No matter where you officially stand on the subject, chances are that you’ve at least been curious about Botox at some point in your adult life. (Probably right around the time you noticed that teeny, tiny line etched across your forehead.) Dendy Engelman, MD of the Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in New York, takes us through what might happen if you actually got it done.
IT MIGHT SET YOU BACK MORE THAN YOU’D EXPECT
Costs can range from $500 to $2,000 a treatment, depending on the number of areas being treated and who is injecting you. And while it’s certainly tempting to book one of those spa deals for a fraction of the cost, it’s important to note both the hygienic conditions of wherever you’re going and their level of qualification (which will determine how natural the final results look). Your best bet is to ask around and get a referral from someone you know and trust. It is your face after all.
YOU MIGHT NOTICE A LITTLE SWELLING OR BRUISING
At the site of the Botox injections. Any swelling should be minimal and go away within a few hours. (In the meantime, might we suggest a pair of sunglasses or a loose beanie to cover things up if you’re feeling self-conscious?) Bruising, on the other hand, is far less common and can usually be prevented by getting a precise injection—which is one of reasons why you should seek a highly trained and certified professional to do the job.
IT COULD TAKE A FEW DAYS TO SEE FULL RESULTS
You’re probably expecting an instant change (like the minute you leave the doctor’s office), but you won’t really notice anything for a couple days. In fact, many people don’t see the full effects until two weeks after their appointment. Bottom line: Take a beat before you go in and demand another round of shots.
AND YOU MIGHT NEED TO GET IT A FEW TIMES A YEAR
For most patients, the effects of Botox should last between three to five months, says Dr. Engelman, which equates to two to three appointments a year. If this is something you’re interested in maintaining, she advises that you get your next round of injections before the wrinkles fully return.
BUT YOU MIGHT NOT NEED IT AFTER ALL
Ever hear the term “preventative Botox”? It’s the theory that treating the skin before lines have fully formed can prevent them from getting deeper in the future (which explains why it’s not uncommon for 20-somethings to get injections). But starting too early can also put you at risk for that frozen look. Instead, amp up your skin-care regimen first. Try a peptide cream for day, retinol at night and always (always) be vigilant about your sunscreen application. A little extra hydration can do wonders for fine lines.