Time is a-marching on and that is quite evident across my face. Having recently turned 37 I’m only too aware of the toll that time is taking on my features….
The hardest for me to come to terms with are the two frown furrows that seem to have taken up permanent residence between my eyebrows!
They make me look like I’m permanently angry and annoyed – not cool. I notice them in EVERY photograph of myself and see them whenever I look at myself in the mirror. I know it’s all vanity and that probably doesn’t make me a very good person… whatever! Those frown lines they bother me – maybe no one else even notices – but for me they had to go!
It’s mysteries and magic are whispered in circles of middle-aged women across the country and around the world. And it’s something I’d considered, but not taken action on until recently…
With the festive season approaching it seemed like it might be a good time to give it a try… and so I did!
Here are my thoughts and Behind-the-Scenes Beauty experience
One mid-week morning I found myself arriving at Deluxe Laser & Spa in Cavendish Square to meet up with Dr Jemma Simpson. A qualified medical practitioner with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the university of Witwatersrand, Dr Jemma has a special interest in Aesthetic and Anti-ageing Medicine. She completed her Aesthetics Training in the administration of Anti-wrinkle injections and Fillers with Dr Alek Nikolic and shadowed two of the top aesthetics practitioners in Cape Town for further training and teaching. Her approach to anti-ageing treatments is to start as early as possible believing that prevention is better than cure.
Aesthetic medicine is a new field where new treatments and technologies offer patients many options to suit their aging concerns as well as their budgets.
Dr Jemma practices from the rooms at Deluxe on the ground floor in Cavendish and the space is private and comfortable. She immediately put me at ease with her relaxed nature and spoke me through the procedure first before doing an assessment of my skin and my anti-aging concerns and problem areas.
We then proceeded to take a few “Before” photos so we could document the progress…
All about Botox
Botox® is one of many brands of neurotoxins available in aesthetic medicine. Derived from Onabotulinum toxin, Botox® has been altered so is completely safe for human use. It has been in use since the 1980’s, particularly helpful for patients with neuromuscular disorders. In Aesthetic Medicine it is a purified protein that relaxes the muscles of the face that cause wrinkles around the forehead and eyes creating a more youthful appearance.
Its main role in aesthetics, is in wrinkle reduction. With wrinkles being either static or dynamic, Botox® works well on the dynamic wrinkles. These wrinkles or creases appear when a face is showing expression such as surprise or a frown.
Through a series of minute injections, placed into facial muscles, Botox® acts as an inhibitor preventing the muscles from moving. These inactivated muscles will then remain in a state of calm, preventing the wrinkles associated with their movement, from appearing. By inhibiting specific muscle movements other muscles will dominate which results in enhancement of features, such as in an eyebrow lift.
Popular treatment areas are the frown/ forehead and eyebrow area. As well as the crows feet & to lift to the corners of the mouth to improve the chin and jowls area. It can also be used very effectively to reduce excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) of the palms and armpits as well as to reduce the appearance of a “Gummy” smile. The effects lasts approximately 3-4 months and it is fast becoming a popular preventative solution for wrinkles, for women in their 20s and 30s
My Botox Experience
First Dr Jemma prepped my skin with a numbing gel so as to reduce the feeling in the area when administering the injections. Then she waited a few minutes to let that settle.
And then the needle came out – but I kept my eyes tightly shut so I didn’t see it and freak out!
Then she quickly started to inject the Botox into my skin, working from one side to the other in very precise locations on my face so as to ensure the Botox was administered in exactly the right location.
I lay VERY still making sure I didn’t mess this up!
And I can report that there was hardly any pain at all – maybe a very slight pin prick followed by a cool sensation as the injectable fluid was released.
Jemma made the whole experience very bearable and I found I wasn’t too anxious at all. There were about 3 pricks across the top of my forehead, about 4 between my eyebrows and 2 on the upper side of my eyebrows.
And then it was all over. Within 5 mins of starting!
I walked out of the room expecting everyone to know my secret – as if it would be written all over my face – but no one said a word. And they still haven’t!
That first day I had to be very careful with not rubbing my forehead, banging it or even sleeping on my side or hanging upside down (because I do that a lot!) This was to ensure that none of the Botox got dislodged and ended up in the wrong spot!
I must be honest and say that I felt quite nervous that first day. Worried that maybe something weird would happen to my face and my eyelid would droop and never return to normal. I don’t think I slept very well as those anxious thoughts got louder as the night got darker – but they were totally unfounded! Aside from a rather bad headache for 2 days post-procedure, nothing weird happened at all. In fact everything just looked normal – only better!
A week or so later I returned to assess whether I needed a top up and Jemma added 2 more injections to my upper brows and at the very top of my forehead where one frown line was still visible. And then we took some “After” photos
This last pic is my trying to lift my brow…. but there are NO LINES AT ALL! Excellent!
And not once has anyone suspected that I’ve had Botox. It was all rather strange to have this secret and not tell anyone at all… leading them to believe I’m just a very relaxed person – or at least a bit younger than I really am!
So, the big question, would I do it again???
Well on day one and two when I was struggling with my anxious thoughts and a monster headache I probably would have said no. I was happy to have given it a bash, but it wasn’t for me. But now I’ve got over myself and seen the results – and those make all the difference! No frown lines looking back at me every morning is a win and I’ve had more than one compliment about how “fresh” I’m looking so now my answer would be YES. The headache was a small sacrifice, plus now I know that my worries were unfounded and that nothing actually went wrong so I can be rest assured that it’s totally safe – and sleep a bit easier the next time!
So, have you had Botox??? What are thoughts on this controversial topic? Tell me in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you (unless you’re going to tell me how vain I am – then you can keep those thoughts to yourself 😛 haha)
FAQ’s about Botox
Who should I use for my injectables?
When getting Botox it’s advisable that you consult a trained medical doctor that specialises in these procedures to maintain a natural look best suited to the contours of your face. It’s important to consult someone who is up-to-date with the latest techniques and someone who performs these treatments on a regular basis. It’s also vital to ensure that the person you choose to administer these products uses genuine, tested products and not cheap, imitation alternatives. A good doctor will customise the type of injectable needed according to your age and area of concern.
Are there any side effects from Anti-wrinkle Injectables?
There are no long term side effects from Botox®. Typically, skin that has Botox® looks better and shows less signs of aging than skin that hasn’t used Botox®. Anti-wrinkle injectable are tried and tested in millions of treatments globally and are safe and effective when administered by a doctor who has correct understanding of the underlying facial musculature. Side effects can include minor bruising at the site of the injection, so don’t take any medication that thins the blood (like aspirin, vitamin E supplements & Omega 3) for several days prior to your treatment, as this increases the risk of bruising.
Will I see immediate results?
It varies by patient, but as a rule expect to see the results within 2 – 5 days as the muscle beneath the skin of the frown line relaxes. Once it does, the difference will be noticeable to you. The results are subtle and natural, making you look well-rested and more youthful. Full effects can be seen after 2 weeks.
Will I look frozen after my anti-wrinkle treatment?
No. When skilfully administered, Botox® will not result in a frozen expressionless face but instead, will create a refreshed, peaceful and youthful look. Trained doctors study your facial musculature and administer the right amount of product for you, for the most natural and subtle of results. The ‘frozen’ or unnatural appearance you sometimes see on celebrities happen as a result of over-treatment.
Will this treatment prevent wrinkles from forming?
Evidence suggests that as the muscle is trained to relax and the overlying skin releases its’ wrinkle that it does help in the prevention of further lines from forming in that area. It’s the repeated contraction of the facial muscle whilst making an expression like smiling or frowning that caused the wrinkle in the first place, so once the muscle relaxes, wrinkles don’t form in the treated area until the effects of the injection wear off. Regular treatments mean the muscle stays relaxed, and wrinkles are kept at bay.
Current Price List (All prices are estimates and are correct as of Jan 2018)
Forehead & Eyebrow: R1100
Crows Feet: R1200
Tel: 081 033 2888