Botox is a way of preventing fine expression lines and wrinkles from forming on your face, by injecting a type of botulism toxin that paralyses your facial muscles. In this image-obsessed world, many people do this as they age to keep their faces looking young and beautiful forever, free of laughter lines as well as frown lines. Once a radical surgical procedure, Botox is now widely accepted as safe and is offered by almost every spa hotel in London as part of a day of pampering for their clients, alongside massages and facials. However, it does still involve injecting substances into your skin, so there are a few things a prospective Botox client should look out for before getting in the chair.
The first is price: Botox is generally charged by “unit” of Botox injected, usually around £7 to £10. There will be several units in each injection, depending on the area of your face and how intense you want the effects to be – for example, 8-10 units for the area between your eyebrows, and 10-20 units for your forehead. Some spas will instead charge purely according to how many sections of your face you want done, for example £150 for one and £275 for two. Feel free to shop around for good spa hotel deals in London, but don’t scrimp too much on price: you get what you pay for, and the person operating the needle must be a professional.
The spa should be using genuine Botox made by Allergan, not a dupe or competing product (unless advertised that way.) The Botox is diluted with saline solution in batches, so ask your therapist when your batch was diluted; ideally, it should be the same day. The best day spas will have trained professionals in all their therapist positions, but your Botox technician should also have medical training as a doctor, registered nurse or physician’s assistant. Don’t be afraid to ask for their qualifications – after all, this is a delicate operation. Too much Botox could freeze your face semi-permanently in an unattractive position; too little, and you’ve shelled out your cash for nothing. If your Botox is injected too close to your eyelid, it can droop and result in a “lazy eye” look – definitely not what you want to achieve!
Your technician should always use the highest hygiene standards – the needle should be a fresh disposable one straight from the pack, they should wash their hands and all surfaces should be sterile. Before your treatment, a reputable spa should make sure you fill out a form with all relevant details to identify any reasons why you shouldn’t get the injection – either risks to your health or reasons it wouldn’t have the right effect for you. They should also have a consultation with you to talk about what results you want, where you want the injection, how much Botox they will use and how much it will cost.
Usually, the effects will last three to six months and gradually wear off. You can use this time to train your facial muscles to frown less so that the lines don’t re-appear once your Botox has worn off. If you notice your muscle movement coming back in less than three months, you may have developed an antibody that stops Botox from working properly. You won’t have any adverse reactions, but the injections will be much less effective for you. This generally only happens for 1% of the population, so the risks are small, but it’s still smart to keep an eye out.
Remember, wrinkles and fine lines are part of our skin’s natural ageing process, and there’s no way to completely prevent them from forming no matter how young you are. Some wrinkles are not caused by facial expressions and no amount of Botox will make them fade. Why not enjoy the rest of the pampering options a day spa can provide? Indulge in a full-body massage with rare essential oils, soak in a jacuzzi, spoil your skin with a facial, and appreciate your beauty both inside and out.