To botox or not to botox? This seems to be the oh so touchy subject that most women are uncomfortable talking about or admitting too. After years of working in the cosmetic industry mostly with a plastic surgeon, I have come to understand that most people have the completely wrong idea about what botox does, how it works and that getting botox does not mean you are going to walk out of the office looking like an overdone Beverly Hills housewife whose face is half frozen to death. Now yes there are women who take fillers and botox way too far, but botox is meant to make you look rested, rejuvenated and help reduce those fine lines that make us appear much older than we actually are. I don’t know why there can be just a bad stigma or judgment around the subject. I am here to tell you that I get botox every 4 months or so and if someone feels like judging, it is most likely because they are not educated on the subject. I get asked questions regarding botox and fillers constantly and hopefully, I can help answer some questions for you and help give you accurate information.
Frozen Or Natural?
Women tend to think that Botox will turn them into a version of Joan Rivers immediately. That is not the case, as long as you treat conservatively. Yes, Botox CAN have the ability to give you that frozen look, which some women love. However, Botox can be as natural or as frozen as you want. This comes down to how much product is being used. Botox goes by “units”. Units are the dosages of botox being used. Some practitioners suggest something called “decade dosing”. That is 10 units for however many decades you are old. For example, if you are 30 years old, they might suggest 30 units. However, I think it varies from person to person. The doctor I worked for suggested anywhere from 8-20 units in the forehead or crows feet and 5-10 units in those bunny lines near the nose. If you go to a doctor or nurse and give them the “do whatever you think is best” thing, then they tend to do a heavier dose. Always let your practitioner know if you want MOVEMENT and a conservative amount.
It Is Easier To Prevent Than Rewind
So when should you start Botox? Some people say the earlier the better. I tend to agree. Even if it is a very small amount here and there. The reason is Botox can be and should be used preventatively. It is much easier to prevent than to rewind the clock. That has been the biggest beauty lesson I have learned in cosmetics. Don’t wait for the problem to become major before starting to treat. Once you start to see those fine lines creep in, start treatment. The majority of wrinkles are caused by repetitive movement of certain muscles. Botox limits those expressions by relaxing the muscle to prevent wrinkles from happening or becoming worse. I would see clients who would wait until they had VERY deep and defined wrinkles and it was much harder to get those to then reduce at that point. I know Botox can be pricey and it’s not feasible for everyone to start getting Botox the second they see one fine line creep up. I started earlier than most, at the age of 26. I had premature wrinkles on my forehead at a younger age than most and was very self-conscious especially when makeup would start to settle in those lines throughout the day. Ain’t nobody needs that.
How Long Does It Last? How Expensive?
Botox lasts for most people about 3-4 months. It all depends on how quickly your body metabolizes the product. It can last as long as 6-8 months for some or as little as 2 months for those unlucky few. In Los Angeles, Botox can range anywhere from $10-$17 a unit. Some people only like to be injected by a plastic surgeon and that will be much more expensive. Especially if they are in Beverly Hills.
Is Botox Unsafe?
Most people do not know that Botox has been researched for over 100 years now. I hear people say all the time “Botox has not been around long enough, we don’t know the reaction it will have in 30 years.” FALSE. Botox has been cleared for decades for many therapeutic reasons including neurological disorders. MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REALIZE IS BOTOX IS NOT REGULATED. This means people who are not well trained or qualified are able to inject. Make sure you are getting treated by a qualified practitioner.
Does It Need To Be A Doctor Injecting Me?
Not necessarily. There are many amazing Nurses and Dermatologists that are great injectors. Now I will say that there are waaayyyyyyyy too many people injecting that should NOT be in my opinion. AGAIN, as I mentioned above, BOTOX IS NOT REGULATED. I’m sorry but a dentist doing Botox is not ok. If I am going to be getting injected in my face, it needs to be done by someone who this is WHAT THEY DO. Not someone who ordered the product because they can under their license, and do it here and there because they simply want to be able to offer it in their practice. Usually, if they are a plastic surgeon, registered aesthetic nurse or dermatologist, they have gone under certain training, palette classes and have certain qualifications. They have a different level of experience. It seems now that everyone is trying to offer the service. That scares me. As far as the difference in seeing a nurse or doctor, if you are getting injected in “off label areas” which is a medical term for specialized areas, that needs to be done by a doctor.
If I Start Now Will I Be Committed Forever?
Absolutely not. One of the most common myths is that if you start doing Botox and then all of a sudden need to save some cash, or get pregnant or life happens and you need to take some time off from Botox, that the lines will become so much worse and your face will basically fall off. NOT TRUE. Even if you are pretty consistent with your Botox treatment for years and then take some time off, your body will age naturally. Just as it would if you never got Botox in the first place. Botox is not some insane commitment. Most people who are consistent with Botox get it every 3-5 months, however, some people get it just once a year. Some take a year or two off. Of course, if you want to always be wrinkle and fine line-free, you will be more consistent, but just because you start Botox, DOES NOT MEAN IF YOU STOP YOU ARE SCREWED. It ain’t that serious kids.
Fun Places For Botox
Most people think of Botox as just a fix for fine lines and wrinkles. However, there are other fun things Botox can help improve. For example, I would have many clients who were very self-conscious about their “gummy” smile. Botox injected around that upper lip, gum area can help reduce the upper lip from curling up so much when you smile, then reducing the amount of gum you see.
If you have been thinking about getting any lip filler but are too scared to take the plunge, injecting about a small number of units above your upper lip will help raise the lip just a tad by flipping out the lip line giving you a little more of that sexier pouty look.
People also will inject a few units at the base of their nose to help lift the tip or make it so their nose does “drop” when they talk or smile. This is popular with people who are on camera often. Putting a touch of Botox at the base of the nose can also potentially raise the nasal tip, creating a more “rhinoplasty-like result.”
Our masseter muscles are those jaw muscles on the side of our lowe face. Putting Botox in those muscles helps atrophy the muscle a bit causing your jaw to look more slim and defined. To do this it does take quite a bit of product so can be a pricier treatment. This also is an incredible treatment for people who struggle with TMJ. It is an incredible treatment for that alone.
Injecting a bit of Botox precisely into a certain muscle surrounding the eye can raise the tail of the eyebrow allowing the brow to lift slightly. This can help you to look more awake and the eye more open. This also helps with mild eyelid droopiness.