The Big Beauty Podcast Part 2: Botox & Healthy Botox Alternatives, Liposuction, Hollywood’s “Devil Drug,” Popsicles, Vibrators, Non-Invasive Anti-Aging Protocols & Much More With Dr. Cameron Chesnut.

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Anti-aging, Podcast

I get a ton of questions about hair growth, grey hair, male and female pattern baldness (alopecia), skin beauty treatments, scar and stretch mark fixes, beauty “biohacks,” and beyond.

So I figured it was high time to get an expert on the show to unpack all of this. His name is Dr. Cameron Chesnut, and he joined me for the first part of this special ongoing beauty, anti-aging, and hair growth podcast series, which you can listen to at The Big Beauty Podcast: Anti-Aging, Hair Growth, Gray Hair, Baldness, Beauty Myths & Beauty Truths, Dermarolling vs. Microneedling, Scars & Stretch Marks, Testosterone, DHT & Much More With Dr. Cameron Chesnut.

Dr. Chesnut (who is also available for telemedicine consults here) and I have quite a history.

We've known each other since way back in our Ironman triathlon competition days, grew up in the same general region of Northern Idaho/Eastern Washington, and have recently reconnected as brothers with similar interests in fitness, health, nutrition, spirituality, biohacking, beauty, and beyond. Dr. Chesnut recently opened a brand-spankin' new biohacking facility in Spokane, WA called “ÔPTIM,” which is a fully comprehensive health optimization practice, combining a revolutionary blend of functional medicine and regenerative modalities in a way that offers you unparalleled wellness. (For 25% off ÔPTIM modalities, go here and use code GREENFIELD.)

Recently at a dinner, Dr. Chesnut was enlightening me on common myths and tips regarding hair growth (based on my recent project of growing out my hair, and potentially, magically sprouting a beard), and also showing me all the other cool toys they have at ÔPTIM, such as hormone optimization, cryotherapy, laser, and other photobiomodulation treatments, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments, hyperbaric oxygen, IV's stem cells, and beyond—so I figured we could geek out on a podcast.

So who is he, exactly?

Dr. Chesnut is recognized worldwide as a key opinion leader and innovator in both minimally invasive and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. He was fellowship-trained in cosmetic surgery, reconstructive plastic surgery, laser surgery, and Mohs micrographic surgery at UCLA, training in the most demanding cosmetic and surgical environments of Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Los Angeles.

His fellowship at UCLA featured a rigorous, full integration of plastic surgery, facial plastic surgery, oculoplastic surgery, and dermatologic surgery. Through this one-of-a-kind integration, Dr. Chesnut is a well-rounded and cross-pollinated surgeon. He has an unparalleled foundation of knowledge in skin cancer treatment, plastic reconstruction, and cosmetic surgery, as well as laser and aesthetic dermatology.

Dr. Chesnut is an international expert on both the art and science of facial aging, taking an approach that relies not just on surgery but addresses all aspects of aging. He loves to utilize this knowledge and skill of cosmetic surgery to improve the results of his skin cancer patients during their plastic reconstructions.

A leader in the fields of dermatologic and cosmetic surgery, Dr. Chesnut is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning speaker and has been invited by his peers to present throughout the world on numerous cosmetic and reconstructive topics. He is a regular contributor to the surgical literature, continues to author numerous book chapters, and has been recognized for his research and innovation in cosmetic surgery, lasers, and noninvasive treatments.

A native of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Dr. Chesnut has returned home to the Inland Northwest. He graduated with Honors from the University of Washington School of Medicine as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He completed his dermatology residency at UCLA where he was selected as the Chief Resident and subsequently was selected for the integrated Procedural Dermatology Fellowship, also at UCLA.

Outside of surgery, Dr. Chesnut enjoys active time with his wife, Aubree, and his children Torin, Tatum, and Callum. He is an avid surfer, passionate skier, loves beach volleyball, tennis, and playing on the river.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-What Ben and Cameron are having during the podcast…04:26

-The “laser cocktail” protocol Cameron did on Ben…05:40

  • Joovv
  • Clearlight sauna
  • Cameron subjected Ben to a “laser cocktail”
  • Used lasers to target various parts of skin
  • Targeted pigment and blood vessels in Ben's skin
  • Lasers are more powerful than things like red light therapy
    • Lasers and red light devices are different, have different effects
    • Laser has a fixed wavelength; determined by its medium
  • Different lasers have different targets (chromophores) in the skin, be it a pigment, blood vessel, collagen…
  • Last laser used creates microthermal zones; creates micropores that the PRP can get into
  • Used PRP at the end of the treatment
  • Vibrators are used to distract from the pain of injection
  • Cryohelmet Ben mentions; does cold therapy on the head, for migraines
  • Tranexamic acid is used after laser therapy to reduce redness, inhibit angiogenesis
    • Has also been used orally for women with heavy periods
    • In cosmetics and surgery, it is mixed with local anesthesia to increase hemostasis (ability to control bleeding)
    • Melasma
  • Procedures to request at the local clinic:
    • PRP for hair restoration
    • Lasers

-Why Botox is one of the first great anti-aging biohacks…15:00

  • Fillers are different than Botox; common area of confusion
  • Botox is one of the first true cosmetic biohacks
    • Low-level doses have hormetic benefits
      • Changes how our fibroblast reacts
      • Upregulates collagen synthesis
      • Effects on wound healing
    • Has multiple uses in medicine
  • Takes the face and makes it look like in repose
  • An injection lasts 3-4 months; a newer product is coming out that lasts a bit longer
  • It does not enter the central nervous system (CNS), a big concern, unlike its cousin tetanus

-Whether liposuction is safe…19:35


  • Liposuction is manually applying suction to remove fat; falls under the category of bodywork
  • Cool sculpting uses freezing to reduce fat
  • Popsicle panniculitis is also a means of losing fat
  • Cryotherapy is a conversion of fat into brown adipose tissue
  • Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF); part of the blood-clotting cascade
    • Used in surgeries, in operated areas and at the same time start the healing process
    • Holds PRP in

-The devil's drug…23:55

  • Accutane (Isotretinoin)
  • Has been used for acne; is a vitamin A derivative
  • Has evolved from acne medication to become a designer drug for anti-aging
  • Orally in small doses (topical until recently)
  • Some European soccer teams are using it to protect joint cartilage
  • Protects the degradation of type 2 collagen (collagen in cartilage)
  • Downsides of using Accutane:
    • Drying out the skin
    • It's a teratogen so don't use it during pregnancy
  • Aggressive treatment for acne uses the photosensitizing drug Perforin to penetrate oil glands before laser treatment
  • Red and blue light can also be used in combination with laser cocktails, has much better results
  • Blue light's effect on acne is by affecting the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes)
  • The Dietary Cure for Acne by Loren Cordain
  • Hormonal acne: mostly in the chin area, in young people with elevated hormone levels
  • Laser therapy on acne is permanent
  • There are more lasers for psoriasis than eczema
  • Laser therapy in general is out-of-pocket procedures, not insurance reimbursed

-Why most topicals for the face are ineffective…36:40

-What's hot in the world of beauty and anti-aging…40:02

  • Fillers and Botox are alternatives
  • “If you do not want to weaken those muscles, let's strengthen the skin”
  • Lasers are popular in Hollywood because they don't lose the natural look; high yield and very natural
  • Lasers physically reduce or erase wrinkles
  • Fillers (hyaluronic acid) work well as volume replacers but is a temporary solution; the enzyme hyaluronidase eventually breaks down Hyaluronic acid
    • Fillers are delivered via injection
    • Stimulates inflammation so people are avoiding using them
  • Fat transfer is a more permanent volume restoration solution
    • Borrowing fat from somewhere else; generally from below the belly button, flanks, thighs…
  • Simpler ways to do the procedures:
    • Radiofrequency (RF) micro-needling uses RF instead of light
      • Change the way collagen and elastin (key elements of our skin structure) react
      • The same idea as acupuncture with the needles electrified to target the muscular structure
  • Plasma pens: use helium plasma
  • All these devices actually deliver heat energy to targeted areas
  • A device that causes both tightening and elasticity is the holy grail in Cameron's field

-The story behind the 5C in Cameron's clinic name…50:30

-And much more!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Dr. Cameron Chesnut:

– Gear:

– Other Resources:

Upcoming Events:

Episode sponsors:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Cameron or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!


Ask Ben a Podcast Question


7 thoughts on “The Big Beauty Podcast Part 2: Botox & Healthy Botox Alternatives, Liposuction, Hollywood’s “Devil Drug,” Popsicles, Vibrators, Non-Invasive Anti-Aging Protocols & Much More With Dr. Cameron Chesnut.

  1. Susanne says:

    Hi, I enjoyed listening to this podcast. Following on with some skin questions, I have a very large tattoo on my back which I am trying to get removed with Laser. Unfortunately I am not being very successful. Any recommendations on alternative treatments/ procedures? TIA

  2. BD says:

    Hi Ben, I love your show. I never comment, but I feel I have to for this episode. Your guest sort of glossed over the negative side effects of Accutane. I must say this is a very dangerous drug. It’s main side effect is _suicidal depression_. It had to be taken off the market in the 90s because so many kids committed suicide after taking it. And there,but for the grace of God, go I. I was prescribed it as a teen back then and I almost didn’t make it. It ruined my life for years afterwards. I have never heard the name “the devil’s drug”, but I would say it is appropriate. That shit is _evil_, and I would absolutely never have anything to do with it. I am shocked to hear that people are experimenting with it as a recreational biohack. Stay away.

  3. Cat says:

    Also worth mentioning that fillers do not go away totally.. studies show that they are present in the face years after application – but often move! They can be great, but young ppl that don’t need them, shouldn’t be using them – or they will find the need to have injections to disperse what they spent thousands on in a few years time. In the lips it’s worse – the injections damage the lips and kids end up with filler seeping into the skin around the upper lip etc.

  4. Rupes says:

    Great podcast! Very keen to hear more…
    Would love to hear about the pros/cons of Threading (thread lifts)… Is it safe long term? Worth it? Better treatments?
    Thanks!

  5. Tanya says:

    Hey Ben, I was intrigued by this subject, but want to share my Botox story. Two years ago I had a vanity Botox injection between my eyebrows, done by a nurse practitioner. Within 48 hours I was in the ER, and now almost exactly two years later I’m still struggling with persistent daily headache and migraine, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, heart palpitations, drop attacks and anxiety. Not one doctor I saw would validate what happened to me, each one saying I had anxiety. I have literally lived with a headache every day of my life since that injection. Finally my current neuro says she thinks it must have gone into my bloodstream. That one injection literally trashed my CNS- I went from a normal woman to a complete fight or flight disaster. Through this process I’ve learned that tens of thousands of people have had horrific reactions to Botox and have been invalidated like I was.

    In a cruel twist of fate, my neuro is now telling me that the only cure for my headaches is a Botox injection into my SCM.

    1. Cat says:

      Horrific story – so sorry to hear this. Truly hope you find a way forward and hopefully resolve the issue in time… Thankfully I have not had anything so dreadful happen from botox aside from a misfire into one of my muscles under my chin that caused me to have a lopsided smile for a few months.
      Even now there is a bit of stiffness from it – and the injection was over a year ago.
      So it’s taught me that the effects of botox on muscles can last long after it is supposed to wear off.. I’m not convinced it’s completely temporary.
      I haven’t stopped using botox, I just make sure I only inject around the eyes, and forehead, use a smaller than recommended amount, and employ someone extremely experienced (qualified doctor and cosmetic surgeon).
      It’s no guarantee, but because of these issues, I too wish there were a safer alternative..

  6. Chris lemp says:

    What is the most effective safe way to combat rosacea? Is the long term use of doxycycline safe to treat rosacea?

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