Your Botox Questions, Answered
You asked, we listened – and then we called in the experts.
Botox. Everyone is doing it. Or are they? I think they are but it’s hard to know. In a world of oversharing, Botox seems to be the last frontier – as a society, we’re all keeping mum on this one. (Although, team Gritty Pretty recently went on record, divulging our personal experiences with Botox – you can read it here.)
Botox is a semi-permanent beauty treatment that works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by temporarily paralysing muscles. This is done using an injection of one of several forms of botulinum toxin. Results vary depending on the amount of product injected; typically, it lasts between three and six months. Botox is most often used on forehead lines, crow’s feet and frown lines. It is not suitable for pregnant women.
Here’s the thing about Botox… it works. If it’s smoother skin and less wrinkles you’re after, Botox can help you get there. But – and it’s a big but – there can be side effects. Finding the right technician is paramount.
It’s normal to have reservations about letting someone jab a bunch of needles in your face. So we took your questions and relayed them to the experts. Here, all of your most pressing questions about Botox, answered.
Question: Will Botox in my forehead make my eyes and/or brows droop?
It’s possible but less likely if you’re only working on frown lines – the area between the brows, says Lisa Sullivan Smith, co-founder of The Clinic in Sydney’s Bondi Junction. “However, when treating the horizontal lines on the forehead, the side effect penalty can increase and this is where an understanding of the anatomy and dosing is important. If you put too much Botox in the horizontal lines ‘frontalis’ you can cause heaviness.” For the record, heaviness = droop.
Question: Can you get allergy tested before getting Botox?
“Allergy to Botox is rare but it does occur,” explains Dr. Charles Cope, founder of Infinity Skin Clinics. Unfortunately, there is no test available. That being said, “Botox is a very safe drug – over five million people had Botox in the US alone last year with minimal reactions.”
Question: Can you use Botox to just soften wrinkles and fine lines – rather than making skin suspiciously smooth?
For a natural look, this should be your end goal! According to Sullivan Smith, “This is often called Micro Botox and is generally used for first time clients who are scared of treatment, those who want to look natural and for a softer look. When you treat a client this way, you use less Botox than normally used.” The only catch? It won’t last as long.
Infinity Skin Clinics specialise in achieving this natural look. “No one should be able to tell you have had Botox,” says Cope. “This natural look is achieved by not overdosing and tailoring the result to what the patient requests.”
Question: What is preventative Botox and does it work?
Long story short, preventative Botox refers to starting from an early age and ‘preventing’ wrinkles before they happen. “The average age of first times used to be 33 now I would say it is 28,” Sullivan Smith says. “The more treatments you have, the lines will become less predominant.”
Question: Is it true that Botox can prevent sweaty underarms?
Correct. “Botox is an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis, both in the underarms and also on the palms/soles of the feet,” Cope explains. “92 per cent (11 out of 12) have a good improvement, with the effect lasting seven months on average. Most people who have Botox in this way have the injection once a year before the start of summer.”
Question: Does Botox work on crow’s feet?
“Yes, absolutely it works on crow’s feet,” Sullivan Smith says. “It actually has TGA approval for this area and is highly effective.” The more you know…
Question: Can you get Botox as a once off – or is it something that you need to do consistently?
According to Sullivan Smith, the ball is in your court: “You can get Botox as a one off – it is a great way to trial the treatment and be wrinkle-free.”
However, with regular use, comes consistent results. “While some people use Botox occasionally – e.g. before an important event – this means that the patient does not achieve the best result, which is only achieved with regular use,” Cope explains.
Question: If I start using Botox to smooth one area of my face (frown lines for example) will wrinkles pop up in other areas?
This one is a bit tricky. The three main areas where people choose to get Botox are crow’s feet, frown lines and the horizontal lines on the forehead. “If you are treating only one area, the lines of the face will remain the same,” Sullivan Smith explains. However, “if you are treating three areas of the face, some people feel they may get recruitment – i.e. the bunny lines around the nose. Most people are fine but [if there are] bunny lines that need to be treated, we can do those.”
Do you have any questions about Botox that we haven’t answered here? Tell us below – you never know, we might just do a follow up.