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The truth about Botox (and Brotox)

Amanda Whitley

I used to be anti- anything that wasn’t ‘natural’. I scoffed at Nicole Kidman’s wrinkle (and movement) free face and loudly proclaimed that I would never succumb to the lure of the needle or the knife. But then a couple of things happened: (a) that furrow between my brows became more and more pronounced, and my laugh lines weren’t quite so funny anymore; and (b) Botox seemed to get better…celebrities no longer looked frozen, they looked fresh. I started to get very curious about injectables.

Rather serendipitously, Clear Complexions asked me to roadtest their new anti-wrinkle injectables subscription service, which allows you to top up your Botox treatments every three months from $12.50 per week*. They also asked me to rope in a male friend who was interested in trying Botox for guys aka ‘Brotox’. Luckily, my mate Warren (Waz) Apps was up to the challenge. Actually, I didn’t even need to twist his arm.

wrinkles

My best frowny face.

Waz is going to explain the ‘what happens’ during the procedure, so let me just start with a few basics, like what we’re actually talking about, and I’ll interject with my observations throughout.

Anti-wrinkle injections are useful for softening and preventing dynamic lines. They can be used to paralyse the muscles that are responsible for frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines, and can even be used to lift the eyebrows. Botox is a brand of onabotulinumtoxinA – an anti-wrinkle injectable.

So, what actually happens during a treatment? Let me hand over to Warren to tell his ‘Brotox’ story…

Brotox – the modern man’s dirty little secret

It’s ironic really. Ten years ago, all I wanted was to look a bit older. At 25, I’d been promoted to a more senior position and I figured a couple more wrinkles might lend me some gravitas for my role.

Now, the tables have turned! I’m more aware of my age and perhaps more conscious of presenting a youthful, energetic image, crucially important for the business I’m in. Over the last year or so, friends and co-workers had started to point out that I was looking cranky or worn-out. Really it’s just my face giving in to gravity. My forehead collapses like a concertina when I laugh and I have a deep furrow in my brow that makes me look permanently pissed off.

Waz: he's not really pissed off, he just looks that way.

Waz: he’s not really pissed off, he just looks that way.

I admit to having a few pre-conceived ideas about Botox:

“Botox is just for desperate housewives types – certainly not for blokes”

“I could end up looking like a Ken doll”

“I bloody hate needles”.

Waz says his forehead used to collapse like a concertina.

Waz says his forehead used to collapse like a concertina.

I won’t lie to you, as I sat in the waiting room of Clear Complexions mulling over what was in store for me, I had half expected scented candles and the kind of soft music piped through the speakers that makes me want to run the other way. So I was relieved that the atmosphere was very professional. Plus there was a huge bowl of Cadbury chocolates sitting in front of me to calm my nerves!

I was also relieved that the Founder of Clear Complexions, Suzie Hoitink, was going to be the one administering my treatment. Not only is she a qualified nurse, she’s a leading industry authority on skincare and one of Canberra’s most recognisable faces. So I figured I was in good hands.

First up, Suzie introduced me to a Doctor. Now I’d heard horror stories from friends’ wives and girlfriends about having brief consultations with doctors over Skype. But instead, I had a lengthy consultation face to face. This gave him the chance to ask me relevant questions – including how I could achieve a natural look rather than end up looking plastic. [Amanda: my biggest concern, too.]

“It all comes down to the person treating you,” Suzie explained. “If you see someone who’s highly trained in both the scientific and aesthetic principles of your face’s framework, they’ll know exactly which areas to inject to achieve a natural, youthful looking result. And they’ll use a smaller amount of Botox than someone less experienced.”

Ok, so I was ready for those needles. But after all my years of neglect to my skin, it turned out I’d need around 25 – 30 injections to rid me of the signs of ageing. [Amanda: I reckon I had about 12 – pays to look after your skin, Waz!]

The thought of my face being used as a pin cushion isn’t exactly my idea of fun but it is nowhere near as bad as you might think. The treatment itself was completed in less than ten minutes and I certainly didn’t look or feel any different. Because it takes up to two weeks to see the effect, I had to trust in the process and wait and see… [Amanda: The injections aren’t anyone’s idea of a fun time, but they’re far less painful than the injections you might be more familiar with – a flu shot or similar. My injections took effect relatively quickly, and I demonstrated my inability to frown to the HerCanberra Team’s great delight only a few days later.]

The new less wrinkly Waz!

The new less wrinkly Waz!

I’m happy to admit that I’m pretty stoked with the results. We just had our staff photos taken and when I smiled, my forehead no longer divided into a series of creases and furrows, it was completely smooth – but not in an unnatural way. Suzie has ensured that I have movement there, it’s just not as exaggerated and pronounced as it used to be.

No-one has commented on it – which is good. The last thing I wanted was people asking me if I’d “had work done” – the ultimate blow to any man’s masculinity. But by the same token, the comments about looking angry or being up all night have stopped. And most importantly, when I look in the mirror, I’m pretty happy with what I see.

[Amanda: As for me, I love the results. You can see them in the little video I made (below) The furrow between my eyes has smoothed out and when I smile I don’t have a massive spiderweb of wrinkles – but I DO still have some rather lovely laugh lines. The key is that I look natural and fresh and not at all ‘Barbie Doll’. Sign me up, Suzie!]

TIPS for getting Botox

Make sure you get a face-to-face consultation – Skype doesn’t cut it.

Don’t shop on unit price – shop on experience. A more experienced practitioner will use less product.

Get it done regularly. The effects wear off after three months, but the more regularly you have it, the less you need.

Sign up for a subscription package – it spreads the cost over easy-to-pay weekly instalments so you can set and forget.

BOTOX SUBSCRIPTION READER OFFER

From just $12.50 per week*, you can top up your Botox treatments every three months to ensure an optimum effect. To find a clinic near you visit www.clearcomplexions.com.au

the essentials

What: Botox injectables from Clear Complexions
Where: Bruce, Woden and Gungahlin – visit the website for clinic details
When: Visit the website for clinic opening hours
Web: www.clearcomplexions.com.au

* Based on forehead only for treatment once every three months. Subscription option starts from 1st Tuesday of every month after the first initial payment

This is a sponsored post but opinions are the authors’ own. It complies with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission’s guidelines on Online Reviews. Read our Sponsored Post Policy if you would like more information. The authors received their treatments free of charge from Clear Complexions.

Feature image of woman peering at her wrinkles from shutterstock.com

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her ‘spare time’, she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She’s done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women.

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