Saturday, 29 October 2016

My first ever Botox treatment-a 2 month progress report

Botox. Seemingly more offensive to some people than the C word. But why? Because it's a poison that you pay to get injected in to you? No I don't think it's just that, I think it's because, especially here in the UK, it is frowned upon (see what I did there!) to look after yourself. It's considered self centered to spend money on facials and manicures. Egotistical to work out so that you can get your body in to the best shape it can be. Frivolous to spend money on make up. Indulgent to pay more than £30 on skincare.

I've been unhappy with how my face has started to move south quite quickly over the past couple of years and in particular the deep frown line I have between my eyebrows (these frown lines are called glabella) and I started to wonder about getting botox. And when I start to wonder about something, I wonder a lot, I really think about it non stop. Mostly I was worried, about the disappointment. What if it just didn't work for me. And I was put off when I read that you need to get it re-done every 3-4 months. I can't afford that. Even if it did work.
But then in the summer, I finally thought sod it, lets give it a try, and anyway I can write a blog post about it!

So I booked in at Dermaskin in Bristol, because I have a friend that used to go there and also because they are fairly close to me and also all the pricing was transparent, reasonable and easy to find on their website.

The treatment
The first thing to say is the Dermaskin clinic (just opposite Cabot Circus in Bristol) is nice, clean and everyone is friendly and put me at ease.
I had the nurse treat me and she talked me through what she would do, after care and about the top up service, after two weeks (which is included in the price).
I honestly thought to treat my deep frown line would be one injection directly in to the line. I don't know where I got this idea from because I was very wrong. I had lots and lots of injections (it felt like a lot). The nurse got me to frown, so she could see the muscle movement and then she would inject. Frown again, inject. I'm not scared of needles and it wasn't painful but it did get to the point where I thought about saying "thank you but I'll be off now". If you've ever had a tattoo, it was the same scratchy, irritating sensation. Not pain as such but certainly not enjoyable, bearable, just.

I did bleed a very small bit. I wasn't expecting that either. And I definitely wasn't expecting how red my forehead was. I had actually been planning on going to look around the shops after my treatment but there was no way I could. I felt like I had a flashing red beacon on my forehead screaming "I'VE JUST HAD BOTOX. AREN'T I SELF-CENTERED". So I had to almost sprint back to the multi storey car park with my head bowed right down wishing I had either a hat or fringe, or both.
The redness did calm down by the time I'd driven the 40 minutes home and this picture doesn't show it that well as I'm hiding in my car. (Please forgive the shininess of my face, that is nervous sweat!).

I had discussed with the nurse and said that I didn't want any movement in my forehead. I frown when I'm happy so to not be able to frown seemed liked a good thing to me.
And I was told that the full effect of the Botox would kick in by the end of two weeks. Because this was my very first time, I didn't know what to expect. I kept tentatively frowning, and I was worried that if I frowned my face would freeze in to the frowned position. Obviously it didn't and actually by the end of the second week, I still had a lot of movement, too much for me. I booked in for the top up treatment and luckily this time the nurse only injected me a few more times and it was over and done with really quickly.

Now I have to say that my deep frown line was never going to go away with Botox. Botox paralyzes the muscle which you frown with, so with continued use of Botox, you won't be able to frown and so you won't get any further frown lines. Only filler can "fill" out the deep line I have. I didn't have filler though. But I have to say that after about three and a half weeks I did start to notice that my deep frown line was no longer so obvious. It was a line still, yes, but it was not such a deep set furrow.

Two months later
Only one of my friends has noticed and she didn't think at all that I had had Botox, she commented that all the skincare testing I do had improved my frown line.
I would say I have almost full frowning strength back now, sadly. Although my forehead was never totally frozen, I could easily frown but the strength of the frown was not so strong.
I'm back to really noticing my frown lines again and only focusing on them when I look in the mirror.

So here are the before and after photos. The before was taken on 4 August, the day of my treatment and the after on 3 October. I am frowning hard and in the after shot you can see that there is definitely less muscle pull in my frown position and the deep set line isn't so deep and the 2nd line, which is no where near as deep, is less visible.
botox before and after
So as it stands I am really undecided about having another round of Botox. I would say I need to have it now and so that means it would only have been two months, not the three to four months I had been told. And it could be that that is normal for the first time, I don't know.

I think you can probably tell that I'm not exactly bowled over with my first ever experience of Botox. Maybe I expected too much.

I almost didn't write this post because I'm very aware I'm not raving about my experience but I will always be honest, even if I have to say to you - you know what, I'm undecided. And that's why I think I will give it another try, so I can decide and tell you.




  1. Really appreciate you sharing your experience, look forward to hearing about your second go!

  2. I too have had Botox about 5/6 times in the past for the same area you have had treated. All I can say is that after time ( further Botox) results get better. I've not had it for over 18 months now ( due mainly to finances) but would do at the drop of a hat. Saying that following my treatments the frown line never came back as pronounced. It's not half as bad as it was even after all this time. My nurse advises me that this is because you train yourself out of frowning if that makes sense/ because you can't.
    I think you look great before and after and I fthink with all beauty treatments if it makes you feel better then it's worth it.
    Thanks for sharing, Tracey x ( naughty forty diaries)

    1. That's really interesting to know Tracey thank you. If finances allow, I will persevere as I'm such a frowner, which I also think is the cause of my headaches! And you're so right it's a personal choice but like a good facial, do it if it makes you feel good.
      Julie xx

  3. Great post Julie! I've got the exact same lines in the areas you have - my mum is the same and mine is much deeper especially when I frown. I'm only 25 and despite my friends morphing into Kylie Jenner's, I've always been a little sceptical of going for the procedure. Love how informative your post is and your before and after photos!

    Amy |

    1. Thanks Amy. It's a difficult one isn't it. I always thought don't have Botox/fillers until you're much older, like my age. But I've been told I've kind of left it too late as having Botox when you're younger trains your muscles not to frown?! I'm looking forward to when I don't care and get a fringe or wear bright coloured lippie!
      Julie xx

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