Let’s talk about BOTOX. Yes, I get it and no, it’s not as scary you may think. After getting injections for the first time last fall, I briefly talked about my experience on Instagram Stories (gotta love the 24 hours expiration) and was blown away by the positive response and sheer number of gals who told they first started getting preventative Botox in their 20s too. Not only that, I was bombarded with questions. I was shocked because I’d truly been expecting to get a bunch of snarky messages telling me I was too young (I was 27) or that Botox was something only done by the Real Housewives.
Fast forward a year later, I’ve now had Botox 3x and have been really pleased with my results and the overall experience. I’ve gone every 6 months to get injections in my forehead and between my brows as those are the areas of my skin where faint lines have begun to appear even when my face is relaxed.
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It was a decision I’d weighed for almost 2 years and after a lot of discussion with friends who’d had injections, a few PR industry folks I know who work with medical spas and pharma brands, along with my sister who conveniently is an esthetician (but sadly lives far away in Georgia) I decided to give it a shot.
I shared a few videos and photos from my most recent Botox appointment with Genevieve Vielbig (or Nurse Gigi as she goes by on Insta!) two weeks ago and again, the response and amount of questions I received from you guys was overwhelming. If there’s one thing I learned from reading all your messages is that there are a lot us (aka gals in our 20s) who are curious about Botox and feel like we could use it to combat initial signs of aging, but are hesitant to get it done because of the stigma. I mean up until I finally started asking questions myself, I’d been under the impression Botox was only for older women and that I’d be crazy to get it done before the age of 30.
I’ve since learned that’s not the case. Plenty of women begin preventative Botox in their mid-late 20s. I was so relieved hearing from the those of you who said you started before 30 too. Like phew I’m not alone!!!
Now about your questions… There were a lot so below you’ll see I answered the ones asking about my personal experience and opinion. For anything technical or relating to side effects, pricing, etc. I thought it would be helpful to get a professional’s input so BIG thank you to Nurse Gigi for helping me out. If you’re local to NYC and looking for an expert on injectables and all things skincare– she’s the bomb!
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A brief disclaimer… I put together this post to be informative and give insight into my own experience. The intent isn’t to encourage getting Botox injections or suggest you need to start at the same age I did. Doing anything cosmetic to your body or skin is a very personal decision and it’s important to remember everyone ages differently. What may work for one person, may not be the right fit for another and that’s totally okay! I’m all for people doing whatever makes them feel good and confident– you do you boo!
Everything You Need To Know About Preventative Botox
Why did you decide to get Botox?
Around age 25 I started noticing very faint lines in between my eyebrows and FREAKED OUT. I’m not just talking about the lines everyone has when they squint or roll their eyes– these were lines I could see even when my face was completely relaxed.
At the time I was too nervous to start Botox so for over two years I buckled down on my skincare routine hoping that would solve my problem, and to some extent it did! I 100% believe using great anti-aging products has prevented any additional lines from forming and helped stop (and even slightly fade) the ones I do have. That said though, my lines weren’t going anywhere. There’s only so much expensive products can do and despite being something really only I could notice, it still bothered me and I was constantly worried about the lines etching deeper into my skin.
Where on your face do you get the injections?
My forehead and in between my eyebrows as those are the areas where I’ve noticed faint fine lines.
How many units of Botox do you get?
At my last appointment I got 30 units.
How long does it last? How often do you get it done?
Results can vary for everyone, but for me I’ve been fine going 6 months in between appointments. So essentially that’s twice a year.
Does it hurt?
As long as you get numbed it feels no worse than getting your eyebrows threaded. It’s like a small pin prick. Lots of people don’t even need to be numbed before the injections, but I’m a big baby so I’m probably always going to request it 😛
What does botox actually do?
Botox works by using botulinum toxin in safe, diluted doses to temporarily weaken the facial muscles that cause wrinkles from repetetive motion. The outcome is smooth wrinkle free skin. – Nurse Gigi
How much does botox typically cost? Is it ever covered by insurance?
Botox can range from $300-$1500 depending on how many areas are treated, what geographic location you are located in and who you receive treatment from i.e. a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, physician assistant, or a nurse injector. Botox is only covered by insurance for patients with chronic migraine headaches and other serious medical conditions, never for cosmetic purposes. – Nurse Gigi
How do you know you need botox? What are the signs you need it?
No one “needs” botox, but when you start to see those fine lines stay after you stop expressing it’s usually an indicator that it is time to start. Prevention of those lines from etching into your skin permanently is key. – Nurse Gigi
Are there any side effects to botox?
In experienced hands, Botox is safe and predictable with outstanding results. But if placed incorrectly it can lead to an unnatural appearance, droopy eyebrows, and droopy eyelids. Make sure to find an experienced injector! – Nurse Gigi
Is botox painful?
Not really, just mild discomfort of little pin pricks. You can always request numbing before the treatment. – Nurse Gigi
How long does botox last?
Immediately after getting the treatment, Botox will take anywhere from 3 to 10 days to kick in. Botox typically lasts for 3-4 months, but can gradually last even longer after receiving regular treatments for about 1 year. This is because the muscles that cause the wrinkles will gradually weaken if Botox is applied regularly. – Nurse Gigi
What areas of the face can you get botox injections?
The most common wrinkles to treat with Botox are the crows feet wrinkles around the eyes, the horizontal forehead wrinkles, and the vertical wrinkles between the eyebrows, know as the “elevens”. Botox is also injected into the jaw line to atrophy the muscles and slim the face. It can be used to decrease a gummy smile, to subtly raise the tip of the nose, and for fine lines around the mouth such as smokers lines. – Nurse Gigi
Is there an age range you recommend for when to begin looking into botox?
I suggest that the time to really start preventative Botox is when you see faint lines starting to form when your face is at rest. Most people start with “baby botox” in their late 20’s and early 30’s. – Nurse Gigi
Does botox lift your eyebrows? I’ve heard forehead botox can create an undesired eyebrow lift.
If a patient gets an undesired brow lift effect, that can easily be corrected with a few units of Botox. It can alternatively give a lateral brow lift which is a desired effect that many patients want to open up their eyes. Pick your injector wisely and you will be fine. – Nurse Gigi
How long does botox take to start working?
Immediately after getting the treatment, Botox will take anywhere from 3 to 10 days to kick in. Occasionally one area can look slightly asymmetric until the final effect is reached within 10 days. Any minor “touch ups” are best done 2 weeks after treatment. – Nurse Gigi
Once botox wears off are the wrinkles the same or worse than before starting?
Your face goes back to the way it was before you had Botox injections. Just like when you stop working out at the gym, those results disappear. – Nurse Gigi
If I’m sensitive to creams/toners/etc. do I need to be worried about reacting to botox?
Botox is fine for sensitive skin, the only concern may be transient bruising in the area. – Nurse Gigi
Can you get botox to help with under eye wrinkles?
Botox is not indicated to treat under eye wrinkles, only the lines in the corners of the eye, often referred to as crows feet. – Nurse Gigi
So those were the most common questions I received, however if there are any others I missed or something else you’re curious about feel free to sound off in the comments! 🙂