Last March, Birmingham Moms Blog celebrated its one-year birthday with a contributor event at Skin Wellness Center in Homewood. (They also have a location in Chelsea!) The contributors were treated to delicious Mexican food and margaritas, a skin treatment of choice (I chose a chemical peel), and some amazing door prizes. The night was already incredibly fun, meeting and talking with the other contributors, but the icing on my cake was winning a free Botox session! Since I’m now in my late 30s (gasp), I know many women who use Botox as a part of their normal beauty routine and love it. I was pretty excited (and anxious) to try it out myself.
I’d like to think I would try most things once, but let’s be real; injecting my face with a toxin doesn’t seem like the most pleasant experience. Free is free though so I somewhat happily made my appointment and agreed to let BMB record the session with Dr. Corey Hartman.
Walking into my appointment, I was quickly put at ease by the friendly staff. BMB’s own contributor, Haley Isbell, is the Marketing Director at Skin Wellness Center. Haley greeted me warmly and stayed with me throughout the session. She told me how much I was going to love it and that it would barely hurt. I wasn’t so worried about the pain; after all, I’ve had two C-sections and have run four marathons, but possible side effects are always concerning.
Shortly after we settled into a room, Dr. Hartman entered and explained the procedure. I would be receiving Botox on my forehead and around my eyes (bye-bye crows feet). We decided not to do in between my eyes because I didn’t really see it as a problem area. He explained that he would go light on the injections since I’d never experienced it before, and it could be very uncomfortable and overwhelming having a Real Housewives’ forehead that did not move at all.
Dr. Hartman explained that there are little to no side effects when Botox is injected correctly. (Side note: Always go to a licensed dermatologist or plastic surgeon since they start practicing Botox in residency and know all the ins and outs of where to and not to apply; that does not hold true to a dentist or OB/GYN, so tread carefully.) He told me that it would take approximately 10 days to see the results and it would last 3-4 months depending on the speed of my metabolism.
Once the nurse removed my makeup and Dr. Hartman applied alcohol to the injection sites, it was go time. In all, I received eight injections on my forehead and six around my eyes (three on each side). The needle they used was the same size diabetics use for insulin, so it was very small, and I barely felt the prick. I was given instructions to stay upright for four hours and use my forehead muscles to help the Botox take maximum effect. I was afraid the injection bumps would still be evident when I went to the supermarket afterwards – taking advantage of my free babysitter, thanks Mom! – so I’d brought a hat just in case to cover up. To my surprise, the bumps were completely gone within 15 minutes.
I took lots of selfies in the give or take 10 days of waiting for my wrinkles to disappear. And disappear they did! In fact, around day eight I was getting so uncomfortable from the stiffness that for two days I felt like I had to lift my forehead with my hand. I was extremely grateful that Dr. Hartman went “light” on the injections. Major props to those Real Housewives making it look so easy to not move a quarter of your face! Just when I was starting to regret getting it done and wondering how long I would have to live pulling my forehead back, the stiffness subsided, and I was very pleased with the results. The area around my eyes was my favorite because my eyes looked bigger when I smiled and I loved, not seeing the usual creases.
I’m now two months past the injection date, and the lines are beginning to reappear as Dr. Hartman said they would. Since I’m a distance runner, I knew it would be on the shorter end of the spectrum, and my body would process the Botox faster. While the lines are noticeable, they are still not as prominent as before. I’m actually more pleased now since I can easily move my forehead again.
So, is Botox worth it? In all honesty, I was on the fence at first. Then I looked at the before and after pictures. (Check them out below.) Wow – just wow! I really didn’t know how deep the lines on my forehead and around my eyes were until I saw my face without them. I’d been trying to convince myself that I didn’t like Botox because of the cost, especially when looking at multiple treatments per year. But the pictures don’t lie, and I find myself feeling much more confident. I don’t wear makeup much, and since having Botox, I don’t automatically grab my baseball cap before heading out the door.
While I may not be ready to commit to the cost of regular Botox sessions (yet), the experience made me realize that I need to take better care of my skin. I do intend to continue visiting Dr. Hartman and Skin Wellness Center for chemical peels, facials, and my retinol, and I might ask for Botox in my stocking this Christmas. It takes work to age gracefully, and I’m happy to have such a wonderful dermatologist to assist me!
Details on Botox with Skin Wellness Center
Botox at Skin Wellness Center is simple! There is even a VIP program for those who plan to continue the beauty regimen on a consistent basis. Pricing is $13/unit, and VIP pricing is $9/unit. The staff at Skin Wellness Center will help ensure you get the correct number of units for the look you’re after – not too much, and not too little. (Note where Dr. Hartman went light on injections to keep Beth looking natural, not like a Real Housewife.) Be sure to check out Breeze in for Botox at both the Homewood and Chelsea locations!