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Close-up of an Arab woman's face to represent Botox

Botox before and after – 8 things you need to know

Medically reviewed by
Dr. Karem Harb from Hortman Clinics

Millions of people invest in Botox every year – there was 6.2 million in 2019 alone – and it consistently ranks as the most asked-for nonsurgical cosmetic procedure across the globe.

But if you’re one of the many who has yet to try it, and you’re interested in trying it, what are the insider tips you would most like to know? From how to prepare before Botox, to how you will feel after having it, we break it down for you.

1. Invest in your skincare (and other treatments) alongside Botox

There’s nothing wrong with waking up one morning, having never thought about how your skin is aging, and deciding Botox is for you. However, to really get the best Botox results, you should invest in an effective skincare regime and even a few rounds of other restorative and regenerative treatments first.

A good esthetician can prescribe you a treatment plan which includes a range of procedures, such as injectables, lasers, or chemical peels, all of which mean you will get so much more impact from Botox, when you do eventually get it.

Whatever the delay – and you might not even have to wait that long – it will be worth it. With a strong skin barrier and the payoff of other treatments, you will need fewer units of Botox, and the results will be greater.

2. Do your research and find a practitioner for life

Some doctors are better at injectables than others.

Botox cannot be reversed, and you have to wait for it to dissolve naturally, which can take months, so you really want to be happy with the results.

Finding a practitioner who is certified is non-negotiable. Ask about their technique and what kind of ‘Botox’ they use (Botox is actually a brand name. There are several types of safe and effective freezing agent they can use). Discuss the kind of look you would like to achieve and make sure you share that vision by asking them to share some of their before and after pictures.

Once you’ve found a practitioner that you like and trust, sit back, relax, and let them do their job. They are the experts and if they suggest a ‘sprinkling of a few units’ instead of the ‘full works’ you have asked for, they are doing it with everyone’s best interests at heart.

You are a walking advertisement for their work. They will want you to look and feel your best.

Close-up of 4 women's faces to represent Botox after results

3. Be willing to walk away

There might be a slight chance that a practitioner will advise against Botox.

It’s unlikely, but you might be allergic to one of the ingredients (your practitioner will check with you), and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you will also be advised to wait.

And most practitioners prefer to wait to treat you until you are in your late 20s.

If you have had Botox before and are switching clinics, your new practitioner might put you on a ‘Botox Detox’. Too much can have an adverse effect – the frozen look can actually mature your face. They may advise waiting a few months until any residual Botox has dissipated before treating you again.

There will be other treatments you might be able to have, such as microdermabrasion and fillers. Don’t be disheartened if Botox is off the menu for now.

4. Check your medical and food cabinets

Before you have your Botox treatment, you will be advised to be aware of any blood thinning medication or food agents. Should the needle hit a blood vessel, blood thinners can hinder the blood clotting process and increase the risk of bruising.

Other things that can cause the blood to thin:

  • Fish oil.
  • Multivitamins.
  • Green tea.
  • Ginger.
  • Garlic.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Red wine.
  • Aspirin.

Due to the slight possibility of prolonged bleeding or bruising, make sure to not book your appointment too close to an upcoming social event.

5. The earlier (in the day), the better

After you’ve had Botox, you’ll be advised to keep your head upright and level for a few hours, so that means no lying down. For those of us who like a decent bedtime, that means booking an appointment earlier in the day, giving the Botox as much time as possible to settle before we hit the pillow.

6. Cancel your gym class the next day

Ideally, you should avoid anything that can increase your blood flow, sweating, or irritation to the injection sites after having Botox, as it can cause it to move away from the initial injection site. Increased blood pressure can also lead to swelling and bruising at the site of the injection. For the best – and safest – Botox results, avoid strenuous physical activity 24 hours after treatment.

Arab woman smiling to represent Botox results

7. It may improve your mood

We all know that smiling can make us feel better, but it seems that not being able to frown has the same effect.

Research has shown that one of the happier side-effects of having Botox is a reduction in negative emotions. As you are unable to make certain facial expressions – usually the angrier ones – you are less likely to follow through with the resulting bad mood.

8. More people have it than you think

Yes, millions of people get Botox every year. But you might be surprised to discover how many of them you know.

While it can be part of a positive ageing routine, Botox can also be a solution for migraines, excessive sweating, and even depression. It really doesn’t matter why you have it.

The conversation around cosmetic treatments is evolving into a freer, non-judgmental space. Whether you keep it a secret or shout it from the rooftops, having Botox is your choice and you should feel no shame in it.

Summary

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