Botox and Fillers
My Personal Experience
There seems to be a lot of stigma, fear, and hesitation around Botox and injectables in general. And while there’s tons of information online these days, with my personal experience and the knowledge that I’ve gathered after speaking with my cosmetic & medical dermatologist and board-certified plastic surgeon, I want to help break the process down in non-medical lingo so you can all understand how this works.
I have asked millions of questions and had face to face meetings with both Dr. Umbareem Mahmood and Dr. Sapna Westley, to the point they want to strangle me. But hey…that’s my job. I need to know. It is MY face and body after all. I believe in educating myself. And so should YOU.
What really helped me in choosing the right doctors was their level of patience, understanding my needs and helping to explain the procedures in detail. There was no pushing or persuading me to get something done because of greed. I personally have 2 doctors because they’re so so busy that I have to juggle both depending on my schedule and when they can squeeze me in.
As soon as I hit 39 I started seeing a difference in my face. I just felt like I LOOKED fatigued and lost that freshness in my face. I could see my 11’s getting deeper. My doctor kept saying “You don’t need it. Trust me. I don’t see what you see. I will let you know when it’s time.” I went back the following year.. and was told I was still not ready. And then the next year…she said, “OK…we’re ready now. It’s time for a pinch of Botox and maybe hint of Restylane. You’re going to love it. ” Now I’m 44 and totally hooked! Addicted. I need it. I want it. I have to have it. BUT all in moderation. Which is why I love my doctors! They both have a conservative approach to injectables. Both of my doctors prefer Restylane over Juvederm for its softer, more natural feel.
The point is to look fresh and unassuming. A preventative measure to slow down the look of aging. Not a way to change my face or structure. I’m not going for the juiced up turkey look. The only reason you all know I’ve had some work done is because I choose to be public about it. Otherwise, you would never know.
At your appointment, you’re most welcome to bring in an inspo picture of the look you are going for. Just keep in mind the filler and where it’s placed is very specific to your face, shape, and structure. I’ve never brought in a picture for reference because I am looking to be the best version of myself…not someone else.
What is Botox?
Botox is a brand name of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Aka ‘Muscle Killer’ not a filler. (I made this up. LOL)
How does it work?
Botox blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles preventing the injected muscle from contracting. This makes the wrinkles relax and soften. Botox is often used on forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eye), and frown lines. Keep in mind wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity will not respond to Botox.
How is it done?
Getting Botox takes only a few minutes and doesn’t require anesthesia. If you want you can request topical numbing cream but that’s not necessary. It really doesn’t hurt at all! Botox is injected with a fine needle into specific muscles with some minor discomfort. It generally takes 7 days to take full effect, and it’s best to avoid alcohol starting at least one week prior to the procedure. You should also stop taking aspirin and any anti-inflammatory medications two weeks before treatment to reduce bruising. I don’t drink much nor do I ever take aspirin for anything so I was good to go.
How Long do Botox Injection Last?
Botox will last three to six months. It all depends on how your body absorbs the product, everyone is different. As muscle action gradually returns, the lines and wrinkles begin to reappear and need to be treated again. The lines and wrinkles often appear less severe with time because the muscles are shrinking. Mine usually lasts a good 5-6 months.
What Are the Side Effects of Botox?
The most common side effect is mild and temporary bruising, which is something I’ve never experienced. Headaches, which end in 24 to 48 hours, can happen, but this is rare. A small percentage of patients may develop eyelid drooping. This usually ends within three weeks. Drooping usually happens when the Botox moves around, so don’t rub the treated area for 12 hours after injection or lie down for three to four hours after treatment.
No, insurance does not cover cosmetic procedures. Be prepared to pay out of pocket for sure.
The average cost of Botox in NYC is approx. $20 per unit, or $250 – $500 per treatment. The exact cost depends on how many units are needed to treat the desired area. The amount of Botox you’ll need should be advised by your doctor.
What is Restylane?
Restylane is the trade name for a range of injectable fillers with a specific formulation of non-animal sourced hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is something that the body produces naturally. Restylane was the first hyaluronic acid filler to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic injection into sub-dermal facial tissues.
How does it work?
Restylane works by injecting volume underneath your skin where you’ve lost collagen and other tissue. It helps smooth out and lift skin, making it look plumper. The hyaluronic acid in Restylane clings to your skin and the water in the acid gives volume.
How Long Does Restylane Injection Last?
It varies from person to person but approximately 6months in my personal experience.
What Are the Side Effects of Fillers?
Common side effects of fillers include swelling, redness, bruising, tenderness, itching, or pain at the injection site which tends to subside fairly quickly. There’s literally no downtime for me I go straight to work from my appointment.
One syringe can run you around $600 – $900.
Some Friendly Advice
Immediately after getting lip injections, there is some degree of swelling along with numbness from the topical numbing cream which is completely normal. Do not judge your lips for at least five days since swelling can look slightly fake or even lumpy. Bruising is also very normal and expected…which I haven’t experienced. Both my doctors say I’m the perfect patient! Ha ha ha!
What is Voluma?
Juvederm Voluma is a new filler approved by the FDA which is thicker in consistency and great for cheeks..which is what I had done very recently.
How does it work?
It is injected the same way the other fillers are. No numbing required for this. Practically painless. Seriously..Not lying.
How Long Does Voluma Last?
It can last up to 18months..sometimes even up to 2 years. Personally, this is a great investment in ME.
What Are the Side Effects of Voluma?
Some of the common side effects are tenderness, swelling, firmness, lumps/bumps, bruising, pain, redness, discoloration, and itching. I had a tad bit of tenderness but that was it.
One syringe can run you starting at $1000 and up. I used about half a syringe for my cheeks.
All in all, I’ve had a very pleasant and pain-free experience with excellent results and would recommend this to anyone 40 plus and looking for a little boost. You ask me who looks like a million bucks for her age..it’s Cindy Crawford …not Madonna.