• Linda Reid

Botox? - Been There, Done That

I don’t mind admitting I’ve had Botox injections in the past. It’s been years since I’ve had it done so there isn’t any left in my face. How I look right now is the real me. I loved Botox. It got rid of that very annoying crease between my eyes. It raised my eyebrows. It really took care of my resting bitch face (RBF) which has gotten worse as I have aged. I am constantly turning up the corners of my mouth so people won’t think I’m frowning at them in disgust. It was also expensive. I don’t like that word.

This woman is looking awfully happy for someone that's about to get a needle in her face.

Most people get what are called the elevenses between their eyebrows. You know, those two vertical lines that tell the world you might be a chronic worrier. I got a onesie which is getting so deep I may not need to carry a purse some day. Botox smoothed it out but it came right back when the stuff wore off.

Nearly everyone has heard of Botox. In case you need reminding about what it actually is, it’s a toxin that is excreted by a bacteria. It’s kind of like the bacteria had a poop, which is gross, but scientists are able to use it for the good of mankind. In the hands of a professional it’s pretty safe but if you get someone that doesn’t know what they are doing it can be a disaster until it wears off which can take anywhere from 6 months to a year.

The one time I had Botox for my mouth was because the clinician I went to see told me it would help lift the corners and turn my frown upside down (my words). It is supposed to take about 48 hours to work. Unfortunately, my face muscles responded really well so after receiving the injection, within an hour, the creases had disappeared and a scary, contorted grin was forming. There was no controlling it. I looked like the Joker from Batman. Apparently, it’s actually called the Joker by the pros who do this sort of thing for a living and it’s not supposed to happen. It took many months for my face to return to normal and I never had Botox injections around my mouth again.

Fast forward a decade or so. I had given up on fillers and Botox a long time ago but I was still obsessed with my wrinkles so I bought a Mesotherapy Electroporation Radio Frequency Facial LED Photon Skin Care Device. That's what it's called on Amazon. I think the seller wanted to make sure we knew what this gadget was.

Among other things, it causes the muscles to contract, somewhat like the TENS machine used by physiotherapists to stimulate the nerves in muscles. I went for weeks merrily massaging my face and getting a kick out of how it felt. It didn’t hurt at all. It tingled and was warm. My face twitched and trembled and I began to notice a change in my skin texture. One time, after using it, I glanced in a mirror and was horrified to see that my eyebrows were halfway up my forehead. I looked like I was in a permanent state of shock. Everything was back to normal the next morning but it did show me that it definitely stimulates the muscle.

I am still using the device. Depending on the setting, it helps with acne, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. It may stimulate collagen formation in the deeper layers of your skin and it also helps face serums get into the skin where they’ll do the most good. You need to use water or a gel to conduct the charge to your skin. I use aloe vera gel or the gel I make with my hyaluronic acid powder. You may also use plain water.

If you have the money, I highly recommend Botox injections. Performed by a trained professional, it can have an almost instant, positive impact on an aging face. In the hands of the wrong person it can make you look like you’ve had a stroke. Make sure you go to someone reputable.

If you are patient enough to wait for results, I recommend using an LED device. It took about 2 months of continuous use for me to start seeing any positive effects but it has lifted my cheeks a bit and my skin is smoother. It has done nothing at all for the onesie on my forehead but I’ve decided to live with that. You will not see the kind of results you would get with Botox and fillers. I spend an hour at night massaging my face while watching Netflix. I find it relaxing and I don’t feel like I’m wasting the precious hours I have left in my life just sitting there.

Before I go, a word of caution. TENs machines can't be used on someone with a pacemaker. I don't know if the LED device is strong enough to affect a pacemaker but if you have one and are considering using any device that delivers an electrical charge, check with your doctor first.

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