Almost anyone you ask will be acquainted with the household brand, Botox®. They will be familiar with Botox® and its magical ability to erase wrinkles; however, they may not know exactly what it is, how it works, and why it has become one of the most well-known and beloved injectable brands in the United States.
Botox® Cosmetic was made to temporarily deal with naturally occurring facial wrinkles localized to the upper part of the face (although nowadays it gets used on a wide array of areas for a variety of purposes). These lines and wrinkles will inevitably become visible on everyone skin, due reduction of collagen over time, loss of skin elasticity, and other cellular changes that deprive the skin of its youth. But these lines are not only signs of aging, as they can also be caused by damage to the skin by free radicals from the sun, damage from other environmental factors, and also the repeated muscle contractions that come with being expressive with ones face.
At Lavande Spa, we pride ourselves on be able to help you achieve the look that you want no matter the reason that you may need it.
WHAT IS BOTOX®?
Botox® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA) is a neurotoxin comprised of Botulinum Toxin (see where the name came from?) that has been FDA-approved for use in temporarily treating moderate to severe facial wrinkles. This neuromodulator is naturally formed as a protein byproduct of the clostridium botulinum bacterium, and then cultivated for many different uses (one of them being cosmetic). It may sound a bit off-putting, but this product has proven to be both safe and effective. Further, only low doses of Botox® that are essentially harmless would be injected at a time so there is no reason to worry.
HOW DOES BOTOX® WORK?
The trick to understanding how Botox® works is by being aware that Botox® is not meant to fill out facial lines/wrinkles, it is merely meant to temporarily treat the underlying cause of wrinkles and prevent the body from making them. Botox® is administered directly into facial muscles, not wrinkles, via a number of tiny injections by fine needles. This medication is able to achieve its signature smoothing of lines/wrinkles by preventing the nerve impulses of treated muscles from continuing their normal activity, thereby relaxing the overall muscle movement in that area. Once these muscles become relaxed and idle, they will no longer contract and expose or deepen expression lines. You will get that smooth and radiantly youthful appearance you were going for.
Therefore, if a line or wrinkle becomes indented into the skin (i.e. it is visible without contracting facial muscles and making facial expressions), it helps to get Botox® treatment in order to prevent the line from becoming deeper, but other treatments will need to be done to reduce the appearance of the line.
WHAT ARE THE CREDENTIALS OF BOTOX®?
Botulinum toxin has been used for medical purposes such as muscles disorders, migraines, excessive sweating, and more for years, but the first botulinum toxin product to be approved for cosmetic usage by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) was Botox® brand on April 15, 2002. Botox® Cosmetic was approved for temporary aesthetic treatment of moderate to severe facial wrinkles (mostly glabellar lines, between the eyebrows). For nearly 20 years, the Botox® brand has become a progressively popular household brand that is known and loved by millions, young and old, male and female.
WHO’S A CANDIDATE, AND WHAT AREAS CAN BE TREATED?
Almost anyone and everyone can be a candidate for Botox® treatments, which is why we here at Lavande Spa encourage you to come in for a consultation today to see how you may benefit from Botox®. Your identity in the world deserves to be as radiant as you are on the inside.
Clients as young as 18 years of age are encouraged to begin treatments as soon as possible, in order to prevent formation of lines and wrinkles. There is a well-known taboo of “not needing” Botox® if you happen to be young, but there are many people out there that happen to be quite expressive when they speak, or want a way to protect their skin from future signs of aging, that may be able to benefit from this safe treatment even if they are in their 20’s. There is no upper age limit. Men and women alike will be able to reap the benefits of this product, it is not limited to use by women only.
There are a few health limitations of course; Botox® is contraindicated for women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding (effect on child has not extensively studied as of yet, so safer to steer clear) and neuromuscular diseases. Botox® should not be injected in the case that the client has a present illness (even as benign as a cold) or infection in the injection sites. It should also be avoided depending on certain medications that are being taken or future plans you may have. It is important to discuss your health history with our providers to ensure Botox® is the right treatment for you.
Botox® can be injected in many areas beyond the originally approved upper face region. It can be injected in
- Forehead (standard, above the brows)
- Glabellar (between the eyebrows, frown lines)
- Lateral eye (crows feet, sides of eyes)
- Bunny lines (upper/sides of nose lines)
- Upper lip (to help gummy smiles, lip flip, smooth vertical lips lines)
- Nose (slight lift in tip of nose)
- Chin (smooth chin wrinkles)
- Platysmal bands (lines on the neck)
- Jaw (helps with TMJ, can slim face)
- Palms (for sweating)
- Underarms (for sweating)
WHEN WILL I SEE MY BOTOX® RESULTS?
Patience is important when waiting for Botox® results to show. Some people have been lucky enough to see improvement in as little as 24-48 hours, but most do not begin to see any change until 3-5 days post treatment. Final and full results will not be visible until 10-14 days post treatment, and therefore anyone wanting a touchup will have to wait for the 10-14 day mark before returning. Lines may continue showing improvement for up to a month post treatment. Results may vary between clients and between treatments on the same client.
HOW LONG WILL MY BOTOX® LAST?
Of course, results will vary. On average, Botox® will last for 2-4 months; most people enjoy a noticeable difference in their wrinkles for around 3 months. Some people are lucky enough to enjoy results for up to 6 months. Metabolism and rates of activity have a very noticeable effect on longevity, as clients who are more active and who have faster metabolisms go through the material faster than others.
It is important to regularly get Botox® treatment and follow a specialized injection plan in order to get the most longevity out of results. The more treatments you get, the more your muscles will atrophy and weaken over time, and the longer future Botox® will last. It is also important to have realistic expectations for results.
HOW LONG DOES A BOTOX® TREATMENT TAKE?
Here at Lavande Spa, we will book a 30 minute appointment for clients to get their Botox® injections. The actual process of injection will only take about 10-15 minutes or quicker; it is quick enough to be called a “lunchtime” procedure, clients can stroll in and out without significant impact on their day. However, we feel it is necessary to dedicate more time to our clients to ensure there is ample time for complete and detailed assessment and answering of any questions.
HOW MUCH BOTOX® DO I NEED?
Botox® is measured in units, and the number of units a given client will need will be determined by our providers after they have a chance to analyze and assess your facial musculature and anatomy. A particular number of units will be recommended based on the strength of your muscles (the stronger the muscle, the more units will be needed to relax it), the aesthetic goals you are trying to fulfill (do you want to look natural? frozen?), and a number of other factors. All treatments will be tailored to the needs of clients upon consultation. As a reference, the average number of units that may be injected at a time is between 20-50 units, but it could be more or less depending on client needs.
It is important to regularly get Botox® treatment and follow a specialized injection plan in order to get the most out of results. The more treatments you get, the more your muscles will atrophy and weaken over time, and the less Botox® will need to be injected in future appointments. It is also important to have realistic expectations for results.
WILL I LOOK FROZEN?
It is a myth that anyone who gets Botox® treatment will end up frozen and wholly unable to move facial muscles. Of course, if a client desires the frozen look our providers are more than capable of administering as such. However, as injection is highly dependent on provider technique, our skilled and experienced RNs will also be able to give you a natural look that will allow reduced facial expression. Not only will it be be unnoticeable that anything was done, you will be able to have your youthful glow as well. At Lavande, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your own beauty goals.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Most people say that the penetration of the fine needle at the injection site feels like a slight pinch, but nobody has reported intense pain from treatment. Discomfort, if any, will generally be slight and brief. As Botox® injection is not expected to be associated with pain our providers will not provide topical anesthetic, but they will provide a cold pack prior to injection in order to get slight numbing from the cold. For clients that are worried about injection pain, they are more than welcome to apply numbing cream at home or come in earlier to purchase some.
The only preparation that is recommended before Botox® is to discontinue taking bloodthinners or anti-inflammatory medications (this includes alcoholic drinks, Vitamin E, Fish Oil, Ibuprofen, Advil, Aspirin, Flax Seed Oil, etc.) about 24-48 hours before treatment. This will reduce the risk of swelling, bruising, or bleeding from injection. Also, to avoid the risk of fainting, it is recommended to not come with an empty stomach for treatment; have at least a snack beforehand.
Clients will be able to resume daily activities immediately following Botox® treatment, because there is little to no recovery time post injection. There might be slight protrusions and redness at the injection sites, but these usually subside either immediately after treatment, or up to 30 minutes afterwards. It is recommended to do facial exercises after treatment so the medication can flow in the muscles more quickly.
While there is no downtime, clients need to be aware of certain limitations after getting Botox®. Clients should stay upright for about 4 hours after treatment to avoid the Botox® from migrating elsewhere; they should also avoid exercise and strenuous physical activity for 24 hours after treatment to avoid having Botox® wear off prematurely. Further, clients should not get facial treatments or massages for up to 10-14 days, or until injections settle.
Simply, the answer is yes – it is highly recommended to stay adamant about getting Botox® about every 3 months or so. There are a few reasons for this. (1) If you cease in getting treatment, or only get it once, your lines/wrinkles will revert back to the way they originally looked. (2) If the lines/wrinkles revert back to their natural look, that means your repetitive facial muscle contractions will cause these lines/wrinkles to worsen over time, and continue to make your muscles stronger along with deepening the lines. (3) If your muscles get stronger, the next time you return for Botox® you probably need more units than you got the previous time in order to relax these newly strengthened muscles, which will be more expensive for you. (4) If your muscles are strong and unacquainted with the material, the Botox® will probably not last as long as it would have otherwise.
Our knowledgeable providers here at Lavande Spa can sit down with you and create a regimen that is right for you in order to make sure you achieve and maintain that flawless skin you’re looking for. After repeated treatments, treated muscles will eventually atrophy and become weaker, which will allow you to inject less units for a longer period of time while maintaining your skin.
Botox® Cosmetic is manufactured and sold by pharmaceutical conglomerate Allergan, and as it is a brand name, there is and can be only 1 Botox®. However, there are many botulinum toxin products out there and it may be difficult to differentiate if what you are getting is authentic Botox® or not. Any business that is selling the true product can be found in the Allergan provider directory online and more likely than not will be participating in Allergan’s Brilliant Distinctions rewards program. Lavande Spa will both be found in the directory, and is a part of Brilliant Distinctions.
Lavande Spa also offers alternative botulinum toxin products to temporarily reduce the appearance of moderate to severe facial wrinkles, and we encourage clients to familiarize themselves with these products, Dysport® and Xeomin®, in order to make an informed decision about which product is best for them. All 3 products are made from the same key ingredient, the botulinum toxin, all 3 are proven safe and effective, all 3 last about the same amount of time, and all 3 will be similar in terms of cost.
Side effects may or may not be experienced following Botox® treatment, but are not abnormal. Normal side effects include discomfort at injection sites, redness, swelling, inflammation, headache, neck pain, tiredness, dry mouth, dry eyes, droopy eyelids/eyebrows, blurred vision, and others. Please contact us here at Lavande Spa if you have any concerns about side effects.