BOTOX BASICS – WHAT IS IT?
Alright ladies (and gents!), let’s talk about Botox. Up until recent years Botox and plastic surgery were very taboo subjects. People still don’t openly discuss the procedures or injections they routinely get. Wondering how your favorite celebs seem to never age while they drink from the fountain of youth?
The good news is the fountain of youth is widely available in the form of Botox and other neuromodulators. Not sure where to start when it comes to Botox, fillers, treatments, and god knows what other potions are available to achieve your personal fountain of youth? Right here! Literally, this blog is to help raise awareness around Botox and help you determine if it’s right for you.
We all know or have heard of Botox, but what you may not know is Botox is a generic term for all neuromodulators. To keep things simple, we’ll use Botox as a blanket term for this blog. A neuromodulator is an injectable drug that relaxes the skin by restricting facial muscles from contracting – AKA a few pokes into your wrinkles of concern makes the muscles that move those wrinkles very sleepy. It can cause reduced or even erased wrinkles, decrease oiliness, and provide facial contouring.
Think of your face like a fresh sheet of white paper. Go ahead and imagine crinkling it up into a ball. Smooth it out and do it again. And again, and again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Now try to smooth it out. Can you still see the creases from where you repeatedly folded the paper?
The delicate skin of your face is similar to the piece of paper. Over time, the expressions we make constantly, like frowning at your kid’s choice of language in front of company, etch into our skin, making us look tired and aged. Neuromodulators put these muscles to “sleep”. Your face still has full feeling and movement, but in a significantly softened way.
Many individuals choose to do “preventative botox”. As you can probably guess, this means by starting injections early, you can potentially prevent those harsh creases and lines from even forming.
Now that we know what it is Botox offers, let’s get into the various options. At Queen C Skin Studio, we carry Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin. While they are all similar, they do have their differences – some tend to kick-in quicker, and some seem to last just a bit longer. Not sure which one is right for you? Don’t fret! Your injector is trained to assess your unique skin, face, and goals, and will recommend the best fit for you.
WHERE CAN I GET BOTOX INJECTED?
The most common places to get Botox are:
- Crows feet – the small wrinkles around your eyes that really scrunch up when you smile
- Forehead – horizontal creases that extend across your forehead every time you raise your eyebrows and say “WOW”
- Frown lines or “11s” – grab a mirror and make the same expression you do when your significant other doesn’t change the toilet paper roll… right there between your eyebrows.
- Bunny lines – these are the lines on either side of your nose when you crinkle it after your dog pukes on the carpet.
- Smokers lines – these aren’t restricted to just smokers, but they are the lines around your lips when you purse them or make a 2016 version duck face.
- Eyebrows – if you have saggy eyebrows, Botox can help perk them back up. Depending on your goals, it can also add a subtle brow lift, giving you that “fox eye” Bella Hadid vibe.
Alright now that you know the most common places to put Botox, what are the more uncommon places? Botox isn’t just for cosmetic purposes, and many people choose to get Botox for medical reasons.
- Jawline/masseter muscles – the muscles in your jaw that help you chew are called the “masseter” muscle. Some people have abnormally large masseter muscles, giving them a very unbalanced, boxy jaw shape. Injecting Botox here can reduce jaw pain and tension, relieve headaches, manage teeth grinding, and balance your face shape by contouring your jaw.
- Lip flip – when you smile, does your top lip curl under, completely disappearing? Injecting a very small amount of Botox can put this muscle to sleep so your lip doesn’t run and hide when you smile.
- Migraines – Botox can be injected into the forehead, temples, and even scalp to relax the muscles in your head that send pain signals to your brain. While this isn’t a solution for everyone, choosing a cosmetic injector for this treatment helps ensure you also receive an appealing look.. No droopy brows or frozen foreheads.
- Excessive sweating/hyperhidrosis – afraid to raise your arms and fix your hair out of fear for the puddles under your arms? Botox can actually help with this. It prevents the message from your nerves from getting to your sweat glands. Without this signal, they don’t produce sweat, thus less soggy pits!
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR APPOINTMENT
What does an actual Botox appointment look like? Prior to ever being injected you should always consult with a doctor to go over any risks or concerns and make sure it’s right for you.
At Queen C, you will meet with our very own Dr. Maroof. She will cover all of the facts and make sure all of your questions are answered. The best part? If you decide to pull the trigger (or syringe!) you can do this at your consultation! No need to schedule a secondary appointment and wait.
The actual process of being injected takes less than 5 minutes. You’ll make a bunch of funny faces (smile real big, frown super hard, you just smelled something atrocious), and Dr Maroof will mark all of your wrinkles. She takes some before photos for your file to track your progress and history, and discusses the recommended dosage. She will let you know your total number of units, and all of the placement.
Now that you’re ready to go, it’s poke time. The needles used for Botox are incredibly tiny and you really don’t need any numbing treatment. The feeling reminds me of popping a zit.
Dr Maroof is gentle and quick, and will whisper “poke” before every injection so you aren’t caught off guard. Before you know it, you’re done! Chances are you won’t even be able to see the injection sights, the needle really is that small.
Ok but, I really just wanted my forehead 11s done, why do I have to do more? It’s always recommended to do an even “sprinkle” or balance your Botox across your face. You want an even consistent result, and this typically means a dash here and there. All of your facial muscles work together, and if you only target one, you’ll end up with alternate muscles overcompensating and creating different issues.
The first four hours after Botox it’s important to follow your injectors instructions. This typically means no saunas, hot tubs, working out, makeup, and keeping your face upright to eliminate any migration risks. After 48 hours you can return to life as normal!
My least favorite part of Botox is the wait for it to kick in. Depending on the brand of neuromodulator used, it takes anywhere from 7-14 days to kick in, and usually is at it’s prime around the 2-6 week period. Slowly over the course of the first week you’ll notice less movement.
Unfortunately, Botox doesn’t last forever. Over the course of 8-16 weeks, your body naturally metabolizes the Botox, and your results wear off and you’ll notice more movement in your face. If you keep up with your Botox every 3-4 months your regular dosage or units will decline as those muscles get weaker and weaker with less usage over time. It’s like your other muscles! When you stop working out because it’s winter, you definitely notice the difference in the spring.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
The actual cost of your Botox can range from $100 up to $600 per session or even more depending on your goal. At Queen C, it costs $8/unit across all brands. What the heck is a unit? The number of units can range depending on the vial and the dilution required for your desired look… Long story short, a single syringe holds many units. This can be confusing if you’re comparing it to a syringe of filler at $550.
How does this math equation they didn’t teach you in high school translate into an expected cost? Honestly, it’s going to be different for every face, every appointment. The only real way to know is to book a free consultation with Dr Maroof and get an estimate. Keeping that in mind, we do have a few examples of how much is used on average per area!
- Forehead: 20-40 units
- 11s: 20-40 units
- Crows feet: 10-30 units
- Lip flip: 2-6 units
- Masseter: 15-50 units per side
- Bunny lines: 5-10 units
- Smokers lines: 2-6 units
- Brow lift: 2-5 units