Why do it?
If you’ve laughed or cried in the past decade you’ll have lines to show for it.
There are 42 muscles in the face, which move with each expression you make. With years of stretching, pulling, frowning etc, the skin starts to develop fine lines which, if ignored will turn into deeper lines and then you’ll need to start worrying about fillers and collagen induction therapy.
Is it safe?
Administered by the right person - yes. It takes years to study facial muscles and a skilled eye to understand the correct procedure for your face. Botox is a toxin, known as 'botulinium' and can be used to treat many medical conditions such as anal fissure, twitches, muscle stiffness or spasms in high doses. In lower doses it is used for cosmetic procedures and very safe.
Are there different brands of botox?
The most well known brands are Azzalure, Botox and Bocouture.
- Azzalure “gives a soft finish, it doesn’t give you the harsh frozen look of botox, the downside is from my experience, for some people it doesn’t work. Or the effect is not strong enough”, says Dr Bains.
- Similarly, Botox “is the most powerful of the three, it’s the oldest of all products but it can sometimes be too harsh. This can work well for those who like the frozen look, and works quite well for men”.
- Bocouture "has the right balance, it gives a natural look and seems to last a good amount of time".
How will I know I need botox?
When lines start to show, it's time for botox. It's not the dynamic lines you should be worried about, rather the static lines that show on your skin after you stop smiling or frowning. There is no recommended age for botox, although some doctors do believe that if treated early, botox can irradicate lines from forming altogether.
Do not confuse botox for fillers. Botox relaxes the muscle and trains you to stop frowning whereas dermal fillers will fill or plump deep lines.
By all means, you may use both procedures to reduce deep lines. They do compliment each other greatly.
What is the process?
Any good practitioner will give you a consultation with no pressure to carry out the treatment, so this is a good place to start. You should have ideas on what you want to improve, mention them to the practitioner and let them guide you through the best options available. Dr Bains likes to see it as a 'two way approach' whereby she will listen to the client, cater the treatment to their concerns and guide them at the same time. You will always have the mirror in your hand and know where and why she is administering.
Botox doesn't require any anaesthesia, the sensation is more uncomfortable than painful and you should expect some redness, bruising or swelling. Cold compress and a concealer suitable for post procedure such as Oxygenetix is all you need.
Home care rules should be explained and you should follow them like your life depends on it.
As with any procedure, there can sometimes be complications with botox. Frequent problems can be:
- The client hasn't followed home care rules carefully, for example, you should never exercise or strain your body/ bend over or lay down for 4-5 hours after treatment amongst other rules. This can cause the toxin to move to another area and cause ptosis (droopy eyelid).
- Practitioner has given too much or too little toxin. It's always best to give too little than too much to avoid a frozen face. If you've been given less, you should be entitled to a complimentary top-up.
- You've started botox far too early. You'll end up with a flat muscle and shiny skin, unless you like this look it can be quite unsightly.
- You've had too many procedures and it's time to stop. This is called 'botox resistance', for those who have simply become resistant to the toxin over time.
The treatment shouldn't take any longer than 30 minutes, including consultation and results will can take up to 4 days to show. Done well, no one will ever know you've had the procedure, you'll just look better.