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Would You Inject Your Own Botox?

Before you start reading this article, which is going live on 1st April, I just want to say it is not an April Fool...though I wish it were. I really wish it were.

While we’ve all been waiting for clinic doors to open, post-Covid, for a dose of our favourite wrinkle reducing toxin, one company out there has decided that actually waiting to see our favourite medically qualified practitioner in person is just not necessary. In fact, they suggest we can inject the anti-wrinkle treatment home..! Let me just repeat that. They actually think it’s a good idea for people with no previous experience or medical expertise to be injecting themselves with Botox. At home. Now, while I’m sure there will be a few people out there who think this is a great idea, I think it’s probably one of the loopiest ideas I’ve ever heard. Here’s why…

Woah, woah, woah! Back up. Who’s behind this company?

Ok, so the start-up company in question is Illinois-based Mirror Care, a business who claims that our safety is their focus. Hmmmm. A client can, essentially, order Botox via them, and will be given live guidance over a video call on how to self-administer it at home. And if anything is to go wrong while trying to smooth your wrinkles? They state that your provider will address it. They also claim that all of their providers are vetted and have medical licenses, but don’t offer any more information about who they are or what type of medic they are.

Botulinum toxin is a POM

I mean. There are so many reasons I think this idea is crazy. But, firstly, because botulinum toxin (Botox is just one example) - the toxin used in anti-wrinkle injections - is a prescription-only medicine (POM) and, therefore, should only be prescribed (and at Glowday, we believe administered too) by a medically qualified aesthetic practitioner. When you go to see an aesthetic doctor, nurse, dentist or prescribing pharmacist, they will do a full and thorough consultation to check what treatment the client actually wants, and then, using their expertise, they determine whether or not it’s right for that individual. The toxin also needs to be stored correctly to keep it safe and effective.

Medics train for years to inject to a high standard

Secondly, the vast majority of medically qualified aesthetic practitioners train, train and train some more before they even feel ready to inject another human being. Not only do they have their medical background, thanks to which they have a great understanding of facial anatomy, but they also then top up this knowledge specifically with aesthetics-based skills. They’re constantly learning. And there’s a reason for that. It’s dangerous not to. While we might think we can follow instructions fairly easily - and I’m sure many of you have a really steady hand - the reality is that things could go very wrong, very quickly. We’ve all seen horror stories when it comes to injectables. Why would you want to be responsible for f*cking up your own face?

Even if a medic was in the same room as me and talked me through this MEDICAL PROCEDURE step by step, I still wouldn’t feel confident enough to actually inject myself. And that’s because I know I don’t hold the skills it takes to do it well (I didn’t go to medical school and I don’t have an aesthetics qualification!). And that’s with a medic in the room. Can someone please explain to me what happens if it all goes wrong and I’m in the house alone with just someone watching me via a video call? Because their website doesn’t.

Lights, camera, action

While you might have someone guiding you through the procedure, there are tonnes of things that might be problematic along the way. Poor WIFI service on either end causing freezing at inappropriate times; lighting, which can influence exactly what you’re seeing. And then there’s the angle at which you’re injecting. Can the provider actually see exactly where you’re injecting? While technology is way more advanced than it was a few years ago, I’m not sure it’s quite advanced enough for this. What if your kids burst into the room or the doorbell rings while your mid-injection? And how do you angle the screen so you can see what the provider is suggesting while holding a mirror up to your face so you can see where you're injecting?

Your home might be clean. But is it sterile?

You might have a lovely tidy home, but how clean is it really? I can guarantee, in the majority of cases, it isn’t as clean as an aesthetic medic’s clinic. That’s because high levels of cleanliness are drummed into medics from the very beginning of their careers. They keep their spaces and their equipment clean throughout the day, and this is so important to ensuring their clients are kept as safe as possible from bacteria and the likes.

Let’s just leave injectables to the experts, shall we?

We’re all feeling the effects of months and months of lockdown, and we’ve all seen too much of our faces on video calls. So the idea of a quick Botox fix might sound appealing. No waiting until clinics reopen or being at the end of a long waiting list. But, honestly, waiting for a medically qualified practitioner who has tonnes of injecting experience and a solid grasp of anatomy is so important for staying safe. It does just feel a bit like Mirror Care is taking advantage of people who are feeling desperate at the moment. Offering a half-baked solution to their problems.

We’ve all done a quick video tutorial in the past, but chances are that was for something relatively safe, like how to revive a dying plant, fixing a running toilet or figuring out how to do the perfect eyeliner flick. But self-injecting is just a step too far. Leave the toxins to the medically qualified pros who will see you face to face. They’ll have your best interests at heart and will know what to do in case there’s a complication along the way. Because complications can sometimes happen - yes, even with medics - but the difference is that they know what to do in that instance, and can fix it while you’re face to face. Doing it yourself could result in injecting the toxin too deep - or even into the wrong muscle altogether (some are so close together you might not even realise), and then there’s the risk of hitting an artery. Not to mention issues like ptosis (droopy eyelid), paralysis, bleeding or difficulty breathing.

Neurotoxins like Botox are not reversible in the same way that fillers are. Fillers can be dissolved, but anti-wrinkle treatment effects last for months...which is great when it goes right, but awful if it goes wrong. And who will be left accountable if a complication does occur? You were the one injecting, but they were the ones guiding.

I love to hear of new business ideas, especially in aesthetics, but this is a scheme riddled with uncertainties. So, isn’t it better to be in the hands of someone who knows how to fix it if it does? We’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. Your face is too importance to f*ck up!

To find out about the facts around anti-wrinkle injections, check out our handy treatment guide. And if you're looking for a consultation for the treatment of lines and wrinkles, be sure to always go to someone who is medically qualified.

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