Bangkok will always have a special place in my heart. In the years that I’ve entered and departed Thailand, and returned again, the special sprinkles of magic the city offers is undeniable. Bangkok is a city that I hold in my heart, because it’s a city of second chances. It’s a city with a redeeming nature that provides solace, comfort, and opportunities to start over.
Take a stroll down Sukhumvit Road or Silom Road, and you will find clinics offering botox and fillers, and HIFU, a dime a dozen. “Botox in Bangkok” is as ubiquitous as “45 Minute Oil Massage”. Of course, being a world traveler and self-professed Bangkok “local” I entrusted my face and occasionally my body (before your imagination wanders: for chelation treatments) to Renaud d’Hercourt, a lovely French man with the most exacting eye for detail and proportions. Renaud manages Metro Beauty Centers. He is a friend I always turned to for beauty advice. He’d often told me that it would soon be time for my mid 40s face to embrace dermal fillers. I’d always brushed that idea aside – the thought of looking like a bloaty faced middle-aged Causasian woman was never something I’d wanted.
But over five years ago, one drizzly evening as I walked down a familiar Soi, I saw Renaud dining alone at a restaurant, so I walked in to say ‘hi’. We’d not seen each other the entire summer, and his first words to me were: “Darling, are you okay? You look like you need a drink.’ Charming. Admittedly, the previous months had been a nightmare, and I was reeling from a trans-Continental breakup. You know, the type of breakups when your heart clumps each time you think of him. The nightmare started at the airport, when I realised I left my usual facial cleanser behind. In a hurry, I grabbed something I found at the duty-free shop. It was a product that absolutely did my skin no favours. The nightmare continued during those months in Europe when I kept going to a FIR sauna at a health club,which made me lose volume around the face (my ex liked to tell me over candlelit dinners that I’d put on weight). So add a breakup with a narcissist-slash-psychopath into the mix, and the result was the lady with the aged face that greeted Renaud.
Thankfully, the restaurant was quiet. Or at least no one saw or commented on the tears that wanted to stream down my face. Over a glass of wine, Renaud and I devised a game plan. I had to get some facial fillers to replace the facial volume that had been devoured by the FIR sauna. “Not too much,” Renaud told me. He referred me to Dr. Teng, one of the clinic’s specialists, who I soon came to like. His deft touch and precise sense of proportions always guaranteed natural and inspiring results.
During my first consultation, I told Dr. Teng I wanted to be beautiful again. His instant reply: “No problem. I can do that.” It was the combination of light humour and quiet confidence that has made him one of my favourite skin doctors. In the following six months after our first meeting, I went back to see Dr. Teng three times. On each occasion, we did one cc of dermal filler. Only because I’m a careful person. A week after my first treatment, people —men— started to give me second glances again. Because I was so cautious about the amount of filler injected, I knew the sudden attention wasn’t because I looked odd or old. A part of me held the hope that maybe, just maybe, it was because I was beautiful, once more.
A couple of months later, Renaud introduced me to Dr. Achita. With the same sense of sublime aesthetics as Dr. Teng, Dr. Achita worked on my face subtly. With an expert’s vision and deft hands, she recontoured my face with minute amounts of botox, reshaping my jawline, accentuating my cheekbones to perfection, and ensuring that the facial contouring complemented the dermal filler treatments I’d done with Dr. Teng.
Three months later, I was back to looking and feeling my best. Did I look drop-dead gorgeous? Of course. In retrospect, I don’t think this would have happened, had I not walked into that restaurant to say ‘hi’ to Renaud that evening. Bangkok has cosmetic clinics in all shapes, forms and price points. But rare are people like Dr. Achita and Dr. Teng who care about their patients, rather than ones who are more concerned about reaching their sales quota of Juvederm or Restylane for the month.
If I’d walked into any generic beauty clinic, a shrewd manager or sales person would have sensed my emotional vulnerability. I might have been persuaded to get too much filler like the puffy faced ‘overdone’ women on television. So a trick I learned from Dr. Teng and Dr. Achita: start with small doses of filler and botox, but go regularly so that the doctors can treat you like the work of art you so deserve to be.
Some people might say that it’s impossible that a syringe or two of dermal filler can return what was lost — whether it’s youth, confidence, or even beauty. I’m inclined to disagree. In the right hands, dermal fillers and botox can indeed help to fix or heal things that seemingly are impossible to fix. A broken heart, for example. How did I do that? Well, that’s another story for another time.
สารพัดปัญหาบนใบหน้า บางทีแค่สกินแคร์อย่างเดียวก็ไม่พอ! ต้องยอมรับว่าในปัจจุบันคนส่วนใหญ่หันมาใส่ใจดูแลตัวเองกันมากขึ้น