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Back in May, I shared my experience of getting laser skin resurfacing at Dr. Bohley Cosmetic Surgery in Portland, Oregon. It was a really great experience – the maximum result comes through about 4 months after treatment, so I’ll be posting an update after the wedding to show the final result, but I honestly started seeing a difference in how I felt just from the consult alone – before I ever had any treatment at all. The treatment was provided by Robin Prusse RN, who impressed me with her honest and helpful skincare advice that was tailored to my specific skin and concerns. She gave me a good perspective on the condition of my skin and what I should focus on in terms of my skin care regimen.
The wedding has been a good reason for me to prioritize some of the things I’ve always wanted to do, so I’ve been taking the time to do things for myself like the laser treatment and spending time learning new makeup techniques and investing in new products. This is not because I “Have” to look a certain way for the wedding – I want to look like myself! – but because I love beauty and fashion, and have spent so much time focused on my career and other responsibilities over the last 10 years or so that I have little by little neglected self-care and the things I wish I could make time for. The wedding has been a good “Excuse” to shift my priorities a little bit and focus on other areas of my life that need attention, including some of the pampering I’ve been doing recently. Between my successful experience with the laser skin resurfacing and the makeup tutorials I’ve been following, I’ve actually stopped wearing foundation except for special occasions now – I feel so good about my skin now that all I feel I need for most days is a little swipe of eye concealer for my dark circles. As I said in my first post, I hadn’t necessarily expected a visit to a cosmetic surgeon’s office to make me feel more confident about my “Natural beauty”, but that’s exactly what happened!
One area of my face that still bugs me is my forehead lines. I mentioned this to Robin during the initial consult, and she said that the only thing that can get rid of those is Botox. She reassured me that everyone has these from a very young age and there’s nothing I could have done to prevent them; she also surprised me when she explained how little Botox I would need since my lines aren’t severe, and how affordable it actually is. I considered it carefully, and decided I would like to give Botox a try before the wedding, because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
My forehead lines have been there ever since I was in my early 20s, so they’ve been annoying me for a long time.
Although I know the lines have deepened some since I was 24, I think they’re also a lot more noticeable because everyone has a high-def camera now. Back in the ’90s and early 2000s, people only took photos every so often, and the camera quality was pretty blurry. Now everyone has an incredible photo built in to their phones and takes 1,000 photos a day, and since I work in social media, people take my photo all the time. As a result, I feel like I’m aging faster because cameras show a lot more than they did 10 years ago. Getting older as a transition millennial just isn’t fair sometimes. 😉
I notice these lines every day and I’ve really disliked them for probably a decade at this point – it’s one thing I’ve always wished I could change. My forehead lines also tend to look deeper in photos than real life, so it’s annoying to feel like I look worse in photos than in day to day life, especially because I have to take them for work being a blogger. Oh, for the good old days when I sat behind a typewriter and no one knew what I looked like! 😉 Since Botox is an outpatient procedure and is temporary, I thought I should go for it and see what results I would get and how I would feel. Everyone has strong opinions about cosmetic treatments (And even makeup in general), and I totally get it. It’s not something to be taken lightly and it’s a very personal choice.
When I told Robin that I wanted to try Botox, I explained that I wanted a very light treatment and wanted to still be able to move my face and express emotion normally – I’d rather still have wrinkles and be “Me” than have a flawless, immovable face! Fortunately, individuals who have the “Frozen” look have either specifically requested that because it makes them happy, or they went to someone who didn’t have a lot of experience administering the treatment. I’d had such a fabulous experience with Robin that I trusted her to do what I wanted and be honest about what to expect, so I went in one week ago to Dr. Bohley’s office to get my first ever Botox treatment.
Starting the procedure was very simple. Robin took me back into her office and explained the nuts and bolts of the treatment and aftercare, then put some numbing cream on my forehead. She told me that within a couple of weeks of treatment when it began to kick in, she wanted me to get some rice flour and mix it with Cetaphil face cleanser to create an exfoliant, and use that on my forehead every day to exfoliate the area and enhance my results. She said that they sold an exfoliant in the office that would also work, but it costs around $100 which is why she recommends the rice flour for a budget option. This is why I really trust Robin – she’s only concerned about telling me what works and how to get the best results from my treatment, regardless of how much it costs or whether it results in a sale.
Getting the Botox was very fast and simple. Robin told me to move my forehead a few times, and pricked it with a needle that felt like getting a flu shot. I could feel the cool sensation of the Botox moving through as it was injected, but it wasn’t particularly uncomfortable – Robin and I were chatting about bridesmaid dresses the entire time!
Right after the treament, my forehead looked pretty red and had pinprick points dotted around the injection sites. I was a little nervous about this since I had a full day of back-to-back wedding appointments, but Robin assured me it would be gone quickly and that I could put on makeup about 15 minutes later if I wanted.
She was right about how soon the irritation went away, and I was able to go about my day as planned. You’re advised to avoid strenuous activity immediately after treatment and not lie down until it’s bedtime; you’re also told to avoid things like alcohol and ibuprofen in the first few days following treatment. But there’s no “Downtime” afterwards – I went straight from Robin’s office to a meeting with my wedding videographer, then went on to get my hair done and meet with my wedding photographer and Matron of Honor – it was a jam-packed, and great day!
So what does it feel like? In the first few hours after treatment, I felt a “Cool” sensation in my forehead which reminded me of wearing a gel face masque. This feeling was not unpleasant and went away in a few hours. Unlike what you see in movies, Botox doesn’t actually kick in right away – Robin let me know that it would probably take about a month to see the full results. Within a day or two, I began to notice the effects of the treatment. My forehead started to feel “Tight” – I can still move my face to express surprise, scowl, etc., but I feel some resistance when I make those expressions and my forehead doesn’t move up as high. It’s not bothersome – I feel like my forehead was “Tighter” for the first few days and now I’ve gotten used to it.
The most noticeable and exciting effect has been the reduction in my lines! It’s been kind of fun watching the treatment kick in, because I feel like I’ve been aging in reverse this week. Each day, my forehead has looked smoother. The depth and appearance of the lines has been significantly reduced – before, it was hard to take a photo of myself without the lines being extremely visible, and now, it’s actually hard to get a photo that captures the lines!
I am completely thrilled with the results thus far! It’s made a huge difference in just a few days. I’m so happy with how it looks and I feel like it definitely took years off my appearance. It was such a simple solution to something that has bothered me so much for so long, and it makes a world of difference in how I feel! If I continue Botox treatments in the future – which I definitely plan on – it will also help to prevent future lines. Some people will not agree with my decision to try Botox, and that’s totally fine. For me personally, I don’t see this as being much different than the fact that I got my hair done right after the Botox treatment. After all, I’m not a platinum blonde naturally either, but I have fun playing with the look! And since this is a temporary treatment that wears off in 3-6 months, it will be gone as quickly as my platinum hair if I decide I want to do something different. I spent a lot of time looking into the pros, cons, and potential side effects of Botox and since I was a good candidate, I felt like it was worth doing. Every person needs to decide what is appropriate for them, and while this certainly isn’t desirable for everyone, it was the right choice for me and has been so rewarding. Since the full results will be visible within a month, I will be posting an update after the wedding to share the final product and any follow-up thoughts and observations – so stay tuned!