A week ago I had Botox for the first time. At 28, you may be thinking, “She’s too young” or “She doesn’t need it.” Believe me, not once did I think I’d get injections before my mom, or even my 83-year-old grandmother. But, as any good dermatologist will tell you, it’s all about prevention.
Rewind to a few years ago—I never in a million years would have willingly let someone stick a needle in my forehead. Anyone who knows me well would have laughed at the idea. I thought, as many others my age commonly do, that Botox was reserved for older women and the result was almost always a frozen look. Well, little did I know, that wasn’t the case.
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Joining the editorial team at NewBeauty allowed me to ditch the stigma. I asked dozens of questions and studied each injectable and what it does (who knew there were also other injectables that function like Botox but have different names like Dysport and Xeomin?). I learned from leading board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons, many of who are the best of the best at what they do. I finally really understood that not only is Botox the best option for erasing lines and wrinkles, but it’s also not just reserved for women my grandma’s age. Studies show that when Botox is done in your late 20s/early 30s at the first sign of a deep line, it can actually train the muscle to relax so it doesn’t allow the repeat furrow or movement that created the line—it can also prevent other lines from forming in the first place.
Fast-forward to last year: I have all this knowledge in tow and I notice my first lines etching their way into my forehead, especially between my brows. Then, my coworker tells me that she noticed me furrowing my brow when I stared at my computer. I didn’t even know I was doing it! Then it became a fixation: I couldn’t look in the mirror or at pictures of myself without seeing that line—it was one half of my “11’s” (the two lines that appear between your brows when you scrunch your face, resembling the number 11). Even the best makeup could only hide it so much.
I joked with my team during meetings about how I wanted to try Botox for the preventive benefit, but a few months went by before I was absolutely sure. I knew it wasn’t permanent (the results wear off after about four months or so, depending on your skin), but there was something a little scary about it.
After having a YOLO moment, I made the appointment. I knew I’d be in good hands with West Palm Beach, FL, dermatologist Kenneth Beer, MD, as he not only injects Botox, but also trains other physicians how to use it. He told me he’s seeing more and more young people coming in for injections for the very same reason as mine, which made me feel at ease.
When the day finally arrived, I showed up at Dr. Beer’s practice makeup-free so I could have a “before” photo taken for my file, which you see above. They ask you to make weird faces so they can really see your expression lines and wrinkles. Then I moved into the treatment room, and from there, everything happened really quickly. Dr. Beer asked me to make an angry face so that he could clearly see the line, which acted as a guide for where he should inject. I asked if the needle would hurt and he said, “It’s just a little pinch,” and he was right. It felt like two fingernails pinching my forehead, and it was over before I knew it.
I had five little red dots where the needle went in—they looked like tiny mosquito bites and went away in about 15 minutes. Dr. Beer gave me an ice pack to hold on the area as well. He said I should expect to see the full effect of the Botox within a week. I didn’t experience any side effects except a bit of a headache, which lasted a day or so. I hadn’t realized that was a common side effect of Botox, but in my mind it was a small price to pay.
I could still furrow my brow and see the line during the following few days, and then all of sudden one afternoon, I tried to make an angry face and I physically couldn’t do it (as seen in the main photo). What a bizarre and beautiful thing! My line was nowhere to be seen and my skin looked incredibly smooth. My makeup went on better and I started looking at myself differently in the mirror.
Needless to say, I would do it again. My advice to those around my age who are considering Botox: If it can fix your problem, make you feel better about yourself and possibly prevent future skin issues, give it a try. When done properly (not too much) and by a board-certified doctor (do your research first), you can avoid the frozen effect and get the smooth, natural-looking skin you always hoped for. In my book, it’s a win-win.