What are the benefits? Facial acupuncture is a great non-surgical alternative for slowing down the ageing process. Vivienne, owner of Primo Herb, explains, “facial acupuncture increases circulation in the face and promotes collagen production” – two key factors in achieving youthful-looking skin. The micro-wounds left by the needles kickstart the regeneration process and increase blood flow and oxygen, keeping the skin from looking puffy or tired. What actually happens in an acupuncture session? It’s not just about sticking needles into your skin, willy-nilly, so don’t try it at home. Before your treatment starts, your therapist will discuss your skin’s needs and…Read more
Maybe I imagined it, or maybe it was the result of endlessly staring at my face during Zoom meetings, but a year and a half into the pandemic it was feeling like my frown lines and forehead wrinkles had become more pronounced than ever. They had increased dramatically, as had my obsession with them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely not afraid of getting older physically or looking my age (I’m 30). It’s just that these days, my wrinkles are getting to the point where not even my fave Instagram filter can cover them. Plus, combined with my dark eyebrows, they give me that chronically *grumpy* look. And so, I took the plunge – and booked myself in for a consultation and a few shots of Botulinum Toxin, aka Botox.
A few weeks after the treatment, I can say with certainty that I am super happy with the results. However, I’d also say that there are a number of things that I wish I’d known beforehand – despite my thorough research and the information from the doctor. Here’s what they are.
By Lise van Rij
Disclaimer: This article is by no means a promotion for cosmetic treatments, Botox or other injectables. This is just my honest experience of Botox, with the goal of helping others make the choice that is best for them.
1. Botox won’t make your wrinkles disappear completely
As effective as Botox is at reducing lines, (and as beautiful as the results might be), the treatment won’t erase your wrinkles entirely. It’s for this reason that it is often advised as a preventative measure, rather than restorative. Botox prevents muscles from contracting, essentially making them relax and softening their appearance, which also means that the onset of new wrinkles is delayed.
So, if you have deep lines on your face, Botox won’t completely smooth these out. That being said, my frown lines and wrinkles are definitely less noticeable and pronounced than before. And honestly? I think it’s probably a good thing that they’re not gone entirely, because the end result is much more natural.
2. It won’t hurt, but you will feel it
During my consultation, I immediately asked the doctor whether it was going to hurt. His somewhat vague answer didn’t exactly give me the reassurance I was looking for: “the pain felt is relative and depends on the sensitivity of each person, but anesthesia is never necessary”. This, combined with my mild fear of needles, meant that I was a little scared of what was to come. Fortunately, this turned out to be unnecessary – the needles were extremely thin, and the injections virtually painless. In some places they felt almost relaxing, kind of like I’d imagine acupuncture to be. One more thing to note though – you might hear a little ‘crunch’ when the needles pierce your skin. It’s not a big deal, and not as gross as it sounds, but can be a little disconcerting if you’re not expecting it.
So, don’t let your fear of needles or pain be the thing that deters you from getting Botox. Just close your eyes, breathe, and it’ll be over before you know it.
3. Plan your session strategically
So, although you may hardly feel the needle pricks, you will likely be able to see them – something I discovered a little too late. After admiring the immediate result in the clinic mirror, I headed off to join a friend for a drink on a terrace. She promptly pointed out my crimson forehead and the accompanying tiny dried blood dots where the needle had been injected. Lovely. Not the end of the world, of course, but it’s definitely smart to consider this when planning your appointment. I’d probably avoid scheduling any important meetings straight after your session, or bring a hat or sunglasses depending on the area you’re treating. The good news: there were no marks or redness to report during the following days, so it’s nothing to be too concerned about.
4. You’re probably going to want more
I’ll be honest (and I’m a little ashamed to admit this), as soon as I noticed how fast and easy the treatment was, I was secretly already planning my next session of Botox. My skin is soft and plumped, my eyebrows are subtly lifted and my eyes seem more awake – it really makes you understand why these treatments can become so addictive. It’s important to realise how problematic these thoughts can be though – for me, I decided to focus on enjoying the results of my treatment for the time being. It can be worth setting some boundaries in your own head – perhaps setting yourself a limit of 1-2 treatments per year. My advice would be to take some time to think about why you want Botox – if the area has been troubling you for some time, then it can be a real confidence booster. But, if you think that the reason is more related to fitting into beauty standards, or because others are doing it: it might be worth thinking it over again.
5. For the same price, you could probably book a holiday
Botox isn’t cheap. Of course, the price depends on the clinic, the area that you’re wanting to be treated, and the amount you’re getting. In general, you’ll likely pay anywhere between £100 – £350 per area. If you’re having a little more done, you can quickly be paying upwards of £400 after for one session in the chair (gulp). For the same price, I could have booked a holiday. Or two festival tickets. Luckily, that’s not looking likely anyway this year.
My advice: do your research in terms of clinics and prices, but make sure that you do your research on the quality of the work and service, too. Cheaper isn’t always better, and it’s important to pay the price if you’re ready to take the plunge. Also, the online prices are often an indication, so be sure to ask for the final price during your consultation.