Botulinum Toxin (AKA: BOTOX®, Dysport® or Xeomin®) – When too much of a good thing becomes a reality
We’re all familiar with the concept of “too much of a good thing” but the pearl behind that wisdom hits especially hard when it happens to your face. Two years ago I began to develop the dreaded “11” between my brows. They were slight, but I am all for spending on prevention rather than investing in restoration, so I opted for Botox along with Juvederm injections. My doctor is very conservative and methodical, so instead of doing it all at once, he did the Botox and then waited 2 weeks to inject the Juvederm. The reason behind this is completely logical and I am surprised that more doctors don’t adhere to this practice. The injectable is not very helpful on its own in this case because the furrowing of my brows is what is causing the “11” creases. If I only had Juvederm injected, not only would the problem persist, but the injectable could actually get squeezed out of position by my repeated furrowing.
The Botox prevents the furrowing and stabilizes the area first and the Juvederm then comes in and does its job of filling in the creases as long as I continue to Botox the area to prevent the facial expression that caused it in the first place. So this two-pronged approach has multiple benefits and long-term results. It all went as well as it sounds. I was so happy with the results that I decided to one-up it. That’s where the problem started.
A year went by and I began to regain the ability to furrow my brow. I was pleased that it lasted a full year so I did not feel as though I was “addicted.” What I had already done and was planning to continue to do felt like a moderate and sensible approach. So, I went in and since I was so pleased with the results the last time, I decided to include my forehead because lines were also developing there. I certainly do not want a permanently crinkled and creased forehead so this made sense. I told my doctor to increase the Botox in the “11” area, as well as add a few units on the forehead and above my eyebrows.
Now, it is always difficult to know where to draw the line when you are in the middle of things. Of course hindsight is 20/20, and in this case hindsight made it clear that too much Botox gave me a constant look of surprise. My brows were arched so severely it was almost comical, (and I only admit and dare say it now because this has fortunately subsided and I am no longer suffering from the trauma) - but I looked like a clown. To make matters worse, I had this done 2 weeks before I went on-air on HSN for the launch of my first handbag collection. This was my way of preparing to look my “best”. Thanks to the magic of makeup, I was able to use a combination of concealer on my upper brow and shadowing on the lower to lessen the arch and look more human/realistic. But in real life, I looked like a freak and the obvious look of being overly Botoxed actually aged me.
So where do you draw the line? The lessons I learned are: Don’t strive for perfection; don’t try to correct everything; take the one thing that bothers you most and fix just that. I have never fully appreciated and understood the wisdom of “a little goes a long way” as much as I do now.