Why I stopped doing Botox (it's not what you think)
It's not what you think. I’m not going to guilt or shame you into believing Botox is wrong, dangerous or shameful. In fact, I am pro-Botox when used to treat headaches, extreme sweating, and even dramatic facial expression lines. So, why am I swearing it off?
Because It makes me look old. Yes, you read that right. I believe that Botox is one of the most aging things you can do to your face.
The smooth, tight look synonymous with Botox has become associated with aging women. This look, or as I call it “Botox face” has become an unconscious cue of age and a dead giveaway that you are afraid of aging.
Quickly becoming the look of women aged 35 - 75, “Botox face” looks like a forehead that is smooth, tight and shiny. It is having eyebrows, arched so high that you look perpetually surprised, or hanging lower on your face, pushing your eyelid skin down.
What causes these differing effects? It's all about where it's injected, and even a millimeter too high or low will you give you these results.
And it starts when you want injections to freeze the muscles of your forehead when you smile. But then the muscles around your eyes contract instead. So you freeze the muscles around your eyes too. The muscles in your upper cheeks contract and squeeze the skin under your eyes causing more wrinkles. You then freeze your upper cheek muscles, and so, on and so on. It's not a strategy for looking beautiful.
It's a slippery slope of perpetually being dissatisfied with the way we look.
So is Botox A Good Idea?
According to Medical News Today, Hannah Nichols writes:
"Botox is a drug made from a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum called botulinum toxin. It is used medically to treat certain muscular conditions and cosmetically remove wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing muscles.”
“For muscles to contract, nerves release a chemical messenger, acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter), at the junction where the nerve endings meet muscle cells. The acetylcholine attaches to receptors on the muscle cells and causes the muscle cells to contract or shorten. Injected botulinum toxin prevents the release of acetylcholine, preventing contraction of the muscle cells."
Essentially, Botox acts like a microscopic dam, blocking off the pathway between your nerves and your muscles before the command “contract muscles” reaches its final destination. Scientists call this temporary paralysis.
Despite what many believe, Botox is also a completely natural substance, not a man-made chemical compound.
Nichols continues, “Clostridium botulinum like most drugs has an entirely natural origin. [It is] found in the inactive form in the natural environment, including in the forest and cultivated soils, and in the sediment of lakes, streams, coastal and untreated waters. Such naturally occurring instances of Clostridium botulinum bacteria and spores are typically relatively harmless. Problems only usually arise when the spores transform into vegetative cells, and the cell population increases to the point where the bacteria begin producing botulinum toxin, the deadly neurotoxin responsible for botulism.
'Only the dose makes a remedy poisonous.'”
The science is safe, and the drug, when used responsibly, is safe.
Botox becomes a problem when women get trapped in this vicious spiral and even consider undergoing surgery to fix the non-paralyzed portions of their faces. Especially cheeks and eyelids that have begun sagging. At this point, if you visit a surgeon to see if you are a candidate for blepharoplasty (or eyelid surgery), don’t be surprised when the doctor says yes.
I know they will because this is my story. It happened to me. I was in the surgeon's office hoping she would tell me it was all in my mind. That I didn’t need surgery to make my eyelids less droopy. Instead, she said, yes. I had excessive eyelid skin, she told me, and she would be happy to fix that for me.
I went home devastated. This happened at a time when I was struggling personally and professionally. I was just coming to terms with my middle-agedness.
After carefully considering what she said and what I was intuiting, I came to realize that it wasn’t my age taking a toll on my face. It was the years I had spent having my brows artificially depressed by Botox that had made my eyelids appear saggy!
I decided to scrap the injections and practice what I preach as an esthetician - increased facial massage, and an extra big dose of Self-Love.
AND IT WORKED! My eyelids are no longer the tiniest bit saggy.
Think about it: The only exercise our face gets is from our emotions.
Picture an upper arm that hasn't been exercising. It's crepey and saggy.
Now, imagine the arm of someone who moves their body often-- that arm has blood pumping, muscles moving and cells that are oxygenated. Yep, the same is true of our faces.
I feel like I stumbled on the fountain of youth with this revelation.
Can it really be this simple? Yes! And you don’t even need to be a licensed esthetician to get the same results.
How Facial Massage Replaced My Botox Injections
If you are picturing complicated face yoga, don't worry, I wouldn't do that to you. My facial exercises are like CrossFit for the face. Maximum efficacy for minimal time investment. I take that back; it's not like CrossFit because you won't be exerting yourself at all!
The first step is to begin touching your face with intention.
Feel your face. Feel how your fingers find the hollows and curves. Now press in. Take time to explore and notice the unique curvature of your face. That's it!
You can watch a detailed demonstration of this first step here.
Now, back to Botox. When is it okay?
If you've gone too long without loving up your face, you may look in the mirror to find a permanent scowl, even when you don't feel scowly. This could be the time to use some Botox to help re-train that chronic facial expression. But you can’t rely on Botox alone.
You are the missing ingredient. Spend some time noticing when you making these facial movements, and commit to training yourself to stop that habitual action. Spend some time contemplating the emotions you feel when you make this face. Is this emotion serving you?
More often than not the women I work with find that they aren’t. And that’s where the I AM method comes in. I’ve created this routine to help my clients look, and feel, beautiful inside and out. Using this method women have been able to soften the visibility of wrinkles and even the negative emotions causing them. This is because the I AM method isn’t centered on obtaining physical beauty. It’s designed to integrate mindfulness and self-love with my transformative products and massage techniques.
I designed this routine to be simple, easy and short so that anyone can do it in their own home. Anyone can find just five minutes in their day. And so anyone can use the I AM method.
You can get my video training series on the exact steps of the I AM method for free by signing up below. I have used these techniques in my own daily routine for years to get firm, radiant skin and I just know you are going to love them too.
You are beautiful.