It’s easy to joke about Botox, isn’t it? We all see celebrities who seem to look younger and younger, and we roll our eyes and accuse them of filling up on the stuff. Or maybe it’s someone you know, who suddenly has a frozen, deer-in-the-headlights stare. Sure, the bad cases of Botox, along with the stigma of cosmetic procedures, give it a bad rep. But aren’t we all trying to look better? It’s why you buy nice clothes, or get a new haircut or a manicure.
If done right, Botox is a wonderful thing. I had a little done for the first time last year at the beginning of the summer. I was so worried that every one would know I had it done that I opted for just my crow’s feet and the frown lines between my eyes. But not only did no one notice (including my husband), I found myself telling my friends and co-workers because I was so happy with the results. The simple fix took a few years off my eyes, so much so that I wore less make- up, which was ideal for the hot weather.
As the summer approached and everyone else was putting together a bucket list of activities not to be missed, I decided that on the top of my wish list was a whole lot of Botox. This time, I was adding my forehead to the mix. I was still anxious about the outcome when I walked into Facial Aesthesis Center of RI’s East Greenwich office. Dr. Sarah Levy met me in the waiting area and as we walked we chatted a little about ourselves (we’re both moms with young kids). With light instrumental music playing, soft lighting and candles burning, I didn’t feel like I was entering a patient’s room. Dr. Levy, a board certified eye surgeon who also teaches at Brown, was so personable and comforting, I kind of felt like I was just hanging out with her. She stressed that she strives for a top quality medical practice where there’s only one patient at a time. She even pointed to a discreet back door. “Some of my patients prefer not to enter through the front door,” she said. Hmmmm, I thought. Maybe I won’t be sharing my beauty secret this time around.
She explained that she wasn’t going to completely freeze my forehead, but rather relax the wrinkles in a way that still allows for natural expression. “The point is to make you look more relaxed. It will still look like you, but you five or ten years ago.” She went on to explain that she prefers to use Botox in stages, especially if you are getting injected in different areas. “Everyone comes back in a week or two for touchups,” she said, pointing out that her approach is to see how the first round takes, rather than doing the full treatment at once.
The next step was to take photos of my face for my file. Dr. Levy asked me to make an exaggerated smile and frown while she snapped a fewpics that are definitely not going in my Summer 2012 photo album. She guided me back to the reclining chair and handed me an ice pack to numb the areas a bit. After a few minutes, she started pricking the areas gently. It stung a bit, but I just closed my eyes and reminded myself that it would be worth the slight pain. Within 20 minutes the redness was gone, and I went on with my day.
The next day was Saturday, and I was surprised to receive a call from the doctor herself. “I always check in, even if it’s the weekend,” she chuck- led. I was totally fine – no bruising or swelling- and by Monday, the results started to show.
It’s been three weeks since my touch-up, and the full effects are in effect, so to speak. I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but it looks natural. It’s so subtle that once again my husband and friends haven’t noticed. I haven’t said a peep, either. I guess the joke this time is on them.