Botox for beginners
Once almost exclusively used by more mature women wanting to rid their face of wrinkles, Botox is no longer just for the over 50s. With stars like the Kardashians confessing to turning to it as a beauty tool, the infamous frozen face look Botox was originally associated with is now a thing of the past. We look at what it’s like to get Botox for the first time with the help of Dr Tatiana Lapa from The Studio Clinic (www.studioclinic.co.uk) in London’s Harley Street.
What is Botox
Botox is a drug prepared from botulin, used medically to treat certain muscular conditions and cosmetically to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralysing facial muscles. Botox itself is a brand name, and there are plenty of other names for similar substances that do the same name. Dysport and Xeomin are other popular choices.
What’s the demographic for Botox
In recent years the Botox age bracket has shifted from people in their 40s and 50s to a much younger audience. The injections are no longer used to starve off signs of aging, but rather to add enhancement to existing facial features.
“I always joke that people feel their facial features are now optional,” Dr Tatiana told Cover Media. “It’s no longer you have what you’re born with, its more if you don’t like something you can change it. Which is a really interesting concept, in ways it’s empowering and in other ways it can be quite destructive.
“The average age of my clients now is probably late 20s. And it’s no longer just a lift of the brow, it’s I want my eye shape to change.”
What areas can be treated
Far from just smoothing out wrinkles, frown lines and crow’s feet, Botox is being used in more and more creative ways, including eyebrow lifts and to diminish the lines around the mouth caused by smoking.
“You can smooth the jawline to get a slimmer line and things like the cobble stone chin you can get rid of,” Dr Tatiana shared. “There is room for doing these types of treatments with Botox. There are treatments for acne with Botox. You can treat excessive sweating on your face, palms and feet. You can go down to neck to give smoother look to neck and a bit of a neck lift.”
Treatment length and pain level
Not including a consultation, treating three areas with Botox takes no longer than 10 minutes. Other than a few pricks, Botox is pretty much painless. The needle used is super tiny, which leaves less of a sting than having a medical injection. Slight soreness and redness isn’t uncommon, and there can be some bruising, but for the most part you can’t tell anything has been done. Your eyes may squint a little more too, as your face won’t be used to not frowning!
Post treatment /Downtime
There really is no downtime needed after having Botox, and you can get on with life instantly. However, Dr Tatiana does have some post treatment rules designed to make sure the Botox only works how it’s intended.
“You need to keep skin cool and not do things like gym, sauna, deep sea diving…” she smiled. “Skin has to stay cool and the blood flow needs to stay stable within the skin because if you have a massive surge of blood flow and the face is flushed, red and hot, then the Botox can be carried further than intended and you can have complications. Definitely for the next 12 hours keep the skin cool.”
That also means no heavy drinking sessions, though a glass of wine won’t cause a problem. Dr Tatiana adds that the patient should steer clear of facials and eyebrow threading and waxing for roughly two weeks.
Contrary to what you might think, the effects of Botox don’t start to show for three days, and it takes a full two weeks to see the finished result. Botox lasts between four and six months, before requiring a top up.