To clear up any negative connotations that I and many other people may have with regards to Botox, I decided to try it out for myself. Why? So that if anyone asked me my opinion about this powerful neurotoxin, I would be able to speak from personal experience.
I am very scared of needles, especially ones near my face. I decided to trust our very own experts from Skin & Body Renewal. I have often been to them for treatments (laser hair removal, facial peels etc) and I know the doctors there are very professional and highly trained when it comes to performing these small cosmetic procedures. So off I went to meet Dr Bianca at the Cape Quarter branch for my first consultation. I explained to her I wanted the following:
She did all of the above. Dr Bianca was really amazing and made me feel totally comfortable with the procedure. She spoke me through the whole process and answered my questions (see the interview below). She advised that we go with half the amount of units that she usually would administer, as we can always add more if I’m not happy with the initial result.
We documented the process in pictures below:
1. Here I am, frowning before Dr Bianca is about to inject the Botox. Note the deep frown line.
2. I am lying on the bed and Dr Bianca is making the markings of where she is going to inject the Botox.
3. Dr Bianca injects the Botox. All I felt was a slight prick – so gentle, in fact, I asked if it was done yet. NOTE: I applied some numbing cream to the area 15 minutes prior to treatment. It clearly helped!
4. There was no downtime and I came straight back to work. All-in-all it took 30 minutes. There was slight redness but no one at the office even noticed I had something done. I covered it up with breathable foundation. The brand I used is called Oxygenetix. You can apply it post-treatment as it still allows the skin to breathe.
Price dependent on area treated.
It takes about two weeks to see results. Here I am trying to frown two weeks post-treatment. You can noticeably see that my frown line has been softened.
Who do you trust to administer these injections? How much is enough and is it dangerous? Dr Bianca from Skin & Body Renewal, answers some important questions:
1. What is Botox and where does it come from?
Botox is a neuromodulator – simply, it blocks the messages from nerve endings that tell muscles to contract. Botox is a neurotoxin made in a similar way to penicillin (however it is a smaller molecule thus less chance of people having bad reactions to it).
2. Does it cause any kind of damage to the muscle?
The effects of Botox are temporary and it does not cause permanent paralysis to the muscles.
3. How many types of Botox are there and which one should one ask for?
Botox is actually a brand in itself. The active ingredient is botulism toxin. There are two brands available in South Africa, Botox and Dysport. Both these brands have been approved by the FDA, and both are of a high quality and have dependable results.
4. How do you know if a doctor is certified to inject Botox?
A doctor does not need to be certified to inject Botox. By South African regulations, only medical doctors and dentists are allowed to inject Botox. It is always good to do some of your own research when choosing whom to go to. Word of mouth is often difficult, as many people are still private when it comes to talking about who does their Botox. Do not be shy to ask the doctor you go to about their experience as well as the training they have done. Ideally you want to be injected by somebody who performs these injections on a regular basis.
5. Can it be removed once injected?
No it cannot. However, Skin Renewal has developed some tricks to help decrease the duration of effect. Many “newbies” are very keen to try Botox but are also very nervous that they cannot reverse the effects if they do not like it. I usually recommend that they then start with a smaller number of units and if they are happy (which they always are!), then more units can be added.
6. Why is there a negative connotation to Botox?
People are afraid of the typical frozen “over Botoxed” face. To understand the history of Botox: when it was discovered for its effect on wrinkles, it opened up a new world of possibilities. The early injectors had to devise techniques and optimal dosages from scratch. People loved the dramatic improvement in their wrinkles and the over-corrected look. Thankfully the trend has changed as patients and doctors are favouring a more natural look. We are able to use established techniques with less Botox for a more individualized look. Also, with the developments in lasers, skin needling and threads, we are not just relying on Botox for a more youthful face.
7. How long does Botox last?
On average, 3 – 4months.
I became so comfortable with the process and wanted to explore more techniques with Dr Bianca, so I ventured onto fillers. READ here for my review.