WTF is a Botox Facial and Should You Try One?

Botox Facial

I’ve always had a relatively low-lift beauty routine that basically consisted of cleansing, moisturizing, applying makeup, repeat. A combination of laziness and genetic luck has generally allowed me to spend minimal time and money on things like facials, prescription acne treatments, or high-end age-fighting products. But after turning 30 last summer, I realized that it’s about time I started experimenting with and investing in the latter. Enter a new age-defying treatment: the Botox facial.

This procedure was described to me as an in-office treatment that would “painlessly and effectively deliver bioactive compounds into the skin, including Botox, dermal fillers, Vitamins A and C, as well as a complex of anti-aging nutrients.” I was a little freaked out by the word Botox, and wondered: Would needles be involved? How would my face feel (and look) afterward?

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When I arrived, I learned that while there would be needles, they would be tiny. After numbing my skin with a topical agent, the doctor would manually “stamp” (a.k.a. inject in miniscule amounts) my entire face twice with a concoction including hyaluronic acid (an intense hydrator that plumps skin) and Botox (which shrinks pores and gives skin a smooth, even sheen). I asked if I would see an immediate difference. “You’ll see the results after about 24 hours and I’d say it lasts about a month,” the nurse practitioner told me. “Your skin will brighten up and your makeup and products will go on a lot smoother. It’s an overall rejuvenation.”

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Since I was numb, I didn’t feel much at all, and went home with a slightly red face that faded after about a day. When I saw my coworkers a few days later, I asked them if my skin looked any different. “Actually… you do look really well-rested!” said our ever-optimistic entertainment editor. I had to agree that my overall complexion looked healthy, kind of like I imagine it would after getting 10 hours of sleep and then doing a 90-minute workout (ha). It’s not necessarily the kind of major transformation that would be evident in before-and-after photos, but I did notice a subtle rosy glow and less evidence of my typical dark circles.

And though it’s a little hard to evaluate the changes in your own skin that you see in the mirror several times a day, considering this is the time of year that I tend to be washed-out, dry, and generally lackluster, this treatment definitely didn’t hurt. Did it help enough to justify the cost, which varies from $750 to $1,200, depending on the ingredients? Considering I got the facial for free (#editorperks), it’s a bit hard to say. I likely won’t be spending that kind of cash anytime soon on this or any other facial—but if money’s not an object for you, then this treatment is well worth it.