‘TIS THE SEASON FOR…BOTOX!

‘TIS THE SEASON FOR…BOTOX!

Are you still trying to get photo-ready for the holidays? Good news: there’s still time to have a gentle botox treatment and see results before the photographer starts snapping shots. Whether you’re looking to smooth out your skin’s appearance so you look airbrushed and awesome or you just want to wick away fine lines, this solution is fast, easy, and long-lasting. Rock every holiday party and gathering this year to the max with botox for your skin.

WHAT IS BOTOX?

Botox is in a class of cosmetic injectables known as neurotoxins. Derived from botulinum, the compound can in and of itself be a pretty powerful toxin when ingested via food. But injectables don’t carry the same risks; when formulated carefully and injected correctly, it can help you reduce cosmetic complaints.

In terms of smoothing out those fine lines and wrinkles, less is more. A lot of people confess they’re afraid of botox because they think they’ll end up with a face frozen in some sort of a surprised expression. Nothing could be further from the truth; an experienced injector won’t let that happen to you.

Here’s what really happens: your muscles allow you to create facial expressions on a regular basis. Some of our expressions are far more repetitive than others, leading us to develop forehead wrinkles, lines between our eyebrows, crow’s feet around our eyes, and other odd lines. These develop because our muscles move our skin, allowing it to crinkle and flatten itself out. After a while, it’s sort of like a piece of paper you’ve wadded up. You can try to flatten it out again, but it just stays wrinkly.

During a treatment, your provider will inject botox into the small facial muscles that control the most common contributory facial movements. Injections are only delivered into the smallest and finest upper layer of muscle. It’s a miniscule amount of neurotoxin, but it’s also just enough to paralyze just the upper layer — exactly what you need to allow those fine lines and wrinkles to relax and appear smoother.

Here’s what won’t happen: botox won’t restrict your ability to consciously move those muscles, nor will your face “freeze” into place. Unless delivered by an untrained hand, correctly delivered botox simply doesn’t do that.

OTHER COOL, LESSER-KNOWN USES FOR BOTOX

Cosmetic professionals often find new ways to use botox as time goes on. These days, we aren’t just using it for the fine lines and wrinkles around your forehead and eyes; we’re also using it for a long list of other complaints, including (but not limited to):

EYEBROW LIFTS

When injected into the muscle directly around the eye, botox can raise the end of the eyebrow just a bit. This reduces eyelid droopiness and gives a lifted look that makes you appear more “awake.”

CORRECTING THIN LIPS

Botox can reduce the appearance of a thin upper lip when injected into the upper lip zone. As a result, the lips look more plump.

GUMMY SMILES

People with “gummy” smiles show too much gum above their teeth because the upper lip raises beyond the teeth when they smile. A few small injections into the upper lip weakens the lip muscle, keeping it a little lower for a more natural smile.

JAW CONTOURING

Injecting a little bit of botox into the masseter muscle (the muscles you use to chew) slims the jawline. This gently change the shape of your jawline by making a square jaw look a little more oval.

EXCESSIVE SWEATING

Another use worth considering before the holidays, especially if you’re worried about armpit staines (ewww!). Patients with hyperhidrosis use botox injections to reduce sweat gland activity. This use may even be covered by insurance, especially if you’ve already tried other medical treatment options.

CHRONIC MIGRAINES

While you’ll need to see a physician and not a cosmetic injector for this treatment, botox is FDA approved to treat chronic migraines. Patients who use it often report fewer headache days.

PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

First of all, it can take anywhere from three days to two weeks for you to see the full effect of your botox treatment. The smaller your lines and wrinkles, the less time it will take. Keep this timeframe in mind if you are looking to have botox injections done before a special event. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to recover.

BEFORE INJECTIONS

  • Avoid any and all medications containing aspirin (Advil, Motrin, etc) for at least a week before your treatment. All of these thin the blood, which may exacerbate bleeding or bruising.
  • You should also avoid supplements, like fish oil and Vitamin E. These have a thinning effect on the blood, too.
  • Ask your injector if you should start taking Arnica supplements before your procedure. Arnica is remarkably effective for reducing bruising.
  • Make sure your calendar is clear for at least 24 hours after your injection so you can rest and recover.

AFTERCARE

  • Do not rub or massage the treatment area for at least a few days; doing so can dislodge the placement of your injections. Allow the botox to settle naturally.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise for the first 24 hours. Intense movement can rarely affect treatment outcomes.
  • Talk to your injector about whether or not you should use topical Arnica or ice to reduce swelling and bruising.
  • Avoid laser hair removal treatments to your face (or injection area) for up to two weeks after your procedure

Keep in mind that botox is generally inexpensive compared to dermal fillers, ranging from $12 – $15 per unit and often found on sale for anywhere from $8 to $11 per unit. Cheaper isn’t always better unless you already have a relationship with a great injector you know is just running a rare sale. Ask to see an injector’s portfolio of before/after photos and make your final decision based on results instead of price.

Do you know someone who already gets regular botox injections? Most spas have great specials this time of year, and many have gift cards. While not a great gift for someone who doesn’t already receive cosmetic injections, the gift of botox may just be the perfect gift for someone on your list. You may find it to be an extra special holiday treat for yourself. No matter what, your new smooth skin will give you the youthful appearance you were hoping to carry through the holiday season!

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