For the informed consumer
Aging is an inevitable part of life; at this point, I believe I’ve made peace with it. Now, I’ll be completely honest. As somebody in her late 20s, I haven’t—to my knowledge—seen any prominent fine lines and wrinkles on my face; when I’m 35 or 40, well, we can talk again. At some point, my religious skincare routine—heavily consisting of hardworking Korean products from the internet—will not be enough. What I’m trying to say is, I’m not closing any doors.
In a recently released data by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, cosmetic surgery is on the rise; almost 18M Americans did a procedure in the year 2018 with botox as the top minimally invasive treatment performed. Meanwhile, Korea has the highest rate of cosmetic surgeries in the world—having been dubbed as the world’s “plastic surgery capital.” Skin botox is the latest beauty-related craze in the country. This injectable treatment is a procedure to achieve instant glass skin—seemingly transparent, luminous complexion your favorite oppa sports. (Folks, I knew it was too good to be true.) This targets pores for an all-over smoothing effect. So, what exactly is the allure of botox—and how does it work? Here’s everything you need to know.
What is Botox?
Botox or botulinum toxin is a cosmetic injectable procedure used to combat wrinkles—both as a treatment and as a preventative measure. It’s most often used on forehead lines, crow’s feet and frown lines. It blocks the actions of certain nerve types and weakens your ability to make expressions on your face; cue a cutthroat, picture-perfect Stepford wife. It can be injected directly into facial muscles to relax it. Other uses surprisingly include treating chronic migraine, excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis, acne and even for—you guessed it—losing weight. (Who needs slimming tea from Instagram when you have botox, amirite?) A note: wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity will not respond to the treatment.
Is it safe?
It’s generally considered extremely safe. The whole procedure takes only a few minutes and there’s no need for anesthesia. Practitioners can even use it for men and women who are in their mid-20s—should I start? A caution: Botox cannot be used by those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any neurological disease.
How much does it cost?
In the country, botox injections can cost between P300 to P450 per unit; meanwhile, face injections cost a hefty sum of P10,000 to P15,000+ in distinguished clinics.
The procedure generally takes seven to fourteen days to take full effect. It can last between three to six months, depending on the individual. Don’t fret, it’s very rare to have side effects post-procedure but, as with any injection into skin, there is risk for temporary bruising. Headache may also be experienced on the first day of treatment and this discomfort can last for 24 to 48 hours. Other rare side effects include flu-like symptoms and even difficulty swallowing.
Before the Treatment
Before considering a treatment, do thorough research on your practitioner and clinic. Whether it’s to delay aging or simply feel this sense of control over your body, it’s necessary to stay educated as a consumer—as with any other physically altering procedures. But if you’re still on the fence about it, there’s always AirBrush and Photoshop. You do you!
Art Alexandra Lara