What do you need to know before you have Botox?
Brides, bridesmaids, mothers of the bride and groom, aunts and even grandmothers want to look their most beautiful and radiant on the big day. For many, a bridal beauty regime might include getting Botox before your wedding, and why not? Botox is fairly mainstream these days – literally millions of people have used it for wrinkles since its FDA approval in 2002. It’s not just for the Real Housewives of Auckland anymore, in fact, now you can even pop into the mall for your injectables… but should you?
As you may know, I’m an enthusiastic advocate for all things skincare, especially in the lead up to your wedding: Skin Sonic is a must, (OBVIOUSLY) a sensible skincare regime (I swear by Dermalogica) and regular facials, plus SPF, sleep and water in abundance. If you’re curious about using injectables, and can afford to do so, you can take your preparation one step further, which is why so many, many brides have asked for my thoughts on using Botox before their wedding.
To help answer these questions, I consulted Dr Joanna Romanowska (MBChB, FRNZCGP, DipNZSCM), Founding Director of Clinic 42 and a passionate educator on sensible use of Botox and other cosmetic treatments, and best practice for pre-wedding Botox.
Why can’t I pop in for Botox a week before the wedding?
Like everything else when it comes to your big day, having Botox before your wedding takes planning. Frequently, Dr Joanna’s patients are Botox-virgins, coming to Clinic 42 for their first ever treatment before a big event such as their wedding. However, without allowing enough time for a) any bruising to subside; b) a follow-up review; c) any ‘top-up’; and d) ideally, any results to slightly ‘soften’, dr Joanna has to decline treatment for these patients – in their own best interests.
What is the ideal timeframe for getting Botox before your Wedding, and why?
Ideally, dr Joanna likes to start to work with younger brides-to-be six months prior to the big day and longer for older brides and their mothers.
“With six months to go, we can administer the first Botox treatment, and review the results after a couple of weeks to assess the effect and plan to modify the dose if required… Then, at three to four months we review the effect, at which time we may ‘top-up’ the treatment and/or make any adjustments, if required, while still allowing ample time for any bruising to subside. While side-effects are uncommon, we wouldn’t treat a bride within two weeks of her wedding, because it’s not worth the risk for such a big event.
Everyone is different, and responds differently to doses of Botox. It is a very effective treatment for dramatically reducing wrinkles, but we don’t want to completely eliminate expression, especially for a bride. Depending on the area treated, it may be more appropriate to slighty soften the muscle movement and expressions”
Remember, we want guests to ask themselves “Wow, what skincare does she use?” rather than “Oh, who does her Botox?” as we walk down the aisle!
It takes a few days for the treatment to take effect, with the peak effect being two-four weeks later.
Why do you recommend longer for older clients?
“For older clients, such as the Mother of the bride, the ideal timeframe is six to twelve months. Older patients are likely to require repeated treatment and it may take a little longer to take effect. As with any new patient, we will be conservative, so for older patients it may take 1-2 visits before we can ascertain the perfect dosage. It may also take a little longer for the improvement to take effect in older patients.”
What are my other options, besides Botox?
“Having a longer timeframe before the wedding also allows opportunity to recommend treatments beyond just Botox. Some patients come in for a consultation expecting to have Botox treatments, but there are a variety of other treatments we may suggest, including non-invasive ones. Not everyone is a good candidate for Botox.
For example, due to the harshness of the sun-damage we are exposed to here, I recommend every New Zealander should be using a high potency topical Vitamin A (Retinol), which has numerous truly astounding health benefits for skin. It also conveniently has cosmetic benefits which include increasing the appearance of firmness, diminishing the look of fine lines and wrinkles, significantly improving uneven skin tone, and smoothing and refining skin’s surface.
Another of my favourite treatments to recommend before someone’s wedding is our PhotoFinish Treatment – moisturizing and hydrating the skin from within, decreasing pores and smoothing fine lines. It’s a perfect pre-wedding treatment, which lasts approximately six months. We may also suggest Dermal Fillers, PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), Vampire Lifts, Microdermabrasion, and light therapy, among other things. We offer a truly tailored service, and integration of non-surgical cosmetic procedures for the best enhancement possible. It’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all, and coming in a couple of weeks before your wedding doesn’t allow us enough time to design a very personal treatment plan. Of course we’ll help as much as we can and there’s still a lot we can do, even with just a month or two to do so.”
Next, read what you need to know before you have lip filler.