Botox is the brand name for onabotulinumtoxinA, which can be injected into parts of the face to reduce fine lines and wrinkles temporarily.
Your doctor injects small amounts of Botox into some of the tiny facial muscles, such as in the corners of the eyes. This freezes the muscles so they cannot contract, resulting in a smoother and younger appearance.
If you’ve been considering Botox, below is everything you need to know about this popular procedure:
Before You Have Botox
Before you have Botox, there are several things you should do to ensure you have great results:
Choose The Right Healthcare Practice
Botox injections are the #1 non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the US. So there are many clinics to choose from, and you need to take care to select a good one.
Plastic surgeons say you should limit the search for a Botox provider to board-certified plastic surgeons and dermatologists. These healthcare professionals are experts in the anatomy of the face, and they’ve had years of training and procedures.
You can find out if the surgeon has a good record with Botox by checking their website and social media profile. Look for many positive reviews and take a close look at their Botox injection before-and-after photos.
If you can, talk to past patients in person and look at their faces. If they have a frozen look on their face, you may want to go with another provider. Botox injections reduce lines and wrinkles by freezing tiny face muscles in position, but there’s a fine line between enough Botox and too much.
Next, talk to your surgeon or dermatologist to see if you get a good vibe. You want to have a provider that you’re comfortable with. Read their online reviews to get a feel for that provider’s personality and communication skills.
Once you have a few names, set up consultations to see who you feel is best. Finding a doctor who listens to your goals and concerns is critical. You want a provider who works with you to achieve your aesthetic goals, not tell you what to do.
Schedule Botox Injections With Your Doctor
Once you choose the provider, have them lay out a Botox plan for you. Keep in mind that there is no other face like yours, so your Botox plan will be different than anyone else’s.
Creating a successful Botox plan is critical because the doctor understands your goals and facial anatomy. In addition, you may need several injections per year to get the results you want and maintain them.
After telling your doctor about your Botox goals, they should consider how old you are and check how deep your wrinkles are. Botox is usually best for fine wrinkles. But if you have deeper lines, you may need dermal fillers, too.
The provider also should check all of the major muscle movements in your face to set up a Botox plan for you.
Keep Your Budget In Mind
Remember that Botox is temporary, and you’ll need more injections in four to six months. Botox can cost up to $400 per injection, so you should check your budget to see if you can maintain your results.
Also, think about your daily life and talk to your provider about how it affects your skin. For example, if you smoke and get a lot of sun, you may need more Botox or other nonsurgical procedures to fight the wrinkles.
Listen to your doctor about how you can get more out of your Botox injections. Avoiding the sun or wearing sunscreen, and quitting smoking, can go a long way to maximize your results.
It’s Not Just One Time
Botox injections last three or four months, so you’ll need touchups every quarter or so. You need to use Botox regularly to reduce those fine muscle movements and prevent more wrinkles.
When Should You Have Botox?
The best time to have Botox depends on you. But many surgeons recommend having Botox when you first see fine lines and wrinkles.
According to Dr. Amita Shah of Hill Country Plastic Surgery, “In our 30s, collagen production and skin cell reproduction slow, and that’s when you might first see facial aging. You can get Botox in your 30s and have great results, but some in their 20s like to have it to prevent wrinkles from forming.”
Botox has been FDA-approved for cosmetic uses since 2002. The substance is generally safe to smooth fine lines and wrinkles if you choose a board-certified doctor or plastic surgeon for your injections.
However, if you don’t use a skilled practitioner, you could have too much Botox put in the wrong spot, and this can lead to an expressionless face, asymmetry, or drooping.
Fortunately, Botox is temporary, so any issues you might have will fade with time. But it definitely pays off to do your research and select the best healthcare professional you can for your Botox injections.
Also, remember that Botox is helpful, but it won’t eliminate your wrinkles; it simply reduces wrinkles when you make expressions by relaxing the muscles. If you want more substantial changes to your face, you might consider laser skin resurfacing or a chemical peel.
If you want to do something for yourself to make you look younger and have self-confidence, Botox injections can be a great choice. They’re affordable, effective, and don’t involve surgery.
*Photos by Gustavo Fring