What I Wish I Knew Before My First Botox Appointment

What I Wish I Knew Before My First Botox Appointment

Maybe you raise an eyebrow any time someone admits to getting Botox (which would make physical sense, since skipping the injectable neurotoxin means it’s probably pretty easy for you to move your forehead). But the treatment is not just for the Real Housewives anymore. In fact, 7,056,255 Botox procedures were performed in 2016 alone — and I was one of them. In the years since, public opinion on facial “tweakments” has also evolved, in part due to countless celebrities speaking openly about work they’ve had done.

Still, like most people about to jab their skin with a fancy-sounding liquid that effectively paralyzes the facial muscles for months at a time, I was terrified to make my first appointment. Will I look like a Stepford wife? What if I want to actually feign surprise at my surprise birthday party? Six years later, though, and I’ve all but converted to the church that is Botulinum toxin type A . . . and learned a few tips and tricks along the way.

Here’s everything I wish I knew back then — the good, bad, and frozen (forehead) included.

1. No, Botox Doesn’t Hurt (For the Most Part)

My pain tolerance falls somewhere between a newborn baby’s and Batman’s exoskeleton suit, and I’d rank Botox at about a 3. You’ll feel a slight prick at the injection sight, but it’s hardly anything you’ll need Demerol for. As with most times you’re getting poked with a needle, the worst part is mostly the anticipation of it all. That said, if you’re especially sensitive to pain, ask your dermatologist to apply a topical anesthetic cream 20 minutes beforehand to numb the area. You won’t feel a thing.

2. You Won’t See Results Right Away

You wouldn’t be a modern human living in the 21st century if you didn’t want instant gratification when getting Botox injections. Unfortunately, though, this is an instance where you’re just going to have to wait anywhere from four to seven days to see results.

3. The Best Time to Get Botox is During the Day

Serendipitously, after my very first Botox appointment, I had scheduled a massage for a few hours later, which I then had to promptly cancel after being advised to keep my head elevated for four hours after treatment. There’s been little research on why or whether Botox will actually shift while lying down, but I’ve since retired my Dracula instincts and will only schedule morning or afternoon appointments to be safe.

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