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Can You Get Rid Of Under-Eye Wrinkles With Botox?
Prominent crow's feet are evidence of a life full of smiles, laughter and a bank of happy memories. Absolute bliss, right? Right.
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And if we were offered a life full of smile-induced wrinkles or flawless skin and seemingly unhappier days, there’s no question which we’d choose. The flawless skin. Every day of the week.
Just joking. Happy memories. Obviously.
But luckily for us, science has prevailed yet again and we have the option to explore the best of both worlds. Now that should give you something to really smile about.
Preventative Botox. We’ve all heard of it, we’ve probably all scoffed at it. But the truth is, it works.
Having had it explained to me in layman’s terms, I was given the comparison of our skin and it operating no differently to a piece of fabric. You take that fabric, scrunch it up, stretch it back out and it’ll return to its original state. Repeat the process and again, the fabric will return just as it originally was. Repeat it a few more times, and as you stretch the fabric back out, you’ll notice that the creases that developed while it was being scrunched have now permanently imprinted the fabric.
Well, it’s the same deal with crow’s feet, smile lines, frown lines and all active movements of the face.
So as my crow’s feet deepened and it became clear that minimal-to-no smiling or laughing was never going to be a realistic option, off I went to my first preventable injectables appointment, AKA my first experience with Botox.
What exactly is Botox again?
First things first, Botox is actually just a brand name (some brilliant marketing work, props to those guys) for the neurotoxic protein botulinum toxin, AKA anti-wrinkle injectables.
Botulinum toxin is responsible for blocking the signals from the nerve to the muscles so that the muscles no longer contract which in turn ‘freezes’ the face and smoothes out any lines.
And in the case of preventative Botox, the stuff stops creases from developing and deepening more permanently.
Why I wanted under-eye Botox
My timeline went a little bit like this: I initially clocked my crow’s feet in a photo of myself. After thinking I was just super tired, I began to notice them again, and then again, and then again. Enlisting the help of an airbrushing app on my phone, I tried and failed to smudge them out each time I smiled in a photo.
From there, I started amping up my use of eye creams and anti-ageing serums with a particular focus on retinol-heavy formulas. I found the texture of my skin to visibly improve, but the creases weren't going anywhere.
Next, I religiously used the NuFACE Fix Device, which applies gentle microcurrent energy to plump and smooth out fine lines around your eyes, lips and forehead. And while I definitely saw an improvement (particularly around my lip area), I still had a bee in my bonnet about my crow’s feet.
And thus, the Botox research began. I spoke to friends who have been Botox’ing for years, most of which had only done it in their foreheads and never around their eyes. I went to a free consultation where I very quickly found myself having a two year plan mapped out that involved cheek filler, lifting the eyelids and me, swiftly exiting never to return.
From the get-go, my goal was never complete smoothness. And I didn’t say yes to Botox until I found someone who understood this sentiment completely. As Nurse Aata (the woman whom I ended up entrusting with my face) put it, I didn't want to look "like a glazed doughnut". Wrinkles and fine lines are a sign of warmth, personality and lived experience. Qualities that I had no business parting with. So although I was happy to say sayonara to my relatively weathered, tired and scrunched up looking skin, I still wanted to hang on to the ability to express emotion.
Before we begin, a little reminder: just like every beauty treatment, product or piece of advice, Botox isn’t for everyone. Some people loathe the very mention of it while others consider it no bigger deal than a routine facial.
We’re surrounded by celebrities who swear by it, and others who flat out deny ever going near the stuff (highly skeptical of a few, but that’s a conversation for another day).
The bottom line is, if it makes you happy, do as you please.
Only a few weeks into my first experience, I can already say that I'll be a regular customer (if financial circumstances allow) for life.
From walking into Evolution Laser Clinics and meeting Nurse Aata for the first time, to saying goodbye and heading home, the experience (minus my 300 patiently-answered questions) took no longer than 20 minutes.
I’ve always commended myself for having a relatively high pain threshold (this is based purely off my mum telling me so), and I rated my Botox experience as fairly pain-free.
A large part of this I can confidently attribute to the superstar administering the treatment. There’s no question that anything near your eyes can set off an instant panic. And Nurse Aata put me at complete ease.
Arming both hands with two love heart-shaped stress balls to squish when the needle went in, her cues to “breathe in and breathe out” took my mind off the sharp jabs and put me into a complete state of focusing on nothing but the timing of my inhalation (I’m not comparing Botox to meditation, I swear).
Once the pricks (three on either side, a total of four units on each eye) were complete (a feeling comparable to sharp nails quickly pinching your skin), I was half expecting to look in the mirror to see little red dots, maybe some bruising, and some sort of sign that read “SHE’S JUST HAD BOTOX” as I navigated myself through the car park on the way out.
Nada. No evidence, and alas, no sign of my new crease-free face yet.
Taking a maximum of two weeks to see the full effects, I can openly say I spent the next 14 days smiling into every mirror and reflective surface I could find, eagerly monitoring the progress.
The final verdict?
I loved it. This is a treatment that delivers results. My crow’s feet have left the building and my skin looks softer, brighter and as if I’ve wiped my record clean of all the 30 degree days spent sans SPF. I can confidently whip out my largest, cheesiest grin without it instantly ageing me. I feel youthful, but not frozen. Improved, but not different.
Luckily for me, Nurse Aata left no stone unturned when it came to discussing my personal desired goals and outcomes.
Explaining to me that you can go soft rather than smooth, she's an absolute wizard at mastering the sweet spot between keeping your face moving naturally but smoothing it out enough so it’s essentially crease-free.
Post-appointment, I felt no tightness, nor did I experience feeling “frozen” as I'd so often read about.
And no, it’s not cheap.
But would you really expect a substance being injected into your face to be a bargain?
The anti-wrinkle crow's feet package at Evolution Laser Clinics will set you back around $250 for a session that will last you anywhere between three to four months (everyone responds differently).
Main image credit: Getty