Did I ever think I’d be in my late 20s and getting Botox? Definitely not – but my forehead had other plans. I’m a very expressive communicator in general and raise my eyebrows a lot when I talk. This obviously wrinkles my forehead, which is natural for most people. I began noticing though about six years ago that fine lines were appearing where I raised my eyebrows, even when my forehead was at rest. I shrugged it off and decided just to start getting more serious about what creams, serums and masks I incorporated into my beauty routine.
As years passed, I noticed how much my forehead wrinkles were deepening. I started to go to an aesthetician and began getting facials and micro-needling done, which helped keep the wrinkles from getting worse. But when I got engaged to Adam in late 2015, I worried about my wedding day and how my forehead was going to look. I was so self conscious and wondered if I needed to do something more advanced to diminish my wrinkles. I wanted to feel confident in my own skin and feel like myself again. I did a lot of research and decided to give Botox a try. I was a bit terrified (who likes needles!?) considering all the horror stories you read and see in the media. However, I made sure I was going to a doctor to get it done, which helped calm my nerves.
I started getting injections about two years ago and honestly? I am so glad. You can see my amazing results post-Botox:
I hid the fact that I got Botox from family and friends for awhile because I wasn’t sure how they’d react. Ultimately though, getting Botox and seeing my results made me so happy, so I became more open about it. I knew I shouldn’t be ashamed or care what anyone thought. Believe it or not, most of the feedback I received was positive and I actually got a lot of curiosity and questions. I’ve documented them below and provided answers to them so you can get a feel for the Botox process.
As always, please consult with your doctor about whether or not this treatment is right for you. Remember that I’m just one of many sharing my experience and everyone’s experience is going to be different.
What really is Botox?
BOTOX® Cosmetic is the only FDA approved treatment to temporarily improve the appearance of frown lines between the brows and crow’s feet lines. Botox contains small amounts of a highly purified botulinum toxin protein refined from the bacterium, clostridium botulinum. Botox injections are best known to temporarily paralyze muscle activity. Botox was the first drug to use botulinum toxin. Other products now include Dysport, Myobloc and Xeomin.
How did you go about starting Botox?
I was regularly getting facials at a medical/skin care clinic and I had inquired about Botox at one of my appointments. My aesthetician at the time told me that there was a doctor at the clinic that did the Botox injections. I went for a consultation and the doctor confirmed that getting Botox not only would diminish my forehead wrinkles, but it would also help to prevent any future wrinkles. It was nerve-racking but exciting to think about the possibility of having a wrinkle-free forehead. I ended up scheduling a follow-up appointment from there to begin the process.
The reason I felt confident in moving forward was knowing a licensed doctor would be doing the injections. I would recommend anyone looking to get Botox to only look at clinics or spas that have a licensed doctor or plastic surgeon to perform the injections. I now go to a different skin care facility, Elevare MD, that I absolutely love and trust going to for my injections and facials. If you’re in the Chicago area, I cannot recommend Dr. DeWolfe and Kelly DeWolfe (who do my injections) enough! They have a stunning facility and their staff is incredibly knowledgeable and professional.
Where do you get the injections?
I first started getting the injections only on my forehead, where my wrinkles were visible. Over time, I started experimenting between the brows since I began to see slight wrinkles forming there. I’ve also had them right under my brows to lift my brows so my eyelids aren’t as droopy (which I’ve realized is part of the reason I lift my eyebrows up a lot). Majority of the time though, I’m getting the injections in my forehead.
How long does the process take?
I’m in and out of Elevare in less than 10-15 minutes. I have to sign a few legal forms each time and the actual process of the injections takes about a minute or two. That’s it!
Do the injections hurt?
I’m not going to lie and say they don’t hurt at all. Sometimes, it hurts more times than others (apparently for women, as it can all depend on your cycle). But honestly, because it’s done in a matter of minutes, it’s bearable and really not all that bad. You can ask for an ice pack before or after to numb the area slightly. It’s just a slick prick. You can handle it 🙂
What’s the down time like?
That’s kind of the beauty about Botox injections – there really is no downtime. Once I leave Elevare, I can pretty much go and do whatever I want right away – except go to my fitness classes. Doctors recommend not doing any form of vigorous exercise after injections and recommend waiting to exercise for about 24 hours. I will usually have some slight raised bumps and redness where the injections were, but they usually subside within an hour or so.
When will I see results and how long does it last?
I tend to see results in about one to two weeks. What’s great about Elevare too is that they will provide complimentary touch-ups after two weeks if it’s not to your satisfaction. I sometimes have to go back since I have a “very strong forehead,” as Kelly DeWolfe has told me. Unfortunately what that means for me is that my forehead muscles are strong so I need more units of Botox or more frequent visits than most people.
On average, Botox can last up to four to six months for most, but for me, I can stretch it to only about three months. I honestly tend to see decreasing effects of it though after about six weeks, but I know it’s just the way my body in particular reacts with the drug and has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the actual procedure.
Are there any side effects?
Temporary bruising is the most common side effect of Botox, but I’ve only had that happen once and realistically, there’s nothing some makeup can’t fix! Headaches, which resolve in 24-48 hours, can occur too, but this is rare.
How expensive is it?
It really all depends on the area you live and how much the establishment charges that you’re going to. Most places I’ve come across in the Chicagoland area at least charge by the unit, which can vary from $12-16 per unit. I get anywhere from 10-20 units each time I go, so you can do the math and it adds up pretty fast. Every person is different though in how many units they actually need, so costs can be flexible. Every penny is worth it to me though, because I leave feeling more confident in my own skin. Instead of spending my money on frivolous nights out or on things I really don’t need, I save my money so I can afford going to Elevare.
Are you happy with the results?
Yes, 100%. I can’t tell you how much happier and confident I am nowadays. I look back at pictures and can’t believe how deep my wrinkles used to be. Unfortunately though, if I want to avoid them getting that deep again, I’m going to have to continue to get Botox the rest of my life. That is something I’ve accepted and I will continue to get it because it reduces the appearance of my forehead lines and prevents any new forehead lines from forming (since the muscle cannot contract as easily). It’s so worth it for me.
Please let me know if you have any comments or thoughts below!
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Success Manager at Salesforce and has over 10 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.