Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Beauty Words: Botox for Ordinary Lives

That moment when your friend whips out her phone to share pictures from the last week's BBQ at her house and all you see is your back fat. You have no idea what your friend is babbling about or pointing to because the music from the Psycho shower scene is screeching in your head. You make a mental note to burn that t-shirt when you get home. As you finally start to recover your composure. the Psycho music in your head starts again! When the heck did my "elevens" get so bad? You excuse
yourself for a moment, go to the ladies room and stare in the mirror. All you see staring back at you is a Shar Pei puppy. You quickly make a note to check out some of those blurring products that are all the rage right now. Better yet, you might take a quick trip to Sephora to take a look at that Dr. Brandt line, something about needles no more or extending youth. At those prices they have to work, right?

Hellooooo? Botox, ladies, Botox!

I hear it now. I would never do Botox. No, not me. I won't do that. That's just not for me. WHY? I'm afraid of needles, it's too expensive, I don't know anyone I can I trust, I earned these wrinkles, I've never been to a med spa, I'm not that vain, it doesn't last long enough, I'm not one of "those" kind that get Botox......which of these excuses fit you?

I'd like to walk you through my experience with Botox and perhaps dispel a few urban legends. Lots of this will be opinion, some will be humor, some will be facts. Pretty sure it will be easy to tell what is what.

This is 2015. What year was it when you first heard whispers about Botox? Flipping through People magazine and wondering who had Botox.....2000? 2005? Things have changed a bit since then. Heck, I can get coffee in 20 flavors and I don't need a key to start my car. C'mon, grab my hand, I'm trying to pull you out of that time warp.

Cliches are cliches for a reason. First impressions are lasting impressions. I think the first impressions most of us had with Botox were not positive. There are still a lot of Hollywood personalities who look awful from Botox. Tabloids are more than happy to point to these Botox disasters and we are flooded with these images and headlines weekly in the grocery check out lane. Better yet, remember hearing about those by invitation only Botox parties at "someone's" house where a nurse would show up who had access to Botox? Horror stories shortly followed.....usually started by someone who was jealous they weren't invited to the party. You're not in Hollywood. You are in an everyday world with an everyday life albeit with 10 bottles of blur products and 8 bottles of anti-aging serums. Let's not even count how many lotions and potions we've tried on our necks during the last 12 months!

Botox is not expensive. Go sign up for Groupon or Living Social or Amazon Local or some other type "flash sale" service in your area. It's about $150 to do average elevens (those are the two frown lines between your eyes, on your forehead above the bridge of your nose - some of us only have a onesie) or average crow's feet. What's average? Look around the grocery store or yoga class or Panera the next few visits. Are your crow's feet average, deeper, lighter? If you don't have Groupon type sites in your area, call a local med spa or large hair salon or dermatology practice and ask. To do average elevens, it takes about 20 units of Botox. Dysport is an alternative to Botox but the units are double. Still the same price of about $150 but it would take 40 units of Dysport. Is one better than the other? Not in my non-medical opinion. Go for the better price or more convenient location.

What needles? Hog wash you're afraid of needles. That's a convenient excuse. We're not talking about a ten inch needle they inject into your brain! Have you ever seen a full Botox procedure for the elevens? The needle is minuscule, much slimmer than a sewing needle but bigger than a strand of hair (once again, I know I amaze you with my scientific knowledge). And they don't "inject" you. Don't be thinking flu shot! Don't be thinking a blood draw! Don't be thinking Novocaine at the dentist
office! This is a series of quick pricks, barely barely breaking into the skin. For my eleven, one line took maybe 5 or 6 pricks and time wise, maybe 30 seconds? Both lines of my elevens, maybe a minute total. It's very very fast. I went back to work afterward. No redness, no band-aids, no blood.  NOT injections, pricks. Tell the receptionist that you don't like needles and could they please remove the instruments from your line of sight before you enter the room. Keep your eyes closed, tell the clinician your fears.

Botox is not permanent. Well, thank goodness for that! Seriously, would you want something that was permanent? That would be a whole lotta potent. In 20 years, I might want to have elevens so I can look mean on Halloween! It takes about two weeks to see the full effect. You will start to notice it working in about 2 or 3 days. You'll try to frown, any will be able to frown!, and it will be a little resistant. In two weeks, it will be very resistant. But you will still raise your eye brows, you will still smile widely. In my world, I'm ok with not being able to furrow my eyebrows. But I want to be able to raise them in shock when I see someone wearing the wrong color lipstick with their blush. Know what I mean? For me, my elevens and crow's feet looked darn non-existent for about 4 months. Between 4 and 6 months, they crept back. I can say I typically do not frown but I do smile a lot. I'm not a squinter. I did not have bad crow's feet to begin with but I was talked into it during my appointment with the plastic surgeon. He said it was preventive which made sense, and he would charge me the Groupon price for the second batch.

Expert? Let's say this together. It's 2015. Botox clinics, med spas, doctor offices up and down the street administer Botox. We're not talking the first artificial heart here. We're talking very ordinary Botox. What was once a secret party in someone's basement given by nurse wearing a mask, is now available in the grocery aisle. Not really, but you get the point. It is no longer an exclusive club membership or PhD needed to administer Botox. Open up Groupon, do a search for Botox, close your eyes and point. That's who you should go to. Fine, do a bit or research and read some reviews. Pick three and call all three offices and tell them you are thinking about buying their Groupon, have never had Botox, can they explain the process. At the end of the day, which phone call did you like the best? Once again, this method comes from my scientific mind.  Hold the applause.

You won't look frozen!!!
Can things go wrong?  Yes. I'm not a medical professional but my guess is that 20 units of Botox can't distort your face. Allergic reactions? That subject is beyond my scope and is very important to discuss with the clinician. Botox is very ordinary and routine in 2015. Everyday people living every day lives look a bit fresher, maybe a bit friendlier, maybe a bit younger. Everyday people do not look frozen or artificial, this is not something that is going to happen to you. If someone looks frozen, it is their choosing. They are going too often or having it done in too many places or asking for extra units. Don't experiment! Stay with the safe stuff like elevens or crow's feet.

How much do you need?
  • In the glabella, which is the area between the eyes (elevens) usually in women takes between 16-28 units and in males takes between 18-30 units
  • For correction of crows feet bilaterally 18-24 units 
  • Horizontal forehead lines 8-16 units
  • Bunny lines on the nose 4-6 units 
  • Upper vertical lip lines 4-8 units are needed
  • For a gummy smile bilaterally 2-4 units
  • Marionette lines bilaterally 2-8 units, and for chin dimpling 4-8 units.
If you're wondering how much "liquid" 20 units of Botox is my easiest explanation is that 20 units of Botox is about 1/30 of an ounce. This why the needle thing is not a big deal. These are not injections! That 1/30 of an ounce is distributed among 10 to 12 pricks on your elevens. This is minuscule and each prick takes a flash of a second.

I don't know that anyone notices when I have it done. Again, mine are not deep to begin with. I myself hardly notice when I have it done. What I do notice is when they come back! It's an odd result. I don't notice I look better with Botox but I do notice I look worse without it. I'm sure that is clear as mud.

Getting Botox should not be a snap decision. This post is meant to be light-hearted and informational. Probably, the most important thoughts I wanted to get across is that these are not injections like a flu shot and secondly, you won't look frozen. Whether $150 - $300 is expensive 3 times per year is for you to decide. My point is that it is about $50 month and it works. It works. After a week or two, you will look in the mirror and the elevens or crow's feet will be gone.


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  1. This is laughable...asking whats your excuse? making it seem people should be having this and not making 'excuses' not to? Why don't you stick poison in your face and weaken the muscle? People are under enough pressure to look younger without being blogged into botox.
    Sorry but after all my research into this subject this has to be the most pathetic post I've read, which you've tried to cover up with humour.
    How do you know you won't look frozen? Plenty of people get the injections slightly off even with a qualified doctor or nurse, it's not been around long enough for full long term effects to be decided. An ordinary routine? Thats what the doctor tells you as they want their cash. You've come across very niave and quite possibly dumb.