My Annual Face Check Up (Minji's Story)

By Minji

  • Getting my skin analyzed by the doctor was like an annual checkup for my face
  • Good news: my habits are paying off and no need for botox!
  • Bad news: skin elasticity issues under the eyes and lower face area

Susie and I went to visit Dr. Moradi.  We wanted to check out the latest cutting-edge treatments and ask a bunch of questions about skincare.  More importantly (and selfishly), we wanted to hear the doctor’s expert opinion.  How is my skin doing in this journey of aging?  What’s working and what’s not? And what are my options should I mindfully choose to explore treatments?  It was scary and exciting, all at the same time. 

Dr. Moradi is one of the nicest, well-mannered people I know.  He’s a gentleman to the core and it’s always a pleasure to see him.  After exchanging niceties, I bravely sat in his examination chair.  There were bright lights enabling him to clearly see all of my wrinkles, crinkles, spots, lumps, dark circles…everything.  I also made sure to not wear any makeup so I could bare the entirety of my skin to him and get an accurate diagnosis. 

He asked me to hold a mirror up to my face.  I took a deep breath - hoping for the best, but also prepared for the worst.  I thought he would start pointing out flaws, but instead, he just told me to look carefully.  Then he asked me to describe things that I saw as potential issues.  I followed his instructions. I looked into my eyes and my face, deeper and closer than I’ve ever done before and listed out the following concerns: 1. My under-eye area looks hollow, and 2. My cheeks look droopy. 

For my under-eye area, he told me that the sunken look was approximately 80% related to loss of elasticity and 20% related to fat buildup.  Considering this, he told me the best in-office treatment to get rid of the hollowness for me would be fillers. 

He moved on to my droopy cheeks.  Again, he handed me the mirror and asked which side of my face looked droopier.  It was strange - for the upper part of my face (the nose up), my left side looked slightly droopier, but for the bottom part (the nose down), my right side definitely looked saggier and even bigger.  He delighted at my answer.  This took me back to the classroom and I felt like teacher’s pet getting a pat on the back – “the right side is definitely droopier…correct!  Great job!” 

Turns out I have facial asymmetry issues.  I’ve suffered from right jaw issues my entire life – it pops and gets stuck, especially when I’m stressed out.  I was seeing for the first time how my right jaw, in comparison to my left, looked much more squarish and protruded.  Connected to that, the right side of my face, especially my cheeks, looked saggier and droopier.  He again said fillers might help.  He also recommended something called Exilis.  He told me it’s a non-invasive device combining radio frequency and ultrasound which requires no numbing creams, preparation or downtime, and potentially effective for skin elasticity issues.  This made my ears perk up.  

Dr. Moradi then asked me to scrunch up my face as if I were angry.  I tried.  I winced.  But I couldn’t actually wrinkle up my face…the years of cultivating habits of relaxing my face and not causing unnecessary wrinkles were preventing me from being able to do this.  The doctor complimented me on my good habits and the diagnosis was no betox necessary – hallelujah!  More than anything, I felt joy knowing my daily habits and rituals were working!

This visit left me with a lot to think about and some decisions to be made.  Fillers, botox and lasers all feel inauthentic to my skincare philosophy but Exilis sounds interesting.  Regardless of the diagnosis and my next steps, I’m glad that I went in.  It felt like an annual checkup for my face and skin, and I think I’ll make a habit of it.