Monday, July 21st

What It’s Like to Get Botox

So you’re curious about Botox. You’re afraid time will ravage your face and you will look like the Crypt Keeper by the time you are 35. I totally get it. 

Crypt Keeper

Several months ago I saw a Groupon-ish deal to get 20 units of Botox at a discount. I wasn’t sure how much that was in relation to what a normal face needs. So I called the doctor’s office to see what they recommended. To get the full treatment in the forehead, a person uses around 40 units. I opted to just go for the 20 units. Because I don’t have the “elevens” between my eyebrows, I can get away with less.

I sat on the deal for months, intimidated. As the expiration date grew closer, I realized I needed to bite the bullet and make an appointment. When B-day arrived I woke up nervous and made my way to the office. The waiting room was full of plush furniture and there was a television looping a video promoting a fat-removing contouring treatment. There were also some signed celebrity photos and different surgery ads. Weird. Please excuse the stealthy iPhone photos.

Tyra Banks

Once inside the exam injection room, there were more surgery ads and to my delight, a Nip Tuck poster. And implants!

Nip Tuck

Breast Implants

Breast Implants

Soon, the child young girl came in with the needle. It was small and was going to be stabbed in five places: One in the center of my temple, and two above each eyebrow. I tried not to wince as each injection went in and asked what age it’s recommended to start Botox. 22! Well, I missed the deadline on that one. But it’s a preventive treatment so earlier is better than later.

Botox needle

How bad did it hurt? Enough that I had to sit for a few moments afterwards, woozy and weak. But not enough that I wouldn’t do it again, if the circumstances and price were right.

I took before and after photos, but they don’t really look that different. I would have been better off recording short before and after videos so that you could see how I couldn’t move my eyebrows much afterwards. It took a couple days, but indeed my forehead felt paralyzed.

Another thing to note is the tipping. In a clinical setting, tipping can seem out of place so I asked and was told it was acceptable but not expected. (I chose to tip because I felt embarrassed about feeling faint and having to stay and ask for water. I’d base future tipping decisions on each situation.)

This experience taught me that I’m not going to take extraordinary measures to preserve my youth. No fillers and definitely no surgery. I’m not comfortably with being “sold to” in a doctor’s office or taking large unnecessary risks with my health, nor am I interested in spending thousands of dollars this way. No judgement to those who do, it’s just not for me.

Have you tried (or are you interested in trying) Botox? Leave a comment.

6 Responses

  1. BeautyJudy says:

    Thank you for writing about your experience! I will pass on this. I’m terrified of needles as it is and if I have wrinkles they are proof that I’ve laughed, loved and lived. If someone else does it, more power to them! But that’s my personal stance :)
    Now if there were needles that could take away my stomach pooch with no surgery…I’m down lol

  2. Maggie Perkins says:

    So now I’m brave enough to write about my Brazilian experience. YOU ARE AWESOME. And beautifully brilliant. And I still love you even though you have no furrowed brow!

  3. Kay says:

    I want to do it, to help reduce the “elevens” and my worry lines in my forehead. I don’t want to do anything to my laugh lines. The catch for me is that I am totally afraid of needles, and will probably be more than a little woozy just thinking about them. How was the pain? Did it sting or burn? Was it a sharp pain that went away, or did it linger? I just wanna look younger than I am. (Don’t we all?) And since I’m knocking on 50’s door, I need to do whatever I’m going to do, and do it soon. I’m not up for surgery, nothing major like that.

    • verykristin says:

      I hate needles, too. I mean, it definitely hurt. A quick sting and then it was done. I’d recommend bringing a friend to distract you. When I did it, I wished I wasn’t alone. It was slightly sore for an hour or two after, the way it is whenever you get a shot, but no real lingering pain. I went about my day like normal and went to a party that night.

  4. Megan says:

    I LOVE that you wrote about this. And ugh, start Botox at 22? I know they’re trying to sell a product, but sheesh. Aside from the frozen forehead, how did you feel in the days after? I used to work with a woman who claims she got Botox to battle her migraines, which apparently is a thing, but I always wondered if it actually helped.

    • verykristin says:

      I felt fine in the days after. It was an adjustment getting used to that frozen feeling, but I didn’t notice it after a while. I have a couple friends who successfully treat their migraines with Botox and I think it’s great. Less side effects than the drugs they’d be taking otherwise.

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