As I creep ever closer to my thirtieth birthday I’ve noticed fine lines and wrinkles appearing in places that were once smooth and stress-free which is expected with age but can thankfully be treated. I’ve always had a very expressive face as I tend to raise my eyebrows and crinkle up my nose when I speak and laugh – and I laugh a whole lot! Before I had laser eye surgery I also used to quint constantly which gave me heavy creases between my brows so I decided it was the perfect time for a freshen up and came to see Cosmetic Doctor Chia Tan at his clinic on Harley Street, London.
I’ve previously had botox to my forehead a few years ago but concentrated on the central area only for expression lines as I didn’t want to look false or frozen, just subtly smoother. After discussing my current problem areas of forehead resting lines, the furrow between my brows from squinting and crows feet around my eyes with age we decided to treat these three areas to give my face balance and a youthful subtleness as it would be far more obvious that I’d had botox if just my forehead was smooth but the lines around my eyes remained.
Dr Tan began by cleansing my skin and pressing chilled sterile metal to the areas to be treated to numb the skin and close the blood vessels which reduces the risk of bruising. I was offered numbing cream to desensitise my skin but as I’ve had Botox before and the needles are so fine I do not find this procedure uncomfortable so declined the cream. Numbing the area prior to treatment typically involves applying a cream to the surface of the skin and waiting several minutes for it to take effect – the process of administering Botox takes around the same time which makes it very quick and convenient when administered by a professional. Always do your research, ask to see before and after pictures of previous clients and ensure all needles and packaging are sterile and opened in front of you prior to treatment. There is only one true kind of Botox – Botulinum Toxin Type A – which is the most expensive, authentic and highest quality; all other brands are cheaper less-effective alternatives and are often sold misleadingly as Botox.
Dr Tan used four syringes to administer my Botox as he explained that each time a fine needle is injected into the skin the tip can blunt off which will pinch and increase the risk of bruising to the skin. My Botox treatment included:
Glabella (between the eyebrows) 5 injections 20iu/units
Forehead 6 injections 9iu/units
Crows Feet 4 injections 12iu/units per eye
Eyebrows 1 jinjection 2iu/units per brow
Dr Tan injected Botox into the outer corner of each eyebrow to lift my upper eyelids and open up my eyes as my eyebrows are long enough to balance this out, shorter eyebrows tend to inject at mid brow to lift the arch which I have had in the past but wanted a more subtle look this time. Botox takes around 7-10 days to fully take effect and to see the final results. Immediately after injecting the skin is slightly raised and red but discolours and smooths after around 5mins and I was happy to go to lunch with friends after without any sign of my treatment. Makeup can be reapplied after 4hrs and it’s advised to avoid alcohol, exercise, saunas or anything that makes the face heated and red for 48hrs in order to reduce the risk of secondary bruising which can happen once the blood vessels reopen.
After two weeks you can have a follow-up treatment if required as the final results will be visible and further areas can be treated. I find it’s best to use Botox subtly, treating areas sympathetically and making small changes at a time to reduce fine lines and wrinkles rather than removing them entirely in an attempt to look flawless. I prefer Botox to be undetectable and natural rather than fake looking; I’d much rather look like I’ve had a wonderful nights sleep and look young for my age than emotionless and frozen. Everybody has their own wants, needs and desires when it comes to Botox and the results you ultimately achieve are down to your practitioner understanding your needs and doing what is best for you. Botox to these areas typically last between 3-4months making this a temporary procedure. I received no bruising, no side-effects, no pain or discomfort and am absolutely thrilled with my results.