In my experience, dermatologists and plastic surgeons are almost too honest. You go in for your mole check and leave worried about your jowls. You ask for some Botox in your forehead and somehow get sold on lip injections. But, I figure, they’re trained to have a hypercritical eye that comes from a medical perspective. (Not quite the same as when your grandma grabs your love handles at Thanksgiving and notes how “well-fed” you are.) Which is why I assumed that the before-and-after photos in medical offices would also be held to the most critical standards.

But after coming across some photos on a doctor’s Instagram account that made me question the authenticity of the results, and after talking with other pros in the beauty industry who were also skeptical of too-good-to-be-true transformations, I reached out to board-certified dermatologist Robert Anolik, MD, and plastic surgeon Sachin Shridharani, MD, to ask: Should patients blindly trust before-and-afters?