Is it just me, or does Botox seem like a super taboo topic to talk about? Oh well, I’m going to do it anyway. I’ve now been getting Botox for about four months (just had my second injection), and I’m excited to share my experience in hopes that it helps you decide if it’s right for you too. Keep in mind: I’m not a doctor; this is just my personal experience.
Deciding to Get Botox for the First Time
I’ve always looked pretty young, but just before my 30th birthday, horizontal lines began to appear on my forehead seemingly overnight. How did my face know I was about to start the next decade of my life?! I tried expensive anti-aging creams and no-needle fillers, but it was impossible for me to stop wrinkling my forehead without even realizing, so basically nothing worked. Finally, after months of thinking about it, I decided to take the plunge.
Finding the Right Med Spa
First things first, you have to decide where you’ll go for this simple procedure. For me, it made sense to visit the med spa attached to my OB-GYN. Something about being in a doctor’s office just made the whole experience feel more legit and medically sound. I’m sure there are tons of places that do a great job as well, but I’m happy I stuck with the med spa approach.
I’d also recommend skipping out on Groupons and deals, and only choose a provider with good reviews on sites like Yelp. In my pre-injection polling and cursory Google searches, I heard of many women who had negative experiences. A nail tech at my nail salon mentioned a plastic surgeon who injected way too many units in her crows feet to the point she couldn’t close her eye; a lady sharing her experiences online talked about a time her eyebrows turned Spock-like; and we’ve all seen those expressionless women on shows like Botched.
For me, it was important to find a place I could trust and a place I could keep coming back to for future treatments. I’d consider getting Botox to be like getting a tattoo or a major surgery — it’s better to spend a little more for high quality work than save and end up looking like a mannequin.
Questions I Asked During My Consultation
After hearing and reading about all the potential horror stories, I was definitely a bit freaked out during my Botox consultation. However, I also knew plenty of women who had great experiences, so I knew I wanted to feel it out. I was immediately more comfortable after seeing the wrinkle-less foreheads of all the women who worked at the med spa. They all still had expressions, after all! But I still had quite a few questions, and here’s what I learned:
- Botox doesn’t actually fill in any lines; it blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles so they can no longer contract. Over time, this causes the lines to soften, but it’s not a quick fix or magic bullet.
- Botox takes two weeks to take full effect. Again, not a quick fix.
- The Spock eyebrow thing actually can happen, and luckily, it’s fixable if it does. You just have to go back after two weeks and get a touch up to bring the muscles back down where they need to be. This luckily didn’t happen to me, but I still had to ask.
- The key is to use enough Botox to work but not too much that you lose all movement in your face. Being expressionless was another fear of mine, so I was happy to find out the RN at my med spa took the less-is-more approach when it came to the number of units.
My First Injection
After speaking with the RN who administers the injections, I decided to go ahead with the treatment the same day as my consultation. I needed 17 units in 8 injection sites on my forehead and between my eyebrows. Although I only went in for my horizontal forehead lines, I learned that you also have to do between your eyebrows, or you risk the muscles in your forehead pushing downward and causing other undesirable effects.
I was pleased to find the procedure really didn’t hurt. Because they use insulin needles, it’s almost just like a light bee sting. Super easy! The whole process took just a few minutes and cost $12 per unit — $204.
After the treatment, there really isn’t much you can’t do except for these two things:
- The RN mentioned I shouldn’t lay down in the first 4 hours; it’s important to keep your face upright to ensure everything sets correctly.
- She also mentioned not to work out in the first 24 hours; I assume this is because you don’t want the Botox to metabolize too quickly.
My face was a little red around my injection sites for about an hour, and for maybe 10 minutes there were little bumps there too. Overall, still pretty easy and painless. I didn’t have any bruising either, although I heard that can happen.
The First Week Post-Injection
The day after my treatment, I started to feel the Botox taking affect. Unfortunately, this meant a slight headache for almost a full week. It wasn’t unbearable by any means, but just generally annoying. I’m not a big pain killer person, so I took Turmeric a few times a day, and this seemed to help with the headaches. (Side note: Turmeric is a miracle substance. I keep capsules in my purse and take it for just about everything.)
I was also OBSESSED with looking in the mirror. I found myself worrying about my face changing right before everyone’s eyes. But honestly, I don’t think anyone could notice any change. I just eventually started to notice how I could no longer wrinkle my forehead. Amazing!
Two Weeks Post-Injection
This is when the Botox is at its strongest; it’s taken full effect and hasn’t really started to metabolize yet. For me, my headaches were gone at this point, and while I couldn’t wrinkle my forehead at all, I still had expressions. My eyebrows were also right where I left them. Officially, this is when I became hooked, so I of course told all my girlfriends. We laughed about the non-movement in my forehead. Overall, it’s a success!
The Next Few Months
Over the next few months, things are still going great. The horizontal lines in my forehead aren’t 100% gone, but they’re very softened and barely visible. Right around the 90-day mark, I start to notice a little movement coming back, so I make my next appointment.
My Second Injection
At just about 100 days after my initial injection, I head back to the med spa for my second. This time, the RN uses the same amount of units in the same injection sites, although she tells me she may switch it up a little next time. Again, it’s a super painless procedure, and to my surprise, no headaches at all this time around. The cost is also only $9 per unit ($153 total) due to a special my med spa runs where you get a discounted rate if you come back within 110 days. Overall, another great wrinkle-less success!
Have you had Botox? What’s your experience been like?