7 Facts I Wish I Had Known Before Getting Botox (2022)

Being anti-Botox is easy in your 20s, but that could also lead to misinformation.

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I always said I wouldn’t get Botox. The procedure seemed vain and invasive — and seriously? Deadly botulism toxin injected in your face?

Though cosmetic Botox has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration since 2002, it can sound pretty extreme. But anti-Botox opinions are easy to tout when you’re the 22-year-old owner of baby-smooth skin.

Rounding the bend on the second half of my 30s, I’ve gradually changed my tune. I’m currently on my first round of cosmetic Botox.

It’s not that I don’t want to age, or appear the age I am. I’ve actually enjoyed many things about the physical process of getting older. I don’t suffer from debilitating menstrual cramps anymore, I don’t break out with embarrassing Mount Vesuvius–level zits, and I even kind of dig the strands of silver coming in at my temples.

But lately, every time I’d see a picture of myself, I couldn’t help noticing the “elevens” entrenched between my brows. This tiny picket fence indented on my face made me look angry — a lot angrier than I actually feel most of the time. I didn’t love the idea that I might come across as frustrated or irritated when I’m really not.

Knowing that a few shots of Botox could help with this issue, I decided it might be worth a try.

I use makeup every day to enhance my appearance. Is there really such a difference between that and the temporary aesthetic boost of Botox?

And now that I’ve done it, I’ve been pleased overall with my experience. However, there are things I was definitely in the dark about prior to my first appointment.

If you’re contemplating Botox, here are some things to consider:

Since Botox is, of course, a treatment for wrinkles and fine lines, I initially figured a few injections would pull these unwanted imperfections right off my face.

But as it turns out, for most patients, Botox is more preventative than restorative. Its active ingredient “freezes” facial muscles to keep you from contracting them in ways that deepen lines and wrinkles.

“Any line that is present at rest, whether it is an etched in frown line, or a deep wrinkle, is not going to disappear with Botox. Botox is not an iron,” says medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatologist Dr. Estee Williams, MD.

Therefore, the earlier you get Botox, the more preventative its effects — hence the trend of getting Botox as early as your 20s.

(Video) What i wished i knew before having BOTOX & WHY I'LL NEVER GET IT AGAIN

With my limited knowledge of Botox, I assumed its miraculous effects would last indefinitely. But this simply isn’t true.

“The average duration for Botox for glabella [the lines between the brows], forehead, and lateral crows’ feet is approximately three to four months,” says Dr. Williams. And there are certain factors that may make Botox fade faster.

“Patients who exercise a lot or who are very expressive may feel that the Botox lasts closer to three months,” she says.

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Not unlike my approach to my first childbirth, I arrived at my Botox appointment with a dim notion that it might be painful, and a needle would probably be involved.

But theoretical pain and real-life, needle-to-the-head pain are two very different things.

While experiences vary, I found the multiple injections to be significantly more intense than the “mosquito bite” pinprick I expected. Despite the ice pack applied to my head, I felt pain for at least half an hour after my injections.

I was also unprepared for the sound the syringe made as it plugged its contents into my skin: like crunching boots on snow or the signature crack of bending a glow stick. (Not a sound you normally want applied to your head.) Thankfully, however, this disturbing auditory aspect lasted just a few seconds.

I wasn’t planning to run a marathon on the Thursday afternoon after my dermatologist appointment, but I do wish I’d known that certain activities are not recommended immediately after Botox.

My doctor instructed that, for the next six hours, I was not to exercise, lie down, or take Ibuprofen (or any other blood-thinning medications), which could increase bruising at the injection sites.


Dr. Williams confirms these guidelines, and adds, “Immediately after your Botox injections, keep your head level and do not bend your head forward for two hours. No heavy exercise until the next day.”

Judging from the flat foreheads of most Hollywood A-listers, Botox is a given among celebrities. While weighing the decision whether to get it myself, I tried casually bringing it up in conversation in my own social circle.

In doing so, I was surprised to learn how many of my friends and acquaintances had already had it. Apparently (at least in my age and financial bracket) it’s really not that uncommon.

Though Botox injections are certainly costly, they’re nowhere near the pricing realm of plastic surgery or even injectable fillers like Juvederm or Restylane.

At around $10 to $15 per unit, you can expect to pay between $200 and $300 for the 8 to 20 units of an average forehead treatment. I paid $260 for the injections to my forehead and between my brows. Expensive, yes, but not Oscars-red-carpet expensive.

Because of my previously held opinions about Botox, a part of me felt that to try it would mean selling out on my principles. Plus, as a deeply religious person, I’ve always subscribed to the belief that vanity is a sin.

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But I’ve come to believe that the desire to look attractive (or at least not look angry) is natural and good. If I could prevent myself from frowning on my own power, I would do so! It doesn’t bother me to use a little medical help to get there.

If there’s one thing everyone seems to fear about Botox, it’s looking like an expressionless robot. Isn’t it freaky not to be able to move certain parts of your face?

In my experience, no.

The inability to knit my brows together when my husband makes a snarky comment or my kids grind couscous into the carpet has actually been a kind of relief.

The faces we make carry emotional weight. You’ve probably heard that simply smiling more can make you feel happier — and it turns out that not frowning can have the same effect.

A 2009 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that when people had Botox that prevented frowning, they had reduced negative mood.

These days, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I see I look happier than I used to. If I look this way to myself, I imagine I look this way my family and friends, too. That’s enough for me to say I’m happy with Botox.

Sarah Garone, NDTR, is a nutritionist, freelance health writer, and food blogger. She lives with her husband and three children in Mesa, Arizona. Find her sharing down-to-earth health and nutrition info and (mostly) healthy recipes at A Love Letter to Food.


7 Facts I Wish I Had Known Before Getting Botox? ›

If you're contemplating Botox, here are some things to consider:
  • Botox doesn't actually erase wrinkles. ...
  • It's temporary (more temporary than I thought) ...
  • It does hurt (for a little while, at least) ...
  • There are certain things you can't do afterward. ...
  • It's not just for celebrities. ...
  • Getting Botox is not a moral failing.

Did you know facts about Botox? ›

8 Facts About Botox
  • Botox injections take less than 15 minutes. ...
  • More men are getting Botox than ever before. ...
  • Botox is older than you think. ...
  • Botox is safe and effective. ...
  • The cosmetic applications of Botox weren't realized until the 1990s. ...
  • Botox is long-lasting. ...
  • Botox can treat excessive sweating.
Sep 30, 2020

Why you shouldn't get preventative Botox? ›

This is why celebrity facialist and skincare expert, Lisa Harris is “strongly against the idea” of preventative Botox. She says that “Starting Botox at a young age and having it regularly will weaken the muscles of the face. In time the muscles will become atrophic and not be able to hold the skin up adequately.

Who shouldn't Botox? ›

Who Should Not Get Botox? People who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a neurological disease shouldn't use Botox. Because Botox doesn't work for all wrinkles, check with a doctor first. You shouldn't have Botox shots if you're allergic to cow's milk protein.

Does Botox make you look older after it wears off? ›

Will it cause you to look older? From a medical point of view, once the effects of Botox wear off, your face will NOT look older. Actually the opposite happens with certainty. Botox injections help you get rid of some of the unwanted wrinkles around the eyes, forehead, chin etc….

What happens when you stop using Botox? ›

If you stop BOTOX treatments after many years of regular injections, the only effect will be that your wrinkles will return, albeit a bit more slowly than if you had not been using BOTOX. It's true: Even after you stop, you will still look younger than you would have if you had never been injected.

Can you drink caffeine before Botox? ›

Drink Coffee

You should also avoid coffee before Botox. This is because coffee contains caffeine, which may trigger your blood pressure and increase the likelihood of bruising during the procedure. For this reason, you should avoid coffee and other beverages containing caffeine at least 24 hours before the treatment.

Can Botox go wrong in forehead? ›

Risks are very minor with Botox, but just like any other medical or cosmetic treatment, things can go wrong. The short answer is that similarly to any invasive treatment or procedure, there can be side effects or complications. You may experience redness, bruising, bleeding or swelling.

Can you feel when Botox starts working? ›

Considered a relatively safe and straightforward procedure, according to a 2016 study , you can typically expect to see and feel the full effects of Botox 10 to 14 days after the procedure. We talked with a few experts to find out how long it takes for Botox to work and how long you can expect to see and feel results.

Why does Botox make you look older? ›

It's not poison, it's medicine." "Botox is a neurotoxin that paralyzes the muscle. After people use it, they start losing volume in their face, and that accelerates the appearance of aging."

Does Botox work after 50? ›

There is no upper age limit for people who want to have Botox. In fact, many women enjoy the refreshed look they can get from Botox and complementary treatments when they are in their 60s or older.

What is a good age to start Botox? ›

If you want to prevent the earliest fine lines from becoming full-blown wrinkles, preventative Botox can be the solution. Botox is approved for patients who are 18 years and older and most experts agree that patients in their mid to late 20s and early 30s are at a good age for preventative Botox treatment.

What does Botox do to eyes? ›

Botox around eyes are specifically used to soften the appearance of crow's feet and the "11" lines, and to correct the asymmetric eyelids or eyebrows. However, meticulous injections are important to avoid droopy eyelids and other untoward side effects.

Does Botox affect your brain? ›

Treating wrinkles with Botox also affects the brain according to a recently published study by the University of Zurich. The team measured electric signals inside the brain before and after a Botox treatment. If we wrinkle our foreheads or raise our eye brows, we stimulate the brain via the many facial nerves.

Can Botox affect your eyesight? ›

Vision Changes

Spread of Botox can cause changes in vision. This can include double vision, blurred vision, dry eyes, excessive tearing and drooping of the eyelid. If experiencing these symptoms, consult your doctor.

Why does Botox make your forehead shiny? ›

When someone is receiving too much treatment with anti-wrinkle injections, the skin can become extremely smooth and the light bounces off in a uniform way. So, the skin appears shiny, which is why it can look 'frozen'.

How do I make my Botox last longer? ›

If you have treatments at regular intervals, then your muscles will become weaker over time. This means that the effects will last longer. Try to avoid the sun, especially on the day of treatment. Sun exposure boosts blood circulation, causing blood vessels to dilate, potentially dispersing Botox faster than normal.

How can you tell if someone has Botox? ›

When an area of the face is frozen with absolutely no wrinkles, you can assume the person has had a date with a needle.” "When you look at a photo and see an area of the face that is extremely smooth and shiny," Rusher says, "that can be an indicator that the person may have had Botox."

Does Botox cause dementia? ›

So the long and short, there is no medical evidence that cosmetic Botox has any affect on the memory.

Do you need less Botox over time? ›

You May Need Less Botox Over Time

Years of Botox use may mean you'll need less and less for maintenance over time. "With appropriate frequency and amount, your muscles become less strong and you may not need as much Botox or need it as frequently," Farber says.

What happens after years of Botox? ›

Over time, repeated injections of Botox® to a particular area in the body can also cause permanent paralysis of the muscle. This is by far one of the most important and dangerous side effects of using Botox® injections. The toxins can spread into the surrounding tissues and this can prove to be fatal.

What can you not eat after Botox? ›

Are there any Foods or Drinks I Should Stay away from after Botox? There are no foods or drinks that you need to avoid when getting Botox and no special diet is required.

What should you not eat before Botox? ›

Avoid alcohol, caffeine, Niacin supplement, high-sodium foods, high sugar foods, refined carbohydrates, spicy foods, and cigarettes 24-48 hours before and after your treatment. (All of these factors may increase risk of bruising and swelling).

Can you use moisturizer after Botox? ›

For the first few days after your BOTOX treatment, you can gently wash your face or apply lotions. You can use the same moisturizer and cleanser you always have, as they won't harm your results. However, facials, microdermabrasion, or any other kind of skin treatments should be avoided for at least a week.

What will I look like immediately after Botox? ›

The first thing you'll notice immediately after Botox injections are little bumps and dots of blood that look just like mosquito bites. These go away in 20 minutes to half an hour. But you won't notice the skin-smoothing effects between three to five days (and up to two weeks).

Why do my eyebrows look weird after Botox? ›

This is a fairly common error and results from over-Botoxing the forehead, specifically the frontalis muscle, which goes all the way across the forehead and is used to raise the eyebrows.

Why do my eyes look smaller after Botox? ›

Botox is a great facial injection and can "open up" the eyes and make you look more refreshed. However, if Botox is injected too low in your forehead it can make the eyes appear smaller and cause lid "heaviness". The results will last about three months and get much better over time and will not be permanent.

Can Botox raise the eyebrows? ›

A Botox brow lift can help treat dynamic wrinkles, or wrinkles formed from movement, such as those between your eyebrows. It can elevate the height of the brows, too. It may also be combined with other procedures, such as a blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery.

Can I wear makeup after Botox? ›

In order to avoid getting an infection or having complications, it's recommended that you don't apply makeup to your face for at least four hours after the procedure. If you need to wear makeup sooner than that, wait at least 30 minutes for the small injection punctures to close up.

Why do eyes feel weird after Botox? ›

Injections near the eyes pose the most risk, and these areas are commonly used to combat crow's feet and brow lines. After the Botox is injected, the eyes can become very irritated and dry, and can go quite bloodshot and red. This irritation can then increase into blurred vision and the inability to see correctly.

How many years can Botox Take off your face? ›

Dr Ayoubi says this is a common result of doctors over-using Botox on a patient. 'The results should last up to six months the first time, then between six and nine months the second,' he says. 'Then, after a couple of years, the results should last for at least 12 months.

How Botox ruins your face? ›

"If you do too much Botox on your forehead for many, many years, the muscles will get weaker and flatter," cautions Wexler, adding that the skin can also appear thinner and looser. Moreover, as your muscles become weaker, they can start to recruit surrounding muscles when you make facial expressions.

Does Botox drop your eyebrows? ›

Botox works by weakening muscles. If you weaken the upper forehead (frontalis) muscles, you will not get a brow lift, your brow will drop. The injector actually must weaken the muscles that pull down the brow.

What age is too late for Botox? ›

After the age of 35, it may be too late to benefit from the preventive capacity of Botox®, especially if you have a very expressive face or fair skin, are genetically predisposed, or have unhealthy lifestyle habits such as using tan beds, overexposing yourself in the sun, or smoking.

Is 70 too old for Botox? ›

ANSWER: All forms of Botox injections approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for forehead wrinkles are intended for people 65 and younger. Beyond that, the medication may not be as effective as it is for younger individuals.

Can Botox help jowls? ›

Botox reduces sagging jowls by tightening and lifting the jaw area. This pulls back the excess sagging skin that creates jowls in the first place.

How should I prepare for Botox? ›

BOTOX: Advice for Before and After Treatment
  1. Do Not Drink Wine for One Week Before Your Appointment. ...
  2. Don't Take Anti-Inflammatory Medications During the Week Before BOTOX. ...
  3. Avoid Foods That Contain Garlic (and Consider Using Arnica) ...
  4. Save the Workout. ...
  5. Wait to Apply Makeup. ...
  6. Use a Gentle Facial Cleanser.

Can Botox make you look younger? ›

Injectable fillers and Botox will temporarily reduce the signs of aging. By relaxing muscles in the face and filling in certain areas, these two powerful anti-aging agents can make people appear dramatically younger.

Does Botox lift your face? ›

Botox: Botox functions as a muscle relaxer. Thus, you can use Botox to smoothen muscles such as frown lines, worry lines, and pursed-lip wrinkles. Botox does not restore volume to the face, neither does it lift sagging skin. When combined with thermal fillers, Botox can fix some of your aging issues.

Is Botox good for under eye bags? ›

Botox injections in the crow's feet can help address under-eye bags as well, but similarly to laser treatments, they will only address the surrounding skin and won't get rid of the bags themselves.

Can Botox make you look less tired? ›

It lifts the brows.

One of the signs of aging that makes people over 40 look tired is droopy brows. There is plenty of evidence that shows Botox® can work to lift the brow line so the face looks vibrant and less tired.

Can Botox make eye bags worse? ›

Botox, when placed in the crow's feet can have several unintended consequences. First, eye bags can worsen. This is due to relaxation of the orbicularis muscle, causing the fat bag retained now only by the orbital septum to bulge.

Can Botox cause strokes? ›

Cosmetic procedures like facial fillers, when incorrectly placed, can cause swelling, pain, lumps beneath the skin, facial scarring and if injected into the retinal artery, can even cause blindness and stroke.

Does Botox affect your immune system? ›

Botox Can Trigger Immune Response

Botulinum toxin type A is a protein complex that can cause the immune system of some patients to respond by forming neutralizing antibodies that weaken the toxin's effectiveness.

Does Botox affect your mood? ›

June 23, 2010 -- Botox injections may do more than smooth your wrinkles and limit your facial expressions. These popular injections may also dampen your ability to feel emotions. The study findings appear in the journal Emotions.

What medications interact with Botox? ›

Some products that may interact with this drug include: certain antibiotics (including aminoglycosides such as gentamicin, polymyxin), anticoagulants (such as warfarin), Alzheimer's disease drugs (such as galantamine, rivastigmine, tacrine), myasthenia gravis drugs (such as ambenonium, pyridostigmine), quinidine.

How long after Botox does droopy eyelid occur? ›

In most cases, droopy eyelid occurs between one and three weeks after treatment, and patients typically experience this adverse effect for just a few weeks. According to Dr. Holman, “It's important to remember that, like Botox treatments, a drooping eyelid is usually temporary. The effect will wear off after a while.

How common is blindness from Botox? ›

Globally, at least 50 cases of blindness after aesthetic facial injection have ever been reported. In the Lazzeri review,1 15 of 32 cases were after injection of fat.

How long does Botox last? ›

In general, Botox lasts 3-4 months. There will certainly be patients in which in lasts longer, in that 4-6 month range, or shorter, in that 2-month range. It is also common for first-timers to notice that it may not last as long initially but may last longer after the second treatment.

Why is Botox so amazing? ›

In reality, Botox is a safe, effective, and smart choice for patients looking to temporarily reverse or suspend aging symptoms, including fine lines and wrinkles, deep creases, and more. It offers prospective patients a low-risk and nonsurgical treatment option.

What are the benefits of Botox? ›

What Can Botox Treat?
  • Remove visible signs of aging.
  • Correct crossed eyes.
  • Stop migraines.
  • Reduce excessive sweating.
  • Relieve muscle tension.
  • Create bladder control.
  • Reduce joint pain and TMJ.
  • Combat allergy symptoms like sneezing.

When was Botox discovered? ›

In 1987, Vancouver doctors Jean and Alastair Carruthers accidentally discovered cosmetic properties in a toxin normally used by ophthalmologists. The couple's discovery changed the face of beauty—and later became a billion-dollar industry.

Does Botox work after 50? ›

There is no upper age limit for people who want to have Botox. In fact, many women enjoy the refreshed look they can get from Botox and complementary treatments when they are in their 60s or older.

Why does Botox make you shiny? ›

When someone is receiving too much treatment with anti-wrinkle injections, the skin can become extremely smooth and the light bounces off in a uniform way. So, the skin appears shiny, which is why it can look 'frozen'.

Can I drink coffee after Botox? ›

For 24-48 hours, avoid caffeine, high-sodium foods, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, cigarettes, high-sugar foods, Niacin supplements and spicy foods because they contribute to increased swelling and irritation.

Is Botox good for anxiety? ›

The study, publishing Dec. 21, 2021 in the journal Scientific Reports , found that people receiving Botox injections at four different sites — not just in the forehead — reported anxiety significantly less often than patients undergoing different treatments for the same conditions.

Does Botox make you prettier? ›

Botox won't make you pretty: Favorite of the stars does not make you better looking. It may be a favourite among stars such as Kylie Minogue, but Botox jabs do not make you better looking, according to new research.

Does Botox cause weight gain? ›

Can Botox cause weight gain? Botox does not cause weight gain.

Does Botox affect your brain? ›

Treating wrinkles with Botox also affects the brain according to a recently published study by the University of Zurich. The team measured electric signals inside the brain before and after a Botox treatment. If we wrinkle our foreheads or raise our eye brows, we stimulate the brain via the many facial nerves.

Is Botox treatment good for hair? ›

While topical Botox for hair injections are intended to strengthen the hair and improve its appearance, sometimes the opposite occurs. Most stylists do not recommend using these treatments more than three to four times a year. Otherwise, hair breakage, thinning, and dullness can occur.

Does Botox make you tired? ›

You might be sore or a little tired after having Botox injected, but you should avoid laying down for the first four hours after the injections.

What animal does Botox come from? ›

What is Botox? Botox derives from C. botulinum bacteria, which are present in many natural settings, including soil, lakes, forests, and the intestinal tracts of mammals and fish.

What is the main ingredient in Botox? ›

Each vial of Botox® contains 100 Units (U) of Clostridium botulinum type A neurotoxin complex, 0.5 milligrams of Albumin (Human), and 0.9 milligrams of sodium chloride in a sterile, vacuum-dried form without a preservative.

What is Botox made of pig? ›

There's Botox, a diluted form of botulinum toxin, and Hylaform, a gel derived from rooster combs. Now comes Evolence, an antiwrinkle injection made of pig collagen.


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