Botox Basics

Nearly every mention of Botox these days comes with the familiar caveats that “it’s not what it used to be,” and “it’s okay to talk about now.” In fact, the Botox conversation is taking center stage on beauty blogs and around dinner tables. Even husbands and boyfriends are in on the act – over ten percent of Botox patients are male these days.

So, what is it that has made the popular treatment an essential conversation point with your dermatologist? It could be that the understanding of the treatment has grown, and more people than ever are aware of how Botox can be used. Here’s our guide . . .

1. It’s the first line of defense for the most visible wrinkles.

Chances are, you’ve heard reference to “the elevens,” the vertical lines that can develop between your eyebrows, or “marionette lines,” the creases that deepen with time from the edge of the nostrils down to the sides of the mouth. And “crows feet,” the wrinkles that occur around eyes. For every common wrinkle, Botox can lightly soften them, dramatically change them, or in some cases slow their formation.

2. It can give you a lift without a stitch.

Botox isn’t just for getting rid of wrinkles. Because it’s capable of causing tiny contractions in micro-muscle fibers, which lift the face, it’s a great way to temporarily create lift (for at least three months at a time). The most common areas of the face treated for lift with Botox are along the jawline; the tip of the nose; and along the brow line (to lift eyes).

3. It can replace a nose job.

Lifting the nose can take years off your face in mere minutes. That’s because as you age, your nose can take on a more angular appearance as skin begins to sag. A muscle between the nostrils at the base of the nose plays a part in this aging process by pulling the nose downward. Botox strategically injected in that muscle can release it and make the whole face look lighter.

4. It can reshape your jawline and chin.

Did you know that teeth grinding, besides being painful, can actually change the shape of your face? Over time, grinding your teeth makes your jawline wider. A favorite trick of experienced Botox injectors is to use the treatment to shrink the jaw muscle so that it’s closer to its original shape. Bonus results include alleviating some of the jaw pain that comes with teeth grinding, and making cheeks look higher.

5. It can plump up your lips.

Fillers are a wonderful way to get younger and fuller looking lips. But tiny injections of Botox along the upper border of the lip can also be a subtle and low-cost way to achieve fuller looking lips quickly. That’s because the tiny injections lift and push the top lip out slightly.

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