Botox, once primarily and sometimes fearfully associated with high-priced frozen faces, has received a face-lift of its own in the media. Thanks to articles like Time Magazine's "Botox: The Drug That's Treating Everything," which features the potential range of treatments using Botox injections, the general public is becoming more aware of the potential health and psychological benefits currently being explored and researched by physicians. In fact, the Time article counted 793 potential uses, including treating depression, erectile dysfunction, migraines, and back pain -- just to name a few.
While Botox is getting a second look for its non-cosmetic benefits, its time we revisited and (for some wary of entering the realm of injectibles) redeemed the cosmetic benefits as well. While any injectible should be carefully considered before use, this guide to Botox and information about my approach to Botox-based aesthetics will help you decide if Botox is right for you.
The Botox Basics
Many people are familiar with the basic idea behind Botox for cosmetic use: a neurotoxin is injected in small doses into targeted facial muscles, blocking signals between muscles and nerves and thus relaxing the muscles. Used to treat areas like the forehead, crows feet, and squint and frown lines, the relaxation of facial muscles helps combat the formation of expression wrinkles. After injection you can expect to notice results in 3-7 days, and it lasts from 3-6 months, gradually wearing off in that time frame.
However, less familiar are the range of aesthetic outcomes available with Botox.
What are some of the less well-known uses of Botox?
Botox can be used to generate brow lifts. Several factors can contribute to sagging brows--genetically hooded eyes may cause drooping early in life, while the loss of collagen elastin and bone density as we age contributes to loss of volume around the temporal hollows, and less mass results in drooping brows. However, precision injections can restore the look of lifted brows, making it a simple fix with no down time, and a great value compared to surgical options.
While prevention has become a well known concept in the world topical facial aesthetics, you may not have considered adding Botox to your beauty regimen as an addition to a preventative treatment for aging. However, when you start Botox early, before there is a severe problem, you help prevent lines from becoming permanent, resulting in less lines over time. Think of it as maintenance vs. a major overhaul.
Beauty Aesthetics and Botox: Are you concerned about looking/feeling "frozen" or overdone?
My biggest concern for my clients is safely producing the look they want. I follow the general beauty principles of The Golden Ratio to bring beauty through balance. While recent research disputes the exact ratios that create attractiveness, the basic principles remain the same, dating from the Ancient Greek's first inception of the ratio. Whatever your concerns when you come in, I will customize your Botox dosage and placement to your desired appearance and skin history. Looking for natural results? High glamour? Somewhere in between? Let me know and I will adjust your treatment.
While I try to avoid generalizations because each person deserves a hand-tailored treatment plan, the following guideline can help you gauge if you are getting too much Botox: in most cases the optimal units of Botox will roughly coincide with your age. If you are 28 years old, your units injected should be in the same range. Going in with this expectation can empower you with the knowledge to speak up if you feel you are receiving an excessive dose. Additionally, while Botox relaxes the muscles, it does not impact nerve sensation, so your face won't feel "frozen" either.
Time and Talk
Reading articles and posts like this one is certainly helpful, but most of all I recommend coming in for a consultation armed with your goals and questions. These consultations, which you can schedule here, can give you the information and the time you need to make your decision. Additionally, I recommend that you schedule a follow up appointment after about 2 weeks so that we can assess the results and make any adjustments as needed. Taking time to ensure clients are happy with their results is all part of the process I commit to.