So, what’s true and what’s false when it comes to Botox? Let's take a look!
Botox Makes You Look Frozen. Or Does It?...
Botox makes your face look frozen
False - well, false if done correctly.
This is the big one that people worry most about. That botulinum toxin brands such as Botox will leave you with Botox face - or a face that looks frozen. And to be fair there have been a fair few cases of this is the media - especially in the early 2000s when Botox really exploded. But a good practitioner will always carry out a thorough consultation first and will likely suggest going for the more natural look rather than having so much that you look like your face will be referred to by the same name as a popular Disney film. Of course, some folk like the Botox frozen look, they want that, and you know, that's fine. You do you.
And that brings me on to another common Botox misconception...
You won’t be able to move your face after Botox injections
False - when done by an expert.
Just like with the frozen look, a lot of people believe that Botox injections result in an expressionless face that you can’t move. But, fortunately, this is not true. A medically qualified, experienced practitioner will know how much botulinum toxin to use, and should tailor the amount to your needs, muscle size and suitability. Sure, if you go to just anyone who claims to be able to offer Botox, this is a possibility, but that’s why it’s so important to go with someone who knows how much is too much and what’s right for you.
Botox is a poison, so it’s dangerous
It’s easy to see why people get upset about this one, because technically botulinum toxin is produced by Clostridium botulinum - a bacterium that can lead to botulism (a severe condition that can be life-threatening). But the amount of botulinum toxin, such as Botox, used in anti-wrinkle injections is so small that it can’t have the same effects as botulism. It’s also worth noting that Botox is FDA-approved as an anti-wrinkle treatment as well as for many other uses.
You can have Botox in your lips
True and False
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that if you have lip augmentation of any kind, that’s Botox, but that’s not actually true. In reality, if you go to get your lips plumped, your practitioner will use dermal fillers, such as those by Juvederm or Restylane, Perlane. Same goes for plumping cheeks. There is a treatment called the Botox lip flip but this one doesn't add volume or hydration, or change the contours of the lips like lip filler would. The anti-wrinkle treatment is injected into the muscle that purses the lips, to weaken and roll it out.
Botox works on all types of lines and wrinkles
Yup, this is another big mistake people make when they think about Botox. While Botox and other brands of botulinum toxin work on expression lines (dynamic lines), such as crow’s feet, 11s and forehead lines, they don’t work on static lines - those than remain when we are not moving our face. Instead, these are treated with dermal fillers. Here's an image of some of the key Botox areas on the face...
Botox prevents wrinkles
So, not only can Botox treat lines that are already there, but many professionals say that it can also help prolong the onset of lines and wrinkles. However, one thing to take into account is the financial side. If you start getting Botox in your twenties, you’ll be getting it for a long, long time to maintain the results. Weighing up whether you can afford to get it done every 3-6 months for the rest of your life is an important consideration. So, how much does Botox cost? Well, that depend on a number of factors - such as who you go to, their experience, the products they're using and where in the country you are. But you can expect a Botox treatment to cost between £175 to £300 per area. Some clinics will offer a discount for multiple areas. But be wary of cheap Botox. It could be an unregulated brand, or that the Botox price is so cheap because the practitioner isn't qualified or well-trained. If it seems too good to be true - well, you know the rest.
Botox can only be used on your face
Botox is not just a pretty face you know; it can be used for a range of reasons, not simply reducing wrinkles. For example, you can have Botox for migraine, Botox for cervical dystonia and other spasms, there's masseter Botox, Botox for TMJ, underarm Botox or Botox for sweating - hyperhidrosis - and tons more. Pretty impressive!
Anti-wrinkle injections work straight away
With some cosmetic treatments, you see the results straight away, but with Botox it can take between 3 and 14 days to notice a difference. And this varies from person to person, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see those lines disappearing right after your appointment. A good Botox practitioner will invite you back in for a post-treatment consultation to see how well the Botox has taken effect and whether you need any more.
You need downtime after Botox
Ok, so don’t go booking any major events for straight after your appointment - in fact, maybe wait a day to let any pin prick marks go, but there’s no downtime, so you can go about your day as normal if you choose to. But you might want to wait for your Botox to kick in before booking any big events that require you to look fabulous.
You can’t travel after Botox
Technically you can travel straight away after Botox, but you might want to wait a few days, depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing. If it’s just a case of needing to get on a plane, that’s absolutely fine and your Botox shouldn't cause you any problems. There are reports that sun exposure speeds up the metabolism of Botox and other anti-wrinkle treatments, so it may be a good idea to get your treatment done a few days prior to your holiday. This will mean that you will have had your check up appointment 2 weeks after your treatment, where your practitioner may give you a ‘top up’ to treat any unwanted movement. Oh, and you won’t be able to drink for up to 24 hours after your treatment, so no cheeky holiday tipples until then.
Botox lasts forever
Botulinum toxin only stays in the system for around 3-6 months (though this can vary from one person to the next). It’s then metabolised by the body, through the liver and kidneys, and you’ll start to see the effects wear off and lines start to reappear. Obviously, it would be great if it did last forever - so long as it's done well. If you have bad Botox, the saving grace is that it will metabolise after a few months.
You can’t exercise after Botox
Sorry, all you gym bunnies but you’ll have to hold off for up to 24 hours after your anti-wrinkle injection. The reason for this? Well, when we exercise, we encourage circulation. And while that’s generally a great thing, it really isn’t after Botox, because the circulation can lead the botulinum toxin to spread to other areas, making it less effective where we actually intended it to be.
I don’t need to see a medically trained professional - my local salon offers Botox
Any type of treatment that requires a solution being administered by needle should be done by a medically qualified professional. There’s been a huge increase in the number of places offering Botox and other aesthetic treatments recently, like salons and spas, but if there’s only one thing you take away from this, please let it be this one: Choose a medically qualified practitioner. They will go through a full consultation with you and will have the training and experience that’s necessary for this type of treatment. Plus, take a look at their before and after pictures first to make sure you like the results you see. Don’t be tempted to go for someone who isn’t medically qualified just because they are cheaper. If it goes wrong, you’ll end up paying more in the long run and it could have a huge impact on your confidence.
Botox is the same as fillers
They’re both injectables, sure. But there are lots of differences when it comes to Botox and dermal fillers. The first is that in a cosmetic sense, Botox and other brands of botulinum toxin are simply used to reduce the appearance of dynamic lines; they don’t reduce static lines, plump or augment. For that type of treatment, it’s fillers you’ll need. Another major difference is the solution - anti-wrinkle injections such as Botox are made up of botulinum toxin, whereas fillers generally use hyaluronic acid (and, less commonly, collagen).
So, hopefully that’s a few questions answered about Botox. Just remember, book a consultation with a medically qualified practitioner, take it easy, and if it feels like the right treatment, go for it - but never feel pressured into it. It’s got to be right for you. For loads more information on the anti-wrinkle treatment, check out our super comprehensive treatment guide.
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