How about a happy thought to start your day? Imagine every frown, every smile, every time you ponder with a furrowed brow, all accumulating to form a tiny map across your face…a life filled with heartfelt moments. Kumbaya? We think not! Although we do feel lines add character, we don’t really need to give an emotional history lesson from our face. Many of you might not know that the common but sometimes overused fix for excessive life mapping is Botox. Although did you know that there are different types of Botox and that it can be used to address other signs of aging besides fine lines and wrinkles?
WHAT IS BOTOX?
In “science-speak”, Botox is known as Botulinum Toxin, a Clostridium Botulinum bacteria strain that is actually extremely poisonous. Umm right…the thought of injecting toxic substances into your face maybe frightening, but take a breath and relax because studies have shown that when done right, it’s perfectly safe.
Just as Kleenex is used interchangeably with “tissue”, Botox has become the commonly known reference term in everyday lexicon for a range of life map freezing products that fall into two types: A and B.
HOW BOTOX WORKS FOR FINE LINES, WRINKLES & SAGGING
Both types have been proven to be successful in preventing nerves from releasing a chemical messenger called Acetylcholine and by doing so muscles are kept relaxed and have the reduced ability to contract. When we react to emotions, we often unintentionally move our facial muscle, an action that leads to wrinkles but if Botox is injected into these areas, it temporarily helps smooth them out. Additionally, research indicates Botox can actually assist in reducing wrinkles forming in the first place.
COMMON FACIAL ISSUES BOTOX CAN TREAT
- Glabella lines, commonly coined the elevens that are caused by furrowing the brow.
- Laugh lines – deep lines that extend around the mouth
- Crows feet and lines around the eyes caused by squinting.
- Wrinkles around the nose often referred to as bunny lines that appear when laughing or smiling.
- Fine and deep wrinkles on the forehead – think of when you raise your eyebrows
- Large pores & oily skin that result in an “airbrushed” look once treated.
- Large jawline caused by the Masseter muscles.
THE TALE OF THE TWO BOTOXES
As we mentioned above, the most common brands are broken down into either Type A or Type B Botulinum toxin.
Type A: Botox, Dysport & Xeomin
Type B: Myobloc
Although you should do your own research, a professional assessment is key to knowing which type is best to target the relevant aging concerns you need to be treated. The good news is that there is no conclusive evidence that shows a difference in effectiveness between the 4 popular brands.
Type A (BOTOX, XEOMIN & DYSPORT)
- Small areas
- Fine to Medium lines
- Frown lines
- Enlarged Pores
- Lines on the lip border
- Lifting droopy eyebrows
- Fuller jawlines
HOW DOES BOTOX WORK FOR ENLARGED PORES?
Although it’s natural to have pores many of us dream of shrinking them down. Micro-Botox, also known as Intradermal Botox is a temporary treatment that usually lasts 2-4 months to minimize the appearance of pores through having micro-droplets of the toxin injected into target areas close to the skin’s surface. As discussed earlier, Botox works by blocking the release of acetylcholine and by doing so helps to prevent muscle contractions, when placed more superficially, it reduces the skin’s ability to sweat and produce oil and as a by-product the appearance of pores.
Are pores your largest anti-aging concern? Check out our full rundown covering temporary pore reduction options and weigh them out in comparison with Botox!
Another option for more information on temporarily shrinking pores is to check out our guide on the different types of facial treatments that also covers facials.
BOTOX FOR YOUR JAWLINE
Every time you smile or even speak the Masseter muscles, the ones around the jawline get quite the workout leading to a fuller lower face that is more square-shaped. Botox works by taming the usage of these muscles (something we may not even be aware of) resulting in a more oval-shaped face.
If you’re interested in further exploring skin tightening, check out our piece on the anti-aging benefits of Ultherapy.
Type B (MYOBLOC)
- Large areas
- Deep wrinkles (like in the forehead)
- If you have tried Type A before with little or no results
BOTOX VS FILLERS
It’s time for the age-old discussion: what is the different between Botox and dermal fillers? Mistakenly, they are often thought of being interchangeable – yes, both are injectable agents but they are actually very different anti-aging treatments.
As you know, Botox works to numb the nerves and relax the muscles beneath the skin that causes lines on our face. On the other hand, dermal fillers focus on replenishing hollowness, volume loss as well as sagging. Learn more by exploring our guide on the anti-aging benefits of dermal fillers.
GOOD VS BAD BOTOX
As soon as you hear “Botox” you may think of that stereotypical frozen face seen in the movies or on TV – always seemingly to be in a state of constant surprise. The art of Botox done well comes down to picking a skincare practitioner who has the knowledge to understand looking natural is the goal, and has the skill set to not just use the right amount of toxin. but also understands the how, as well as where to do so properly.
“Bad” Botox treatments can show:
- Curled, raised brows
- Flattened forehead that looks a bit off – a little too low
- Tight and overly shiny face
- Minimal facial expressions or movement
- Droopy eyelids
Although, all the above sound like pretty intimidating outcomes, having a thorough understanding of what you don’t want helps with the right selection of the skincare practitioner who will be performing the anti-aging treatment. During your initial consultation, see how they analyze your facial lines, muscle structure, and overall balance. Maybe you have more tension in a muscle on one side of your face, or you want a very subtle change instead of a drastic one. Observe how they respond to your feedback and depending on how they do you’ll not only be able to make an assessment if you feel comfortable working with them but also if their style of aesthetics matches your own.
Good Botox treatments usually show:
- Natural movement
- Subtle wrinkles when face is expressing
- Almost full reign of facial movement
NOT READY TO COMMIT? TRY A TEMPORARY WRINKLE FILLER
If you’re still apprehensive about going under the needle or are looking for a more budget-friendly solution, there are several temporary cosmetic solutions available on the market. Although they may not give you the level of results that Botox does, they will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It should be noted that in order to get the best out of your temporary wrinkle fillers, the application methods (specifically when to apply) are important so make sure to read up on product-specific best practices before use. Temporary wrinkle fillers also often work best in conjunction with other skincare products such as moisturizers.
Indeed Laboratories Nanoblur ($22.95)
One of the most cost-efficient options out there, this product gets strong reviews across the board for temporary results. Upon application smoother skin and decreased wrinkles are noticeable, with the added benefit of filling large pores and blurring fine lines. One downside is that you don’t get much in the way of anti-aging ingredients, so this wrinkle filler will not actually treat aging concerns.
Algenist Targeted Deep Wrinkle Filler ($36.48)
Not only does this wrinkle filler temporarily soften fine lines but it also doubles as a makeup primer. The fragrance-free, silicone-based formula is chock full of peptides and antioxidants like Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) as well as Vitamin E to provide long-term line fighting benefits. The packaging ensures that the active ingredients stay fresh to maximize effectiveness.
Mary Kay Timewise Repair Volu-Fill Deep Wrinkle Filler ($22.22)
This fast-acting formula delivers on the wrinkle filling front while also leaving your skin with a silky smooth texture. Key ingredients include Retinol to target wrinkles and Hyaluronic Acid to plump up the skin. The one downside is this product contains a small amount of P-Anisic Acid, a fragrance ingredient that may irritate areas around the eyes; however, since it’s such a small amount, it most likely won’t be a problem.
Nars Instant Line & Pore Perfector ($26.99)
This easy to blend formula works well under makeup in order to temporarily fill fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a non-greasy primer that leaves skin matte and helps absorb oil. Standout ingredients include antioxidants Vitamin C in the form of Ascorbic Acid and Vitamin E.
BOTOX: THE PROCESS
When selecting the right kind of treatment for your skin, it’s important to note the procedure, benefits, downtime, and results. Read on to discover more.
Your skin practitioner generally will schedule a consultation with you beforehand to discuss treatment areas and product usage. As we discussed above this is the time to really scrutinize if they are the right fit to do the anti-aging treatment for you. This is also the time to bring up medications you are on to ensure that when combined with the treatment they will not lead to adverse interactions. If you’re going along with the procedure, make sure to avoid any products that thin your blood (alcohol, aspirin, etc) for up to a week before your appointment.
Below are some general guidelines of what to expect:
- The skin practitioner working with you will confirm the areas to be treated and how many units of Botox you will need.
- Before starting you may be photographed to show what you look like before.
- The confirmed areas are sometimes marked followed on by the application of a topical numbing agent that is typically left on anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to minimize pain.
- Either a premixed solution or one made up of Botox powder diluted with Saline will be injected into the targets sites.
- A few minutes later, you’re all done!
LENGTH OF TREATMENT
- 1-2 hours
Although downtime should not be expected, the limitations following the procedure may include:
- avoiding exercise and movements where you bend over as well as avoiding touching the treatment areas for at least the 24 hours
- Not consuming anything that thins your blood like aspirin or alcohol for a few days after
COMMON SIDE EFFECTS
You may experience, headaches, redness and slight bruising as well as pain at the injection site(s) that generally subside within 24-48 hours. Make sure to get in touch with your skin practitioner in case you have any more severe side effects.
The effects of Botox aren’t usually visible immediately and generally become noticeable anywhere from 12-72 hours after treatment with full results taking up to 5-7 days. Below is an indication of how long you can expect results to last although the likes of age, lifestyle and habit (drinking, smoking, etc) are play a role.
- Enlarged Pores & Oily Skin
3 -4 MONTHS
- Crow’s feet
- Laugh lines
- Frown Lines
- Forehead Wrinkles
JAWLINE TIGHTENING TREATMENT RESULTS
Usually takes 4-6 weeks before you see a difference and may require 2+ treatments after the initial treatment spread over the next 2-4 months for a more drastic change. Results usually last anywhere from 6 months to 1 year.
Like with a lot of things in life a little Botox goes a long way, the results from good treatment are subtle, allowing facial mobility and are a long way from the frozen shiny faces seen on some familial celebrities. Although none of us can look forever 21, with a good anti-aging skincare routine we can certainly age gracefully.