Editor’s Note: This Botox review explores the topic through a solely personal lens. Please connect with a trusted medical professional for in-depth, personalized care in this area.
I’ve mentioned a few times before that I started getting Botox in recent years. Each time do, I get questions from people wanting more info. In the spirit of transparency, I wanted to break down my personal experience—why I first got it, how an appointment works, where I go for Botox, and more.
I grew up around people who talked about Botox as a “bad” thing to do—that it was desperate or vain or shameful. That kind of hastily judgmental perspective doesn’t sit well with me now.
I’m sharing today’s post to answer questions for people who may be considering Botox and to help remove a bit of the stigma that often surrounds it.
I first tried Botox when I was thirty-five (I’m thirty-eight now). I’d been considering doing it as a preventative measure for a while, primarily to treat and lessen the visibility of eleven lines between my eyebrows and horizontal lines on my forehead. I did a lot of research before I got it. I read about the procedure, talked a lot to my girlfriends who’d had it, and talked to my dermatologist as well. I’ve gone regularly since the first appointment, although I took a break in 2020 during the start of the pandemic.
When I had my first appointment for Botox, I started really small. We’ve increased the number of units I get since then. I primarily get it between my eyebrows and on my forehead. I got it on my jaw area once as well, primarily to help alleviate some pain I was experiencing in that area at the time.
The Botox smoothes out the lines on my forehead really effectively. Now, even when the Botox wears off in between appointments, I notice that the lines are less visible than they were before. It works as well as I could have ever hoped.
This varies for everyone, but it typically takes about two weeks for Botox to fully kick in, although you’ll likely notice it gradually taking effect before then.
It lasts almost four months for me, but it’s different for everyone. I’ve heard of it lasting as little as two months and as long as six months, so I’m somewhere in the middle. It’s also helpful to keep in mind that it will gradually wear off between appointments. So although you might feel like it’s completely worn off after a few months, it could very well still be working—you may have simply gotten used to the initial full smoothing effect.
There are some risks to Botox, which is why it’s important to go to a licensed medical provider with plenty of experience. The risks can be higher in certain parts of the face, particularly around the eye area. I’m of course not an expert and can only speak to my personal experience, so if you have any specific questions about the risks, ask a Botox provider or another trusted medical professional. You could even go in for a consult appointment first if you solely want to get your questions answered before trying out the procedure.
To me, it feels like a light pinch. The discomfort is minimal and only lasts a few seconds in my experience.
I decided to go to my dermatologist (at Dermatology Specialists in Edina) because I already had a relationship with her and trusted her. It can be a bit of a long wait to get in but I would highly recommend it if you’re local to the Twin Cities. (If you want to explore other recommended options, our editorial director goes to The Skin Sisters for Botox and would highly recommend them as well!)
I definitely recommend going to a provider whose approach is in line with your goals for Botox. Some providers favor a more heavy-handed approach that leads to zero movement in the treated area. Others favor a lighter approach that still allows for movement in the treated area but won’t lead to lines at rest.
My Botox appointments typically cost between $300 – $500 (I don’t recall exactly how many units I get). I tend to go about two times each year.
Your provider should give you detailed information before and during your appointment (and don’t be afraid to ask any and all questions you have too!). Generally speaking, it can be helpful to avoid alcohol and blood thinners prior to your appointment to help minimize your risk of bruising. After the appointment, it’s recommended to avoid strenuous exercise for the remainder of the day and to avoid putting pressure on the treated area for two weeks (no massages or facials!).
Getting Botox is such a personal choice and it’s certainly not something anyone should feel pressured to do. I think the choice to get Botox (for non-medical reasons) should ultimately be about feeling more confident in your own skin. Botox has so many applications. I use it primarily to treat and lessen the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re looking to do the same, Botox may be a good option to consider.
Overall, I wish I wouldn’t have waited to get it. I love the smoothed appearance of my forehead and feel more confident as a result. It’s been a really wonderful gift to me.
BY Kate Arends - August 29, 2022
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.