So Botox. Botox, aka botulinum toxin, is a cosmetic procedure that a lot of people do to prevent wrinkles and fine lines in their face, simply put. Botox injections paralyze the muscles in the face so that those said lines and wrinkles can’t form/form deeper over time, which is exactly why Botox is also considered “preventative.”
My thoughts on it?
Aside from one quick test at a Botox press event back in like 2009, I tried Botox for the first time for realsies in 2015 (you can watch the video HERE). I went to Dr. Jessica Wu here in LA because I had known her for years and I knew that she would be conservative with the injections, and I would look natural (aka no frozen face please and thank you!). It was around that time when I first started noticing the dreaded crow’s feet lines and wrinkles around my eyes.
That’s why I decided to go for it – I’ve been doing Botox injections in the fine lines around my eyes ever since. Am I totally wrinkle free now? No, but that’s how I like it. I’m a big believer that your facial muscles need to move (at least a little bit!), and less is definitely more. Read below to find out more on the pros and cons of Botox 🙂
Botox Pros and Cons
Botox is FDA approved
Botox was approved for therapeutic use in 1989, and it was shortly after that that Allergan (owner of Botox) commenced clinical trials to study the treatment’s safety and efficacy for moderate to severe frown lines. And, according to the brand’s website, in 2002 “the FDA approved Botox as a temporary cosmetic treatment for moderate to severe frown lines in adults and requested the product be marketed as BOTOX Cosmetic to distinguish cosmetic from therapeutic uses.” It was the first treatment of its kind.
It honestly really does work, friends
Ask anyone who’s tried Botox and they will tell you, it’s legit. Truthfully, I wish I had started earlier in the preventative way since it’s a lot easier to prevent wrinkles than correct them.
It’s a quick procedure
Depending on how many areas you are treating, you can be in and out in as little as 15/20 minutes. For my crow’s feet, it never takes more than 20 for the entire office visit with Dr. Wu.
It’s not permanent
This could also be a con (more on that below), but for someone who isn’t sure Botox is right for them, or maybe you’re nervous it won’t look right, the fact that it does fade is a good thing. I get my fine lines treated about twice a year at this point, and hopefully it stays that way. Though it’s important to note that Dr. Wu has told me that as you age you do sometimes need to go more often.
There’s no downtime
When it comes to cosmetic procedures, sometimes you’ll be out of commission for days or even weeks – let’s not even talk about the time I tried a last treatment on my tech neck lines…I was red for almost a MONTH. With Botox, the only rule of thumb is really no vigorous exercise for the next few hours but you can otherwise do anything you want.
Possible side effects
Though rare, Botox can cause headaches and bruising at the injection site. For the record, I’ve only bruised one time in several years and it was fine by the next day. Then there’s also the “very rare” side effects of nausea, neck pain, allergic reactions, minor loss of speech, and eyelid or eyebrow ptosis. Again, these side effects are very rare and I don’t know anyone personally who has had any of these…not to say it doesn’t ever happen though.
Yeah, Botox ain’t cheap. You’ll likely be able to find “deal” but I highly recommend that you don’t do discount Botox. A good rule of thumb is that any doctor or aesthetician who is really, really good at injectables doesn’t need to put their services on sale. Sorry. Also, if you decide you want to start early and do preventative Botox, that total cost is going to be even higher.
We don’t really know what the future will hold
The fact of the matter is that Botox injections are relatively new. There aren’t any 80-year-olds walking around like “I’ve been doing Botox for 30 years and look at how good my face looks.” Even though Botox is FDA approved, we don’t really know what will be discovered down the line and it’s important to know that.
It’s not permanent
Like I mentioned earlier, the fact that Botox isn’t permanent could be both a pro and a con. The con of Botox not being permanent is really just the cost and, of course, the inconvenience of having to do the Botox injections several times a year.
This is honestly my biggest con out of all of the cons. I truly believe that “youthful” faces move and if you (or your injector) go a little too far, it’s really easy to get that frozen face look.
Have you ever seen a person and thought “they could be 45 or 65. I have no idea?” That’s it. That’s frozen face.
How does Botox work?
According to WebMD, Botox works to block signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can’t contract, and that then makes lines and wrinkles relax and soften in the face.
When to start getting Botox?
I kind of hate answering this question because it really a personal decision. That said, I do wish that I had started a little earlier as a bit of a preventative measure in my late twenties. I was 32 when I started.
Where to get Botox?
This is where I might get a little controversial. I really, really, really recommend that you see a board certified dermatologist for any cosmetic procedure. Especially for injectables like Botox or filler. I know, I know. A lot of people have found amazing aestheticians that they love. However, the way I look at it is this: it’s my face. I want the best of the best treating my face. And a derm is quite obviously a LOT more qualified to be doing cosmetic procedures.
Even if you do decide to ignore me (please don’t!), I do recommend always speaking with a doctor before you try any cosmetic procedure. (end rant)
Should you get Botox?
I would absolutely never tell anyone that they SHOULD get Botox, you know? It’s really a personal choice that every person needs to make for themself. That said, if you have crow’s feet or lines and wrinkles, Botox really will help.