Updated October 20, 2020
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I keep things very real around here. I’m not afraid to share about cosmetic treatments or procedures I’ve tried. The fact of the matter is, many of us are considering things like botox and fillers but are afraid to talk about it.
I’ll be 35 this year, and aging has started to creep up on me in the last few years. I’m convinced having babies ages you at least five years. I took the initial plunge and got Botox and fillers in the fall of 2016. It was an amazing first experience and I was educated quite a bit on how much to do, what to get, recovery, etc. I have maintained my fillers every 9 months and botox about every 4-5 months.
After having done this a few times, and having a few different injectors, I think I have a pretty good handle on what I like done and what to expect.
I know so many of you are curious about this and want to dip your toes into the world of injectables, so today we’re going to go over some of the frequently asked questions I’ve gotten over botox and fillers.
Let me get this out of the way first – just because you get an injectable does not mean that you are insecure or unhappy with yourself. There’s nothing wrong in doing something that makes you feel good about yourself. We spend countless money on manicures, makeup, massages, spa treatments, skincare (that doesn’t actually remove wrinkles), and more.
Botox and fillers are not permanent modifications to your face. The results diminish over time. I think they’ve gotten such a bad reputation or looked down upon because people only notice the botched jobs. I’m telling you – so many people do this, and the right way to do it is as natural as possible. Most medical professionals do not want to overdo it on you, unless you ask for it.
I think it’s extremely important to point out the stigma that is associated with injectables. It seems as others who have never tried it tend to get a bit judgmental over it, thinking that they’re better because they won’t modify their face, and that injectables are vain. I look at this the same way I look at makeup – I don’t wear makeup because I think I need it, I wear it because I like it. It’s something that helps me feel good about myself. And, as women, we should be supporting each other no matter what we do or do not do to our faces and bodies.
I’m thankful for the community of readers that I have around here, because you all are very supportive and thankful that I do share these things. I love our judgment-free zone around these parts. Anyway, let me get off my soapbox now, and let’s get to the botox and fillers frequently asked questions.
Botox and Fillers FAQ
What’s the difference between botox and fillers?
Please visit this article for a thorough explanation from a doctor. Botox is typically used on the upper part of the face (forehead, crows feet, between the brows) to treat dynamic wrinkles. It freezes the muscles in those areas, hence why some people who overdo it tend to look super frozen. Fillers are typically used in the lower half of the face (cheeks, marionette lines, lips, and chin) and add volume to those areas with a hyaluronic acid substance.
How do you find someone to go to?
Do your research. If you know someone who has gotten it done, ask them who they would recommend. If you’re completely clueless and overwhelmed by research, I suggest talking with your dermatologist. Hopefully you’re seeing a dermatologist for yearly check-ups by now, so it will be easy to get a consult and an appointment. Please get a consult beforehand to talk about your goals and what you want to accomplish. Most doctors will take it very easy the first time and will not suggest unnecessary treatments. Typically botox and fillers are more expensive at a dermatologist’s office, but it’s an amazing place to start because of the expertise and education you’ll get on all of this.
Once you are comfortable with the amount of botox and filler you get, you can go to a trusted med spa or clinic, where these treatments tend to be more affordable.
What is the cost for injectables?
It really depends on the place where you go, so do your research. Botox typically runs $11-17 a unit and fillers start at about $500 a syringe. The fillers are more expensive, but you do them less. (More on that in a minute.)
Did you start with a little filler and work your way up?
My first time getting filler, we went pretty light. I think everyone is pretty nervous about it and doesn’t want to look plastic (which, if done correctly, you won’t). I definitely wanted more the next time.
Which filler do you get?
I’ve had both Juvederm and Restylane. The consistency of Juvederm vs. Restylane is a little different but they both essentially do the same thing. I find that the Restylane products are firmer and last longer on me, and Juvederm is smoother. I like both, but I’ve been preferring Restylane.
How much botox do you get and where?
I like to keep my botox pretty light. I want expression and movement in my face. Be sure to tell that to your injector. I typically get about 15 units across my forehead and 5 in each crows feet area. I’ve had botox between my brows (the 11s), but I don’t think it’s necessary for me there since I do not have 11 lines.
How much filler do you get and where?
I typcially get 1-2 syringes (in total, not per area) in my lips, marionette lines, and chin. This last time we did a little more and I got some in my cheeks as well. I truly believe you should get what you feel most comfortable with and don’t feel like you “need” to get filler everywhere.
How often do you need to get fillers?
How often you need to get fillers varies from person to person, and how fast your body metabolizes the filler. Your body will break it down over time, and it will need to be maintained. For me, I can get about 9-10 months before I want a touch-up.
How often do you need to get botox?
This also varies from person to person. Some people need it every three months. I typically can go every five months. I really don’t like to overdo it on botox so I hold out for as long as I can.
Should you start botox preventatively or wait til you have wrinkles?
I truly believe this is a personal preference thing. I am not a doctor, but I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to do it. Some doctors recommend getting it preventatively, but I think it ultimately comes down to your wants. I got my first round of botox almost 2 years ago when I was 33. You also hear of women in their twenties getting it. I don’t really think we should turn our noses up at it. You do you.
Is there a certain age you should be to get botox and fillers?
Lots of very young women get lip injections. Again, it comes down to personal preference.
Does it hurt?
Let me just preface this by saying I have a pretty high pain tolerance and I’m not afraid of needles. Botox is a teeny tiny needle and is done super quickly. In fact, you can get botox on your lunch break and nobody would probably notice! It’s easier than a flu shot and is pretty pain-free. You are not numbed for botox.
Fillers can be a little bit more intense. You apply numbing cream to the areas you will be injecting and let it sit for about 30 minutes. That helps tremendously! Fillers can be a bit uncomfortable during the actual procedure, but it’s nothing I’d describe as super painful. I also feel like your injector can make or break the experience. This most recent touch up was the least painful for me because the injector (at Z Med Clinic) went extremely slow and deliberate. If you’re afraid of needles, start small with this. Only do one area and a small amount.
What is recovery like?
Botox may leave a tiny prick mark or bruise, but nothing noticeable. It takes up to 10 days to fully kick in and freeze those muscles. Sometimes it takes a few days for me, one time it took 24 hours (which is rare, apparently).
The first time I got filler I bruised pretty badly, and I’m really not sure why. I would just prepare for 1-2 days of swelling and make sure you have a great concealer on hand for any potential bruising. The lips swell the most with filler and you’ll probably be a little shocked to see yourself and immediately regret it. I promise this all goes down within a few days and you’ll love the way it looks. Icing the swollen areas, arnica tablets, and arnica cream/gel really helps.
Should I do anything beforehand to prepare?
Make sure to consult your doctor or injector on the dos and don’ts before your session. I was told not to drink alcohol or take any blood thinning medications like ibuprofen or aspirin 24 hours before. If you bruise easily (I definitely do), you may consider taking arnica tablets a day or two prior to fillers. I did that this last time and walked out with only one tiny bruise!
I’m curious about under eye filler. Have you done that?
I have never done under eye filler, but I have heard amazing things! It seems to be suggested for people who suffer from under eye bags or severe dark circles. That’s not something I deal with, so I do not get filler there. I would definitely talk to your doctor or injector about that if you’re interested.
How do you feel about your results?
Honestly, if I didn’t tell anyone that I get botox and fillers, nobody probably would notice. They’d probably just say I have great skin and look so young. Done correctly, this has a wonderful and natural effect. I absolutely love it.
Here are a few photos from my latest filler session. No botox this time (I had that touched up at the end of January), but hopefully these photos give you an idea of what it looks like. I also saved a few videos to my Instagram highlights for you to go watch at any time!
Like I said, I am now going to Oasis Med Spa in Webster for my injectables!