BOTOX – THE LOWDOWN
Let’s talk Botox. You’ve likely heard of it – of all the cosmetic procedures out there it’s the most commonly sought-after. In essence, it’s a few small injections of a toxin known as Botulinum in targeted areas of the face which relax the muscles and reduce the appearance of wrinkles – from the ones you suddenly notice one morning that make you wonder whether you skipped a decade of your life overnight, to those that you notice gradually forming over many years. When performed by a qualified professional (such as our very own Dr Haroon Ashraf) it’s a very safe and simple procedure to undergo. That said, there are a number of misconceptions surrounding Botox and its proper usage that I’d like to take this opportunity to clarify. I hope that, if you decide it’s the right treatment for you, this article will help you move forward with your eyes open to exactly what you can expect when booking in for an anti-wrinkle procedure.
I’d like to clarify that, in line with our company values, there’s nothing wrong with wrinkles. We age. That’s part of being human. It’s easy to forget how normal that is when we’re swamped with overt messages from the health and beauty industry, Hollywood, news outlets and various other sources that we must look perfect. ‘Perfect’ – as in youthful, unblemished, free of the signs of wear-and-tear that our bodies naturally begin to show as we get older. At the end of the day, however, only you should be able to decide what your vision of ‘perfect’ looks like, and any decision to undergo a cosmetic procedure should be taken with that in mind. Just as there’s nothing wrong with ageing, there’s equally nothing wrong with wanting to look a certain way – for many people, Botox or similar procedures may well have a huge positive impact on confidence. Equally, for those who have jobs in industries such as modelling, performance, certain areas of business and the like – roles that require you to look a certain way – cosmetic treatments like Botox can be an affordable investment that may yield great benefits.
When seeking aesthetic medicine at MAG, we hold a thorough initial consultation to ensure that whichever treatment you’re interested in is the best one for you at the time – so you can feel secure in a safe and enriching experience that will provide exactly what you’re looking for. Now, let’s clarify some of those misconceptions:
Now, I used the word ‘toxin’ in the third sentence of this article – which I understand is a rather ominous buzzword within modern health culture. We’re frequently barraged with advice on how to reduce the level of toxins in our bodies – exercise, eating organic, diuretics, better sleep, less alcohol… the list goes on. However, whilst the Botulinum toxin can have some pretty nasty effects on the body (it’s most commonly ingested from improperly-canned foods) the levels found in Botox are far too low to pose any danger to patients. Most medical procedures – surgical or non-surgical – may pose some very minor risk to those receiving them, but for over twenty years Botox injections have had a reputation as very safe and reliable cosmetic treatments. Provided they’re performed by a qualified professional such as Dr Haroon, you can rest easy and enjoy their benefits worry-free.
It’s not for men.
Botox has a reputation as a female-centric procedure – there’s no doubt about that. I personally don’t remember ever hearing about men receiving the treatment whilst growing up. And, true, it’s far more popular with women (most likely due to heightened social pressure upon them to look younger for longer, and perhaps also social stigma against men seeking aesthetic medicine) but Botox works for everybody! And it seems that people are catching on – a 2015 study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that there had been a 337% increase in men seeking the procedure since the year 2000. Many male patients have stated that they received Botox because they wanted to seem more approachable – feeling that the wrinkles that were forming made them look sterner and less friendly than they wanted. It’s an understandable desire, and I’d hasten to add that it’s just one of many reasons a man might seek out Botox, including simply the desire to look younger. My overall point is that – whoever you are – seeking the treatment is okay! Male, female, non-binary; nobody ought to feel that Botox ‘isn’t for them’ based on something like their gender. With MAG, certainly, you can expect a friendly, professional and judgement-free experience no matter who you are or why you’ve approached us.
It’s a permanent procedure.
Simply put, it’s not. The effects usually last for around four months. It’s also not immediate – you won’t usually notice tangible results until around five to seven days after receiving the injections. Any reputable and qualified provider of Botox will lay all of this information out before you receive any treatments, but it’s good to be aware of anyway.
Some people also believe that, once the Botox has left your system, your wrinkles appear worse than before. This is also false, so don’t worry. You’ll return to looking as you did before receiving the injections, though it is considered safe to receive them again three months after your last round – so if you want to maintain their effects consistently then that’s perfectly achievable.
It makes your face stiff and frozen.
Nope. Whilst this misconception may offer a good source of jokes within pop culture, Botox doesn’t restrict the movement of facial muscles (certainly not when administered by a qualified professional). You may experience some mild side-effects in the first few days after the treatment which may include some inflammation and swelling, but these disappear rather quickly. Once the effects have taken hold, you can expect a smoother and more rejuvenated complexion with no impact on facial mobility – so you won’t suddenly find yourself unable to smile at your loved ones or “thpeaking like thith”.
It only works on wrinkles that are already there.
Actually, Botox can also be a great preventative measure against wrinkles! If you’re taking this approach, many professionals recommend getting it when you first notice fine lines appearing on the face. Not only can this prolong one’s youthful appearance for longer, it can also train the facial muscles to avoid using certain expressions that, over time, cause heavy wrinkling to the skin around them. MAG are happy to use Botox in a preventative fashion, though as previously-mentioned we do hold a consultation that covers both your current health and your reasons for seeking the treatment to ensure that it’s the right move for you.
Hopefully this has given you a clearer picture of how Botox can fit into an overall umbrella of healthy and mindful living. This is our core goal here at MAG; we don’t want anyone who comes to us seeking cosmetic treatment to feel as though they need to change their appearance. Nobody’s better or worse for how they look. Our mental health is as important as our physical health, and we want everyone to be able to look in the mirror and feel happy with who they see.
In the modern world, however, the way we look can and often does make a difference. There’s nothing wrong with seeking aesthetic alteration, whether for personal or professional reasons – huge numbers of people go to the gym or the salon to change their appearance, so why shouldn’t they seek out a safe, simple and temporary treatment like Botox if it will truly make them happier and more confident in their own skin? Just be sure that whoever you decide to seek the procedure from, they’re a certified professional who puts your needs and desires first. If it’s the right fit for you, they’ll know – and you can enjoy the treatment and its effects to the fullest.
Do feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions regarding Botox or any of our other treatments and we’ll be more than happy to answer them!