The cosmetic tweaks a man CAN have that won’t give him a ‘pillow face’, from intense light beams to skin-regenerating pricks

Ryan Gosling at the premiere of The Fall Guy at the SXSW Conference and Festival in March 2024 in Austin, Texas

When actor Ryan Gosling recently promoted his new movie, The Fall Guy, fans were quick to point out that he looked a little… different. Others were less diplomatic.

“Ryan Gosling, please step away from the filler,” said one unkind commenter on X/Twitter, clearly implying that his face was showing signs of a rather heavy-handed cosmetic enhancement.

So has the Barbie star, 43, had some work done? As a reporter who specializes in writing about aesthetic medicine, as this field is known, even I can’t say for sure. But it wouldn’t come as a shock.

Adjusting faces, both male and female, is a delicate matter. Do it right and no one will be the wiser. If you do it wrong, you will be confused – the human eye is good at spotting when something is wrong.

So how can men use subtle treatments to look fresh, but not overly ‘done’?

I spoke to three experts to find out what the best tweaks for men are…

Ryan Gosling at the premiere of The Fall Guy at the SXSW Conference and Festival in March 2024 in Austin, Texas

Ryan Gosling at the premiere of The Fall Guy at the SXSW Conference and Festival in March 2024 in Austin, Texas


Botox works by dampening the activity of muscles and has become famous for removing wrinkles. And it can also prevent the corners of the mouth from drooping and alleviate the appearance of a tense, stringy-looking neck, both of which can happen naturally with age.

In women, Botox injections can be used to give the eyebrows a lift and arch, but this is not a trick to suit a man.

‘There are some things that are essential when treating female faces that we shouldn’t do when it comes to male faces,’ says Dr Sach Mohan of the Revere Clinics in London. ‘With Botox, raising the eyebrows will make a male face more feminine. We can also use the pricks to soften a square jaw. That’s good for women, but not for men.’

Dr. Raj Thethi, head of the Yorkshire Skin Center in Leeds, agrees. “I prefer to use less Botox on men,” he says. ‘It’s nice for men to have some lines and wrinkles when they move their face – it makes them look a little tougher.’

Botox costs from €300 per treated area of ​​the face.


Dermal fillers are injectable gels used to add volume to faces.

They are popular among women because they plump the lips, although too much will result in an exaggerated pout. Used carefully, they can soften the hollowness of an aging face – we naturally look thinner as we age.

While they can also enhance the contours of the cheekbones and jawline, too much filler will create a puffy, unattractive result derisively called “pillow face.”

‘Inexperienced injectors often don’t differentiate between what male and female faces need with filler,’ says Dr David Jack, who has clinics in London and Edinburgh. “This can produce strange results.”

“With men and fillers, we want to create more angles in the face that we associate with masculine characteristics,” adds Dr. Thethi.

‘That may mean widening the cheekbones while keeping the cheeks flat in the front. Adding too much volume looks too feminine.”

And if you’re an aspiring action hero, listen to this. “One of the biggest problems with actors playing action roles is that I’m competing with their personal trainers, who are only focused on their client’s body,” says Dr Mohan. ‘They may be using performance-enhancing supplements, which don’t mix well with fillers.

‘Products such as creatine [a muscle-boosting sports supplement] can cause fluid retention. If the fillers used are hyaluronic acid based, they can draw in water and cause a man’s face to swell.’

Filler treatments start from €500.


‘Treatments such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) reduce excess pigmentation and have become more popular among men,’ says Dr Jack, who uses them in the same way as women – to even out their skin tone.

IPL uses light rays that ‘shatter’ pigmented cells under the skin – brown age spots or the red of thread veins in the face. The resulting dirt is cleared away by the body’s immune system.

Ryan Gosling in 2016, promoting La La Land in Hollywood before landing a fuller gig of late

Ryan Gosling in 2016, promoting La La Land in Hollywood before landing a fuller gig of late

Radiofrequency microneedling – which resurfaces and tightens the skin – is popular with both men and women.

This is done using a pen-like device that makes hair thinning

needles in the skin. These then deliver radio frequency energy – a kind of heat – under the skin. Essentially, this causes damage that then heals as new, firmer skin.

If the needles are inserted deeper into the skin, they can destroy fat.

‘They are often the first treatments men undergo as they focus on improving mild scarring and skin tone, but do not cause dramatic changes,’ says Dr Mohan.

IPL costs from €300 per session. Radiofrequency treatment costs from €600 per session.


There are a range of treatments, administered via multiple injections, that stimulate the regeneration of collagen – a protein that provides structure and firmness to the skin – and elastin – which allows the skin to stretch. These are also unisex.

One of the most popular is the ‘injectable moisturizer’ Profhilo. The therapy involves injections of hyaluronic acid – the same substance used in many fillers, but in a much diluted concentration.

Then there are polynucleotides, which are injectable serums that contain fragments of DNA derived from salmon and trout sperm.

They both regenerate the skin without adding volume.

Polynucleotides and Profhilo cost around £500 per treatment.

Alice Hart-Davis is the founder of

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