10 Things To Do Before Botox

Sharon at RealSelf on 1 Nov 2013 at 9:00am

Happy November, folks!

With the holidays now upon us, it's likely that you'll be prepping and polishing for holiday parties.

Here's 10 tips from RealSelf members on how get the most bang out of your Botox buck.

1) Do The Right Kind of Research

Do a bit of research. Don't inject it yourself, but look up and read about injection techniques and "off-label" techniques so you know what your injector is up to and what to ask for. The informed patient is the happy patient! -bb7880

Before I went in, I researched every horrible thing that could ever happen from Botox and got myself completely freaked out. I went in talking about droopy eyelids and migraine headaches. My doctor completely reassured me and said that had never happened to anyone she had worked on, but was honest about the slight risk. She suggested that we use a very light dose this time and see how it goes. So we did that, and I am so happy with the results. I still can make expressions, but my wrinkles are gone! -liljgirl

2) Find Out Who is Doing Your Injection

woman getting injection above eye botox

I would definitely suggest going to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for these shots. I once went to a doctor who did this on the side (she was an gynecologist who decided to offer this at her office). The results there were poor. The dermatologist and plastic surgeon who did these on me were great. The results were wonderful! -paducahapss

I was at my dentist for a cleaning and I was offered a Botox injection for my wrinkles. I guess they couldn't tell I had Botox last month. I looked up his certifications on the way out and Googled it at home. Wow! He learned it in one weekend. No thank you. I am sure there are gifted superhumans out there but I don't think my dentist is one. -VancouverFace

Went to a new clinic and just "knew" after the injections that they weren't done right. I found out that the doctor is a psychiatrist with very little facial Botox experience. -Sacramento9355

If you had a bad experience chances are you went to the wrong doctor. I have been to several doctors and there is a very big difference from one to the next. But don't judge by price -- some of the cheap ones are great, some are terrible. Same for the expensive ones. Talk to people and check out the doctor before you go. -shosho1948

3) Check Out How You're Getting Charged

I had Botox on my entire forehead -- I have six continuous horizontal lines across my forehead and I'm only 35. Mine cost $225 for the entire area and was done by an RN/aesthetician who is overseen by a doctor. -Missmoo

The doctor-owned spa that I go to has $10 per unit specials once a month. -secretsister

My preferred doctor charges per Botox session and I prefer it that way. He just does whatever is necessary on my face at that time for a fixed price. Sometimes it's probably a little more and sometimes less. I figure it'll average out. If it turns out to be not enough I get some extra shots later free of charge (this only happened once in three years). So basically I'm paying for the result. When I was charged by unit, I paid twice as much. -ErikaM

4) Get Familiar With Common Side Effects

woman getting botox blue eyes

Very quick procedure...10 minutes, tops! No anesthetic or numbing medicine required. The needle is so small, you don't need it and there is nothing to be afraid of. I am not a needle person and now have learned to love the needle (HA HA!). Pain of injections on a scale of 1 to 10 was about 1.5, with some areas more sensitive than others. -RdLlRose

I felt nothing more than a prick. Went to work an hour later. Nobody noticed a thing. -Mr. Rick

I had swelling around the injection sites for five minutes, it was totally gone by the time I left the clinic. I did get some bruising, it was similar to what you get after a blood test, it was easy to cover with makeup and went away in a few days. -Krystalgem

5) And The Less Common Ones, Too

My dermatologist is skilled but didn't warn me that some people do, in fact, have reactions. No pharmacy-grade medicine out there is 100% safe for all populations. -Natick

Having a droopy or closed eyelid is going to affect the way you feel about yourself. When you shell out hundreds of dollars to look better, you expect to look better. I hate it that I spent so much money and can't enjoy any of the benefits of the Botox because my eye looks so awful. After six weeks and my eye finally looking better, I can say that I will have Botox again. -missesteelaura

I get a severe headache for weeks after Botox injections! Allergan told me a percentage of people do get a headache for a couple of weeks and you just have to wait it out. Never again for me! -berykute1

6) Be OK With The Fact That it Takes Some Time

woman getting botox arched eyebrows

It took a few days for the results to become apparent (which is normal), but when the Botox took effect it was visibly smooth. Don't be alarmed if it takes a few days to see the results... it will kick in all at once, and you will love what it does to relax the lines that are driving you crazy! I don't have an artificial look at all -- it's just youthful. -mannonj

Botox has fully taken effect now and my forehead looks unbelievable! Literally took five years off... not to mention, it lifted my eyes up and opened them up way more! -RdLlRose

7) Be Realistic About How Long It's Going to Last

It usually lasts for about three months on me... the longest lasting about five months.-paducahapss

Some people with metabolic differences may "soak it up" quickly. I have some (serious) bodybuilding friends that required Botox every two months initially to get it going. -bb7880

The Botox honestly lasts me between 6-9 months and when it does wear off, my wrinkles are nowhere near as deep as they used to be. -Vanessa

8)  Stop Thinking That More Means Better

woman getting botox needle

The key is MODERATION. Go conservative. You can always do a little more. Plenty of my friends come back (from their doctor) looking like "the Joker." I have my doctor do just a little... enough to give me lift, to look fresh, but not "different". -marecat

9) Know That Botox May Change More Than Your Wrinkles

Be careful. I got Botox done for frown lines and now look even more angry and serious than I did before. If you are someone who looks pretty when you smile or when you lift up your eyebrows, you might not like the way Botox on the brow makes you look. I know after I got mine done, people have stopped laughing at my jokes and get offended when I make a sarcastic comment, because I don't look like I'm kidding. -aboutface

When I got Botox at 38, I seriously couldn't believe how great I looked. I really did look more like 29. It was very natural looking. It messes up your judgment, a bit. I got sucked into the idea that my value is tied to my looks. My kids didn't care about my wrinkles and neither did my husband. -Natick

Think long and hard before getting Botox around your eyes. I had Botox between my eyebrows for frown lines twice before and I was really pleased with the results. I should never have thought that just because it was a success in that area it would be a success around my eyes. The eyes are such an important feature in our faces: They show laughter, sadness, fear, etc. Once you take away the eye's ability to show emotion, you do not look real. -Beth F

10) Consider That Botox Now May Save Money Later

woman getting botox in eyebrow

One suggestion I will give to the younger ladies (and guys) out there: If you know you don't like wrinkles, start getting Botox BEFORE they set in. When you smile or frown, the lines you see will eventually permanently crease in your skin. I wish I could have gotten to my frown lines five years ago. Now I may need to spend much more money for fillers. -aboutface

I notice that the more I get it, the less I need it because it causes my muscles to stop wrinkling my skin, and over time my skin looks smoother and smoother. It is a great investment! -Krystal