I never thought I’d be concerned by wanting to look young until I started to look prematurely old over these past few years. A combination of time and my reckless sun habits in the past have left me with what is known as ‘resting lines’ across my forehead, which are deep horizontal creases that won’t disappear even when my face relaxes. We’re all capable of making wrinkles no matter our age, as when we laugh and crinkle up our eyes, nose and forehead we can go from silky smooth to wrinkly rhino in two seconds flat, but as soon as we stop our expression the face instantly returns to normal, however my wrinkles are constant and I feel that they are prematurely ageing me. The extent of my forehead wrinkles make me feel self conscious because the rest of my face is fairly plump and youthful, yet from the eyes upwards I am strangely old and worn and always mistaken to be in my early thirties, some several years older than I actually am. I’d give anything to be ID’d for buying a bottle of wine or kitchen knife at the supermarket, as even though the age restriction of 25 is just two years below my age, nobody has every questioned my date of birth.
I hadn’t considered having botox or fillers in the past, as I’ve always shared the opinion of my mother that you should grow old gracefully and not chop yourself up or pump your body full of dangerous chemicals because I see so many horror stories of people taking it too far and looking like strange, tight and shiny misshapen aliens. Well, that was my opinion until I grew old prematurely, and now that I’ve come to the botox bridge I realise I’m quite ready to cross it now and attempt to look my age whilst I am still youthful. I’d just like to make the most of what I have and feel good about how I look in a controlled and cosmetically secure manner, and I thought I’d share my journey with the world to show how to safely approach botox.
My current experience of injectables is precisely zero, as the closest I’ve come to cosmetic needles is having a few tattoo’s and acupuncture to release muscle tension. I’ve seen almost every horror story out there of people having botched botox that has caused their faces to droop or paralyse leaving them with a permanently shocked or angry expressions. But as with any procedure you have, you should always seek treatment from a professional and never be lured in by cheap deals and false promises. One of the best ways to ensure a safe and reliable treatment is to request to see the surgeon, doctor or nurses previous work, patient statements and read unbiased online reviews, not just those quoted on their own website, because flawless results and positive feedback are worth more than any TV advert or poster paid for in a glossy magazine. I would never put my body or health in the hands of anybody that I deem as unfit or dangerous, and even if I were to have already booked and paid for a procedure only to discover a location, practise or therapist that I wasn’t entirely happy with, then I wouldn’t hesitate to walk out of my appointment and refuse the treatment. It’s far better to stop as soon as you hear alarm bells rather than proceed with something you’re unhappy with only to be faced with repair surgery, scars or excessive medical bills to undo botched work.
So here I am in all of my wrinkly glory and I hope that in openly sharing my first experience of botox and fillers that you can share in my procedure and learn about the treatment, seeing first hand my results and expectations. If I look awful, bleed, cry, scream at the needle or hate the results then it’ll all be captured on camera and detailed here for the world to see warts and all. There’s no shame in trying to make the most out of what you have, ironing out the creases or putting the clock on pause for a while, so long as whatever you have done is of your own choice and free will and it’s because you wholeheartedly want it for yourself, knowing you can live with and accept the possibility of both the best and worst case scenario of results. I don’t want to look like I’ve had a facelift, just to erase the premature wrinkles to my forehead.
To administer my first ever botox treatment I have chosen Mr Nick Percival of Beyond Beauty Cosmetic London because his extensive experience as a UK trained surgeon gives me great faith in his knowledge of the face and connective tissue. I have never had a surgeon administer a cosmetic treatment before, but their knowledge and expertise are unrivalled and the London clinic is famed for it’s industry recognition and celebrity clientele as well as corrective treatments for television. In more than 20 years use in aesthetic medicine there has never been a death attributed to Botox, however it’s essential to only have it administered by a professional whose qualifications should always be checked for which all of the surgeons at Beyond Beauty Cosmetic are trained in the UK and registered on the specialist register. My treatment is booked for a few weeks time and I’m so excited to see the difference it will make.
UPDATE: 27/05/15 Treatment
The day has finally arrived and I’ve been counting down the hours getting more and more nervous the closer it gets. I’m having my botox at 3pm this afternoon in the London clinic of Beyond Beauty Cosmetic which is just a short walk from Marylebone train station. Arriving for my appointment at the beautiful period hospital in Welbeck Street, I was greeted by a cheerful receptionist who invited me to take a seat in the waiting area where I could read magazines and sip chilled water. A few moments later I was called up to meet my surgeon and I could literally hear my own heartbeat through nerves. Fear of the unknown is such a horrible thing, and I used to panic at school injections and hated having blood taken during my pregnancies. But I always tell myself it’s a necessary pain to keep you safe and healthy in the long run and it only hurts for a short time. So not being a fan of needles, and realising that my forehead has very little flesh it’s safe to say I wasn’t looking forward to the treatment, but holding onto the holy grail of the results.
My surgeon Mr Nick Percival welcomed me warmly into his office, shaking my hand and smiling kindly before leading me to a chair pulled beside his huge desk. We then discussed what I’d hoped to achieve from having botox and the results that he felt were possible. I stated that I believe I have premature resting lines, or wrinkles, to my forehead because of my careless sunbathing antics in my late teens and the overuse of sunbeds and asked that he remove them all completely. Nick then looked at my skin and asked me to scrunch and release my face whilst pulling different expressions before he gave me his opinion. He said that whilst sunburn and reckless tanning can cause premature ageing, the situation and extent of my lines were in fact expression lines which are due to the amount of movement in my eyebrows that I use when I speak. I am a rather expressive person!
When looking at the treatment of botox for my lines, Nick then explained that in order to improve, but not completely remove all of the lines I would require my entire forehead to be frozen which would cause me to look very serious and stern as I would have absolutely no movement above my eyes, which in reality is a huge difference to me as I’m so expressive and animated when I speak. He then suggested that freezing just the middle section of my forehead would relax the lines at the centre whilst still giving me the use of my eyebrows. It therefore wouldn’t remove the lines from the sides of my head when I raise my eyebrows, but it would give an overall more natural and smoother appearance, which should I find I’m moving too much I could always pop back and have a little more in other areas.
After we were both happy with the treatment I would be having I then signed a consent form before Nick showed me to a bed much like a dentists chair, where I lay down ready for my botox. Nick put on a pair of surgical gloves before preparing the botox needle on a metal tray beside me, and then he cleansed my forehead with a wipe before starting the injections. I had no pain relief and was absolutely dreading the needle first going in, but as it was on my forehead I couldn’t entirely see what was going on, and found it difficult to tell the difference between Nick’s fingers resting on my head and the needle injecting the botox. The needle itself was so incredibly fine that I didn’t even feel a scratch on the skin, more a slight pressure which wasn’t painful or uncomfortable at all. I couldn’t feel the botox going in as it gave me no sensation and the fluid wasn’t hot nor cold.
In all Nick administered ten injections across the middle of my forehead, using a gauze to hold pressure over each injection site to stop any pinprick bleeding, and it took around ten minutes from start to finish. I was so surprised with how easy and comfortable it was as we chatted throughout and Nick talked me through each step and the aftercare which totally settled my nerves and I felt quite silly for being so worried about such a simple procedure. He explained that blood vessels sit under the skin all over the body, and where one of the injections had been I was developing a small bruise, which is something that can’t be avoided as it can occur anywhere but would go down within a few days time. Directly after my botox I had no swelling or redness, no bleeding, pain or discomfort at all, and aside from my bruise that wasn’t much bigger than an apple pip, you’d never have known I’d just had botox. Nick advised I could put makeup over my bruise by tomorrow morning as the needle holes close very quickly, and the botox itself would gradually start to take effect over the next 3-5 days.
So I caught the next train home and returned to the everyday hum drum of life, waiting for my treatment to take effect. When taking off my makeup this evening I tested out my movement with a few silly expressions in the bathroom mirror and could still wrinkle and crinkle my face to make Gordon Ramsey jealous! Hopefully in a few days time I’ll be as smooth as my toddlers tummy, fingers crossed.
UPDATE: 28/05/15 Day 1
It’s the day after my treatment and I’m ecstatic to see that the skin between and directly above my eyebrows is starting to relax as the lower third of my forehead is now perfectly smooth, which looks a little like I’ve begun ironing my face and stopped part way! My forehead and skin feel no different, it isn’t numb or tender at all and I have full sensation of my movement, there’s just a lovely smooth patch developing although I wasn’t expecting it to take effect so soon. My bruise is turning from purple to a nice shade of green, roll on the next few days!
UPDATE: 29/05/15 Day 2
Oh wow the majority of my wrinkles have now disappeared and my face already looks so much more youthful. It’s so exciting checking in the mirror each morning for progress, and whilst I can’t feel anything happening I can clearly see that the tension has been released from my muscles which are having a nice little break from their daily river dance. My bruise is also changing to a slight shade of yellow now and I’ve made no attempt to cover it with makeup because I wanted to show you it’s true colour, shape and size.
UPDATE: 30/05/15 Day 3
It has been three days since I had my botox and I woke up this morning with perfectly smooth and wrinkle free skin and did a little dance and celebratory fist pump in recognition of Nicks amazing work. I can still raise my eyebrows, smile, frown and use my face as I did before, I just don’t have those awful lines and creases anymore that made me look like a wrinkly old elephant. I’m absolutely thrilled with the results and feel as though I’m back in my teens for how fresh and youthful my face looks, I almost have to do a double take when I catch a glimpse of my reflection because I’m still me, just a more polished version.
UPDATE: 31/05/15 Day 4
Because I can still move my face it’s not blindingly obvious to others that I’ve had a little helping hand with stopping the clock, and I’m getting so many compliments from people saying how fresh and well I’m looking lately. Little do they know that I’ve been up all night with my son who has a chesty cough and tummy ache, as my face certainly doesn’t give away the stresses and strains of my life anymore. It feels amazing to look in the mirror and be greeted by the woman that I actually see myself to be, because inside I’m still young and active with such a zest for life, however my prematurely-aged appearance was letting me down, but not anymore! I literally can’t stop smiling for how good it makes me feel, as a temporary treatment that was so quick and easy has made the biggest difference to my confidence and appearance, which for my first experience of botox Beyond Beauty Cosmetic have absolutely exceeded my expectations.
I hope that in seeing my results you too will seek a professional to administer botox and never be lured in by cheap deals and lesser quality products. Please never attempt to use botox from home as it’s a fine art to target the correct muscles within the face so as not to paralyse your eyes or face unevenly. I highly recommend the safety and aesthetic expertise of using a surgeon for botox as the results are impeccable and Nick Percival is an absolute perfectionist. My bruise was completely gone within seven days and too I wish you all the best with your beauty journeys, should you have any questions you’d like to ask about my treatment, thoughts on botox, comments or to share your own experiences then please leave them in the comment box below.
UPDATE: 28/06/15 Day 30
It’s now been a month since I had my botox and I’m still thrilled with the results. My forehead has remained wrinkle free and flawless, and although it feels like I’m moving my muscles in my face when I look in the mirror it’s perfectly still and smooth. Having just the middle of my forehead treated was definitely the best option for my needs. Remember to check back soon to see how long it lasts me.
Beyond Beauty Cosmetic
The London Welbeck Hospital
27 Welbeck Street,
0207 486 6778