October 29, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Botox with Kalen Ashford

Everything You Need to Know About Botox with Kalen Ashford

We are chatting all things Botox, filler, and skin care with Kalen Ashford. She is a certified PA-C. You can check out some amazing before and afters HERE.

Visit Ashford Aesthetics Here


This podcast was transcribed using Descript. Please forgive any typos or errors.

Brittany: Hi friends. Welcome to Life with Loverly. I'm your host, Brittany Sjogren. I'm excited to share my heart with you beyond the 15 seconds we get on Instagram, grab an iced coffee and let's do life together. 

Hello. Good morning. Hope you guys had a great weekend. I am so excited about today's podcast episode. I told you guys last week that I got some lip filler in my lips and I am a loving them. I wanted something really natural. I had very thin lips, and I've always toyed with the idea of adding a little bit of filler to plump them up and keep them natural. And I feel like that's really what we achieved.

So I wanted to bring my injector Kalen into the studio today to do a little interview and give you guys some more information about Botox and some cosmetic procedures that she does. She's local here in Athens. Kalen I'm so excited that you're here.

Kalen: I'm so excited. 

Brittany: Welcome. I want to hop right into it. Can you tell us a little bit about your backstory and just who you are here in Athens? 

Kalen: So I'm actually from Georgia, went to UGA, met my husband there. We've been married for 10 years now, which kind of dates me but we started our careers in DC. Went to school at George Washington University and then graduated there and William had another year of medical school. And I had the opportunity to train with some of the best dermatologists, plastic surgeons in DC and worked with what I consider one of the best dermatologists. It was a trial by fire, which is always kind of how you start out. She was amazing and I attribute a lot of what I've learned to her. Then we moved to Charleston. 

Brittany: Oh, How amazing. 

Kalen: I know, I think two of the best cities in the world besides Athens, of course. We stayed in Charleston for five years and I was able to expand and grow my career there. and then my husband finished residency and we decided to move closer to home. We have three children now, which is crazy. 

Brittany: I know. And your youngest is a fresh little baby.

Kalen: 13 weeks. He is so cute. We always said we were waiting for our lap baby and we finally got him. So three little boys, but we decided to move back to Athens and open our practices here. The life of my career started in general dermatology and aesthetic dermatology. When we moved back here I really wanted to focus on the aesthetic portion because it's just my passion. I love it. I love that patient population. And it's just a fun environment. So I started it thinking, oh, this will be a fun way to fill my time. And it has grown since then, which has been wonderful. I'm fortunate to be able to continue to keep it small enough to where I can give each of my patients the individual time that they need. 

Brittany: Yes. That's one thing I feel like when I came to you the first time for some Dysport I felt like in our first meeting, you provided so much information and you were really questioning what are my needs? What is my history? It was not a quick in and out, let's shoot you up and, head out the door. That was something I appreciated that I haven't experienced from other injectors in the past.

So I love that's part of your process and that's something that you find a lot of joy in. Because, I think that's really helpful, even for people who've never received any type of filler or Botox to understand its benefits. 

Kalen: You are exactly right. One, it's medical procedure. But at the same time, any medication or medical procedure, each person that you see is an individual. And they're all going to have different needs. And I think understanding the way the medications or injections work and understanding the anatomy and looking at someone individually and seeing their anatomy and seeing what they need is extremely important. I think having a little bit more time to be able to explain that to the patient or say, this is the direction I would go. Everyone has different goals. Not everyone wants to, have the same procedure and look the same as everyone else. So it's an individual process.

Brittany: I feel like you are very, maybe the right word is cautious. You don't overdo it. We can always add a little bit more if we need it, but starting small and building I think is so important and it builds a really good relationship with your patients to know that we are trusting you to do what's right for our face without overdoing it the first time. 

Kalen: That is exactly right. I think we were talking a little bit about this earlier before the mics went on but sometimes this can be more of a retail industry which I don't love. For example, syringes for lips are sold in a full CC. Not everyone needs a full CC. Some people in certain areas, not necessarily for lips, but in other areas need more, but that's how it's sold and it doesn't mean that you have to put the entire CC in just because that's the way it's sold. This again is a medical procedure and we're supposed to look at the patients as individuals and see what they need.

Brittany: And tailor that to each person. I just feel that when I walk into your office. You care about the conversations that we're about to have so I, think that's one thing that makes you stand out. And that's one reason so many people recommended me to go see you. 

Kalen: Thank you.

Brittany: I have several friends who you also work with and family members. So if you're in Athens, I highly recommend Kalen and of course we'll leave all of her information in the show notes so you can visit her website and check her out on Instagram. She's got some really good before and afters. So a few questions. What are the services that you offer, aside from just Botox and fillers, which we will go into a little bit more detail on those, but what other services do you offer? 

Kalen: So this is a fun topic. I have, like I said, been in the industry for a little while and there are so many fun cosmetic procedures that can be done. But for me, I like to keep it on the services that give wow results. And that people love. So of course that's going to include Botox, Dysport, dermal fillers. And I'm very heavy into skincare. I think skincare is extremely important. A for prevention of aging. And B for correction. I think that there is a lot you can do with skincare. I visited a friend over the summer and I've been so excited because I have transformed her practice into having more skincare. Because she does these beautiful results with filler and with Botox and Dysport. But I was like, we've got to get you on the skincare train. You can have great voluminous results and great results with relaxation of the muscles and then have terrible skin. And you won't get the overall wow factor. When I'm doing my consultations, one of the things that I look at is what is going to make the biggest difference? Because if you had all of the money in the world, of course we can do everything. But what is going to make the biggest difference in you right now? That may be adding a little bit of cheek filler that may be adding a little bit of lip for hydration or balance at the face, or it might be really attacking the skin and changing the way your skin looks.

Brittany: It's nice that you pair both of those things together. I feel like in anybody I've seen in the past to get Dysport injections, they haven't necessarily cared about what my skincare routine was. They never wanted those two things to be working together. So I think that's another really great part about your practice. That is part of our conversation every time we're together. Okay. So then what additional type of skin care treatments do you guys offer? 

Kalen: In addition to Botox ,Dysport, filler, we also do consultations on full skincare regimens and how you can prepare your skin at home. To then go and do more not aggressive, but more aggressive than just your daily at home skincare. Like deeper chemical peels, microneedling all things that can build collagen and change the texture and just the overall appearance of your skin.

Brittany: So things I should try with you soon. 

Kalen: Yes. All things you should try.

Brittany: I love that. So a few questions from some of the listeners. What have you used on me?

Kalen: So we have used Dysport. You told me at the very beginning, that Dysport seemed to last a little bit longer on you. And I hear that from time to time and it's not necessarily what I call neuromodulator like Botox or Dysport. It's not even necessarily one more than the other that I hear.

Oh, this particular product lasts longer on me or doesn't last as long. But I will say if someone comes in and says, X product doesn't last, very long on me, then I'm switching to another one and it tends to increase the longevity. So for you Dysport. Then we use kiss in your lips. It is a Galderma product. I thought it would be perfect for you because we wanted a little bit more height, a little bit more volume in your lips. and all of the different fillers have different properties to them to achieve what you want. But I thought it was be perfect on you and it was.

Brittany: And I think that's another reason to do research on the different products out there and really talk with your injector to let them know what you're wanting to achieve. So they can make sure that they're using the right brands and the right products on you. One of the biggest questions we received is what is the difference between Botox and Dysport? 

Kalen: Clinically I don't see a huge difference on let's say the general population, it's not clinically a huge difference. They both relax muscles, so that's the purpose. It comes in this little vial and you reconstitute it with saline . And some people will add a little bit more saline to Dysport but I reconstitute in a very similar manner. Some people will say that Dysport spreads a little bit more But clinically, I don't see a huge difference. Other than if someone says one lasts longer than the other, then maybe clinically one would last longer on that individual person. But they're both type A neuromodulators. I don't love to say toxin, But it is Botulinum toxin. But it is clinically very similar. 

Brittany: When I first started getting Dysport, I was probably 28 years old and I did have some elevens, a few forehead wrinkles that I saw were starting to develop and so I wanted to prevent that and I'm not really sure back then why I decided Dysport over Botox, but it did seem to work really well. So I was like, why would I stray from this? And then when I moved to Athens and after I had Hazel and was done breastfeeding, I decided I needed to go back and get more. Where I went, he did Botox on me. And I felt like it didn't work or it lasted for a month.

And then I was starting to see all of those results. So that kind of told me that Dysport was what worked better with my body and I guess, there is a little bit of trial and error to figure out what is right for somebody. I feel like it's a process to figure out what is the best for each person. And again, it goes back to it being individual for each person. 

Kalen: Brittany, you said that you started when you were 28 and that is actually very common. I think a lot of people are confused about when they should start their treatments. And my standard answer is when you start to see lines at rest. So the generation above us, they're like I still haven't started because they're scared of it. And then the generation below us, our college kids now are like, I need to start yesterday. 

Brittany: It's so funny. Even just people I talk to through messaging and things like that they're like I'm 23, should I start now? I'm like, I don't know what your skin looks like, it's preventative. 

Kalen: So I actually started when I was 22. I started getting a deep line where most people would call it the elevens. I had a one it was just one big line. I think it was from studying and concentrating and squinting and really moving the muscles in that way and holding it in that position for so long. Then I was like, I've got to get rid of this. And my husband's dad injected Botox, and he did my first treatment and it was perfect. I was so excited, because it was gone and then it wore off. It was a sad day. 

Brittany: I know that's the like problem. It's it's so great. And then it goes down.

Kalen: At that point, I was like, wow, this can really make a difference. It even made a difference in how I felt. 

Brittany: Truly. It does do something with lifting your spirits, like looking in the mirror and not seeing those lines. It's like inner, I don't know. I totally feel that.

Kalen: It just relaxed those muscles in that area. And I was like, How can I do this for other people? I learned a lot more about it, started doing it, getting back to originally what we were talking about. When do we start? I think if you can start preventatively, it is so much easier to do that when you're starting to see a little bit of a line at rest, the line will go away. When you start to see that and it will relax the muscles and it won't allow them to contract so forcefully to break the collagen in that area. Versus trying to correct a very deep set in lines. That is a lot harder. 

Brittany: And it's probably going to take a lot longer to see the results.

Kalen: Yes. So sometimes when you're seeing very deep lines, at rest when you're not moving your muscles, that tends to take more treatments. And treatments that are closer together to relax the muscles to a point where you are not regaining that full strength to where it is breaking the collagen again. And then also great skincare, of course. 

Brittany: Yeah. So really using those two to prevent or to combat an issue, is going to give you the best results. Where all can you put Botox? Or Dysport? I know I have it in my forehead, in my elevens, right by my eyes. I've heard of some people getting it in their jaw to help with any TMJ. Is there anywhere else that you do it or recommend it? 

Kalen: Yeah, that's a really good question. So you can put it anywhere. There's a muscle. It will work on any muscle and Botox specifically is used in so many different areas of medicine in general. For migraines, for bladder contraction, overactive bladder. A lot of different uses. Basically anywhere there's a muscle, you can use it. You can even use it under your arms to prevent sweating.

Brittany: I have heard that before. Which is so interesting. 

Kalen: It is very interesting. I do that too. I was just trying to think what all do I do? So it has many different uses. I would say the most common places are where you have it. So forehead, what we call the Glabella, which are muscles in between the eyes and around the eyes are probably the most common places. But cosmetically on the face, you can also do it in the muscles that pull down the corner of the mouth. It's called a DAO. Some people will use it therapeutically for TMJ. So that would be the masseter muscles are the ones that if you clench your teeth really hard, the muscle by the jaw. You can also use that cosmetically to thin the face in that area. If that muscle's too big, you can use it for bunny lines on the nose. A very popular one right now is a lip flip. 

Brittany: We tried the lip flip first before we did the filler in the lips. I feel like I was wanting to achieve something that Botox in the lip couldn't give me. Like you said, the lip flip is really popular, but what does it even do?

Kalen: If you've seen people when they smile the lip curls under and they don't see a lot of pink in the lip, when they smile, that is an ideal patient for a lip flip. It is not for everybody. Some people we can try it, and see how much pink show we can get. But it does not provide volume to the lip. Some people are good candidates for both. Maybe they need a little bit more volume and a little bit more structure, and maybe they also need to relax the muscle that curls under the lip. It really just depends on what we're going for, how comfortable are you with filler? How much of a difference do we see? Some people we do a lip flip, which is a little bit of Botox above the top, the lip. And it makes a tremendous difference and that's all they want. So it's just individual. 

Brittany: Yeah. So then with filler, there's so many other places in your face it can go, like cheek. One other question that I saw a lot was where are the primary places that you would say you do most filler as opposed to Botox or Dysport?

Kalen: There are a lot of places you can put filler too. Basically anywhere you need volume or structure is where you can put filler. I would say the most popular places to put it. And when I say popular, I don't really mean, this is a popular thing to do. It's the most needed. So a lot of people lose a lot of volume in their cheek. So I would say that's a very common, is probably a better word, place to put it is cheek. The chin actually a lot of females have recessed chins and need a little bit more structure in that area to balance their face. Lips are always a common place that people want to put filler either because they want a little bit more volume in the area or they're losing volume over time. There's, different reasons we put it there too. And you were saying under eye. that is a very common complaint, I'll say. But there's a lot that goes into it before you want to do under eye filler that is probably one of the areas that you want to do everything else and get the proper structure. Around that area first, before you just put filler under the eye. Cause it is a tricky area 

Brittany: And it's very delicate. It could go wrong and that's not really a spot you want it to go wrong?

Kalen: You don't want it to go wrong. Going back to proper assessment too. Do you have the cheek support? To support under eye filler, is under eye filler even the appropriate treatment for what you're trying to achieve? Some people will come in and say, I have dark circles under my eyes. Okay. Why do we have dark circles? Do you have severe allergies? Are you Anemic? Do you need iron? Or is it shadowing and hollowness? Is it previous filler that was put in there? That's casting a blue shadow. All of these are things that we have to think about and look at, but that is a very delicate area. 

Brittany: All right. One last question about filler and Botox that I have is the main differences between the two. Because it seems, they're both going in our face, but what are really the main differences. 

Kalen: So Botox and Dysport, I like to refer to them as neuromodulators. All they do is relax muscles. That's all they do. And there's interplay between different muscles in our face. You can use them in certain areas to relax the muscle. So let's say if you frown, for instance, you see those deep lines in between your eyes. If you put Botox or Dysport in that area, it is going to relax that muscle. You therefore cannot make that line. Same thing with a forehead or around the eyes or anywhere else that you're putting the product. It is just relaxing the muscles. So you see the effects of that actually in about five to seven days. Full effects, maybe around two weeks. So it takes a little bit longer for that action quote, unquote kick in. Filler is going to be completely different. It is a gel. There are different types of filler, but the most common ones to use are going to be hyaluronic acid fillers and they provide volume in an area or structure. The results of that are immediate. 

Brittany: Yeah. For my lips, I saw it right away. 

Kalen: You can get some swelling with it. That will go down. But the results of the filler are immediate where let's say the Botox are Dysport take a little while for it to relax the muscle.

Brittany: Okay, so one is going to help relax and smooth and the other is going to add volume so those are the two main differences. Perfect.

All right. Switching gears here. Let's hop into skincare a little bit. I feel like this is something you're really passionate about. One question I have for somebody who doesn't really, they want to get into a good routine, where should we start with skincare?

Kalen: Oh man. this is loaded question. Where do you start?

I guess it's really, who am I talking to? Am I talking to the person who doesn't wash their face? Or am I talking to the person who has what they feel like is every skincare product known to man, but they don't know where to start? And their drawer is full of half used containers. There's wide range of people who are out there. Am I talking to the busy mom who has three seconds at the end of the night before she collapses in bed? That would be me. Or am I talking to someone who really enjoys putting on their skincare routine loves to wash their face for the full three minutes? It really just depends, but the best way to start would be to get on a good cleansing, exfoliating, toning, get the pH of the skin. And then supplement products that are going to provide hydration to the skin and then utilize certain products to help with specific treatments. So that goes back to what are your goals? Anti-aging, treating fine lines and wrinkles, increasing how tight your skin. Is your goal to treat some sort of, and I hate saying skin disease, but acne rosacea, do you have Seborrheic Dermatitis? There's so many things. Pigment is a big one. Old sun damage, what are we trying to treat? There are so many different products out there. And I find that a lot of people are very confused on what is going to be best for their skin, because it's hard to give general recommendations for the general public. Because everyone is so different.

It can be confusing if you're just looking at, maybe say the marketing side of it, which is, this is for aging. You're like, oh wait, I want to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. But maybe that particular thing is not right for you right now. So I would say talk to your person and say, this is what I'm trying to achieve. How can we get there? 

Brittany: I think about this all the time, when I share a skincare product that I personally love and have seen results from, but I know that not everybody who is listening to me, it might not work the same for them. We are all different and that is okay. Really spending the time to do your own research, talk with your provider and figure out the best regimen for you. That's a great place to start instead of falling for an ad. There's so many things on the market. But really spending time with somebody that you trust your skin with. And that's going to be different for every person. 

Kalen: It's very different. I think, you brought up a good point. You said what has been working for me, is not the same that's going to be working for everyone else. The point is, your skin is not static and your skincare routine should not be static. You said what's been working for me, that doesn't mean that's what you've used forever and ever. Amen. It won't be what you will use forever. The way we approach skincare is very individual, but it is also changing. So as we complete certain goals, there are new goals that come up. Sometimes to reach certain goals, there are different steps you have to go through. So there are some products or regimens that may be pretty harsh and maybe we need to build up your skin barrier before we go to a more intense regimen. And then come off of it. So it changes, it varies. 

Brittany: What would you say, if somebody had to put something on their skin every single day, what would be your number one recommendation?

Kalen: Oh, that's easy. Sunscreen. 

Brittany: yes. I wish I would've known that earlier. I didn't really start wearing sunscreen in my regimen, or I just didn't think it was important or I was like, oh, it's not summer. But those are common.

Kalen: Ask the people who ski if they need unscreen. 

Brittany: That's very true. So sunscreen is by far the number one thing. 

Kalen: 100%. It's easy for me to forget that's a given. Because that's just such a part of my everyday life. And I think this might be fun for your listeners to hear because it's an easy tidbit and it is something they can walk away with and use. There are a few different types of sunscreen. So if you turn it around and all of the back of the boxes now are the same. As far as reading the label. And if you look at the very top, you'll see active ingredients. All you have to remember, because there's some big words on there, is zinc and titanium. Those are going to be your physical sunscreens. Everything else is a chemical sunscreen.

Brittany: Interesting. 

Kalen: There's all kinds of big words that you don't have to remember, but if you can remember zinc and titanium, those are physical, everything else is chemical. It doesn't mean that one is better or worse than the other, but there are certain skin types and skin problems that need physical sunscreen versus a chemical sunscreen. When I'm recommending certain sunscreens to my patients patients who have like melasma or what would be considered very sensitive skin or very reactive skin, usually you're going to be better off with a physical sunscreen. So zinc or titanium versus a chemical sunscreen. If you've ever put on sunscreen and it irritates your eyes or burns your eyes, that's from the chemical sunscreen. A lot of people don't love the physical sunscreens because they're not as cosmetically pleasing. That's where you get into the should I get a sunscreen from my dermatologist or should I get a sunscreen from my med spa? Or should I get a sunscreen from the drug store? Where should I go? That is where it's going to vary on how cosmetically pleasing it is. 

Brittany: It's so interesting. Now I feel like I'm gonna go read the back of all of my sunscreens and be like, what are you?

Kalen: I would say some of the more cosmetically pleasing sunscreens, physical wise are going to be tinted.

Brittany: Okay. I have heard that. Some options are like a tinted sunscreen. It kind of adds a little bit to your skin too.

Kalen: Yeah. Zinc and titanium. If you think about, you've seen the old pictures of people on the beach with the white nose. That's zinc. Think about diaper rash cream. Zinc. 

Brittany: Maybe one reason people don't love it as much is because it takes a little bit longer for your skin to absorb. I don't know. I feel like if you don't have time and you're just like trying to get through your routine. I can see where that would be a setback. Even things I've learned over the years and wishing I would've started a better skincare routine earlier, is that you have to make time for your skin to get the results that you want to achieve. 

Kalen: That's exactly right. The best sunscreen is one that you'll put on and wear. So if you find something that you love. Use it. And then you said taking time for your skincare routine is just like working out . So if you take time to work out, take care of your cardiovascular health, eat. It's the same thing with your skin. Taking a little bit of extra time daily. It's consistency too. It's the same thing as the gym. If you go to the gym and you work out once a year, like I have been. You're not going to get your results that you want, but if you do at least a little bit every day consistently, you're going to get much better results than you would otherwise.

Brittany: Love that. All right. So we end every podcast episode by answering some follower and listener questions. So this week we specifically asked for questions for you. I have a few that I want to ask. The first one is this is, was by far one of the most popular questions. Can you get filler or Botox while you are pregnant or breastfeeding?

Kalen: No. I always defer to your OB pediatrician always. But it is not recommended. 

Brittany: Gotcha. You heard it here? It's not recommended. What about guys getting Botox? 

Kalen: I love that question because the answer's yes. So my husband you know how I said earlier that I started getting this when I was 22? So when I went in to get it done, he also had a line between his eyes and I was like, okay, you should do it too. It just erased it and made him feel better and prevented his headaches and the, story was born. I will say injection points for guys are a little different. You don't want to feminize a male. So women have beautiful arched brows at a certain angle. They have a certain projection. This is more filler, but have a certain projection in their cheeks. Certain facial structure. Guys are totally different. You don't want to feminize the way a guy looks or vice versa. You don't want to masculinize the way a female looks. If you completely flatten a brow. That's going to make you look more tired and masculine, for a female. But for males, if you give them a nice high arch to their brow, , they're not going to love you. So it's just different injection points.

Brittany: Interesting. It's definitely something that, you do or could do if somebody was interested. You mentioned for the headaches. Guys probably don't even think that this could help for that type of issue. 

Kalen: Oh yeah, absolutely. Now I will say when we do it cosmetically, it is not for migraines. That's more a neurologist, but it does help. I hear so many people who say I got this done because I didn't like the wrinkles between my eyebrows and in my forehead, but it's really helped with my headaches. 

Brittany: Yeah. Nichelle has actually mentioned that after we've seen you and has said, this is really helping with my headaches and I think it's because of the Botox. So the next question, I feel like this is a good one. Should you get Botox to treat hooded eyelids? 

Kalen: This is fun. Remember how I said earlier, there's interplay of muscles in the face and that some pull up some pull down some pull sideways? They're not in a vacuum. There's all kinds of interplay. If you relax one muscle or let's say we relax the downward pulling muscles, the upward pulling muscles can start to take over and actually lift the brows and therefore, a little bit of the eyelids. It is not going to be a blepharoplasty . If you have a lot of excess skin it's not going to treat that, but it may help a little bit with how hooded they are.

Brittany: Just lift up a little bit if that's what you need. That's interesting. I feel like that also, probably depends on where you're placing it, gives a more open look to the eyes as well. There's so many amazing uses. I always think when I'm sitting there and you're doing your magic, it's just so crazy. She knows exactly where she's putting it to achieve the results. I always thought that was really cool. And then our last question for today is what is your favorite part of your job? 

Kalen: I love the relationships that I get to build with people. I love talking to people. I love knowing about their lives. I love building relationships and I love giving people confidence. I think that's a lot of what this industry does. I think that people come to me because they feel tired or they feel like they're aging, or they have a specific problem that they want to treat. I feel very fortunate to be able to help them with that, and also work with their lifestyle and get to know them a little bit. Better. It's just, it's fun. There's a lot of great people in Athens. To know my community and helping people in that way.

Brittany: I love that. If you're local, like I mentioned earlier, definitely check out Kalen. Ashford Aesthetics is the name of her business. She's local, their office is in five points. I will also link her Instagram handle so you can check out some more before and afters and see some amazing content.

All right. Thank you so much for joining us today. I feel like everything we talked about was super informative. I learned something in here. I'm definitely coming in for some skincare consults soon. Thank you again so much for being here. 

Kalen: I enjoyed it. 

Brittany: Thanks for listening to today's episode. I can't wait to continue these conversations with you over on Instagram at Life with Loverly until next time.

That was perfect.

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