Disclaimer : The following is a post on my Botox experience. With pictures of me and my highly unflattering mug! I want to say that I was not sponsored nor paid to do this post. All views are my own opinion. Seek a professional to get advice if you are considering Botox. This is not a comprehensive guide for Botox. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me and I shall try and answer them as best I can. I am not currently practising Botox in Australia due to legislation – but I foresee that will change very soon. And when that happens, bring on the Botox!!
Around 5 years ago, I went for a Botox course so that I could administer Botox. Many people often think it is weird that a dentist would do Botox – but why not? Dentists use needles every day to administer local anaesthetic and we have a good eye for aesthetics. I always like to test things out on myself so that I can gain a better understanding of the experience and explain it better, e.g. I had my healthy upper wisdom teeth removed for research purposes – read all about it here. To date, I have had Botox on my forehead about 8-10 times and I have administered Botox to many clients – in fact, my first client was a 29-year-old man!
About Botulinum Toxin
- Botulinum toxin commonly known by the trade name Botox (Vitabel manufactured by Allergan, Inc.), is a protein produced by the neurotoxic bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
- Botulinum toxin blocks neuromuscular transmission i.e. paralyses and weaken muscles for a period of time
- Uses : Cosmetic, sweating, chronic migraines, muscle spasms
- Did You Know? When advertising the fact that you can offer Botox in your clinic, it is illegal to use the word “Botox” in your ads. (However, for this post, I will use the word Botox)
Botox For Cosmetics
For this post, I am concentrating on Botox for cosmetic use on the upper third of the face – wrinkle-free forehead and no frown lines. The muscles to target for these areas are the frontalis, procerus and corrugator. Botox can also be used to target crow’s feet.
Back in 2007, I was taught that Botox was used for the upper third of the face and dermal fillers for the rest. However, since then, there have been changes and, it is not uncommon for Botox to be used on the jaw line to slim down the face.
Botulinum toxin is provided in powder form and requires saline to make it into a solution. It’s actually quite fragile so there’s no vigorous shaking but a gentle rolling to make the solution. The needles used for Botox administration are of the diabetic variety and the needle is small (in comparison to dental needles).
It is important to have a detailed consultation with the professional. You may have a medical condition which contraindicates Botox administration, e.g. pregnancy. They must advise you of the side effects and risks involved, e.g. bruising, bleeding, droopy eyelids, wonky eyebrows, etc. (My friend (the one in the handbag story) gave her mother a droopy eyelid which wore off after a few weeks. She is going to kill me for telling you all this. Thank God she doesn’t read my blog!)
How Much Is Botox?
That is what you will have to find out yourself as every clinician charges a different price. But it is not cheap.
Note : The course is not cheap. The annual insurance is not cheap.
Too Young For Botox?
When I told people that I had Botox, they would say “But you’re too young! You don’t need it!” I just ignore them. They don’t know what they are talking about. Although I am still young-ish (I am 31+), I frown a lot subconsciously and I have a permanent frown line. I would advise using Botox before wrinkles form into lines. Prevention is the key! Once a wrinkle forms, you can’t cure it, but you can prevent it from deepening further – and that is why I recommend Botox.
I do, however, feel weirded out by the mum who allegedly injects Botox into her 7-year-old daughter!!!
Is Botox Painful? Will there be blood?
Some clients are really scared of pain from the needles and in such cases, you can apply topical anaesthetic cream, Emla cream, 15-20 minutes before the procedure. But having undergone it myself, it is nothing. It’s like a pinch. This is because the needle used is very fine and short. When I get injected, it doesn’t hurt but it’s only when the Botox solution is injected that I felt the fluid and it felt a bit weird. And it will not hurt if the clinician uses a new needle for every new injection site. Blunt needles hurt so much! (How do I know? My friend practised on me…and would not change needles! DAMN HER!!!)
Popping a zit is more painful. And I am sure childbirth is worse!
As for bleeding, everyone varies. But it’s not like major blood loss. Or it shouldn’t be.
1. A detailed medical history will be taken. You will have your consultation and any risks and side effects will be explained to you. Informed consent is required before continuing.
2. Topical anaesthetic is applied if required.
3. Areas to be injected will be marked lightly with an eyeliner pencil. You will be asked to frown, smile, raise your eyebrows – this is to see where your muscles are. Some (in)experienced clinicians will do this free-hand. I would err on the side of caution and triple-check injection sites.
4. As mentioned earlier, I was taught to use a different needle for each injection site. This makes it more comfortable for the receiver (because the needle will go blunt easily)…but also, makes it easier to inject as each area requires different amounts of solution.
5. Blood will be wiped away. A review appointment will be made. Don’t forget to pay on your way out!
And then there’s a particular brand of make-up which was recommended..and I can’t remember what that is…Sorry!
After-care includes applying ice-pack to areas, taking paracetamol if required and not flying for 24 hours (But guess who got on a plane? Me! Did anything happen? Nah! Thank God!). You are also encouraged to frown for the rest of the day (perhaps to get the solution to circulate?)
The thing about Botox is that it is not immediately effective. It takes up to 2 weeks for it to take full effect. Yes, even for freshly brewed Botox solution. You may or may not notice a difference the next day but don’t get worried. The magic will happen and then you can say bye bye to your wrinkly forehead.
I would routinely review my clients at 2 weeks after their initial Botox administration. Sometimes, they need top-ups especially if they have strong resistant muscles. (My frowning muscles are super-strong and I needed to top-up twice the last time I had it!)
So botulinum toxin has a few manufacturers. It’s like how mineral water has many different brands. I have used both Dysport and Vistabel on myself and on others. Which ones do I prefer? Personally, Dysport. I “feel” it is more potent. But then again, maybe it was the skills of the clinicians who injected me. Four people have injected me (one of them was myself! Do not try this at home!!!)
How Long Does Botox Last?
Varies in different people, but typically 3-6 months. But the more you do it, the weaker the muscle becomes and so, frequency is less.
I am so sad. My forehead has been alive for over 15 months now! I need my next fix! Anyone…??
After 2 weeks of getting Botox injected, my forehead is as smooth as a baby’s bum and my eyebrows are more arched and raised. Yet, I can still raise them like I used to minus the forehead horizontal lines. Some people get confused and think that your forehead is totally frozen but it’s not (when done tastefully) – you can still do expressions and you should not look permanently surprised! Although, you might not be able to show anger by frowning. Try as you might, but you should not be able to frown. Your forehead will feel tight. I just love that feeling! I frown a LOT and my frowning muscles are very strong – which also means that I get less migraines and headaches.
Botox And Dermal Fillers
By the way, I am also a dermal filler person too. I did my dermal filler course before my Botox course. If you are keen, I can do a post on that. Although I don’t have pictures of myself. Damn those days when camera phones were inadequate!
But Botox should be done before fillers. It makes sense if you think about it. In simple terms, freeze first and then fill the remainder.
To Tell Or Not To Tell Your Friends?
My advice is don’t tell anyone.
The problem with telling your friends is that they will judge you. Guys will pooh pooh the idea. Jealous girls will be like, “Uh, I would never do Botox!” – yeah, WHATEVER! Get out of my face you wrinkly freak! (I’m only kidding btw! I asked my Mum to let me Botox her and she refused and said I shouldn’t do it to myself.)
And then some girlfriends will accept it and may even show interest. That’s what happened to my girl-friend who begged me to Botox her. Hello? YES, of course!!! In fact, it was good for me to practise on someone!! (Dear Girl-Friend (she reads this blog BTW), the first time I injected you, I was peeing my pants! Thank God you didn’t have a wonky eye!)
Warning : All of your friends will ask you to frown. And you will try and frown hard just to demonstrate you can’t frown. Don’t do it! Remember, you are trying to not use the frowning muscle. Let it rest in peace. Because in your attempt to frown, you won’t be able to…but you will be using other muscles to compensate and you may cause fine lines elsewhere. (Hint : Look at Kyl*e and N*cole’s noses…there’s something funny going on there…’bunny scrunchies’ – long story…but they are compensating…)
Before And After Pictures Of Botox
This was taken within 24 hours after I was injected (on the plane!) – and as you can see, the Botox has started to work and the lines are already not as deep.
This is 2 weeks after Botox. And what you can see is
my ugly mug the arched eyebrows and how it opens up my eyes and makes them look bigger. My forehead is tighter. I can also still raise my eyebrows further but it doesn’t have those lines anymore. When I try and frown, I will retain this frown-less expression. To show anger, I turn my eyes into small slitty eyes.
After 3-4 months, eyebrows will slowly start to droop again and fine lines will form again as the Botox wears off. Until one day, you will wake up and scream out because your forehead is alive again!
I know that Botox gets a lot of bad press – mainly from the over-Botoxed celebs – I shall not name and shame them (*cough* Kyl*e *cough* N*cole *cough* M*donna). But that’s the thing…Botox seems to be a buzz word which everyone uses to describe celebs who have a frozen face…but sometimes, it’s not Botox but it’s a brow-lift or a face-lift!
Having had Botox myself and doing Botox to clients, I really love the results. And no, not everyone looks like plastic surgery freaks! In fact, your friends and family may notice something different about you…but they may not be able to put their finger on it, as when done tastefully, the results of Botox are subtle, yet amazing.
I would love to try Botox for my armpits (to stop excessive sweating) and for my calves (to slim these big mamas down). And try it on my jaw line too. Just because I want to know what it feels like. I know I’m weird! If there are any Melbourne Botox clinics reading this, call me, yeah!
Wikipedia on botulinum toxin
Allergan on Botox
Over to you… Botox – yay or nay? Which celeb do you think has the worst Botox? Where do people get Botox done in Melbourne? No dodgy Botox places need apply. And most importantly, when can dentists start giving Botox to foreheads in Australia? Faster, faster!