It’s been three weeks since I took the plunge and tried Botox and fillers for the first time. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with the results. I was terrified beforehand and seriously considered canceling, as I’ve read so many horror stories. I also had serious reservations about the pain factor.
After a sleepless night, I arrived at Skin Renewal aesthetic clinic in Constantia, Cape Town. Dr. Maureen Allem, the founder (and hand that would be administering my Botox & fillers), immediately put me at ease. She was thorough in her explanation of how both the Botox & fillers worked, and what I could expect thereafter.
I had Botox in a stubborn forehead line, on either side of my jaw in the muscles and above my eyebrows, to give them a lift. I decided not to have any in my fine lines around my eyes, as I quite like them. Dr Allem injected fillers into my nasal labial folds, just above the corners of my lips and into my cheeks. I didn’t have any fillers put into my lips as I’m happy with their volume and size. I think this was a good thing as I’ve heard that filling the lips can be painful. The whole procedure took under an hour.
While I really expected the procedure to be somewhat painful, I found the whole experience almost painless! What I’ve been most impressed with though, is how the shot of Botox into either side of my jaw muscles has completely eliminated by teeth grinding and jaw clenching. AMAZING!
I think the results are very subtle and if anything, have given my face a more ‘rested’ look. In fact, when I asked Dr Allem how long the results would last, she said, “when someone tells you you look tired, you know it’s time for more Botox & fillers.”
The before pic was taken moments before I had the fillers & Botox. The after, I’ve just taken, three weeks later. Notice how less pronounced my nasal labial folds are. Also, my lips no longer turn down at the sides.
Because I have so much information on this topic, I’ve condensed my experience into a short video below. A special thanks to the clever boys at (LOVE:) DIGITAL for their sterling work – you guys rock.
There really is no way to write a short feature when addressing the topic of aesthetic rejuvenation as there’s so much one needs to know. So, I thought I’d include some FAQ’s around both Botox & fillers that I asked Dr. Allem, which didn’t make it into my 5 minute video clip.
What do fillers actually do?
Fillers add volume to skin thinned by ageing, giving it a plumper, more youthful effect.
What are fillers made of?
The most commonly used temporary fillers like Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm are made of hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring substance that plumps the skin and gives it a youthful appearance. Although HA fillers are synthetically produced, the substance is nearly identical to the HA we produce naturally.
When would one opt for fillers?
“Fillers are used to add volume to the face. They work by filling in wrinkles and lines and plumping areas that have lost fat pads (such as the cheeks, under-eye area and temples), causing the skin to sink and sag”, says Dr. Maureen Allem. Fillers are used to plump up lips and hollows under the eyes and to fill in deep lines like nasal labial folds and marionette lines.
Are there any side effects?
You may experience some bruising on the cheeks or around the mouth. However, I’m very prone to bruising and didn’t bruise at all. I think it depends a lot on the person administering the injections.
Fillers are used to correct volume loss and are priced per syringe; the cost per syringe varies between R2 900 – R4000. The cost will depend on the amount of volume loss to be rectified; the area you want to treat, and the patient’s objectives. In each consultation the Doctor will discuss the patients’ budget and inject in a conservative manner to achieve natural looking results.
How long do fillers last?
Temporary fillers last a few months, sometimes even up to a year. The results are immediate and if you don’t like what you see, they can be reversed immediately (at an additional cost).
How long will it take?
Under an hour.
When to avoid fillers
Don’t have fillers if you have inflamed or infected skin, acne, cysts, rashes or hives. Avoid them altogether if you have a bleeding disorder or a history of severe allergies.
Are Fillers safe?
All injectables and fillers carry some degree of risk, but most issues arise when permanent fillers are used. In South Africa, we tend to use temporary fillers like Restylane and Juvederm that are made with hyaluronic acid. These are very safe and carry a low risk of side effects. Also, temporary fillers can be fully reversed, should there be a reaction. Fillers should only EVER be administered on the lower half of the face – NEVER on the forehead. They can be used in the cheeks; to plump nasal labial folds, around the mouth and in the lips. Fillers can also be injected under the eyes to treat bags.
THE LOWDOWN ON BOTOX
What does Botox do?
Botox relaxes muscle movement and is great for lines and wrinkles that occur due to repetitive movements. The effects of Botox are really only visible after about two weeks.
When would one opt for Botox?
Botox is used to treat crow’s feet around the eyes, forehead lines and the ‘11’ lines between the eyebrows. In addition, Botox can be used to treat the following:
- Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
- Jaw clenching & teeth grinding
What is Botox made of?
Botox is made of botulinum toxin that’s been purified and is sterile and safe to use. It was originally given to spastic children to relax their muscles. It’s interesting to note that more research has gone into the safeness of Botox than that of Paracetemol – think about that for a few seconds…
Are there any side effects?
People can have one or more side effects when Botox isn’t administered correctly. Some people even experience a side effect weeks after the treatment. It’s advisable to see your doctor/aesthetic practitioner if they notice the following after a cosmetic Botox treatment:
- Itching or rashes
- Allergic reactions
- Pain at the injected area
How long do the effects of Botox last?
The effect of Botox usually wears off in 3 months. However, some individuals can still notice the effects for up to 6 months.
How much does it cost?
The cost of Botox varies greatly depending on the person. As a rough guideline you would require between 20 – 40 units of Botox to treat a specific area’s dynamic wrinkles and fine lines. The amount used will depend on your gender (men need more than women); the strength of the muscle; and the size of the area treated. The number of units used depends on the area and so does the cost. A unit costs R70.
How long does it take?
15 to 20 minutes.
What about aftercare?
Dr. Allem recommends the following for both Botox & fillers:
After undergoing the treatment, avoid any kind of facial massage for about 5 days. Also, it’s best not to exercise on the day you have fillers or Botox.
Here’s an interview I did last week with News24 Live about my experience.
Do you have any questions I haven’t addressed regarding Botox & fillers? Leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.