Whether you’re counting down to your next Botox appointment or thinking of experimenting with the procedure for the first time, the last thing you want is to spend a pretty penny only to get a botched job. To help ensure you undergo the best procedure possible, we tapped Botox guru Dr. Harold Lancer to give us five things you should keep in mind next time you visit your doctor. Being wary of these common mistakes will guarantee you love your results every time.
Bad Botox, Begone
"We hardly ever do Botox on the first visit. You want [a doctor who] tries to rehabilitate the skin before resorting to procedures. If you go in as a first-time patient and there's no talk of topical approaches, but rather just a menu of procedures, you should get up and leave. Let's say you've followed our skincare program and come back for a follow-up in a few weeks—there should be dramatic improvement. By the time the majority of patients are done with home care, their concerns are gone."
"When patients come to me and say, 'I only care about this bulge,' if I only treat the 'bulge,' the areas around it won't be affected. When your facial expression changes, this area will stay in place; since the face doesn't naturally move that way, it will be obvious you just had Botox. When you don't blend, it looks unnatural. It's important not only to treat a problem but also the area around it."
"The majority of Botox practitioners don't massage it in—this tremendously influences its distribution, its evenness and, most importantly, its reliability. I have my patients lie down for the procedure, and I make sure the area is massaged gently—which also prevents bruising."
"I recommend people avoid Botox or filler parties—you have to remember that this is a medical procedure. It's going to cost the same whether you're in my office, at a med spa or at a gas station! But at a clinic, the skin is cleaned and massaged, and everything is sterilized. I can't stress enough how medical procedures shouldn't be taken lightly, and they're not meant to be treated like Tupperware."
"For four hours after your appointment, the most important thing is to refrain from getting a facial or intense facial massage; the aesthetician can use pressure or techniques that can redistribute the Botox to unwanted areas. I also tell patients to avoid steam rooms, saunas, jacuzzis or anywhere you're exposed to extreme heat. It increases your blood flow, which can change the distribution of Botox."