WHAT BOTOX ACTUALLY IS
Botox is a chemical injection that blocks signals from nerves to muscles, which means the injected muscle doesn’t contract. A lot of people think Botox and fillers are the same, but they’re very different. Botox paralyzes the muscle its injected into, while fillers add volume to your face ( or lips, cheekbones, under-eyes, etc ). When Botox is injected, it blocks certain nerve signals that make muscles contract. The muscles relax and this reduces unwanted wrinkles. This post is about my Botox experience, but I’m thinking about trying fillers too so stay tuned for that.
MAKING THE DECISION
I’ve been thinking of getting Botox for the past year and finally tried it for the first time recently. As a beauty blogger who loves trying out new beauty products and procedures, and who’s always on camera, I wanted to see if it would help with my poses and make my face appear smoother in photos – and in real life 🙂 I also heard it helps with sun sensitivity which I suffer from (I have to squint my eyes to the max when facing the sun and I know that creates more wrinkles), and headaches and migraines, which I’m prone to. When I’m stressed, the first thing that will happen to my body is getting a headache. So even just for those reasons, I decided that giving Botox a try won’t hurt. The effects disappear in 3-4 months, so I didn’t have to live with it if I wasn’t happy. The fact that Botox isn’t permanent majorly impacted my decision to go for it.
EXPECTATIONS: I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t have much time to research about what to do/not do before the treatment. But I spent a good amount of time researching for someone who specializes in Botox. Getting needled in the face is a big deal to me, so the most important part of this process was finding the best person in my area. As someone who spends a lot of time on Instagram, I not only post and engage with my followers there but also research there. Before I go to a restaurant, a store
, or new travel destination, I search for hashtags, locations, company names, etc. And that’s how I discovered Nicole. I was immediately intrigued by how professional her Instagram looked. She had before & after pictures, informative posts and her feed as a whole was impressive for a local business. As a digital marketing strategist who has a background in advertising and social media, I may care too much for how businesses present themselves on social media. I know how much time and effort curating a good social media account takes – which is why Nicole stood out from the other places I found in San Diego. I messaged her on Instagram and she was super nice and responsive. We started chatting and I went in for a consultation a few weeks after. I explained to her that my main issues were the lines around my mouth. She recommended getting botox first which was going to make my face smoother and lift the face too, so the need for fillers around the mouth should be the 2nd process of my makeover. I agreed with her recommendations.
Both of our schedules are crazy busy – she’s always fully booked and my schedule got tricky after starting a new full-time job back in January – so it took us a few months to find a time & day that worked for both us.
BEFORE THE PROCEDURE:
I didn’t do any kind of preparation except rescheduling my facial appointment which was a few days after. I asked both Nicole and my esthetician and they both recommended leaving a few days between botox/fillers and facials since you get massaged on your face during facials, and the benefits of producers don’t sink in for 10-14 days. So it’s best to get a facial before cosmetic procedures on the face.
DURING THE PROCEDURE
I wasn’t nervous at all, just a little excited – but knowing and trusting Nicole 100% was definitely a big part of that. I don’t trust people easily, especially for something big like a cosmetic procedure, but Nicole is very calm and comforting. We’ve been emailing and texting for months at that point so I trusted her. If you’re curious about the procedure, I documented it on my Insta Stories so you can watch it via THIS LINK and my IG highlights.
DOES IT HURT?
The needles didn’t hurt that much at all. It’s one of those things you shouldn’t think too much about and just go for it. If needles are your worst nightmare, then Botox is probably not for you. But as I said, the pain was manageable. If you watch my highlights, you’ll see that I was pretty calm and brave while getting needled on the face. Honestly, I was more excited to see the results and to reverse the signs of aging on my face.
HOW MANY UNITS?
My injector, Nicole, says less is more when it comes to Botox (which is true for most things in life, isn’t it?), so we kept it minimal. 12 units around each eye, 10 units on crows feet, 20 units in between brows and 6 units on the forehead. This might sound a lot to you, but I’m in my early thirties and I haven’t done any procedures on my face so far.
ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
I didn’t have any effects at all except a little redness on my forehead, but it disappeared in less than an hour. I heard redness, swelling or bruising of the skin are common side effects, but I believe that the severity of side effects depends on the mastery of whoever’s injecting. Since Nicole is a master injector (love that she calls herself that – it’s even on her IG bio), I didn’t experience any of that even though my skin is highly sensitive.
AFTER THE PROCEDURE
You’re not supposed to do heavy exercise for 24 hours or lay down for 4-6 hours. As I mentioned before, no facial, massages or anything that’s pushing on the face the day of the procedure. It was quick so you can definitely continue your day without worrying about how you’ll feel or look after. Looks like some people do it during their lunch breaks which is totally doable in my opinion.
Don’t expect results RIGHT AWAY. You’re supposed to be a little patient with Botox 🙂 Results won’t be noticeable until 4-5 days afterward and full results kick in 10-14 days after the procedure. I’d say the results became more noticeable for me 2-3 weeks after the treatment. And now that it’s been 5 weeks after the treatment, I’m definitely seeing the results fully and love it more than I first did! It made my poses better and my face looks younger and smoother overall. On most of my photoshoots, I have to face the sun for better lighting and now I can do that easily. Before Botox, I didn’t like that I was frowning in photos because it’s not easy to try to look pretty while facing the sun, so it’s been a game changer for me for that reason. But I love that no one has come up to me asking if I got something done on my face. I can easily say the doses I got are not too crazy to make people think I did something to my face. When I tell my friends they definitely notice and tell me it looks great, but no-one will notice unless you make a public announcement 🙂
Since the muscles in my forehead are essentially paralyzed, those muscles don’t contract and the fine lines don’t deepen. Botox stops fine lines in their tracks, so I frown less. We’ll see how I feel after the effects disappear but I’ll probably continue doing it.
I wish I started doing it as a preventative to delay my fine lines from turning into wrinkles but hey, better late than never, right?
We all know that we’ll get wrinkles and (will have to embrace them) at some point in life, but why not delay that process if we can? It’s almost 2020, which sounds a little scary!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Most dermatologists charge around $10-$15 per unit. Nicole charges $12 per unit which is not that bad considering how experienced and professional she is. Definitely recommended!! Premier Med Aesthetics also is offering a new patient discount of $50/off or 10% off your first treatment with them (whichever is more). UPDATE: They’re currently offering $10/unit if you mention me!
MY DERMATOLOGIST RECOMMENDATION IN SAN DIEGO
I was very happy with my experience with Nicole. She made sure to check on me a few times after my procedure and we’re still in touch. I highly recommend seeing her if you’re thinking about giving Botox a try.
This post and the procedure I received are in collaboration with Premier Med Aesthetics. All reviews and recommendations are my own.