“Guys, I’m getting botox”, I announced to the team.
The response was a mix of shock (but you don’t have that many wrinkles), curiosity (OMG, you have to tell me everything about it) and jealousy (I’ve been wanting botox since foreverrr).
While my younger, I’ll-never-get-wrinkles self, would have been against getting botox, this new post-30s self thinks a little differently. Did those crows feet just become more pronounced? Are those angry little 11s between my brows looking more… angry? What even is “aging gracefully” anyway?
In the name of journalism and vanity, I took one for the team and headed to Privee Clinic in Sydney’s Bondi Junction to have the pro, Natalie Abouchar, botox me up (in the most natural way possible).
So, if you have ever been curious about botox, read on… Here are eight things you should know.
So, after some initial research, you’ve decided you reeeeally want anti-wrinkle injections. Now you need to find someone you can trust—not just any old schmoe you’ve found online. It goes without saying that you don’t want to run any risks when it comes to someone sticking needles in your face, so make sure you go to a pro. Anti-wrinkle injections must be administered by a Registered Nurse or a Doctor, so find one who has a lot of experience and whose work you like the look of (like Natalie Abouchar who is a RN with 15 years experience).
You don’t need to do anything in particular to the skin before the treatment, but Natalie recommends to “avoid fish oils, anti-coagulants and anti-inflammatory medications prior to treatment to reduce the risk of bruising.”
Okay, okay, you are getting needles injected into your face, but on the scale of one to pain, this ranks fairly low (depending on your pain tolerance of course). It’s like a little sting every time the needle goes in, but it’s minor and goes away very quickly. You may end up with small red marks on your face afterward, but they aren’t that obvious.
According to Natalie (use actually uses the brand Dysport, not botox), the results will start to kick in after three to four days with full results at about 10 to 14 days. I spent the first night trying not to make any facial expressions for fear of it setting in a weird way (which, FYI isn’t a thing). However, like clockwork, I could see the difference in my face three days after the treatment. No more crows feet! No more angry 11s! Needless to say, I was pleased. And to answer your questions: Yes, I could actually smile normally. No, I couldn’t actually frown (which was really weird and the topic of many conversations).
A great excuse for ditching the gym that evening, it’s recommended you avoid vigorous exercise after the treatment. You should also avoid anything active on the treated area for 48 hours which includes facials, massage, laser, waxing and rubbing the area.
Botox and Dysport can last up to five months, which is a good cost to time ratio in my books. Natalie recommends a top-up treatment at the three to four month mark to keep the wrinkles at bay.
There can be a few side effects to getting botox and everyone is a bit different. You may get some redness, minor swelling and bruising from the injections (not from the actual anti-wrinkle injections), however this shouldn’t last too long. A mild headache on the day of the treatment can sometimes occur too.
If too much product is used in the forehead, your brow can drop and look heavy or an eyelid ptosis can occur. This is quite rare and only temporary, but, if you’re dealing with a pro, this shouldn’t happen at all.
It’s true, when you think of botox, you think of those freaky frozen faces you’ve seen on TV, buuuut it doesn’t actually have to look like that. According to Natalie, “it all depends on how many units are injected and how strong the person’s muscles are. Everyone is slightly different.”
The treatment can be tailored to the person’s individual needs, so whether you want a natural look (like I did), or to look more frozen, it’s really up to you.
I’m all in on this botox thing. I think it’s a great way to prevent future wrinkles and I loved how it reduced my lines in a fairly natural looking way. You wouldn’t even know I had anti-wrinkle injections by looking at me… Except that I tell every person who will listen that I got it done.
Yes, it’s not cheap (my treatment would typically cost around $650), but for how long it lasts and the results, it’s something I could look at factoring into my budget… Fewer big nights out, perhaps?
Image credit: Federica Portentoso