Maybe you’ve been sitting around a circle in book club and heard the B-word casually passed around like it was a multi-vitamin. What was once reserved for celebrities, Botox is now much more mainstream. “Regular” women, including Millennial moms, college co-eds, and a lot of your girlfriends are giving Botox a try. But as your mom would ask, “If your friends jump off a cliff, would you follow?” Before you take the needle plunge, read more about what is botox and is it right for you?
What is Botox?
What is Botox? Well, it’s a drug—a neurotoxin actually—that is inserted via needle under the skin and temporarily paralyzes muscles to eliminate the appearance of wrinkles.
Botox is made from a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, the same bacteria that causes botulism (yikes!). The drug is called botulinum toxin, or simply Botox for short. Clostridium botulinum is found naturally inactive in forests, soils, lake sediments, streams, in the intestinal tracts of mammals, fish, and in the gills of crabs and shellfish.
Want to hear something crazy? Botox is one of the most poisonous substances on the face of the earth. In fact, scientists estimate that a single gram could kill up to one million people. Given in high concentrations, botulinum toxin (Botox) can result in botulism which, left untreated, is a fatal illness. That being said, doctors inject Botox in extremely minuscule amounts called units. It takes up to 72 hours for botulinum toxin to take full effect, preventing signals from reaching your nerve cells. When the muscles aren’t told to relax, they temporarily “paralyze,” reducing the appearance of your wrinkles.
How long does it last?
Performed by a skilled doctor, the right amount of Botox can last up to three months (some users report up to 6 months). So what after that? It’s either more Botox or back to wrinkles. You can see why it’s a slippery and addicting slope—not to mention expensive.
Is it for me and a smart alternative
Despite the risks, women everywhere are lining up to get Botox. Is it for you? Before your girlfriends talk you into it, make sure to do your research. Choose a doctor that is highly qualified to administer Botox. Board certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons are best.
These days you can get Botox at your salon, spa, and even your dentist’s office. Many of these providers took a weekend course instead of extensive training, so choose a provider wisely.
And if you’d rather not risk it, there are some excellent Botox alternatives that are natural and safe, like this breakthrough sleep mask. It reduces wrinkles by promoting emotional relaxation while you sleep. (Did you know much of your frowning and therefore skin wrinkling happens then? This mask relaxes your face muscles, making it nearly impossible to frown and therefore cause wrinkles.)
A Few Things To Think About
Cost: Botox is administered and charged by the unit, usually $10-$15 per unit. The three most commonly treated areas include the forehead, between the eyebrows, and the “crow’s feet.” These three areas together can add up to about 60 units, costing you around $600-$900.
Side effects: Like any medical procedure, Botox can have certain side effects like droopy eyelids, closed eyelids, allergic reactions, blurred vision, and headaches.
Safety: Make sure to have a complete consultation with your healthcare provider before getting Botox to ensure the safest experience possible.
So ladies, dish. Have you tried Botox? We love you either way…feel free to share below!