It’s taken me some time to actually get the courage to write this post, which I think makes the point I wanted to touch on when deciding whether to write this post in the first place: WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL??
So, obviously, seeing the title of this post, you know I’m about to discuss some procedures to mask the effects of aging: Botox and fillers.
There are three kinds of opinions when it comes to these procedures: 1. Absolutely not. Why would you do that? 2. I’m not really sure about them. 3. I LOVE THEM/THE IDEA OF THEM.
I WAS #2 for a while.
I believe that if you haven’t done proper research on something, you shouldn’t have a pro or con opinion. You should just keep to yourself. And a few years ago, I was really curious about botox and fillers, but didn’t know enough to make a sound decision. It’s a HUGE problem on the internet. Every damn person is a couch expert on something without having fully done research or consulting an expert. For example, when people I find out I get Botox (I’m very open about it) they have opinions like, oh you know you have to keep up with it or you’re going to get worse wrinkles…I read about it online (I’ve recently learned from Bryon and several other doctors that this is false), You’re putting poison in your face (true…), YOU get Botox!?!? (yes, I do.). And then you have those awesome people who just LOVE to talk about you behind your back like, “Caitlin got work done.” Lady, I had a small procedure. Less work than it takes you to do laundry every day and use La Mer lotion on your face each evening in a useless attempt to improve fine lines.
If you’re reading something like organic weekly (I don’t even know if this is a publication that exists), then your opinion is based on a media publication that likely got its information from ANOTHER media publication, and that information could have come from anywhere – which creates terrifying false opinions on proper medical research. I did what I needed to do to learn more about Botox. Luckily, I had Bryon who is a doctor. He of course has access to limitless medical research and studies on anything and everything. I had him research medical documents for hours so I could learn about effects, dangers and risks of the procedures. I didn’t agree to anything until I felt completely safe about doing it. It was never a thing where it suddenly dawned on me to get Botox and head to the nearest medical spa on a whim. And really, we should all be doing proper research on these things. Your family doctor is the best resource you can get for any medical question. From vaccines to topical 'treatments'....don't make any decision or come up with any opinion until your doctor has confirmed it with you. Otherwise, your opinion is bullshit. (Sorry...but I'm so tired of couch experts)
So, this post is going to be long and thorough. I want it to be the blog post I needed when I was trying to learn more about these procedures. I also want to be completely honest and up front as a blogger who may have women looking at my photos and wondering how at 33, I don’t have any wrinkles. I think it’s really unfair when someone puts themselves in a position where the public is perhaps idolizing you or following your beauty/fashion routine and there’s no disclosure about how you’re maintaining your look. I think that can cause I lot of insecurities for people, and I’m not interested in contributing to that. Since this is going to be a long post, I’m going to create headings for each section so you scroll to what you need. But basically, I’m going to discuss my background and experience with Botox and fillers and there will also be some medical input from my RNP.
This post is not to invite mean comments, discussions about who gets what done (even amongst you and your circle of friends and other bloggers ), or opinions that are mean or rude or judgemental. I don’t judge you for being vegan, and you shouldn’t judge me for not being vegan. I don’t judge you for not wearing make-up, you shouldn’t judge me for wanting to preserve my youthfulness. Remember that each person is entitled to do as they wish without being scorned so long as it makes them happy and does not affect anyone else! This post is also not meant to encourage people to go out and get Botox and fillers – you should read this to learn about my experience and personal opinions and follow it with your own research and consultation with a medical professional. This is not for everyone, and it should be a very serious decision that you make for yourself. I can’t stress this enough – I don’t ever want anyone to feel pressured into doing something they aren’t fully comfortable with. Which is why I’m writing this post in the first place. I want to give you honesty and full disclosure.
Read the full post below or skip to the headings to find the information you are looking for! And finally. I am not a doctor, nurse or qualified on this information in any way. This entire blog post is based on personal opinion and nothing should be taken as a medical opinion. Before you make any decision you should speak with a medical professional.
MY PERSONAL STORY ON WHY I GOT BOTOX AND FILLERS
(the photos in this post are not the most flattering - but I thought they would be great references for a behind-the-scenes look)
My dad has deep set laugh lines (marionette lines) around his mouth. They look good on him and I’ve only known him as having them. When he was younger they were there, but ever so faint. They aren’t horribly deep set, but they are there. My dad and I look alike, and so I too have these laugh lines. Mine are a bit deeper than his were at my age. I’ve studied photos of him, because I assumed my aging process would be similar to his. They started getting deep set for me around the age of 28 and I started getting more and more self-conscious of them. After I met Bryon, he was aware of insecurities. He assured me that Botox was safe (although every procedure has risks) but the risks associated with fillers were much serious and startling – sometimes even causing blindness. I couldn’t imagine taking such a risk just to soothe my insecurities, and so I put it off. But as we did more research on Botox, I learned that Botox was great for slowing down the aging process (you can’t do Botox around the mouth). I didn’t want to alter anything on my face so I looked different. I wasn’t interested in plumping my lips so I would look the same as everyone on Instagram, I didn’t want to contour my face or do a non-surgical nose job. I love the way I look, but I want to preserve my youthfulness as long as possible. So, I contacted a Registered Nurse Practitioner, Daniela who had been doing Botox and fillers from her home on the side while she is working as an ICU nurse at Toronto General Hospital (she is also an injector nurse at a plastic surgery clinic). Bryon even came to my appointment with me. I asked her A TON of questions and she answered everything honestly and passionately (while also chatting medical stuff with B lol). She did injections on my forehead and around my eyes. It was quick and painless (for me) and I loved the results. I had learned that a majority of my girlfriends had already been getting Botox and fillers and just never opened up about it. I started doing that was I was 31, and each time I went to my appointment (about 2-3 times a year) I would again ask her about fillers, while still having Bryon look at medical research every so often to review the risks. Bryon did tell me the odds of complications were slim, especially these days with the improvements that have been made in the field of medical aesthetics, but I was still SUPER nervous. The implications dangled in front of me each time I considered going for it. Every time I spoke to Bryon and Daniela about it, but were brutally honest: “It’s safe, but there are risks associated this procedure, and you should be aware of that.” I continued getting Botox and loving the effects and how it made me feel about myself. Although, I can barely tell when it wears off (right now it’s actually fully worn off and I just got injections last night so they won't kick in for about two weeks). But the insecurity of my deep-set laugh lines was weighing heavy on me. Some will say I’m crazy, some will say they barely noticed them, others will wonder why I cared about them so much in the first place. But it’s MY decision…and when I finally felt comfortable with Daniela and Bryon’s research, I went ahead with it and I have never felt better! The fillers didn’t take the lines away completely – they still make up who I am, so I’m happy they are just ever so faintly there and not nearly as deep set as they were previously.
I can’t express enough that doing research, getting to know the doctor or nurse, learning more about their credentials and knowledge on the products they use and getting honest opinions is SO IMPORTANT. You should never shop around for the best price for something like this. It’s about trust, experience and knowledge. Before I had my procedure with Daniela, I told her that I wasn’t looking to change my face. I wasn’t going for the Instagram model look – I wanted to be me. And she respected this and only does what I need and what I’m looking for. It’s important that the person you go to respects what you want.
Choosing Daniela didn’t come out of the blue. I knew her through a friend and had been following her on Instagram and started seeing that was practicing Botox and fillers. She would post before and after photos, and after a few months I felt comfortable contacting her and asking her a few questions. Daniela DID NOT sponsor this post. She did not give me any discounts on my services or provide me with any promo codes for writing this. I would like to say if you’re in the Toronto area to go to her, but I think who you choose should be a personal choice and it should be researched thoroughly before you make a decision. Discover the best person for you. But you can contact her if you are interested in learning more about her services: https://www.instagram.com/danielabeautynurse/ (and she does come highly recommended from me!)
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
Getting Botox feels like tiny little pin picks with a slight bit of pressure. I don’t think it hurts at all…but I also have 6 tattoos. In all honesty, it’s not painful at all. I have thin, crepe-y skin (thanks to my Celtic background) so I tend to get very red and swell, so I try not to go anywhere afterwards. I take the night off the gym after I get it done and just watch t.v. Some doctors say not to drink alcohol because it increases your chances of bruising, but I’ve had glasses of wine afterward and I’m always fine. I rarely have any bruising.
Fillers are a MUCH different process. If you’re scared of needles, don’t open your eyes lol. It’s quite large. The safest method is cannula - so ask your administrator about this method before you commit. I wasn’t really watching while it was happening, but the needle stays under the skin while the filler is being injected into the area until the lines fade, and then it’s removed and it’s over. It can take longer than Botox, it’s ever so slightly more painful than Botox, but it’s tolerable. I did get a little swelling and I got some bruising as well. The swelling lasted a week – but it wasn’t bad that I couldn’t go out in public, and the bruising lasted a day or two. It felt like there were small hard bumps and a little bit painful to the touch in my laugh lines. I worried about it, but Bryon assured me it was swelling and Daniella said to wait two weeks before she would do anything. Both were correct, and I didn’t need any massaging. The product settled after two weeks and it was great. Getting lips done are more common at my age (and younger!!) but I can’t speak to how that feels.
If you are concerned about bruising and swelling, eat a lot of pineapple the day before your appointment. I have a slight allergy to pineapple (which I often ignore because, pineapple!) so I tried eating pineapple the day before but unfortunately had a reaction to it that caused one side of my face and my ear to be enflamed, swollen and extremely itchy…so I had to tap out and take a Benadryl lol.
FAQ’S AND ANSWERS FROM DANIELA:
What is Botox?
Botox is the common trade name for this substance. It is also known by its scientific name botulinum toxin. Its primary objective is to treat and prevent facial wrinkles, although it can also be used to treat blepharospasms, strabismus, and muscle dystonias. In 2002, Botox was approved by the FDA as a cosmetic treatment for frown lines above the eyebrows and wrinkles. Since then, it has become one of the most sought-out treatments for those who want to prevent the signs and effects of aging from occurring in their face or to correct any present signs.
What are Facial Fillers?
Facial fillers are also known as dermal fillers. Like Botox, it is also used to prevent or eliminate signs of aging in the face like wrinkles. This is where they often get confused. The primary difference between the two is that Botox reduces the activity of muscles in the face that cause wrinkles. Facial fillers, however, fill the trouble areas with collagen, which helps to stimulate collagen growth in the face as well as plump and lift the skin to replace collagen loss. This helps your skin achieve as youthful of a look as possible, as well as eliminate signs of aging that occur as a result of collagen depletion.
How Do You Know Which One To Get?
The important things to consider when choosing between Botox and facial fillers is what kind of wrinkles you want to get rid of and how. Botox is the better choice for dynamic wrinkles as it will reduce their motion and visibility. These wrinkles occur when the face is in motion or making expression. They are usually positioned in the forehead and around the eyebrows. Facial fillers are ideal for static wrinkles, which are visible even when your face is relaxed and making no expression. These areas are depleted and sunken in and will benefit from the fullness that facial fillers give them.
Knowing the difference between Botox and facial fillers and how they work matters significantly when seeking treatment for your wrinkles. Whichever one you choose, both forms of treatments are very efficient ways to recapturing and maintaining a youthful appearance.
What are dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers, sometimes called soft tissue fillers, are substances designed to be injected beneath the surface of the skin to add volume and fullness.
Substances used in dermal fillers include:
Calcium hydroxylapatite, which is a mineral-like compound found in bones.
Hyaluronic acid, which is found in some fluids and tissues in the body that add plumpness to the skin.
Polyalkylimide, a transparent gel that is compatible with the body.
Polylactic acid, which stimulates the skin to make more collagen.
Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA), a semi-permanent filler
Each one of these is designed to treat different signs of aging or other cosmetic issues.
The time they take to work, as well as how long they last, also vary. Some fillers last 6 months, while others last up to 2 years or longer.
People should discuss their individual needs and expectations with their doctor to determine what filler would be the best choice for them.
What can dermal fillers correct?
Different types of dermal fillers are designed to treat varying signs of aging. Depending on the filler selected, they may:
plump up thinning lips
enhance or fill in shallow areas on the face
decrease or remove the shadow or wrinkle under the eyes caused by the lower eyelid
fill in or soften the look of recessed scars
fill in or soften static wrinkles, especially on the lower face
Static wrinkles include those around the mouth and along the cheeks. These wrinkles are usually a result of a loss of collagen and elasticity in the skin.
Who Can Administer These Procedures In Canada?
The people who can administer these procedures in Canada are a Register RPN, Registered Nurse, Nurse practitioner or a Doctor
Any of these people can administer Botox or fillers with taking a 2-day course to be certified. When looking into a Registered practitioner ask to see their Certificate and how long they have been injecting. It’s very important to have someone who is very knowledgeable about facial anatomy and how to prevent side effects.
When working with a RN or RPN it is very important they are working under a medical director. A medical Director can be a DR or NP. The medical director will look over the consent and paper work to make sure there isn’t any health history that could interfere with being injected. Like Neurologic disorders, and severe Asthma.
How Much Do Fillers Usually Cost?
Fillers usually go for $400-$800CAD per syringe depending on the area treated and product being used. Some fillers cost more than others.
How Are The Units in Botox Explained? Does Getting 50 Units Mean I’m Going to Get 50 Needles? How Much Should A Unit Cost?
Botox usually is dosed in units which is one little tick on the needle. Most people can need anywhere from 30-70 to treat the whole face. Like Frown lines (Angry 11’s) forehead, crows feet (around the eyes). The cost of Botox is usually anywhere from $7-12 per unit. For example, if you need 30 units that would be 30 x7$-12$ so anywhere from $200-800 depending on where you go. If you go to a spa, chances are it will cost more due to office overhead.
Possible side effects of Botox include
drooping of the eyelid or brow if injected near the eye
weakness or paralysis of nearby muscles
hives, rashes, or itching
pain, bleeding, bruising, swelling, numbness, or redness
trouble swallowing, speaking, or breathing
blurry vision or vision problems
The treatment may also fail to work due to antibodies that fight the toxin. This happens in less than 1 percent of people who have repeated Botox treatments.
The ASPS advise people not to rub or massage the area of the injection after having Botox treatment. This could spread the toxin to surrounding skin, causing muscle drooping and other problems.
In summary, the differences between Botox and fillers are:
Botox: This freezes muscles to stop creases and wrinkles caused by facial expressions. These are typically found in the upper face, such as the forehead and around the eyes.
Dermal fillers: These use hyaluronic acid and similar substances to "fill in" or plump areas that have lost volume and smoothness. This includes wrinkles around the mouth, thin lips, and cheeks that have lost fullness. They may also be used on forehead wrinkles, scars, and other areas that need extra volume for a smoother look.
Botox results last 3 to 4 months. Dermal filler results vary, depending on which filler is used.
Because Botox and fillers are different substances designed for different uses, they can sometimes be combined in one treatment. For instance, someone may use Botox to correct lines between the eyes and a filler to correct smile lines around the mouth.
I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any other questions, I encourage you to contact Daniela, your family doctor or someone in your area who administers these procedures.