The Stigma Behind Getting Botox
Getting Botox can be scary for a lot of women who never thought they’d do it.
Of course, getting Botox tends to bring up some hidden emotions about our own faces. For example, I used to hate the wrinkles that grew on the outer corner of my eyes and how my skin was always puffy in the under-eye area regardless of how much sleep I got or how many cucumbers I put on.
Take a look at the photo below. This is a before photo of what my wrinkles looked like. I hated it.
I was one of those women that thought I would never do it. After four kids, a divorce, a second marriage, managing a home and building up a business — I reached the conclusion I was severely delusional.
Getting Botox was inevitable. I was just waiting for the time when my face became unbearable to stare at in the mirror. I grew up in an era where aging was perceived as against the natural order of life even though, it really wasn’t.
So, of course I had this terrible feeling about getting Botox. I wasn’t even forty yet and already I had this inkling that I needed it. Why couldn’t I just accept that I was aging?
Aging has always been viewed as a torturous event that women go through. I didn’t want to age. I wanted to stay looking young and beautiful. But to be honest, deep down I wished that society would change so that I could age without feeling embarrassed.
How ridiculous does that sound! I felt embarrassed to age.
In the end, my wrinkles caused me so much dismay that I finally caved. I felt ashamed for needing it like I could’ve taken better care of my face and on the other end of it, I felt like if I didn’t get the injections that I’d somehow be failing as a woman.
When I went in for my evaluation, the doctor could see me unraveling with nerves. Then he said something very important. He said, “There’s no shame in caring for your skin. When you get sick, you go to a doctor and get medicine, right? It’s the same for your skin. Your skin is aging. It’s making you feel uncomfortable with your appearance. You came to see me so that I can care for your skin.”
That made sense to me and immediately, I felt at ease receiving the Botox treatment. I was, after all, making an effort to care for my skin.
So why do so many of us wait to take the plunge versus other women?
Some have opted to be Au Naturel accepting the aging process as beautiful, whereas others just find the stuff poisonous for their bodies. There have been some who have turned down using Botox because their spouses felt it would change the way their faces looked.
One of the biggest myths about Botox is that your face will forever be altered. My own husband suffered from this myth.
Check out my photo below. It’s a photo of my eyes, 2 weeks post-Botox injections. So, now you have an idea of how untrue the myth actually is.
Look at both photos. You can see that my eyes are scrunched from smiling in both.
Look closely in the second picture. I don’t have the wrinkles I did in the first picture. My face was still the same, barely altered, yet I felt more confident in my appearance.
And now, without further adieu, here are the facts I learned about getting Botox.
9 Facts I Learned After Getting Botox
1. You’ll be asked to make all sorts of funny faces into a camera
While it is fun, it’s also common practice. They’re taking your picture to analyze all of your lines. In my case, they found quite a few. I had smile lines, frown lines, forehead lines, crow’s feet, under eye bulges with lines, and the dreaded number 11 between my eyebrows. I already knew all of this, seeing it on an iPad wasn’t awesome! But it was definitely an eye opener on how I was in the right for feeling it was time to do some self care on my face.
2. You don’t have to be a celebrity to afford Botox
Most units cost anywhere between $10 and $20 a unit. Depending on the amount of areas being treated, a person could require upwards of 40 units. To give you a better idea, I’ll use my treatment as an example. Keep in mind I am 36 with four kids who drive me insane. The fine lines and wrinkles on my face required a total of 38 units and each unit was $10. At a cost of $380, the price was reasonable and less invasive than plastic surgery.
3. Coupons for Botox are real
Before scheduling a session, be sure to ask if the brand of Botox that the facility is using offers any kind of coupons, reward perks, or discount programs. Does it sound cheap and possibly like a scam? It’s not. Makers of the stuff want consumers to come back to use their product and as a side perk, they often offer benefits in the form of packages, points, and coupons. There are several FDA approved brands that offer Botox: Allergen, Dysport, Xeomen and Jeuveau. When I made my appointment, I was offered a rewards program which earned me an immediate $50 coupon and points for every time I have the procedure done. Though my initial procedure cost would’ve been $380, I saved $50 off the initial treatment plus earning another $20 coupon for the next time. Total cost for 38 units of Botox, only $330 — That’s a steal!
4. The notion that Botox is a miracle worker is wrong
That’s because it doesn’t erase what is already there. Botox is preventative. It freezes the muscles you use in the treated areas, but it can’t be used like a flat iron to permanently destroy those pesky lines. The miracle behind Botox is that it forces treated areas to stop using the muscles that caused the lines in the first place, thus making the appearance of them less noticeable. If you’re twenty-five, you’ll have less wrinkles than someone my age and so for that reason, it is probably better to get Botox younger. It also doesn’t last forever. Botox lasts anywhere from 3 to 6 months, most areas needing to be re-treated around the 3-4 month mark. Each person’s skin is different and that means how the skin bounces back post-treatment will vary.
5. What not to do after Botox
My doctor guided me on the no-no’s for immediately after the procedure. Don’t rub or massage the treated areas afterward because it can cause the botulinum toxin to migrate to another area of your face. If this happens, you could have temporary facial weakness or drooping.
I was not allowed to lie face down, exercise, or make strong facial expressions for four hours. If I wanted a facial or chemical peel, I had to wait ten days. Knowing all of this before entering the office would have been easier to manage my post-procedure experience. In my case, I came home to a toddler who had her finger accidentally hammered by her older sister during a game their daddy called “archaeology in the driveway”. Strong facial expressions are mandatory in parenting. So, do your homework on pre-procedure and post-procedure instructions before you schedule any cosmetic procedure.
6. Getting Botox isn’t a moral question
Every person has a personal reason for why Botox either is or is not for them. Some prefer to love their natural faces, in all of its splendor. On the other hand, I choose to let Botox assist me from having RBF (resting b*tch face) permanently.
7. Prepare for some discomfort and mild pain
Expect a little pain, some discomfort, possibly mild bruising and swelling. Every one’s skin is different, so every one’s skin will react differently. Your pain tolerance might be super high on your forehead and then you may cry like a baby when they touch your under-eye area. The most important thing to remember is A) don’t watch the needle coming at your face and B) stay still, don’t distract the Doctor, and breathe. It’ll be over in a jiffy. In fact, the prepping and pre-procedure information session is longer than the actual injection process.
8. Are there side effects?
There are some side effects worth knowing before scheduling your first session. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the most common side effects of any botulinum toxin injectable include bruising and pain at the site of the injection, flu-like symptoms, headache, nausea, redness, and temporary facial drooping. The more rare symptoms include the toxin spreading beyond the treated areas and this could induce symptoms such as trouble breathing or swallowing, muscle weakness, and slurred speech.
9. How long before you see results?
You might start to notice the results within a few days, though it could take a full week before the full results are noticeable. It took me 2 weeks to officially see a more youthful face. *Update* My first Botox treatment lasted 6 months.
The Post-Botox Takeaway
Gladly, I can say my experience with getting Botox went very well.
I can admit, I should’ve done more homework on what I couldn’t do after the procedure because not being able to make strong facial expressions as a mother is like asking a kid not to eat the candy they’re holding. It’s just not possible.
Twenty-four hours post-procedure, I noticed some minor changes, more so on my left eyebrow than my right. I found that I could do an amazing eyebrow lift using only my left eyebrow. By day 3, my face equally looked younger on both sides. It is now 6 months post Botox injections and I am only now starting to see the wrinkles and fine lines coming back.
So, was Botox worth getting? Yes, I can honestly say it was!
Check out my other post for natural ways to keep your skin glowing by clicking here, Eat Right, Feel Amazing
You can also check out my awesome skincare routine that works great for moms. Click here, Vitamin C and Mommy Skin
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