Botox has a bad rap from frozen-faced celebrities who have overused it or combined it with bad plastic surgery. It is also by definition, a powerful neurotoxin. Regardless, usage has steadily risen and it is now one of the most-performed cosmetic procedures. At 28 years old, my skin isn't in dire need of anti-ageing treatments, and The Face Magic Haven (FMH) Medi-Spa owner Deborah Sims, a veteran of the industry, told me as much. But I was determined to find out what all the fuss is about.
The treatment involves the injection of the Botulinum Toxin type A serum into the muscles, paralysing them, thus smoothing out and reducing lines and wrinkles, with effects lasting from four to six months. The consultation was professional, honest and friendly.
I received 12 injections in total, four for the worry lines and the rest evenly around my forehead. Each area is iced to numb it, as the injections are slightly painful. The procedure takes only 10 minutes.
Immediately afterwards, my forehead showed a few tiny reddish dots (some experience a little swelling) but within the hour they had disappeared. From the second day, I could see my forehead muscles were less able to move, contract or form wrinkles, with effects becoming more pronounced day by day until the 6th day, when it reached a plateau.
At this time, there are no wrinkles on my forehead even when I raise my eyebrows, and my faint worry lines have disappeared. Any attempt at making an angry face makes me look slightly perturbed and squinty. The single treatment is extremely effective, but it is strange not being able to move my forehead. There is the option of a top-up at the review appointment around nine days after initial treatment.
I may rethink botox in a few years time, but for now I'll hold off. The FMH Medi-Spa, however, feels like a relaxing, safe environment should you chose to go under the needle. The Centrium branch I visited has low lighting, soft music and chiffon curtains for plenty of privacy.
Botox treatment for two zones cost HK$5,280. The Face Magic Haven Medi-Spa is at 30/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central and Harvey Nichols, Pacific Place, Admiralty, www.fmh.com.hk