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Aesthetics Anonymous: The truth about Botox, and t...

Aesthetics Anonymous: The truth about Botox, and the myths

When I asked a few followers on Twitter whether they’d ever consider anti-wrinkle injections, commonly known as Botox®, an astonishing 54% said they definitely would not be having them. 31% were undecided, with just 15% saying they would.

One reply mentioned the following: ‘My cousin’s stepmum had it. Puffy face, then all her fillers slipped so you looked awful and had no facial expressions.’

This confused me. Anti-wrinkle injections won’t make a face puffy, and fillers, such as Juvederm, are very different to Botox. Clearly, there’s a lot of confusion out there as to what, how, why and when this aesthetic treatment will be suitable. So, I asked celebrity aesthetic practitioner and Nurse Prescriber Natali Kelly to shed some light on the treatment.

Botox Natali kelly expert advice

Myths about Botox

What is Botox? Put really simply, it’s a protein. It’s not going to poison you, it’s not dangerous when used correctly in micro doses, and it’s not permanent once injected.

There isn’t just one type of anti-wrinkle injection, either.

Botox-with-a-capital-B (Botox®) injections are a brand created by a company called Allergan, who have trademarked the name of the protein botulinum toxin type A and ensured FDA approval. Think of botulinum toxin type A as chocolate in general, and Botox® as Mars, Snickers, or any other brand name of chocolate.

There are other brands aside from Botox®, such as Azzalure which was originally manufactured by Galderma for medical use, but has been licensed for cosmetic use (that’s your lines and wrinkles) for just under a decade.

How does it work?

In small doses, injected into certain muscles, it blocks a chemical that tells the muscles to contract. By stopping the face from frowning, for example, dynamic wrinkles and deep lines caused by these expressions are effectively ironed out. And with the muscles not contracting it prevents them forming completely.

A weaker dose means you can still get movement, frown and smile, and a stronger dose will mean the muscle can’t move at all. It all depends on what each client wants. Most people tend to have anti-wrinkle injections in the forehead, to prevent those horizontal lines, in between the eyebrows to prevent 11s, or frown lines, and around the eyes to rid crow’s feet.

It takes between 3-5 days to start taking effect, and your practitioner should offer a free top up two weeks later to make any small adjustments. It will last between 3-5 months.

But that’s not it. Botox can be injected into the neck in mature ladies to give a more youthful appearance, into the jawline to create a softer, contoured look, and can be used to lift the eyebrows. Brow lift treatments can help flat eyebrows arch naturally and help remove the hooded eyelid look, giving Cara style brows.

Another function for the protein is excess sweating. Injecting into the hands, feet, and armpits will stop sweating. Some ladies even have it injected into their scalp to stop their hair getting sweaty. And for those who have migraines and tension headaches, it works wonders.

Clever huh?

Botox Natali kelly expert advice

Who can inject Botox?

It’s a prescription medicine. That’s right, when you have Botox, a prescription is written for you much like when you’re at the GP getting antibiotics or pain medication. It’s not a beauty treatment. It’s a medical treatment, with an aesthetic purpose.

This also means only a Doctor or Nurse Prescriber can and should inject. Nurses without a prescribing qualification can inject but only under the supervision of a prescriber. You should be completely confident in your practitioner, you should know the exact brand of the protein being used, and you should be given the chance to explain exactly how you want to look, and how you don’t want to look.

It should NEVER be injected by a beauty therapist, dental nurse or your hairdresser Sally from round the street who took a course in Korea and knows all there is to know about it. Botox parties are a terrible idea.

Does it hurt?

No. A good practitioner will use super-fine needles, and you shouldn’t feel more than a light scratch, if that. If you have a needle phobia it’s best to keep eyes closed and choose a practitioner who has experience dealing with nervous clients.

The risks and side effects

The main side effect of the injections can be a slight bit of bruising, although with an advanced injector such as Natali, this shouldn’t really be an issue. As someone who bruises like a peach, Natali’s technique with Botox has never left me with a mark – thank goodness!

Another risk is ptosis, when the muscle causes the eyelid to droop, making it look half closed. This is usually down to poor practitioner technique such as dilution or injection placement, so choosing a reliable and experienced nurse or doctor is essential.

Do you have any experiences with Botox? Would you consider giving it a go? Or perhaps you have a question you’d like Natali to answer? Leave a comment below and we’ll get right back to you!


  • Really interesting. It’s definitely not something I’d rule out but it’s something I haven’t been able to justify the cost or real need for just yet.

    Lisa | Not Quite Enough

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