To be honest, I feel like getting botox was never really on my radar up until a year or so ago. I don’t know why but I had never really thought of it or thought I needed it (reality check–I did LOL). Then sometime during last year, it started popping up on my radar more, probably because I was approaching 30 and decided that I needed to take better care of my skin! I first invested in my skincare routine and started using Retinol 0.5 and C E Ferulic (this product is the holy grail of skin care, if you invest in one thing let this be it! It’s pricey but lasts a long time and is definitely worth it).
I had been using these products for about 6 months when I was introduced to Skin Raleigh and learned about their Shine Subscription. This is a subscription service that includes your skin care essentials for the whole year. Meaning, your facial products (cleanser, moisturizer, and daily sunscreen/tinted moisturizer), hydrafacials, and botox. So about every 3 months you can your products replenished, a facial, and your botox redone. And of course there is flexibility within this, so if you want to do 2 hydrafacials within a couple of months that’s fine! But basically, you have 4 “refills” of each part of the Shine Subscription. Plus, you get discounts on a ton of their other services if you become a member. The annual subscription is $2,250 and saves you around $700.
All that said, I was very interested in their Shine Membership because, as I mentioned earlier, I’m 30 and definitely need to take some proactive and preventative measures! I decided to go ahead and sign up for the membership and ended up getting botox for the first time at the beginning of December. Overall, I was very pleased with my results. I saw Jetta there (who used to be an ICU RN also before she became trained in injectables!) and has a great experience with her. Overall she made me look very natural–I still had some movement so you can tell when I’m “mad” or “happy” (I didn’t want to be frozen) but all of my super defined lines were gone. I’ll put some before and after photos below and answer some of the questions you sent in!
In the photos below, I am making the same facial expressions pre and post botox (it takes about 10 days to take full effect). You can see that when I frown, you can still see that I’m “mad” but the frown lines are much less deep. In the second set of photos, I am raising my eyebrows in both but you can see I don’t have the same deep lines. So again– can totally make facial expressions (I’m not frozen) but I don’t have lines when I do.
How much does it cost? I go to Skin Raleigh, and if you don’t have the Shine Subscription it’s 14.50/unit. From researching, most places charge around $13-15/unit. I would be wary of places that charge less. Botox is NOT something you necessarily want to find the “best deal” on. I mean, this isn’t a basic white tee you’re looking for…!
How many units did you get and where did you get them? When I first went in December I got 28 units total (20 in my 11’s aka in between my eyes/eyebrows, and 8 in my forehead). When I went back this past week, we did 32 units total (20 in my 11’s still but 12 in my forehead). Apparently, anything 1o or less in your forehead is considered very minimal.
How often do you get it done? The general rule of thumb is every 3 months. It depends on how fast or slow your body metabolizes it though. For example, some women can go 4-6 months, while others definitely need it by there 3-month mark. I, unfortunately, seem to be someone who needs it once 3 months hit. They told me that sometimes people who are naturally leaner or workout a lot may metabolize it faster and need it more frequently. Boo.
How do you know you need it? I don’t notice that many wrinkles. You probably don’t have deep set wrinkles when your face is resting, but if you look closely you probably have fine lines/creases in your forehead when relaxed. BUT go ahead and raise your eyebrows and you will see the lines. So those two things are when you know you may want to get it!
Can you start too soon? I started when I was 30 and I wish I would have started in my mid 20’s. They said you can start early as a preventative measure!
Did it hurt? Barely. I wouldn’t even describe it as hurting; it just feels like a tiny prick. They use a subQ needle which is very small. When they first do it, there are tiny red bumps (as you can see in the photos), but those go away after about 5-10 minutes.
How did you find the right place to go? I love a good referral. If I don’t have a referral and I would do a ton of research and read all the reviews. And please, please don’t go looking for botox on Groupon LOL.
Botox vs. Xeomin? So I don’t know a ton about the difference between these two, except for that Xeomin is apparently sometimes called the “organic” botox, (apparently, the protein isn’t attached like it is with Botox, whatever that means). However, when I was at my last appointment they said I could try Xeomin next time if I wanted to see if my body doesn’t metabolize it as quickly as it does with Botox. So we’ll see!
Can you tell a difference? I’m scared I’ll look like Joan Rivers. LOL. Yes, I can tell a difference but it’s very natural. If you didn’t know I go botox you wouldn’t think I look frozen aka you wouldn’t even know I had botox. I have enough where I can still make facial expressions (aka NOT frozen) but the lines and wrinkles are either non-existent in areas or much less defined. I can still raise my eyebrows and burrow my brow just fine as you can see in the photos. Also, in general, you can always add more, so you can be conservative your first time and then increase if you want.
Can you still move your eyebrows? Does it change your overall facial expressions? Yes, I can still move my eyebrows! You want enough botox where you can still make facial expressions but you just dont have the deep lines and wrinkles that go along with it. Trust me, Stephen can still tell when I’m mad 😉 But you can see in the photos that it doesn’t change my facial expressions, just the lines that come with them.
Is muscle atrophy a risk? I’ve seen some scary youtube videos. So here a good explanation I found regarding muscle atrophy:
If you didn’t move your legs for 20 years, eventually those muscles would shrink and become quite weak. The same thing can happen to the muscles in your face. “If used regularly, over a prolonged period of time, without interruption, eventually the muscle will atrophy from lack of use,” says Wexler. That’s not to say your entire face will atrophy: “As the Botox is injected in discrete locations on the face, eventually only those treated muscles will atrophy, leaving other muscles to maintain full volume,” Wexler maintains. Read full article here. This seems to be a good article that talks about positives and negatives,
On this note, I will say though, again, be careful of who you go to. When I went back 10 days after my first injection (they recommend you go back about 10 days after your first time so they can see if they need to add more, if you have any questions etc), I asked Jetta (the RN who did my botox) if she could add more above my right eyebrow because there were two small lines there. She said the reason she didn’t put the botox there originally was that it could have caused my eyebrow to droop. NO THANK YOU! So clearly after she told me that I was like oh okay, makes sense, let’s not put any there! LOL. But if I had gone to someone who didn’t know what they were doing that could have been an unfortunate side effect! Luckily it’s temporary but still!
Is it true that once you start botox you can’t stop? You can definitely stop. Botox is temporary so once it wears off your face just goes back to looking at how it was before. If you do it long term there are some “side effects” which this article discusses but nothing major one way or the other that would deter me from getting it or continuing to get it.
Covered by insurance? Ha. I wish! Sadly, no.
Would you ever get lip flip? So I didn’t even know what this was before google-ing it! I wouldn’t ever, just because if I was going to do something to my lips it would be fillers (I feel like my lips are super thin and wouldn’t mind more volume lol) but if you do it, I would just do a lot of research before going to someone. If they do too much botox there, your lip cant move..like you can’t suck a straw haha. So like anything–just do your research before going to someone!
I hope this was helpful and gave you some good insight! Let me know if you have any questions! xx C