Botox for beginners
Are you new to the world of Botox and injectables? Fed up with wrinkles staring back at you on Zoom calls? Want to get rid of them but scared of the unknown? Perhaps you’re needle phobic, or have read stories in the media of celebrities with frozen faces? First and foremost, you’re not alone.
Having any aesthetics treatment done for the first time is a daunting prospect. You’re opening yourself up to a whole new world and seemingly never-ending cycle of expensive beauty treatments. Plus, we are programmed to associate needles with medical use, hospitals, doctor’s surgeries, being unwell etc…
But Botox doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, Botox injections are the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedure in the world. But that doesn’t mean it’s a decision that you should take lightly. Here’s an overview on what you should know before opting for anti-wrinkle injections.
Research your clinic and practitioner
There are A LOT of clinics out there. In fact, not just clinics. There are a lot of practitioners out there. But that doesn’t mean that everyone has had the same training and experience, or that they are even regulated in the same way. In fact, the aesthetics industry is frustratingly largely unregulated which means it’s even more important to research thoroughly who you let inject your face.
Seeing a medically trained professional is essential to ensure that you are treated correctly, safely and that you walk away with the results you were hoping for.
Focus your attention on CQC (Care Quality Commission) registered clinics who operate under the lead of qualified and experienced nurse practitioners. At Natasha Lucy Clinics, we pride ourselves on being both.
Next, check their work and their work ethos. Do they offer the sort of results you’re looking for? Do they approach aesthetics in a way that puts your best interests (and features) first? Think of it as looking through their portfolio. If you can get word of mouth recommendations or read patient testimonials, even better!
Once you’ve narrowed down your chosen clinic, opt for a consultation first and foremost to discuss your wants, needs and desired outcome. Perhaps even your medical history if relevant. And pick up the phone, email, DM… you should never feel like you can’t ask a question. We welcome questions!
Have a plan of what you want to achieve
During your consultation, you want to plan with your nurse practitioner. Remember that your face is unique and that’s what makes you beautiful in your own way. Turning up with a photo of Gigi Hadid and asking to look just like her (it happens) is unrealistic. The aim of anti-wrinkle injections is to create a younger, fresher looking version of yourself, not to look like somebody else. This is one of the most crucial steps on your Botox journey: developing a relationship of trust between you and your aesthetics practitioner.
Also, Botox isn’t a one-stop, fix-it-all shop – different approaches work for different people. For example, when I meet a patient for the first time who is looking to have anti-wrinkle injections, I consider their age, lifestyle and look closely at the depth of the facial creases they wish to treat. Botox is an effective treatment for fine lines and wrinkles such as crow’s feet, but deeper set lines for example, could benefit from a combination of Botox and an additional treatment such as dermal filler to achieve the patient’s desired, smoother aesthetic. I also evaluate your dynamic muscle movements to assess how much Botox to inject. There are no such thing as standard units of Botox for everyone. Each person is different.
Let’s be honest, budget is often a big factor in people choosing which clinic to go to. I get it. But there is a saying in our industry, “pay for the skill, not the mil” which couldn’t ring truer. Cheap Botox deals should come with a big, red hazard warning. What appears “cheap” in the short term will likely be more expensive in the long term as at some point corrective work is inevitable. Not to mention, it can be dangerous. So, whilst you should absolutely have a budget for aesthetics work and stick to it (never be pressured into having done more than you can afford just because “you’re in the chair”), remember that when it comes to injectables you really do get what you pay for.
I also wanted to dispel some common misconceptions about anti-wrinkle injections for you so you can start your Botox journey informed and relaxed.
You’ll notice an immediate difference
This is highly unlikely. Do not panic – it’s entirely normal. Botox on regular patients takes a few days to take effect so on newbies, first time Botox can take a little more time, approximately 2-8 days before you start seeing a difference. You should allow 2 weeks to see the full effects of your Botox treatment, which is why we advise check-ups or top-ups (if needed) after two weeks only. Of course, everyone is different, so this time frame is a guidance only.
Anti-wrinkle injections hurt
Botox needles are incredibly small and fine, so the likelihood is you will feel little to no pain at all when injected. This is where the importance of visiting a medically trained and experienced practitioner is also reinforced.
There’s zero downtime
Whilst this is technically true, proven by the phenomenal rise in the “lunchtime lift”, you may (although not everybody does) experience some redness, bruising, minimal swelling or a light headache in the immediate hours post treatment. All are completely normal. Immediately after treatment, you will notice some small red bumps at the injection sites which normally resolve themselves within 30 minutes. Bruising however, should be minimal. I advise that you keep your face touch and make-up free following treatment – don’t massage it, don’t try to cover up any redness with concealer, always wait a minimum of 4 hrs after treatment to touch or manipulate any areas that were treated, ideally longer. Also, steer clear of exercise for the first 24hrs as strenuous activity runs the risk of Botox shifting out of position.
There are some medications you (ideally) shouldn’t take before treatment. Some common over-the-counter medications act as blood-thinners which may increase your chances of post-Botox bruising, so I advise that it’s best to avoid these medications in the days leading up to treatment. Such medications include:
- St John’s Wort
- Vitamin E
- Omega 3
Your face will appear frozen
Frozen faces are out. In fact, they were never really in. That’s the work of inexperienced, over-zealous practitioners and ill-informed patients. Yes, after Botox treatment, muscle movement to those areas injected will be restricted – Botox is a muscle-relaxer, but you should not look “frozen”. That’s why I firmly believe in a “less is more approach” to give you the most natural, yet effective results.
You’ll need Botox once
Unfortunately, this is untrue. Anti-wrinkle injections, as effective in turning back the clock as they are, are a commitment. After around 3-4 months, you will start to notice the initial return of the dreaded wrinkle, however, this won’t be anywhere near the level before you started; It may be a little crease, a pesky frown line threatening to return. These are indications that the Botox is starting to wear off. I advise to schedule in your sessions every 3-4 months to keep on top of things.
Botox is for vanity only
Over recent years, Botox injections have been recognised by the medical industry as an effective treatment for a variety of conditions such as Migraines (we are one of few clinics in the area to run our very own Botox for migraine clinic), excessive sweating and even muscle spasms.
Botox goes much further than just aesthetics.