Botox injections have been on my bucket list for years – but probably not for the reasons you think.
Why I wanted to get Botox
I’ve had two major concerns with my appearance for well over 5 years.
Overactive mentalis muscle in my chin
Throughout my teen years I had fairly extensive orthodontic work, including Twin Blocks which held my jaws apart for almost a year. In this time, I had to focus on closing my lips over the blocks, which meant engaging my chin muscles.
By the end of it all my chin got pretty strong, and now almost 7 years on, I still have an overactive chin area. When my lips were closed, but especially when I was chewing, those muscles tried too hard to help out, and compressed in to give a dimpled, pebbly appearance. It’s also nicknamed “golfball chin”.
While it doesn’t seem like much, this enhanced the weakness of my lower face and disrupted the balance of my profile. It also led to a ‘pouty’ looking lower lip and a strong mental crease line – picture the face a small child pulls when they have a tantrum and start sulking.
Not only was I extremely self conscious – especially around eating in front of others – but it got really sore by the end of each day! I thought about how my chin looked constantly and it became a real sticking point and a blow to my confidence.
Eleven lines (furrows/indentations/grooves between my eyebrows)
These lines appeared when I was concentrating, reading, singing, emotional (or any number number of other situations really) for as long as I can remember. Without even trying, I’d tense my forehead and start to crease up like an accordion.
While I wasn’t super self conscious about my frown lines, I hated people asking “what’s the matter?” when they saw me and thought I was frustrated or sad or critical, when really I’d just been sitting in my car belting out both parts of ‘Bop to the Top’ from High School Musical. I’m a naturally positive and happy person and wanted my face to reflect that. Plus I wanted to keep that area as smooth as possible for as long as possible as a preventative measure against premature ageing.
So needless when I found out you could get botox in your glabella chin to calm these muscles down and get the benefits of a better profile and a more relaxed look, I’ve been dreaming of the day I would finally get it.
And for some reason, even when I had turned 18 and had the money, I never did it. Whether it was stigma or laziness or fear I’m not sure.
But the time came when recently I went into my skin clinic for a Hydrafacial in preparation for my 22nd birthday and some work photoshoots I’d be a model in. My nurse – who knew I had been wanting this treatment – said she they actually had a slot open to do the injections on the spot and make it happen right then and there! Needless to say I jumped at the chance. Here’s how it went:
What getting Botox is like
After filling out and signing a consent and safety form, talking about contraindications (things like pregnancy or other conditions that would make the procedure unsafe), the nurse took me into a light-filled and very non-clinical feeling room, with blankets on the bed and wooden panels on the walls.
Picking your specific treatment
We talked about my specific concerns and what I wanted out of the session. I told her what I told you – how I struggled with certain areas of my face and movements that made me self conscious. She was patient and understanding, and took a careful look at the areas, then suggested what types of injectables would suit me and how strong the results would be. We decided to go light on my forehead and heavier on the chin.
Now, I hate to admit it, but the title of this post was actually clickbait. Rather than the famous Botox, I decided to go with a product called Dysport as my muscle relaxant of choice after chatting with the nurse. I learned that Dysport onsets faster (within 3 days), lasts longer (3-5 months) and is cheaper. For the procedure and the amount I had injected in both my forehead and chin, it cost me around $230 AUD in total.
Getting a prescription
Relaxant injections are prescription-only, so after snapping a truly unflattering photo of me frowning and clenching my mouth, it was time to get a doctor’s approval. Within seconds the nurse had sent my details and photos to a mobile doctor, and almost immediately a wide-smiling man was Facetiming her on the company iPad. He had clearly answered the call on his phone, as he was out in a city crossing the street and looked hurried and windswept. After quickly chatting with him about having picked me up as a patient, the nurse handed me the device (without warning!) to have a mobile consultation.
Luckily he was incredibly friendly, and quickly went over my lack of contraindications, confirmed the recommended dosage, reminded me of aftercare and then said the treatment would be perfect for me and approved my script. Then just like that, he hung up and the nurse could go ahead. All within 30 seconds. Technology is insane.
Now that the formalities were out of the way, it was time to get started. I law down on the reclined bed, and because I’m needle-phobic, the nurse made me close my eyes before she brought it out. She asked me to frown as hard as I could, then went right ahead made 5 quick injections across the top of my eyebrows. After nothing more than a series of short, sharp pinches we were totally done with my forehead within 15 seconds. She did the same for my chin, having me tense then performing 2 injections on the lowest left and right points of my chin. It was so much easier than I was expecting and I didn’t have any problems with feeling faint or nauseous!
And that was it – she sent me on my way, telling me not to lean on or rub the area for the next few hours, or go to the gym that night. I didn’t bleed or bruise at all, and she applied a cover-up cream so I went straight back to work and nobody noticed.
Right afterward the procedure, I felt like a changed woman – it was nice to take charge or an insecurity and decide to do something just for myself.
The area did feel a little… odd a few hours later. Not painful, I was just aware of the sensation and it felt like there was something happening. Then it was just time to wait for the results.
The week after Botox
A few days after the treatment, when I tried to frown or scrunch my chin up I felt like I was doing it, but when I looked in the mirror I could see it was less effective and my skin was buckling in different places.
By about 5 days in, the ability to strain the area totally disappeared, leaving it feeling almost numb. The absence of movement was a crazy sensation. I could still tell when I would have usually habitually frowned or clenched my mouth and instead I felt a bit frozen. Not going to lie, at this point a panicked a little.
But thank god, now 2 weeks in I can say that I’ve forgotten what it felt like to scrunch up my forehead and tense my chin and I just can’t do it anymore! No more weird sensations – just relaxed bliss.
Before and after photos
These are so unflattering omg you had better appreciate this – enjoy the nostrils and crusty lips. I did my best to keep the positions and lighting as constant as possible – apologies that they’re not perfect! Before is on the left, after is on the right.
Frown lines results
The results: My skin is smoother, and my side profile is sharper and more flattering.
Obviously, the forehead injections worked wonders. I can no longer frown and my glabella is much more relaxed. Now I can concentrate as hard as I like and still look totally at ease!
But best of all, the ball of my chin is more defined and projects further, even more so when my lips are pressed tightly together. Notice how the light reflects evenly across on my skin – while still looking lovely and natural! I love freedom from unintentional chin scrunching which gave me a doubtful, weak look and a fear of eating in public. I feel fresher and it’s improved my confidence tons since having it done.
I hope that Botox trains me out of those habits so I can continue getting the benefits even once it wears off.
My thoughts on the Botox experience
For such a quick and relatively painless procedure. I’d definitely get Botox again.
I feel as though for the mental and physical effects, the length of time it lasts, I’ll trade a takeout meal every week to get this done every 3 months (and even less often as time goes on and the effects become more permanent). Obviously the cost can still be substantial – you can shop around for a better deal, but be sure to always check the credentials of the doctor and the quality of their work.
If this is something you’re considering, I’d advise asking to be on the cautious side and get Botox on one or two areas at a time. Then you can see what you like and don’t like before committing to something you’ll be stuck with for months. I didn’t need my whole forehead done so I didn’t get it – simple as that. I love to look expressive – including my smiley ‘crows feet’ and crazy dramatic eyebrows as they are. Maybe one day I’ll try more, but for now just this minimal treatment has made a massive difference for me
Do what feels best for you – if a cosmetic procedure will make you happy then go for it! Or just rock what you’ve got.
Botox can be used for all sorts of incredible things – from basic wrinkle reduction to muscular release like in my chin or in the jaw, to treat tension migraines, to combat excessive sweating, and way more. Take my experience as evidence not to jump to conclusions – not all Botox is equal and it’s not always as superficial as it may seem. I’ll be preventing bigger problems down the road that would have required way more intervention, time and money wasted.
What’s the scariest procedure you’ve had done for the sake of your appearance?