Ask Dr Heather

How do you know if you need cosmetic treatments?

Anon, Whenuapai.

A great question.  Often pondered by the masses, taking the leap to having "work done" can be a daunting one.  First, we must clarify what "work" entails.

Cosmetic treatments are designed to help us look and feel better.  The looking better part is really up to you.  It ranges from glowy, clear skin to less wrinkles to restructuring facial features, creating harmony and a refreshed appearance, where people comment you look great, but can't quite put their finger on it.  A holiday to the tropics?  A new diet?  New earrings?

Therein lies the beauty of well-executed cosmetic medicine.  Both an art and a science, the delicate balance lies in the hands of the injector.  One who sees your unique beauty with acute awareness of the aesthetic end point.

Various media have highlighted the dark side of cosmetic treatments, where aesthetic end points were crossed so fiercely, naturally beautiful people were given new identities.  Lovely lips turned to sausages, cheeks turned to chipmunks and jawlines turned to jagged messes.

Such stories are wonderfully entertaining, alas not helpful for those seriously wanting the odd tweak to help them look and feel their finest.  Thankfully, there are a raft of ethical practitioners out there, properly trained with your best interests at heart.

So it really all depends on you.  If that pesky frown is making you look grumpy, those forehead lines are becoming crevices for your make up, your skin is looking dull, you're tired of looking tired or if you just want a professional someone to cast an objective eye, then you are ready. The key is to sit firmly in the driver's seat, accept no pressure and do what feels comfortable for you and your budget.  The right practitioner will guide you, support you and care for you at every step. Your face and feelings are precious, so should always be handled with kindness, dignity and respect.

Dr Heather Anderson is a Cosmetic Medicine and Urgent Care Doctor who practises in her own clinic at ALLOR Cosmetic Medicine in Whenuapai.  If you have a question for Dr Heather you'd like answered anonymously in the magazine, please email