Botox, from Allergan, is available by prescription only. BOTOX®Cosmetic is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, which reduces the activity of the muscles that cause those frown lines between the brows to form over time. It is FDA approved and commonly used for wrinkle prevention, to treat migraine headaches, and to prevent excessive underarm sweating. You may have seen D-List Omarosa, from Donald Trump's The Apprentice, having her underarms injected with Botox on Dr. 90210. She said she had been ruining many of her expensive designer dresses from too much perspiration.
My experience with Botox wasn't an unpleasant one. I didn't receive any lidocaine or deadening agent (it is always made available for patients) for my first injection, because I wanted to really be able to tell the viewers what I was feeling. The sensation I felt from the injections was similar to a teensy little mosquito bite. The oddest sensation was closer to my eyebrows; it wasn't painful, but there was a slight crunching feeling as the needle penetrated my skin. For those of you who fear needles, put your fears to rest. This needle was the tiniest one I've ever seen or felt. I didn't experience much discomfort around the sensitive eye area either.
The entire process was over in about fifteen minutes. On occasion, the needle may hit a tiny blood vessel and you may have a tiny bruise for a day or so, but that's really all. With a little makeup to cover it, you can go right back to work if you so desire.
My results lasted about four months. I didn't squint my eyes unnecessarily and I did have very slight movement in my forehead, so I didn't have the "mask face" that you hear of so many celebrities wearing. My verdict: a great, almost pain-free session with lasting results. Now I get Botox injections twice a year as a wrinkle preventative. I have a few slight wrinkles, but I'm not prematurely aging and I'm happy with my appearance.
For those of you who are considering Botox or have not been happy with the results, here are my personal recommendations in order for you you to have the best outcome and a few non-invasive options, too.
- Find an MD with a specialty in cosmetic medicine to perform the Botox procedure. While many nurses, aestheticians, and other medical professionals are just as adept at the procedure, I feel most comfortable paying a little extra to an MD whose specialty is cosmetic medicine.
- Have the procedure performed in a sterile medical office atmosphere, not a Botox home party. Obviously, many people do go the route of home parties with no problems, but I prefer to rule on the side of safety.
- Ask your friends and family, people you trust, about the MD you choose. Some MD's will dilute the amount of Botox you are receiving to increase profits. The results in the wrinkle-reducing effects wear off after only a month or two. I have known of several cases of this taking place.
- Ask to see the vial the Botox is contained in. Allergan has a special hologram on the bottle to protect consumers from being sold black market brands which are dangerous.
- Try over-the-counter products to lesson the appearance of wrinkles. A few I like: DERMAdoctor Faux Fillment, Creme de la Mer Eye Concentrate, Remede Wrinkle Therapy Moisture Lift Baume. (A good exfoliant like Remede Sweep is also a must to get rid of old dead cells that make your wrinkles more apparent.)
- Keep skin hydrated (those with oily skin should use oil-free products).
- Use sun screen every day, not just on sunny days.
- Finally, love the skin you're in – with or without wrinkles!