(I am going to apologise now, about the awful photos of me, with no make-up on, looking truly shocking. Cannot believe I am going to share them, but hey, here goes.)
I am quite horrified by the fact that I turn 38yrs old in November, when in reality I don’t feel any different to how I felt when I was 25yrs old. One thing I have noticed however, is that since having my two babies (now a 2.5yr old crazy lady and a desperate to walk by himself 10mth old baby boy) I spend a great deal of time frowning. The fact that I have been massively sleep deprived for months is a large contributing factor (our son has only just started sleeping through the night) but also just the challenging day to day of trying to get little people to comply has resulted in much frowning. In fact, I think more frowning time than not frowning time.
For years my Mum has said to me, ‘don’t frown, you’ll give yourself wrinkles’, but more recently ‘don’t frown, you ARE giving yourself wrinkles’ would have been more appropriate.
I’ve been lucky in that I don’t have lines on my face yet, but I was getting frustrated by make-up collecting in the lines where I frown, giving the impression of wrinkles that I don’t even have yet. It was becoming more and more clear that the lines I have when frowning, would be a permanent feature if I didn’t relax a bit or get a little help.
So, Botox………..what’s it really all about? My friends and I have joked about needing it, but I decided maybe it wasn’t a joke anymore and I needed to look into it, so I booked myself a consultation at the Skin & Laser Clinic in Tunbridge Wells.
They are market leaders in facial aesthetics and anti-aging. I made sure my appointment was with the Clinical Director and Cosmetic Doctor, Dr Nina Sheffield, who I have dealt with before.
I read their website information about Botox, which I found really helpful, so have a read yourself. Still, there is nothing like sitting in front of a professional to get the information and reassurance you need.
My Botox Consultation
I have to say I was a bit nervous as I’d been told if I was happy with what Nina said, I would be able to have the treatment straight after the consultation, as it only takes 10 minutes.
So, in I went. Nina is such a lovely warm and approachable lady, so had me at ease straight away. I showed her my frown, raising my eyebrows and smiling, for her to see the three typical Botox areas and she confirmed Botox would help in all three areas to prevent me giving myself wrinkles.
I have to say, my biggest concern was what it would be like afterwards. Being able to move my face and express myself in a cheeky way, is vital for Foxy Burlesque courses. How am I going to teach ladies to use their faces to express themselves and tease their audience, if I can’t show them how to do it?
Nina reassured me I would still be able to move my eyes and mouth and express myself properly in that way, but that no I wouldn’t be able to frown or raise my eyebrows anymore…. It was a concern, I have to say.
The really important thing that Nina explained to me was that I should think of wrinkles in the same way as a bruise. If a bruise was continually being knocked it doesn’t get a chance to go, just as skin which is regularly being creased in the same place, doesn’t get a chance to smooth out and in time the crease becomes permanent. By having the Botox you can no longer crease your face in those typical areas and so the skin has a chance to smooth out. Fantastic!! Can it really be that amazing….?
What really made me smile was when I asked Nina if she has Botox. Her answer was ‘of course’ and then explained that every one of their therapist has it too. In fact I would apparently be amazed by the number of woman and also men that have Botox, but for some reason it seems to be a secret thing that no-one talks about, but so many people are having.
Nina explained some very important aftercare points:
- You MUST keep your head up (so no lying down, looking down at a book or laptop etc…) for 4 hours after treatment.
- No vigorous exercise for 24hrs.
- No facials, exfoliation or massage to the areas treated. Make-up application and gentle make-up removal would be fine, but nothing requiring more pressure for 10 days post treatment.
I had appointments with the hygienist and dentist straight after, so I knew having the treatment would have to be another day. Also it would give me time to have a good think before taking the plunge. So, before I left, I booked my treatment in for the following Monday.
The freakiest thing happened as I left; I got a message from a distant friend asking me if I’d ever had Botox or if my friends had, as she was thinking of having a consultation. Now I have never before discussed it seriously with anyone and at that point didn’t personally know anyone who has it, that I could have talked to myself, so this was beyond strange.
I filled her in on my consultation experience and she soon after booked her own, local to her.
My Botox experience:
So the big day arrived. In the week leading up to it, I had thought long and hard, but decided to just go for it. If I couldn’t express myself as much as I wanted or needed to after, it would wear off before long and I could then be more particular about areas I wanted done next time.
Before anything could be done Nina went through the aftercare with me again and I completed the necessary forms. I didn’t have any questions, so Nina got to work.
First she wiped the areas clean and took photos, then she used a white marker to mark the areas where she would be injecting. Some areas are more sensitive than others (round the eyes and between your eyebrows), so Nina gave me an ice pack to hold to the area right before injecting, to help make it more comfortable and to reduce the risk of bruising.
The needle used was tiny (30g) and each injection only lasted about 3-4 seconds.
Once the needle was removed each time Nina wiped the area clean of any blood and the white dots, which were no longer needed.
I was a little alarmed to see in the mirror that each injection point now had what looked like a hive, so I had a bumpy forehead, but Nina explained it was perfectly normal and the liquid takes about 10-15mins to disperse.
For anyone reading this who may be concerned about my mention above about blood, don’t worry, it was only a tiny bit. I did ask Nina about it though and got the following advice for people:
- If you are on your period it will be more painful, so it’s worth avoiding that time if you have a low pain threshold. Also at this time you bleed more and are therefore more likely to bruise.
- If you are taking Aspirin, your blood will be thinner and again you will bleed more and are more likely to bruise.
- Likewise if you are very nervous and your blood pressure is high.
Once the final injection was done and the area wiped clean, Nina applied Arnica gel to soothe and calm the skin more quickly.
And that was it! All done! It was just a case of waiting to see the results gradually take effect.
My BOTOX results:
I have to say for a couple of days I did experience the very mild headache described in the Botox information on the Skin & Laser Clinic’s website, but that was it and it certainly wasn’t bad enough that I needed to take anything for it.
Otherwise, it was just the pleasure of seeing the change slowly taking effect. In all it took about four days and each morning I would wake up and look in the mirror and see the difference from the day before and have a little hop, skip and jump with joy!
Here is a picture of me post Botox and with some make-up on, I’m sure you are pleased to see! There are definitely less creases round my eyes and my forehead and between my eyebrows are noticeably smoother and more relaxed (well they are to me, anyway!).
Oh and for those of you who have read my semi-permanent make-up posts (I have had my eyebrows and lips done), I have no lipstick on in any of the pictures in this post.
My Botox conclusion:
IT’S AMAZING! I LOVE IT!
No I can’t frown or lift my eyebrows enough to crease my forehead and when I smile I don’t crease my eyes as much as I was doing, but yes I can still express myself very well and don’t feel my ‘burlesque face’ has in anyway been hindered (THANK GOODNESS!). I look happier and more serene. Just asked my hubby and he says I look more relaxed.
One massive completely unexpected bonus on top of the new non-frowning face, is my face IS relaxed and calm. It’s made me realise just how much tension and stress I was holding in my face before. It’s so nice and refreshing to not feel like that anymore. I just need some Botox in my shoulders, neck and back now and I’ll be completely chilled out!
I gave my friend my feedback and told her to go for it, so she went for her consultation and had her treatment there and then.
So, Botox…Why the big secret?
We know all the celebs have Botox and we all think they look great. We spend our time looking at pictures of them in magazines, wishing we looked as good as them, yet somehow, there is a stigma for us non-celebs…?
Once I started talking openly about Botox, I was amazed how many people then opened up, that they either have it, want it and/or know friends who have it. It seems everyone is having it! …….But no-one talks about it, until someone else does. It’s a bit like the commuter trains. No-one talks to each other, until they have a clear shared topic of conversation such as a massive delay.
My friend’s feedback on her Botox is much like mine. She is delighted with it and feels much more confident. BUT, she has only told her mother-in-law. Her hubby doesn’t even know, though she was delighted a day or two after treatment when he told her she looked younger.
I asked her why she hasn’t told anyone and she said much what I feel myself, ‘it’s nobody else’s business and people can be very judgemental’.
She is a Mummy of two, but she is also a very successful woman, who keeps herself fit and healthy and takes great pride in doing the best she can with what she was given. How is that a bad thing? Yet like her, I feel people will judge me and think I’m vain.
I actually feel a bit sick about posting this out for everyone to read, but I’m doing it as I hope it helps anyone who is thinking of having it, to just go for it and not care what anyone else thinks. If it makes you happy and you feel great and it’s not hurting anyone, how can it be a bad thing?
Go for it, it’s bloody wonderful! Also, if you are local, then I couldn’t recommend Nina at Royal Tunbridge Wells Skin & Laser Clinic more. She is wonderful, highly qualified and experienced and a truly lovely lady. They also offer many other treatments, so definitely worth looking into ladies.