I got Botox for the first time (well, Dysport, if we’re being accurate) and I’m writing to share my experience if it’s something you’re considering. As always, consult with your doctor about whether or not this treatment is right for you and remember that I’m just one of many sharing my experience.
Recently, I shared my thoughts on Rodan + Field’s skincare products and the great results I had using them. During the tail end of my use of those products, I saw my dermatologist for a routine skin check and asked about retinol creams, knowing I would be running out of my R + F products soon. She prescribed Tretinoin and I was fortunate that my insurance covered the $160 cream and I only had to pay a $15 co-pay.
As you know, that is a huge price difference over the Rodan + Fields products, and it’s also stronger than the retinol creams you can buy without a prescription. This means that it will take some time for your skin to adjust to it. I only use it about once every three days (on my entire face and neck) and I mix it with moisturizer prior to applying it. So far, I have not experienced any redness, peeling or skin irritation, but this can be a common side effect as your skin adjusts/if you’ve never used it. Retinol is truly the BEST.
Just like step C of Rodan and Field’s Reverse regimen, I also wanted to incorporate a Vitamin C serum into my skin care routine. I’m using Mario Badescu’s Vitamin C serum which costs $45. Comparably, SkinCeuticals’s Vitamin C serum costs about $165 per bottle, but I’m told it’s the gold standard. I will try it eventually, but wanted a less pricey option first. I talked a little more about some recent skin care favorites in this post, if you’re interested in checking it out.
So, let’s get to the good part of this post — I had Dysport injected into my forehead recently. It’s the first time I’ve ever had any kind of injectable and I was a little nervous, but most of my friends have done it before and they reassured me it was quick and painless (spoiler alert: they were right).
Photo 1: Before using any retinol
Photo 2: After approx. 5 months of new skin care regimen and Dysport, no makeup
Photo 3: After Dysport, foundation applied as usual
Photo 4: My usual hair/makeupWhat is Botox/Dysport?
Dysport is a neurotoxin injectable similar to Botox (I looked at the clinical studies and they perform about the same- my injector prefers Dysport, he feels it gives a more natural look). Dysport and Botox temporarily block signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can no longer contract, which causes wrinkles to relax and soften. It is most often used on forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eye) and frown lines (source).
Why did I get Dysport?
I’m 34 and until recently, had never used anti-aging creams or gotten any kind of cosmetic facial treatments. It felt like it was time to start being more proactive about my skin and the fine lines on my forehead were my biggest cosmetic concern.
My dermatologist told me that retinol creams will not help with anything above the brows and that Botox is the only way to really cosmetically reduce the appearance of fine lines over time.
I’m definitely an expressive talker and wrinkle my forehead a lot. My wrinkles weren’t that visible if I wasn’t making an expression such as raising my brows (which is obviously natural/there is nothing wrong with that), but my fine lines started to become more noticeable to me even when my forehead was at rest.
What is it like to have Dysport injected?
It’s quick (the actual injections are under a minute) and painless. All I felt was a tiny pinch/prick at each injection site. It did not hurt whatsoever and the needle is tiny. I had no bruising or any kind of indication that I had injections. You could do it over your lunch hour if you wanted to. Keep in mind I only had small amounts injected into my forehead, I cannot speak to other areas of the face where bruising is perhaps more likely to happen, such as around the eyes. I did not get the “11s” injected since mine are not very prominent, I only got my horizontal forehead lines injected.
How long does it take to see results?
It took about a full week or two to see the final result for me. I actually ended up going back after my initial injection. I had gotten a really small amount my first time because I wanted to be conservative, but after I saw the full results a week later, I realized I wanted to add some more units a little lower down on my forehead so that I would still have a little movement in both brows but not be able to wrinkle the forehead portion above. For me, spacing the injections was good because it allowed me to see how my face responded. Some people can see results in 2-3 days, but for me, it always took a week. Once it “kicks in” you can no longer wrinkle the injected areas, even if you try.
Does it hurt?
As I stated above, not at all. It was quick and totally painless, no numbing or anything needed. I did not bruise, swell or have any noticeable spots from the injections.
How much did it cost?
The total cost was about $200 ($100 each time I was injected). Some injectors charge by unit and some charge by area.
Am I happy with the results?
Yes! I think Botox/Dysport is a great complement to a robust skin care routine. Botox will reduce the appearance of fine lines simply by preventing them from worsening since while the injections are “active”, you are unable to contract the muscle and thus the lines cannot become deeper. I think the benefit is in the preservation of the apperance of your skin over time.
How long does it last?
I have read that is can last anywhere from 3-6 months, but I haven’t had mine that long yet!
Will I do it again?
Yes! I love the results and would love to continue preventing my forehead wrinkles from becoming worse, but I think I’ll just play it by ear and see how I feel as the results wear off. I don’t plan to be on any kind of schedule. I don’t even get my hair done on a regular schedule, I just go when I feel like I need a color touch up or trim.
I’m considering getting Botox for the first time at 26 before wrinkles become a problem— thoughts on this?
I have several friends who started to get Botox in their 20’s/late 20’s. I think it’s best to consult a dermatologist to assess your skin and determine whether or not starting injections earlier would benefit you. I asked my dermatologist at age 30, and she told me to wait (which I appreciated because cosmetic procedures are a big money-maker for dermatologists).
The formation of wrinkles is part lifestyle, genetics and other factors, so some women may find they have more wrinkles at an earlier age. Having said this, something to consider is cost of upkeep if you start earlier. I would try retinol cream and making sure you are always wearing SPF/a hat in the sun before trying Botox.
Did getting Botox lift your eyebrows?
This was a huge concern of mine going into it— I did not want my eyebrows to be lifted, which I explicitly stated to my injector and which is why I got so little injected the first time around.
I actually did experience one brow being able to move up higher than the other, so on my second visit, we added a tiny bit more to the side that had more movement to even them out. Some people like the lift Botox can give the brows (it can “open up” your eyes), but the opposite can also happen (eyelid droop) which is undesirable, obviously. An experienced injector can assess your wrinkle patterns and make small adjustments as needed.
If you have any other questions I didn’t address, please feel free to post them in the comments!
*This blog post is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your physician to determine the risks, benefits and if this treatment is right for you.