While buzzy chemicals, tricked-out lotions and potions, and new-age technologies with miraculous claims emerge every month, there are a few tried-and-true workhorses that outlast fads. Daily sunscreen and nightly retinol use are two such stalwarts (I’ve mastered the former but have yet to master the latter), as are neurotoxic injections.
Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Allergan’s Botox® in April 2002 for the temporary improvement of moderate to severe glabellar lines (i.e., the frown lines between the brows), it has become the go-to treatment for anyone looking to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles caused by facial expressions (think: frowning, squinting, smiling, and the like).
Throughout the pre-and post-procedure process, I was most impressed by how many people indicated they couldn’t wait to hear about my experience since they had considered having Botox® but weren’t sure where to begin or what to anticipate. So, with their interest in mind, I’ve developed a list of the nine things I believe are most important to know before getting your first tattoo:
1. THERE ARE NO RIGHT OR WRONG TIMES TO BEGIN.
While it may appear that people are opting for Botox® and other similar treatments at a younger age, there is no right or wrong time to begin treatment. No one needs Botox®, as Dr. Rabach told me at my first appointment (or any cosmetic procedure for that matter). But on the other hand, Neurotoxin injections can be preventative if you are interested and in a position to begin early.
Patients in their twenties and thirties will, of course, require less product than those in their forties and fifties, but everyone will notice effects. “Patients who already have lines require more units to reduce movement and frequently require adjunct procedures such as peels, fillers, and microneedling to erase the lines that are etched in,” Dr. Rabach explains. “A person in their twenties may use a fraction of the number of units to keep their skin looking young.”
2. FIRST-TIME CONSULTATION IS ESSENTIAL
As with any surgery, selecting a practitioner that makes you feel at ease and, in this situation, suits your aesthetic is critical. Booking a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist will allow you to get a taste of their work and bedside manner — and ensure that any procedure you desire to undergo is appropriate for you.
During my consultation, Dr. Rabach analyzed my face and asked me where I thought I needed Botox®. She proceeded to have me raise my brows (my go-to facial expression), wrinkle my brow, and squint after I mentioned the increasingly pervasive nature of my forehead lines. This enabled her to gain a better understanding of my facial anatomy.
3. YOU CAN COMPLETE IT DURING YOUR LUNCH BREAK.
Kelly, the patient coordinator at LM Medical, informed me that, aside from “does it hurt?” the most typical question she hears from patients is “can I receive Botox® during my lunch break?” The simple answer is yes.
My first appointment (which included consultation and injections) lasted approximately an hour. However, most of that time was spent filling out new-patient paperwork, having ‘before’ photos taken, and talking with Dr. Rabach. The injections took less than ten minutes. After the operation, I cooled my forehead for five minutes to reduce swelling and bruising before returning to work. Of course, no one would have known if I hadn’t notified my coworkers where I was going.
Dr. Rabach cleansed my brow with an alcohol pad to remove my makeup before injecting it. She said I might reapply beauty goods (makeup and skincare) right after, so bring a touchup kit.