Summary: Taking some inspiration from the practice employed by Photoshop artists, a new cosmetic technique known as airbrushing eschews the traditional deep tissue penetration of typical wrinkle treatments and focuses on the subtle results gained by shallow injections. Of course, the injectable itself must be suitably thinned, to give the cosmetic surgeon ample flexibility in the approach. The results tend to be more subtle and natural-looking than more traditional approaches, but the jury is still out on whether this will be a long term technique or just another of cosmetic surgery’s short term trends.

Unrealistic Ideas

We all know about airbrushing of celebrities on magazine covers. Essentially editors use photo-tweaking software such as Photoshop to “improve” the look of the cover model: removing wrinkles, shrinking the waste, enhancing the smile, and so on. It’s a mostly reprehensible process, but magazine companies will certainly argue that—in an incredibly competitive field—they’re simply giving customers what they want. That this perpetuates unrealistic ideals of beauty is, probably, a better conversation for another day.

What’s interesting is that “airbrushing” is a term now being applied to cosmetic procedures, and not entirely without merit. One of the central practices employed by Photoshop airbrush artists is the removal of wrinkles and other signs of aging. In real life, this kind of alteration can be accomplished with something like Botox or other wrinkle treatments (Artefill, Voluma, Radiesse, and so on). However, sometimes using an injectable is a little overkill.

A Cosmetic Surgeon You Can Trust

According to the website of the Michigan Radiesse experts at Accents Cosmetic Surgery, you should always find a highly qualified expert in the dermal filler you want administered, as it’s usually when an inexperienced cosmetic practioner injects products such as Botox that problems arise. Because every injectable has its own quirks and features, finding a cosmetic surgeon well versed in all of them will give you the best chance of achieving your results.

That’s especially true when the results you want to achieve are subtle. And this is where we swing back around to airbrushing—as this cosmetic technique is even more subtle than traditional injectable treatments tend to be. When airbrushing, cosmetic surgeons try to recreate the soft, subtle way that Photoshop artists are able to enhance the youth of skin without making it look overtly treated.

Shallow Injections for Deep Results

Most injectables are injected deeply into the skin—especially products such as Botox, which functions by targeting muscles that cause wrinkles in the first place. However, when airbrushing, the focus is on injecting wrinkle treatments just under the top layers of tissue—essentially giving a soft fill to the area, rather than creating a kind of “stretched” look that sometimes happens with more traditional approaches. The idea is to create a natural look—one that doesn’t immediately indicate the use of cosmetic treatments.

Some have described the underlying idea as akin to wetting a dry sponge. Of course, a wet sponge tends to be much more voluminous than a dry one—and the more volume, the fewer wrinkles. This particular approach requires the use of Juvederm Ultra XC that has been put through a process which thins the wrinkle treatment gel slightly. In this thinner form, Juvederm is more malleable, and the cosmetic surgeon can apply the treatment with more finesse that more traditional approaches afford.

Choose the Approach That’s Right For the Results You Desire

Of course, this largely comes down to a difference in approaches and a difference in desired results. Some patients, to achieve a more youthful look, require a more aggressive approach, and most of those patients are quite satisfied with the results. However, in patients who have not experienced as much skin damage or whose skin has aged more favorably, a more subtle approach may be the way to go. Neither is correct, of course, but the availability of options certainly emphasizes the importance of your consultation with your cosmetic surgeon, whose expertise and experience will help guide you to your desired results, whatever they may be.

As usual, we also offer a word of caution against “trendy” cosmetic surgery procedures. Some of these trends are proven out over time, such as nonsurgical rhinoplasty, but some of these trends are only that. Time will tell which category airbrushing falls into, but in the interim, it’s important that any cosmetic procedure you undergo aligns closely with your desired results. Be sure of what you want before you go in and it’s likely that you’ll get results that will leave you feeling younger and better—whether you’re going bold or subtle, you’ll look great.

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