Are you in that nervous place of frantically Googling whether or not Botox is the best choice for you? I get it. I was nervous before the first time I got an injectable done, because ya know…it’s my face.
The truth is, it can be scary to think about injecting something foreign into your body. Especially when side effects for all medications are very real. However, it’s also important to remember that with the right injector, you’ll probably love the work, and even want to continue.
I’ve been getting Botox for three years now. And while I was really nervous to start, I have to say that I’m so happy that I did. In addition to other treatments and skincare, my skin has changed 10 fold in the last few years. To read more about that, check out my post on how I healed my skin.
The thing is, getting Botox is a very personal choice, and ultimately should be done without shame involved. I’m not writing this post to convince you to get Botox. Because you know yourself way better than I do, and I trust your judgment when it comes to skincare.
I’m writing this post to share with you what exactly Botox is, what it’s used for, and 8 key tips ensuring you have the best Botox treatment ever.
What is Botox
Botox is otherwise known as botulinum toxin, or botulinum neurotoxin, which is a protein that causes paralysis. Botox prevents muscles from moving for a limited time. That’s right, this isn’t a permanent treatment.
Botox typically lasts anywhere from 3 – 9 months. It really depends on the person’s metabolism, activity level, and generally the way their body processes medications. It varies for everyone, and might even vary within one person from month to month.
What is Botox Used For
Botox is most commonly used for smoothing wrinkles in the face. Think about your face like a piece of paper. The more you continue to fold the paper in the same way, the deeper the line becomes, and the more set in the crease becomes. In this case, your facial muscles are the ones making the crease in the “paper,” aka your skin.
If you get Botox injections, your facial muscles are temporarily paralyzed, which means the creasing discontinues. Initially, this might mean existing wrinkles simply won’t get worse. Because you’re no longer moving the muscles to create the lines. If you choose to use Botox overtime, you’ll even notice that existing wrinkles smooth away, as well.
While Botox is common in the beauty industry for getting rid of wrinkles, it’s also used for other reasons, as well. Some people get Botox in their jaw if they have clenching or grinding issues while they sleep. Others get Botox in different parts of the body to help with excessive sweating. As well as other medical issues like chronic migraines.
8 Ways To Improve Your Next Botox Treatment
Let’s be real, getting Botox isn’t cheap. Typically, most places charge per unit. And even with a “baby Botox” amount, you’re still probably looking at a $400-500 bill. Plus, if you keep up with it, then you’re getting injected every 3 – 6 months depending on your metabolism, and the way your body processes the medication.
Because Botox is so pricey, you want to make sure you get it right by maximizing the benefits, minimizing the down time, and trying to stretch that time between appointments as much as possible. Below is a list of 8 ways that you improve your next Botox appointment to stretch your dollar, and your time.
Mix of Botox and Dysport
When I moved to Florida, my new injector there taught me this really great hack of trading off each appointment between Botox and Dysport. Dysport has all the same qualities of Botox. Only it sets in faster, has less potency per unit than Botox, and tends to wear off faster. There’s usually a price difference between the two to make up for those differences. Check out my post on injectables to learn more about the similarities and differences.
The reason this method of trading between the two is helpful, is that both treatments last longer. How? Well, like many medications, our bodies build up a tolerance to something we’re exposed to all the time. When you trade between the two, the tolerance is slower to build, keeping the dose lower, the longevity of the product longer, and the price steady (rather than higher and higher with more units).
I’ve been doing this method for two years now, and can attest it to be true. Can’t recommend this enough.
In the States you don’t need to be a doctor in order to inject someone with Botox. I’m not dissing the skilled injectors throughout the States who aren’t doctors, because I’m sure there’s plenty of really talented ones out there.
All I’m saying is, as a customer, make sure you find a skilled injector first and foremost. This isn’t something you want a discount on, not something you settle for because they’re the closest to your home or your work. This is your face, and this is foreign substance being injected into it. Don’t choose convenience and price here, okay?
As your friends for recommendations, check reviews online, look at their social media, and check out their credentials. For the best work, you’re likely going to find that through a doctor like a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, rather than an esthetician at a medspa.
I personally don’t need numbing when I get Botox, but there are a lot of people who do (my wife is one of them). Make sure to let your injector know ahead of time to ensure they actually have numbing cream there, and also so you can have a better understanding of how long your appointment will take.
If you don’t get numbing, then you’re probably in and out in a matter of 15 minutes. However, if you need numbing, then you need to spend at least 20 minutes letting the cream set in before the injections begin.
Another favorite that my injector taught me is the beauty of arnica after a treatment. Arnica helps with bruising, and as the needles are often going into thin, sensitive skin on the face- these areas might be more prone to bruising, compared to other parts of the body.
I’m lucky enough to have an injector who has arnica cream, and always makes sure to apply it after a treatment. But, if you’re not sure what your injector has handy, then it doesn’t hurt to buy some for yourself. This way, you can also reapply more than just once, as well.
The placement of Botox is really important, particularly in the forehead. Everyone is different, and your preference might be different than mine. But, I think we all agree that we’re looking for a more lifted look with the brows, rather than dense and heavy, right?
Botox can help to even out symmetry in your face, as well as give you a more lifted youthful look- in addition to smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles, of course. That being said, make sure you talk to your injector about your needs, what you want from it, and ask them where they’ll put it to give you that lifted look.
Remember, lifting the brows is meant to be subtle. Otherwise you’re just going to look surprised for the next few months. Again, a skilled injector will know exactly where to go.
No Working Out
I know I have a lot of fitness and movement enthusiasts here, so I want to emphasize the importance of not working out for at least 24 hours after your next Botox appointment. The reason this is important is that when you work out, you sweat. And that means you might sweat out the Botox before it has a chance to kick in.
Chances are, 100% of the Botox wouldn’t be released through your sweat. However, if you’ve just paid a few hundred dollars for this treatment, I doubt you want to waste any of it, right? Take a day off, and be mindful of sweat in all forms. That includes saunas and facial steaming, too.
No Upside Down
Hello to my fellow yogis, I know there are a lot of you here. I know that not going upside down for 24 hours after a Botox treatment sounds pretty dang easy for most people, but for us yoga folks, that’s a reminder worth sharing.
You know how we just talked about not wanting to have heaviness in the brows? Well, even if they injected the Botox in the perfect placement to give you a lifted look, it could travel down the face if you’re hanging out in downdog later that evening. Make sure to schedule your appointment accordingly.
Okay, so you know for sure no sauna for 24 hours after your appointment- that’s a given. But, I also want to talk to you about sauna time beyond those 24 hours. Look, I love the sauna. I’d live inside of one permanently if I could. However, when it comes to Botox, it’s important to remember that a lot of sauna time might mean more frequent injections, as your body processes it faster in the extreme heat.
I’m not saying don’t ever go in the sauna again once you start getting Botox, it’s just something to consider if you feel like it’s wearing off really quickly, and breaking the bank as a result. The sauna might be the culprit. And, at that point, it’s up to you to decide how often you want to go in it in relation to your Botox budget.
Whatever you choose, I hope you choose from a place of love, my friends. Remember, this post isn’t here to “influence” you to do anything you don’t want to do. But rather to inform those of you who are already interested.
Happy injecting, my friends.