Goodbye 11s, bye crow’s feet, and all other wrinkles, I am not going to miss you. Is it worth getting Botox? Especially considering price, risks and … oh well .. aging with grace. I had those doubts and many others, but I kissed Botox and I liked it. I know this is a divisive topic, especially among people who do not need it yet.
I will share my experience, some tips, and I have some general info that you probably know (but in case someone does not).
What is Botox?
As you know Botox® is a drug with many uses, including temporary smoothing of facial wrinkles and improving appearance (such as a temporary eye lift).
Botox® is the name of a drug, a brand. But we use the name Botox to refer to all drugs used with similar purposes.
About 6 years ago I decided to try it. I did not have deep wrinkles, but I had very well marked 11s and some craw’s feet when I smiled. The 11’s or glabella were my main concern, because I look tired or angry.
Botox and I
Let me start by saying that I am not a frequent Botox user, in part because I have not needed it as much yet, that of course is changing. I had wanted to try it, so when I saw a Groupon a few years back, I bought it. Since then I have had Botox 4 times (2 Botox, 2 Xeomin), and I liked the results.
A Botox virgin: First time Botox
It was a Groupon, but it was done by a gynecologist in a posh spa. I bought 20 units to use in my glabella, AKA my 11s. The results lasted for almost 9 months, it was the longest lasting Botox for me. As you know, the effects of Botox usually last from 3 to 6 months. The pain level was minimal, the doctor was lovely and the whole experience was nice. But I still had doubts if I will do it again.
Experienced user: emergency doctor
About a year after my first experience I decided to have Botox again. This time I did it with an emergency doctor who was making extra money in his free time. The results were very good, but they only lasted about 4 months. Again 20 units in my glabella. While the doctor was putting the injections he explained to me the points that he needed to inject and showed me a picture. This was also a good experience.
Third time, good Botox wrong place
By now I am an “expert” Botox user. Almost a year after the last treatment I got another Groupon. This time I got a special with a nurse practitioner in a dermatologist’s office. It was not Botox, but Xeomin, a similar substance from a different maker. I noticed that this nurse was not putting the injections in the same place as the previous doctor, as a matter of fact they were totally off the glabella.
I waited for a week and my forehead was immobilized, but not the glabella. I did not have wrinkles on the forehead, so it was useless. I called the place and I went back to have more injections at no extra charge. This time she used Botox instead of Xeomin. I told her that she was using different points than my previous doctors, she explained a lot of things to me that sounded like nonsense. Nothing happened again, I think she put the injections in the wrong place. Needless to say a disappointed experience and a waste of $200.
Fourth time: low price and a small laughing problem
Medical spa in a foreign country. The owner and her son (a nurse and a doctor respectively) run the place. They did not use Botox, but a similar substance. I was nervous, very nervous, but the place was highly recommended by a local friend who gets her “Botox” there. The young doctor applied the Botox. I needed to buy the whole bottle for $300, so I got “Botox” everywhere. The upper face looked good, the corners of my lips which are a little droopy turned up almost immediately after the injections. I love having less lines around my eyes, no 11s, smooth forehead etc. My husband told me I looked ten years younger.
But as the substance did its job, it usually takes 3 to 5 days to really settle in, I had a bad result. I could not laugh the same way as before, it was a bit funny, nothing terrible, but not desirable.
This result lasted only three months. I am grateful that the problem was small, however I can only imagine how I will feel with a droopy eye or something similar. This experience thought me that the lower face is very complicated and if I wanted to have Botox done there I needed to go to a highly trained local professional.
Facing the risks
Botox and similar products do not have a lot of risks. To get the substance in the wrong places is one of them. Droopy eye (because the substance moved from forehead, 11s or around the eyes) and infections are another risk, but most practitioners will make sure to use sterile instruments. Most of the risks can be avoided by going to a trained professional with a good reputation.
Too little, watch for this
As a patient I also want to make sure that the practitioner does not dilute the substance more than recommended. Botox comes in glass and it needs to be diluted. The patient pays by the unit so the more it is diluted the cheaper the cost for the doctor. The more it is diluted the shorter the results will last. Some doctors will mix the Botox in front of the patient, but others will have it ready. This is tricky.
More Botox for me? Yes please
I may try Botox again, but this time I will do only my 11s and maybe crow’s feet. I want to do it to prevent wrinkles more than to cancel my current expression lines. I will go to a good place, but I probably will not go to a doctor, the price difference where I lived is too large (2X). A nurse can do a good job. I have friends who go to nurses and get good results.
Should you have Botox?
Frankly other than the price, I think it is a great treatment. However the long term effects are not known yet.
Tips if you decide to have Botox
- Too many celebs have used too much Botox and it does not look good. Less is better than more.
- Experience is important. Try to go to a place with good reputation. Botox requires someone who knows how to apply it to create the best effect. For example the Botox in the glabella (11s) can give a light eye lift, which looks nice. Also experience will spare mistakes like my crooked smile or worse.
- Groupon. There are many places giving discounts and I have used them, but it can be risky. My third time proves that.
- Botox is cheaper in competitive areas such as New York City.
- Xeomin and Dysport are other well-known brands approved in the USA; in Canada and other countries there are more brands. These brands tend to be cheaper than Botox and the results tend to be similar and they last almost the same time.
- Some expert think that the use of these substances can prevent more wrinkles in the areas treated, because they are not moving.
- A few people who use the product too often may develop resistance and they will require larger amounts.
- Some people think that they can prevent wrinkles by using Botox and they start to use it in their 20s or 30s. There is no evidence yet, but I think it could be true.
Are you looking to try Botox or do you have an experience to share, let me know in the comments below.
Photos: Woman photo created by Nensuria