could be on the neck (under chin), arms, thighs, buttocks, flank and abdomen. Most patients see gradual and cumulative results throughout the treatment regime.

Is VelaShape treatment right for me?

VelaShape is not a weight loss treatment. VelaShape uses a combination of technologies to contour your body, reducing the trouble spots that diet and exercise can’t reach. The ideal VelaShape patient is someone with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of less than 30, who falls under The Nurnberger-Muller Cellulite Classification Stage 1 and 2. Ask your doctor to see if you’re a candidate for VelaShape treatments.”


Contact us to learn more about VelaShape and visit the website above!

Call Jon`Ric Medical Spa & Wellness Center at 704-665-0058 to book your appointment.  We’re even offering an introductory special of 20% off! Be sure to take advantage of this limited time offer!

Benefits of Coconut

In the past few years we have been seeing more coconut based beauty products hit the shelves because of its supposed miracle-working qualities. Since there are so many benefits from using coconut beauty products, what about coconut the food? The article below explores all of the conditions that eating coconut supposedly helps. Check it out!

Coconut is one of the famous fruits people know at present. Coming fom the member of the family Arecaceae, also known as palm family, coconut is known with the scientific name Cocos nucifera. The fruit’s name is derived from the Portuguese-Spanish term coco, which means head or skull, which is associated with the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble features of the face. The following are the health benefits of coconut, along with a sample recipe.

Health Benefits

Alzheimer’s Disease Management

One health benefit of coconut is the management of Alzheimer’s disease, one of the common degenerative disorders in elderly. As per Dr. Axe’s official website, data from latest studies revealed that the brain forms its own insulin in order to process sugar and power brain cells. According to the publication, coconut has ketones that create another energy pathway to help restore brain function by processing glucose into energy without insulin.

Skeletal Health

Another health benefit of coconut is bone and teeth health. According to Care 2, coconut has the ability to enhance the body’s calcium and magnesium absorption capacity. With this, conditions like osteoporosis can be prevented. Osteoporosis, a common bone disorder in older women, refers to a condition in which the bones become thin, fragile, and less dense due to low calcium levels in the bones. Since it can improve calcium levels, coconut may be consumed by people who have lactose intolerance. In addition, coconut may be an alternative protein and fatty acid source for vegans.


Coconut also provides energy. According to Sun Warrior, coconut sugar comes from the coconut sap, which is a juice obtained when the budding flower is about to grow. As per the publication, the process has a sweet and delicious taste, which is the same to brown sugar and caramel. Energy from sugar or carbohydrates gives the body fuel to perform all its functions throughout the day, such as the activities of daily living. Without carbohydrates, the body feels weak and tired, incapable of doing almost anything during the day. Thus, consuming coconut flesh or juice helps boost a person’s energy for the day.

Body Cleansing and Anti-Cancer

Another benefit of coconut includes the elimination of toxins and free radicals that cause diseases like cancer. According to Sun Warrior, the fruit helps boost the health of the immune system, raising the body’s defenses against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Its antioxidants are responsible for defending the body from unwanted agents like free radicals, which lead to premature aging and degenerative diseases. Cleansing the systems also promotes kidney health and bladder function.

Sample Recipe

One recipe that uses coconut is Michelle’s Coconut Chicken Curry. According to All Recipes, the ingredients include vegetable oil, white onion, garlic, skinless and boneless chicken breast, one small head cauliflower, chicken stock, salt, pepper, and unsweetened coconut milk.

To prepare, as per the publication, oil is heated in a skillet over medium heat. Next, the onion and garlic are stirred in and cooked until tender. Then, the chicken is mixed in and cooked for ten minutes or until juices run clear. After that, curry powder, cauliflower, and garlic salt are mixed into the skillet. Then, the coconut milk and chicken stock are poured in and then seasoned with salt and pepper. After that, heat is reduced to low and the dish is cooked and stirred occasionally for 30 minutes.

Coconut is one of the nutritious fruits people have today and its many health benefits allow it to be easily added to various meal recipes for families, friends, and workmates.


Fillers That Aren’t Cleared by the FDA

If you currently get fillers or are thinking about trying them for the first them then listen up. As you should already know, you should only go to certified and licensed medical professionals for fillers. They know what products are safe and appropriate for your needs. Currently, there are certain forms of Juvederm that are not cleared for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. Learn what they are and be sure to follow the link to continue reading more on this.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is warning healthcare practitioners and consumers not to purchase Juvederm Ultra 2, 3 or 4 online as the products are not approved for use in the U.S. The FDA updated its web page on “Dermal Fillers Approved by the Center for Devices and Radiological Health” last week with the warning, noting it has become aware that unapproved versions of Juvederm are being sold and distributed in the U.S. by online retailers.

A list of all FDA-approved soft tissue fillers can be viewed here.


Scars and Stretch Marks Can Be Treated

If you are someone who has various scars or stretch marks, do not worry because you are not alone. Researchers are constantly looking for ways to treat the imperfections in various ways. At Jon`Ric we offer a variety of treatments that can help improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks, and according to the spa experts in the article below, there are other things you can try, too.

skin products

[Image: Getty Images]

Experts weigh in on how to approach these troublesome skin imperfections.

“At M’lis, we believe that all external skin conditions begin from within and that prevention is the best solution for stretch marks. The skin replenishes itself continuously; in adults, skin’s structure is renewed about every 28 days. To prevent stretch marks, it needs to be kept hydrated, both internally by drinking enough water and externally with moisturizing treatments,” says Linda T. Nelson, RND, PhD, CEO, M’lis. “So, we teach a healthy skin program that helps the body produce beautiful skin through nutritional support: eliminating sugar and white flour products; reducing gluten-heavy foods; drinking half one’s body weight in water; and ingesting enough vitamins, minerals and amino acids daily. In addition, topical treatments that moisturize, hydrate, nourish, soften and condition assist in skin cell renewal.”

PHOTOS: SPF Products

“To best address stretch marks, opt for products with ingredients that encourage skin regeneration and those that aid in increasing skin density for a smoother appearance; be sure to clearly explain the benefits and results to clients,” says Elizabeth Murchison, director of education, Guinot. “They should undertake some lifestyle changes as well, such as minimizing rapid weight gain and loss (yo-yo dieting), exercising, and applying moisturizers and regenerative skin care to diminish the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Another way to mask these issues is to use a small amount of a gradual self-tanner over the entire body.

Scar and Stretch Mark Products

“In order to market services to clients who may be embarrassed about their scars or stretch marks, it’s important to humanize these conditions. Stretch marks are very common and can result from puberty, pregnancy, rapid weight gain and even bodybuilding. Spa pros can help clients by approaching scars and stretch marks using a holistic combination of spa treatments and at-home products to help accelerate and improve their outcomes,” says Robin Carmichael, COO and president, Helix BioMedix Inc. “For clients with acne, reinforce a no-touching, no-picking mantra to help avoid scarring, and combine that with an effective acne treatment product. Clients with stretch marks should maintain a healthy balance of diet and exercise to manage their weight.”

RELATED: Treating and Understanding Cellulite

“We generally recommend a series of peels—a salicylic peel, glycolic peel and modified Jessner peel—over a six-week period. The peels stimulate cell turnover and renewal, which levels the scars and stretch marks, and makes skin appear smoother, brighter and more even toned. In some situations, both scars and stretch marks can be prevented. For example, an acne client who is constantly squeezing and picking at their skin can develop scars; salicylic acid as well as AHAs can help prevent scarring by resurfacing the skin,” says Karen Asquith, national director of education, G.M. Collin. “With stretch marks, the risk of developing them is reduced when the skin is well hydrated and the elasticity preserved. There are tactful, nonjudgmental ways to discuss these services with clients. So, if I were to notice acne scars, I would suggest a chemical peel and base it on the season—a mini-treatment for spring that would eliminate winter buildup, and refresh and brighten their skin in time for summer. If the guest is self-conscious, you can always address it in a roundabout fashion until that time when they’re totally comfortable. Once a client has developed that trust, they will discuss everything!”

– by Laura Waldon


Nutrients for Your Skin in the Summer

It is wise to take care of your body from the inside out. Our diet, water intake, and use of other vitamins and supplements are all big contributors to that idea, and the better you are at keeping up with these things the better your skin will look. In different seasons you might have to make adjustments to your routine. Take summer, for example. Drinking more water always helps as temps warm up. There is now research pointing to specific nutrients that will help your skin look great throughout the summer.

To help consumers care for their skin during the sunny summer months, Natural Grocers—a Colorado-based natural health food chain—surveyed 100 nutritionists and asked them to share their strategies for protecting skin health when UV rays are at their strongest. In addition to daily sunscreen use, the nutrition specialists recommended incorporating skin-protecting nutrients to one’s diet. The top three nutrients recommended included:

  • Carotenoids, such as astaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene (74%)
  • Oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs) from pine bark and grape seed extract (41&)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA (38%)

Natural Grocers notes that carotenoids, especially astaxanthin, lycopene and lutein, support skin health when it is exposed to the sun by actually absorbing some of the sun’s harmful rays (UV radiation and blue light) which minimizes the damage these harmful rays can inflict on the skin.

Oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs) are protective compounds that strengthen collagen and shield the skin from the oxidative damage caused by the sun’s rays by destroying free radicals that are created when skin is exposed to sunlight.

The omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, found in fish oil promote a healthy inflammatory response to sunlight. In addition to their inflammation modulating functions, EPA and DHA help the skin retain moisture, promoting smooth healthy looking skin.

Image Wikimedia Commons/Alan Levine


The Ins and Outs of a Medical Spa

If you have not ever been to a medical spa, but want to visit soon, don’t be nervous!  There are things you can learn in the article below about what to expect, normal etiquette and typical procedures and policies.  We love serving first-time clients and want to provide as much comfort and professionalism as possible!  Read the information and examples in the article below and make your appointments with us after!

What to Expect for First-Time Visitors to a Med Spa

Laser Treatments Becoming More Popular

As technology advances, more and more medical spa procedures involve a laser. People are not as intimidated by laser treatments as they are with others because lasers are non-invasive and usually require less down time. Recently a new laser technique has been discussed that could change the game yet again. Read more about this by starting the article below and then following the link to continue reading.

Clinicians and dermatologists have seen a rise in demand for minimally invasive laser-based treatments, including tattoo removal. However, it is difficult for the laser light to be perfectly and selectively absorbed by only the targeted birthmark or tattoo. Now, researchers have developed instruments that transmit laser light into the tissue through direct contact. The techniques developed will reduce safety concerns in laser dermatology by improving laser transmission.


Things to Know About Injectables/Fillers

Are you nervous about trying injectables or fillers for the first time? Do you simply want to know what to expect or how to know what you’re getting is legitimate? This article from Elle Magazine will explain everything you should know! As these procedures are getting more and more common, everyone should be in the know of how they work and what to expect.


Make sure your doctor is an official vendor of everything you’re getting injected. Allergan, Merz, and Galderma are three of the top manufacturers of neurotoxins and fillers, and Allergan also makes the fat-dissolving Kybella. To reduce the risk of getting a subpar, potentially dangerous product, some manufacturers’ websites offer a tool to search by zip code for every licensed physician who’s obtained their product legally.

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If the price is questionably low for Botox or filler, you may be getting a diluted dosage, says West Islip, New York–based dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla, MD. Another possibility is that your doctor purchased the product from a supplier in a country such as Canada or the United Kingdom, where government price controls keep pharmaceutical prices substantially lower than those in the United States. Not only is it illegal (with very few exceptions) for doctors to intentionally purchase medications outside the country for use on patients within the U.S., manufacturers also say that unauthorized suppliers may compromise the effectiveness and safety of injectables by, for example, not storing them at the proper temperature or even offering counterfeit products.

That said, prices for in-office treatments tend to be higher in metropolitan regions, such as New York, Chicago, and Dallas, where there’s a greater demand for cosmetic procedures. To find out the price range in your area, call around. New York-based dermatologist Elizabeth Hale, MD, adds that you’re usually better off with a doctor who bases his or her fee on how many units of product are used, rather than how many different zones of the face are injected. “All the muscles in the face are intertwined, and even when I treat, say, just the ’11’ lines between the brows, I always put a tiny bit in the forehead to balance things out—I don’t count that as two [separate] zones.”


Most Botox and filler veterans know to lay off anticoagulants such as aspirin and ibuprofen before treatment, since those types of drugs hinder blood clotting and increase the risk of bruising should the needle nick a blood vessel. But Manhattan dermatologist Patricia Wexler, MD, has a longer list of things to forgo, including some seemingly innocuous pantry staples. “No fish oil, multivitamins, green tea, cinnamon, ginger, and red wine a full week before treatment,” she says. “Antioxidants, though not all of them, can increase the fragility of blood vessels and prevent clotting.” Ask your MD at least two weeks ahead of time for a full list of what to avoid.

“No fish oil, multi-vitamins, green tea, cinnamon, ginger, and red wine a full week before treatment,” Wexler says.


“The person performing the injection should have you smile and frown and raise your eyebrows,” Hale says. “An experienced professional is carefully evaluating you that whole time to see how different areas of your face naturally move, so that he or she can keep you looking refreshed instead of expressionless.” Some derms like to ask patients to talk about something they’re passionate about to gauge facial movement. You should also be given a thorough health assessment prior to the injection. Certain antibiotics, specifically in the aminoglycoside category, like gentamicin (prescribed for bacterial infections), can increase the potency of neurotoxins. (To avoid risk, don’t receive treatment for the duration of your antibiotic prescription.) Worst-case scenario: You end up with a droopy lid, according to Mariwalla.


Neurotoxins generally require finer needles and are usually placed more superficially than fillers, but any injection could potentially hit a vessel, causing blood to pool beneath the skin and form an unattractive black-and-blue blotch. Fortunately, many dermatology practices, including Hale’s, offer a next- day complimentary vascular laser treatment, which breaks down pooled blood into smaller particles, thereby greatly diminishing bruises within 24 hours. “It’s a good idea to ask up front if whoever you’re going to offers it,” Hale says. “Our patients take a lot of comfort in knowing they can come back for that.”


“Never get silicone. It’s the one filler we see the most complications from,” says Mariwalla of one injectable that’s occasionally used—but not FDA approved—to fill wrinkles in the face. Unlike malleable hyaluronic acid–based fillers, which can be absorbed by the body and will eventually break down, silicone is a synthetic material that can’t be metabolized and can harden over time, creating unsightly, uneven bulges. “It’s permanent, and it does not age well with you,” Mariwalla says.

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of ELLE.


Everything You Should Know About Cellulite

According to this article, 9 out of 10 women have cellulite to some extent on an area of their body. It has become a conscious-worthy feature that people stress over and try to hide as much as possible. But, if 90% of women have it, why is this? This article from Day Spa Magazine dives into all things cellulite and how it can be treated. Check it out!

Cellulite spa treatments

[Image: Getty Images]

The time is nigh to unpack swimsuits and shorts—and thus, to confront cellulite, the alltoo-visible skin surface rippling that occurs, to some degree, in 9 out of 10 women. Although cellulite treatment research is ongoing, there’s still no magic cure that can truly eliminate this complex problem. However, it is helpful for both clients and professionals to understand exactly how and why cellulite occurs, and what you can do about it. We turned to doctors, nurses and industry experts to make sure we could give you the latest science about the causes of, and best ways to address, “orange-peel syndrome.”

Why Mainly Women?

Cellulite forms when the fat in our tissue pushes or “herniates” through the inner layers of the skin. The migration of this fat results in numerous “pockets,” held in place by thick, fibrous bands, which create lumps that are visible on the surface. Nature predisposes females to cellulite for three main reasons.

RELATED: The Skin-Nourishing Properties of Coconut

The first is their tissue structure. Although cellulite is unrelated to overall body weight, it does tend to appear in fleshy areas such as the thighs, buttocks, abdomen and upper arms. “In women, these body parts have three layers of fat as opposed to one, so they’re the most susceptible to cellulite formation,” explains Flora Vergnolle, founder of Provence Cosmetics and Bioslimming. In men, the subcutaneous tissue is structured differently, so they’re much less likely to be affected.

The second reason centers around the ability of hormones to influence the rate and quantity of fat production. It’s no coincidence that women first develop cellulite after puberty. “Scientists postulate that the rapid deposition of fat during puberty leads to the herniation of fat through the skin,” notes Jessie Cheung, M.D., a dermatologist based in Willowbrook, Illinois. Moreover, cellulite formation tends to peak around another major hormonal phase for women: menopause.

Finally, genetics tend to determine whether a woman is going to have to tackle a predisposition to cellulite. After you explain all of this to your clients, they may respond, “Does this mean fighting cellulite is a lost cause?” Fortunately, the answer is no. Although we can’t change our nature-given physiology, there are numerous factors that contribute to the appearance and effects of cellulite. These can be addressed with a combination of lifestyle changes and treatments.

Contributing Factors

Wellness practitioners cite a multitude of causes to explain variances in the visibility and severity of cellulite. Some are not surprising: an increase in fat cell size and amount, for instance. Katherine Tomasso, national director of education for Yon-Ka Paris, describes cellulite as a “connective tissue disorder that develops from excessive fat in the hypodermis, plus inflammation.” According to Vergnolle, new research does indeed point to inflammation playing a role in the formation of cellulite. “Inflammation in the body, over time, contributes to the breakdown of collagen,” she says.

Lack of exercise is another factor. “Inactivity and weight gain often make cellulite more noticeable,” confirms Fayne Frey, M.D., a West Nyack, New York-based dermatologist. Low physical activity is a problem for two reasons: One, it allows muscles to lose tone, resulting in slackened skin that “showcases” cellulite; and two, “long periods of sitting reduce blood flow and lead to poor lymphatic drainage,” says Rhonda Nesbitt, RN aesthetic nurse specialist and esthetician at Skin Boutique in Birmingham, Michigan.

Melissa Morris, corporate educator for Pevonia, regards cellulite as a “toxic” body condition. “You must start at the source,” she reminds. “If your body is not eliminating waste properly, it becomes stuck in the colon and carried into connective tissues.” The lymphatic system plays an important role in removing cellular waste—lymph vessels work like the body’s vacuum cleaner, therefore a lymph massage and regular body brushing can stimulate those vessels.

RELATED: The Science Behind Stem Cells in Skin Care

Many wellness practitioners point to inadequate blood circulation as a likely contributor to cellulite because it occurs directly under the skin, an area that doesn’t normally get a lot of circulation. This, says Vergnolle, sets up a chain reaction. “You get less oxygen and nutrition to those areas, and that causes a decrease in collagen production,” she explains. “At this point, fat cells become larger; they begin protruding through the collagen and become the bumpy fat known as cellulite.” Without collagen fibers to keep tissue structure firm, “fat cells escape from tightly packed groups, move to the skin’s surface and enlarge to their full size,” explains Elaine Kroytor, rejuvenation specialist at the âme Spa & Wellness Collective at Turnberry Isle Miami.

Finally, there’s the question of diet. Tomasso advises that clients cut down on dairy, high-fat products, refi ned and processed foods, as well as those containing sweeteners, additives and unnecessary chemicals. Susan Ciminelli, a Los Angeles-based holistic skincare and nutrition expert, recommends a diet high in potassium—found in dark leafy greens, white beans, yogurt, bananas and avocados—as well as liver-cleansing milk thistle and dandelion supplements. “A toxic liver leads to excessive cellulite,” she explains. “Clients should minimize consumption of alcohol and manage stress to keep the liver functioning optimally.”

Smoothing Things Over

With so many identified potential causes, how does a spa practitioner work with clients who need help tackling their cellulite? You can start with education. Vergnolle believes the conversation should begin as soon as the client expresses a concern—which could be early. “We’re seeing teenage girls develop cellulite,” she says. However, sometimes that conversation comes much later, as Jennifer Masson, a nutritionist and esthetician based in Tampa, Florida, points out. “In older women, decreased estrogen from menopause impacts blood vessel circulation, and reduced blood-delivering nutrients and oxygen means less collagen production,” she explains. “So, fat cells get larger and appear as lumps and bumps.” The fact is, cellulite can appear at any age. “Yo-yo dieting and changes in metabolism can trigger cellulite formation, as can liposuction,” says Kroytor.

The consensus is that a multilayered approach is the only way to really make a dent in—well, the dents. “An effective cellulite program involves educating the client about cellulite’s causes and contributing factors—which include fatty foods, excess sugar, alcohol, insufficient water, circulation-restricting garments and stress—along with an internal detoxification regimen,” says Morris, emphasizing that the primary objective of cellulite treatment is to encourage elimination of trapped waste, rather than weight loss. “A comprehensive anti-cellulite plan may require partnering with local nutritionists, personal trainers, chiropractors or holistic doctors,” she says, and that requires commitment by guests to make lifestyle changes.

RELATED: Specialists Explain the Science Behind Peptides

A cellulite client who follows a complete plan will benefit most from the treatments you can off er her in the spa, which range from the traditional to the highly technical. All of them, however, are aimed at encouraging lymphatic drainage, removing excess fluid and impurities, boosting metabolism, encouraging circulation or some combination of these. “Massages performed manually with strong and quick movements, for instance, are effective in helping to drain excess fluid,” says Elizabeth Murchison, director of education at Guinot. Using a steam room or sauna draws out fluid and impurities via the pores. Detoxifying body wraps can produce immediately visible—albeit temporary—results, as can other wet body treatments. Ciminelli recommends dry-brushing clients, then preparing a soak with algae powder. “The liquid seaweed bath helps to reduce water retention, remove toxins and stimulate circulation,” she says.

Mechanical modalities such Endermologie and electrolymphatic therapy work to manipulate the tissues via rolling and suction actions. Sometimes massage is paired with the use of high-tech devices meant to penetrate tissues via enhanced temperatures, light or energy waves. Examples of this include infrared, cryotherapy, lipo laser treatments and radio frequency. “Tissue massage combined with diode laser therapy or infrared light and radio frequency, performed in a series of monthly treatments, produces results that typically last six months to a year,” reports Dr. Frey. It should be noted that any treatment that causes the skin to swell, such as heat-driven therapy, will temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite.

The next step up in cellulite intervention is medical spalevel procedures such as mesotherapy injections, designed to “melt” fat in confined trouble spots. Nesbitt reports that Skin Boutique offers a Thermal Butt Lift that includes toning treatments followed by microneedling with the client’s own platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to stimulate collagen production. A new FDA-approved medical treatment for thighs and buttocks called Cellfina involves a physician using a “numbing wand” as local anesthesia and a needle-sized device to directly treat the underlying fibrous bands that tether the skin. Though the device is new, the process isn’t, says Dr. Cheung. “This technique is called subcision, and can be performed surgically or with a laser,” she explains. Subcision is done in a single treatment and results last up to three years.

In addition to following a lifestyle plan and receiving in-spa treatments, cellulite clients should be sent home with topical products formulated to increase blood fl ow to the skin, ideally used just after exercise when the metabolism is stimulated. Emphasizes Tomasso, “The best treatment products can multitask, metabolizing the skin while providing thermal and mild analgesic benefits, all to help support lipolysis and maintain the health and elasticity of tissues and capillaries.”

A successful anti-cellulite campaign requires time, patience and consistency from both client and practitioner. Even then, the best possible result is a reduction in the appearance of that orange-peel skin, because researchers still haven’t identified a treatment that may permanently reverse the effects. It is possible, however, to improve the condition enough so that clients will be able to face swimsuit season with their heads held high.

–by Katie O’Reilly


You Need to Know These Things About Lip Injections

The pointers in this article about lip augmentations (including injections and fillers) need to be known by anyone thinking about getting a procedure done for the first time. We love that Elle Magazine laid them all out in an easy to understand way. People are getting their lips done more frequently these days, so if you’ve been wanting to don’t do it without know this information first!

If you’re a lip filler rookie looking to go under the needle for the first time, you’re not alone. According to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), lip procedures are the second-fastest growing facial procedure in the United States, second only to dermabrasion. But the ubiquity of lip fillers doesn’t mean they’re suddenly risk-free.

Before going ahead with the procedure, “first schedule a consultation, tell the doctor what you’re looking for and listen for his or her answers,” advises Joshua Zeichner, MD, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Most importantly, “make sure the physician you are going to is board certified in dermatology or plastic surgery,” adds dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla, MD, FAAD, who specializes in correcting botched procedures. Here, the experts share their tips for lip filler first-timers.

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1. Use hyaluronic fillers (HA fillers) that are FDA approved.

Because duh and also, “other fillers may leave lips firm or hard and more prone to visible lumps,” says Zeichner, who cautions against the use of silicone or permanent fillers because they’re irreversible and can cause “severe reactions.” No thank you.

2. Each product has slightly different characteristics.

Both Juvéderm ultra and Juvéderm Volbella are FDA approved for lips. “If you are looking for significant volume in the body of the lip, Juvederm ultra would be your go-to product,” Zeichner says. “For fine lines around the mouth, and subtle plumping, Volbella is a softer filler and doesn’t provide as much structure as its sister product.”

3. Prices vary.

When it comes to lip fillers, expect to pay anywhere from $500 – $800 per syringe. “If you are paying less than $500, it should make you a little bit weary,” Mariwalla says.

4. Results can last anywhere between three and nine months.

Results are dependent on what is used to fill. However, the latest generation of lip fillers, Juvederm and Volbella, can last upwards of one year.

5. Botched injections are reversible (but it’s complicated).

If your lips turn out lumpy, asymmetric, or too-big, an enzyme called hyaluronidase can be used to dissolve the product altogether. “The problem is that it can dissolve some of your natural hyaluronic acid in your lip so you typically want to wait a little bit before re-injecting them,” explains Mariwalla. “I have had patients who have had their lips filled overseas or by non-qualified injectors and are not sure what was put in. This is the toughest because I’ve seen everything from silicone to implants placed that cannot be undone. The only option there is to ‘fill around’ or try to correct the defect with injections that can be undone and hope that the substance you are injecting and the substance that is already in the lips do not interact.”

6. Let your doctor know if you have a history of cold sores.

Injections may cause a cold sore outbreak, “if you get them already and do not take prophylaxis,” says Mariwalla, so pop a preventative Valtrex.

7. Bring a reference picture.

But be realistic. “I have had patients who genetically have very thin lips come and show me pictures of some models and I tell them it will not be possible to achieve that without looking ducky,” Mariwalla explains. “It’s helpful though because we can deconstruct the photo and they can tell me which parts they like the best and we can do that.”

8. Avoid supplements and medications that thin the blood.

Aspirin, ginkgo, fish oil, and vitamin D and E supplements are all off-limits for two weeks leading up to your injection appointment. Alcohol should be avoided for 72 hours before injections.

9. Injections don’t have to hurt.

“Don’t get me wrong, compared to other parts of the face, the lips are the most sensitive,” Mariwalla says, but many injectables are spiked with anesthesia so you get more numb as you go. “Most doctors will numb the lips either with an intra-oral block, injecting anesthesia from inside the mouth to block the nerves supplying sensation to the upper and lower lips, or will have patients numb long enough so that the injections are not that painful. Plus, experienced injectors try to avoid multiple needle sticks to minimize pain.”

10. Results are immediate.

However after injection, the lips initially may look more puffy then they will end up because of initial swelling from the injections themselves.

11. Expect temporary swelling and bruising.

While swelling typically improves within 24 to 48 hours, you might want to NOT schedule injections the day before a big presentation, your wedding, etc. Most swelling can be successfully treated with ice. “Rarely, however some patients may develop more significant swelling requiring a prescription medication to help treat it,” says Mariwalla, who suggests waiting 24 hours before applying concealer or lipstick to the injection site.