My First Experience with Botox

My First Experience with Botox

Today I’m sharing my first experience with Botox.

I don’t know if I’ve ever received more DMs about a certain topic!

What this tells me is that a lot of women my age are thinking about Botox. It also tells me that not enough people are talking about it when they do get it. 

In all reality, most influencers–the ones with perfect skin, selling Dime and Tula products on every other story slide–are getting Botox. There’s nothing wrong with doing so, OBVIOUSLY, but I just think, as a follower, it would be nice to know? Like, just tell us! 

My take–as it pertains to my own personal (albeit, small) platform–is this: if I’m going to continue to review and recommend beauty products, then I also need to be honest about using the “big guns,” if you will. It’s only right. 

I’d like to help take some of the stigma out of it, too. To me, Botox isn’t really a big deal. Pricey? Yes. Scandalous? No. 

In my opinion, it’s no different than any of the other improvements we make to our appearances. Haircuts, skincare, makeup, even changing into a nice shirt before going out to dinner: these are things we all do in order to put our best foot forward, to feel like the best versions of ourselves. 

And of course, appearances aren’t everything (we talk about books here too! LOL). On the list of Things That Matter, “how we look” sits at the very bottom. And as a mom, I try to be very conscious of the amount of time (and manner in which) I talk about how I look in front of my daughters. But I do think “look good, feel good” is real, provided that we aren’t staking our life’s worth on how our spray tan turned out, of course. 

And let me just say: I don’t think anyone NEEDS to get Botox. It certainly isn’t for everyone. It is, however, something that I personally have wanted for a long time, did a ton of research about, and felt totally fine getting. It’s a personal preference–nothing more, nothing less. 

Aging is a completely natural and beautiful thing (more on that here), but I certainly think there’s nothing wrong with wanting to do so as gracefully as possible. Botox is a great way to just ease the blow, so to speak, and slow down the process a bit. 

Honestly, the only reason I waited until I turned 30 was because I’d been pregnant or breastfeeding for most of the latter half of my twenties. I also wanted to punt the cost because it is not cheap. 

Since I received so many questions prior to and following my Botox appointment last month, I thought I’d do sort of a Q&A style for this blog post to make sure I’m covering everything. 

What are the benefits of Botox?

On paper, Botox kind of sounds like an episode of Black Mirror: it’s a drug made out of a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. The drug blocks the signals from the nerves to the muscles in the injected area, temporarily causing paralysis or decreased movement. Creepy, but kinda cool? 

This decreased/halted movement helps soften wrinkles and release fine lines. Many people get Botox as a preventive measure, to “freeze” certain areas to prevent wrinkles from forming. 

Where did I get it done + am I happy with it?

I just turned 30, and despite maniacal use of sun protection and a militant skincare regimen for most of my twenties, I’ve noticed some fine lines forming. The “crow’s feet” lines around my eyes don’t bother me at this point–they just show that I’ve laughed and smiled a lot which is kind of beautiful, I think. 

My Problem Area is between my eyebrows, where a single frown line has staked its claim after years of holding tension, stress, and concern. Once when I was little, my mom jokingly warned me about my dramatic facial expressions and the potential cosmetic consequences (add it to my scroll/list of things my mom has been right about). 

I wanted to release some of the tension I’d been holding between my eyes and relax the area, hopefully freeing up the skin to release that little vertical wrinkle that, to me, screamed “a very un-chill person.” 

So, going in, I knew for sure that I wanted to get Botox in the lower part of my forehead to freeze the area between my eyebrows. I thought I might want to get my whole forehead done (you know, one fell swoop and all that), but I wasn’t totally sure and also wanted to keep the cost to a minimum. 

My dermatologist likes to err on the conservative side (a big reason I trust her so much–she’s amazing), so she convinced me to just do the Problem Area and advised that I could always come back for more if I wanted. 

She gave me a few teeny baby shots (20 units total) across my brow line and sent me on my way. 

It took about 10 days for me to really see the results, and I was THRILLED when it finally kicked in. I look–and feel–so much more relaxed, and my frown line has considerably diminished in the four weeks since I had the treatment. I am really, really happy with the results. 

BEFORE:

AFTER:

The next time I get it, though, I am going to have her freeze my whole forehead. When I raise my eyebrows, the lower half of my forehead is totally smooth from the treatment but the upper half still has some lines. It looks a little unbalanced, so I think it makes sense to do the whole thing next time.  

Does it hurt?

It really wasn’t bad! The needles were so tiny. It stung a tiny bit but was over in a second. The doctor had her nurse gently tap her finger near the area she was injecting, as a distraction, I think, and that seemed to help. It was no big deal. 

How much does it cost?

It seems to me like there’s a big range. Botox can cost anywhere between $10-20 per unit, depending on the city and practitioner. My derm charges $14 per unit but does a sale every few months, offering $2 off per unit. I went during the sale, so my total for 20 units was $240. I will definitely try to time my visits during her sales moving forward, especially since I plan to get more units next time. 

I, personally, feel like I can justify the cost because I really don’t spend much money on beauty treatments outside of the home. For example, I RARELY get my nails done, and I get my hair done twice a year. I dermaplane at home and *usually* use self-tanner (although I do love a spray for a big weekend). You get the idea.

How long does it last?

My derm explained that the effects can last between 3-6 months, depending on the person and their metabolism and muscle presence in the treated areas. Since this was my first time, I’ll have to report back on how long mine lasts. 

What are the long term risks?

In both my own research and in my conversation with my derm, I haven’t come across any known long term risks. The treatment has been around since the 80’s which is a long time but not a terribly long time, so take that with a grain of salt, of course. And PLEASE do your own research!!!! I am just a stay-at-home mom, for crying out loud. 

What does Tyler think about it? 

I was surprised by how many people asked me this! 

Tyler was, understandably, put off by the cost initially but didn’t voice any objections to the treatment itself. It didn’t really come as a surprise to him, though, as I’ve been dropping Easter eggs on the topic since 2015. 

What I mean is, it was a foregone conclusion that I’d be celebrating my 30th birthday with a festive round of Botox. The ordeal didn’t seem to have phased him in the slightest. In fact, when I mentioned the other day that I was working on this blog post, he was like, “oh yeah, did it work?” lol. 

Tyler is usually a good sport with my antics, as long as said antics are reasonable from a financial standpoint. 

He’s not really fussy about me being fussy about my appearance (except for the day he found out I wore fake eyelashes at our wedding, which was fair as that was also the day he found out fake eyelashes existed). 

Do I recommend it? 

If you want it, go for it! Like I said in my intro/sermon, I really don’t think Botox is a big deal. Just start small, and for goodness sake, don’t go crazy with it. 

Oh and PLEASE go to someone reputable–it has to be someone who knows what they are doing because it can definitely go wrong. I think it’s worth paying a little extra for the peace of mind. I went to Dr. Alyssa Nash in La Jolla and can’t recommend her enough.

I am really loving my results and will definitely get it again. 

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