I got Botox this year, and so did more than 7 million other Americans. It’s currently a 6.4-billion-dollar industry that is expected to reach 15.2 billion by 2030.
If you’ve heard of it but don’t know the specifics of what it can do, Botox is a popular non-invasive procedure that helps with wrinkles and things like migraines, teeth grinding, and sweating. It’s a powder mixed with saline and then injected into specific areas to weaken muscles. When the muscles are weakened, Botox prevents them from moving and causing wrinkles.
I have two kids, and while the oldest is nine, it feels like he was just a newborn. Time goes by so fast that I feel lucky to be alive in an era where my camera is always in my pocket to capture all the holiday photos, milestones, vacations, and silly selfies as they grow up way too fast. But it was in those selfies where seemingly overnight, I started to be bothered by some of the changes I saw.
I started buying more creams and serums. I took collagen and drank tons of water. I became steadfast in my dedication to wearing sunscreen every day. I think all those things are great, and they do help me look and feel better, but I started to hear more friends talk about injections and how they loved the results.
I’d like to think I’m somewhat low-maintenance. But I’m probably more “medium-maintenance.” Is that a thing? I know that I feel better when I look better. But I also didn’t have the time or patience to do much more than I was already doing. As I researched, I found that Botox is (relatively) affordable compared to other cosmetic procedures and requires a 10-minute appointment 3-4 times a year.
So, I found a place to schedule a free consultation that was highly recommended. I figured I’d either decide it wasn’t for me and walk out after meeting with the doctor, or I’d give it a try, and because it’s not permanent, it would eventually wear off if I didn’t like it. What was there to lose?
What to know
It’s a safe, minimally invasive procedure. As with any medical procedure, you want to research and go to an experienced doctor. There are some potential side effects, like bruising. There’s the potential for more serious side effects but those are extremely rare.
It’s temporary. The average duration for Botox is three to four months. And those who exercise a lot or express themselves with facial movements may lose the effects more quickly.
You should schedule a consultation. When I went for my first appointment, it was to meet with the doctor, and there was no pressure to commit. While I decided to have injections done the same day, you should not feel obligated to move forward if you are unsure for any reason.
How to prepare
Before your appointment, drink lots of water and avoid alcohol. This will help ensure your skin is in its best shape for injections.
It’s best to skip makeup and moisturizers during your morning routine. I didn’t realize this at my first appointment, and they used a quick wipe to remove my makeup. So, while having something on your face is okay, you might as well skip it.
Know what to expect during the appointment. The doctor listened to my concerns and had me scowl, raise my eyebrows, and squint. The injections took a few minutes and felt like a small pinch.
Plan for a low-key day. For at least six hours, you should avoid exercising, lying down, or taking blood-thinning medications like Ibuprofen. Avoid saunas, steam rooms, hot yoga, or other heat-related activities.
Set your expectations. Results are not immediate. You typically begin to see a difference in a few days, with full results in 1-2 weeks.
I’ve been thrilled with the results. It’s been a good solution for my busy, “medium-maintenance” lifestyle. A decade ago, I would have laughed at the thought of considering Botox, but one of the things I own as I grow older is that I have the right to change my mind. I choose how I want to look as I determine my own beauty standards and self-care.
Botox makes me look like myself, but maybe a little more refreshed and less stressed. Like when I wear makeup or get a manicure, I’m still me. Bring on the fun, the smiles, and the selfies.