I want to talk about botox. Because botox – although used cosmetically for the past 15 years – remains a dividing issue. Images of Ab Fab’s Patsy and over-zealous use combined with super-filler-ed faces stained the procedure’s reputation through-out the nineties, and as a result the procedure remains a bit of a taboo. Certainly, amongst my influencer friends, botox is topic non gatis.
But botox isn’t solely used as a cosmetic procedure – the muscle relaxant first came on the market after success in medicinal use. And I was first introduced to the tiny needles as a cure for my over-developed jaw muscle that’d come about because of an injury to my cheekbone. We needed to relax my jaw so the minor dislocation could be popped back into place, stopping my jaw from painfully clicking every time I open my mouth.
That said, I do also believe that small amounts of botox has a place within the beauty industry. For a long time we have been preaching that prevention is better than cure, and that is essentially what botox is. The botulinum toxin blocks nerve transmission in nearby muscles, effectively freezing the area. And it’s this temporary freeze effect on the muscles that prevents over-use and consequent lines forming.
Botox is now routinely used to treat conditions like cerebal paulsy, migraines and excessive sweating (the botox blocks glands the same way it blocks nerves in muscles). In fact, according to plastic surgeon Norman Rowe, M.D. , “it’s like Tylenol or aspirin. It’s what penicillin was in the mid-twentieth century.” Which means it’s just a matter of time and education before the treatment is as socially acceptable as getting a hair cut or seeing your PT.
But it’s still needles, and it’s still a toxin, and it’s still a little bit scary. So I’ve found some alternative products that promise a botox-like effect.
111 Skin Meso Infusion Micro Mask – At home Mesotherapy with innovative self dissolving mask technology for unrivalled anti ageing results. Masks are infused with pure Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin C. Tiny 0.35mm needles press into skin over 90 minutes, creating tiny tears and prompting the body’s own collagen production. Collagen plumps skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Swiss Clinic Skin Roller – 540 micro-needles made of surgical steel. After a few minutes of use, the needles open up thousands of tiny micro-channels in the skin allowing the skin to absorb up to 300% more of your skincare regime.
Nu Face Prep n Glow (exclusive to Space NK for Christmas) – Innovator in anti-ageing, NuFACE uses the power of micro-currents to invigorate skin. FDA-approved and clinically proven, the easy-to-use gadgets can improve skin tone and reduce wrinkles with just five minutes’ use a day.
Shop my favourite anti-ageing skincare products
If you are considering botox or other invasive facial treatment, the most important step is finding a reputable doctor. Having spent time on the beauty desk at Marie Claire, I’ve built up an (in my humble opinion) impressive little black book of the best in the industry. For all things cosmeceuticals, try:
Dr Vincent Wong – A pioneer in his field, Dr. Vincent was one of the first doctors to use Iovera or ‘Frotox’, the original toxin-free, anti-wrinkle treatment. As well as practising from his Harley Street and London Bridge clinics, Dr. Vincent is also the official aesthetics doctor at London’s Bvlgari Hotel. Prior to completing his medical aesthetics training, Dr. Vincent gained extensive experience in general surgery, dermatology and plastic surgery.
White Swan Aesthetics – Are a team of dentists, lead by Dr. Imogen, who believe in providing ‘cosmetic artistry’ to creat beautiful, natural enhancements. All of the DRs have advanced aesthetic qualifications and use only gold standard products. They have clinics and London and the Home Counties including Harley Street and have flexible treatment times including evening and weekend appointments.
Eden Skin Clinic – Eden offers some of the most effective tried and tested non-surgical skin treatments available today. The latest innovative non-invasive aesthetic technology is combined with expert advice, tailored skincare treatments and impeccable service.