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You know that look you see when you catch yourself in a mirror on a day where you’re over stressed, over tired and just angry at the whole world? That’s RBF, code for “resting bitch face”, and we’re all subject to it some of the time. Think FLOTUS.
But there is a remedy for RBF that can change your look and your outlook too. The procedure may take 20 minutes and can range anywhere from hundreds to thousands, depending on how intensive the treatment is. It is also not permanent, so you will need to check in for touch-ups every 4-6 months to a year or more.
“Every injector may use slightly different techniques to address the “RBF” condition, however BOTOX and other toxins with or without dermal fillers are the usual combination treatment of choice, depending on the severity of the issue and the patient’s ultimate goals. Not all wrinkles are equal and different wrinkles have different causes. For example, glabellar frown lines between the brows are due mainly to overactive muscles and are usually treated first with BOTOX to relax the muscles. In some patients who have residual creases in the glabella region after treatment with toxins, hyaluronic acid gel fillers like Juvederm may be indicated to soften them,” says New York City plastic surgeon Bryan G. Forley, MD. The end result of this treatment plan that it can help to make you look less sad or cross and more refreshed.
According to Nashville facial plastic surgeon Mary Lynn Moran, President of the AAFPRS, “RBF is a term that is used to describe someone who appears unhappy or angry when their face is in repose. It is a term that can be sexist and offensive in certain situations. On the other hand, some people find it empowering to rebel against the expectation that a woman should appear happy and accommodating at all times even if she is just in her head thinking about something. Someone with RBF is considered intimidating, unpleasant, unhappy, and/or unapproachable. They may portray a negative attitude, when in fact they are feeling great inside or at least neutral.”
She continues, “With age the vertical lines between the eyebrows (which my patients sometimes refer to as “11’s” and a few have even referred to them as “bitch ditches”) can make a person look angry. If they become deep enough, they are present even when the person isn’t frowning. Furthermore, as people age, they lose facial volume causing the mouth to turn down and jowls to form. This can make the resting face look disappointed. RBF can be the natural expression of someone who isn’t trying to please someone or it can be a byproduct of aging.”
Her treatments of choice are neurotoxins for the 11’s or glabellar lines. “Sometimes additional procedures are needed to treat severe cases such as skin resurfacing. Fillers placed in that area may carry a higher (although rare) risk of blindness. Down-turned corners of the mouth can be improved with fillers. Some practitioners also use neurotoxins to weaken the downward pull of the muscles below the corners of the mouth. Volumization of the lower face may also be used to counteract some of the loss that is contributing to the sagging. Facelifting can help improve the sagging along the jawline and around the mouth.”
At the end of the day, don’t assume you know how someone feels just by the way they look at rest, she adds.