I got Botox from Dr. Kamlen Pillay at The Wembley Clinic and snapped before and after shots to show you

So let’s talk about Botox.

First up, let’s all just get clear as to what Botox is and what it does. For one, it’s not ‘snake venom’. That’s a bunch of kak. It’s actually derived from a naturally occurring bacteria and has been successfully treating expression lines for more than 20 years. Expression lines are those caused by repetitive facial movements like squinting or frowning. The reason why these lines only show up later on, as opposed to when you’re younger, is because as your body’s collagen levels diminish with age, your skin loses its elasticity and thins out so it doesn’t ‘bounce back’ like it used to.

How Botox works, in serious lay man’s terms, is by dissolving the little tentacle-thingies that hang off your nerves, acting as a telephone wire to communicate with your muscle. Without those ‘messengers’, your muscle simple doesn’t ‘hear’ the nerve telling it what to do so it kind of just takes a bit of a nap. Eventually, over a period of three to four months, those nerves grow back and your muscles starts doing the funky chicken once more. This is why Botox isn’t permanent.

Generally, Botox is used to treat the upper half of your face; think crow’s feet and frown lines. Wrinkles in the lower half can be treated with fillers like Juvederm which plump up your skin to hide the wrinkle but still allow for movement. Back in the day fillers used to contains collagen but now they’ve evolved to make use of hyaluronic acid, a water-binding substance that occurs naturally in your bod. While hyaluronic acid is rife in just about every moisturiser on the shelf but obviously it doesn’t penetrate and remain in your skin the way it does when it’s injected.

All clear? ‘Cos all too often I have conversations that run like this.

Jane Doe: Oooh, you’re a beauty writer? Errrmigod! What, in your opinion, is the one cream I have to buy to blitz these wrinkles around my eyes?
Me: None. Most eye creams are unnecessary in that whatever anti-aging serum you’re using on your face can be used around your eyes. Even retinol, which in almost every dermatologist’s opinion is still the single best wrinkle-busting ingredient on the shelf. Use a serum containing that and then spend the balance of your cash on Botox.
Jane: Ooooh nooo. I’d never put anything unnatural into my face.
Me: Botox is a naturally occurring substance.
Jane: Oh God, no. I only use natural natural things. They’re sooo much better for you.
Me: Arsenic is natural. So is poison ivy. It’s also ‘natural’ to die of a blood clot as opposed to treat it with synthetically derived drugs like Warfarin. Bet you’d like that one if you needed it.
Jane: But what if I look ‘frozen’ like Nicole Kidman back in the day? Ermiiiigodddd!
Me: If you go to a good doc it’s not likely. The best ‘work’ is all around you every day but you don’t see it. The only aesthetic procedures you ever notice are the bad ones.
Jane: Hmmm. I don’t know. Would you do it?
Me: Honeylamb, I’ve been toxing it up since 27 and I’m almost 33.
Jane: What?! But you’re crazy. You don’t have any wrinkles to treat.
Me: Yes. Because I Botox.
Jane: Gosh. Maybe I’ll start doing it when I’m 40.
Me: Sure, but you’ll have missed the boat a bit. It’s the same way you need to start wearing sunscreen now, not when all the sun damage pops up ten years later.
Jane: Are you sure there’s no cream that can give me similar results?
Me: Nope. Nothing. Not even close.

Anyway, I’m going to stop being a total bitch to Jane and tell you about Dr Kamlen Pillay, an SA qualified specialist surgeon with an American Academy Board Certification in aesthetic surgery. He is also the MD of The Wembley Clinic in Gardens. I’ve been ‘toxed by several docs around Cape Town and Kamlen is one of the best. He’s also one of the few plastic surgeons I’d trust to yank up my face after I hit the big 40.

I rocked up at his clinic the other day in a massive rush and we didn’t have time to slap on any anaesthetic cream. ‘Oh, don’t you worry, I’ll use a distraction technique by tapping on the nerve just before I inject and you won’t register the prick’, he said. I was all ‘Okie dokes’, but internally going ‘Yeah, right’, and mentally braced myself for a bit o’ pain. But surprise, surprise; it totally didn’t hurt. Go Dr. P, you rock star! He didn’t even mess up my make-up so I was able to run off to the ballet ten minutes later and nobody was the wiser.

Anyway, I thought I’d share my before and after shots with you. I took them myself.

First, this is me ‘before’ with my face completely relaxed:

Notice that I have micro fine lines but they're not really noticeable.
Notice that I have micro fine lines but they’re not really noticeable…

…until I smile. Below is a close up shot of me, pre-Botox, with a grin on my face:

See? Lots of lines. The kind that would eventually become permanent if I didn't Botox.
See? Lots of lines. The kind that would eventually become permanent if I didn’t Botox.

Now here I am, ten days later, post-Botox:

After smiling-001
As you’ll see by my nose crinkle I’m smiling as hard as I can but it’s IMPOSSIBLE to make those crow’s feet.

In all, I’m not going to tell you that you have to get jiggy with a needle. You don’t have to Fend off Father Time optimally and, if you don’t mind crow’s feet or brow lines, by all means, all the more power to you. Also, if you view a ten minute non-permanent doctor-delivered procedure like Botox as drastic but reckon laser hair removal from Annetjie in Hout Bay is a-okay, I can’t change your mind. Just don’t expect me to serve up a topical suggestion that’ll be just as good or offer the same results.

However, if you’re looking for a fab doc to serve it up to you, Dr Pillay is one of the best I’ve seen and gets a Lipglossgirl thumbs up.

Love, love


P.S. If you’ve got any questions I’m happy to chat in the comments section.

32 thoughts on “I got Botox from Dr. Kamlen Pillay at The Wembley Clinic and snapped before and after shots to show you

  1. Thanks for the post about botox…it has been very informative and interesting to read!!! You are very brave to do this….I am petrified of needles!!!! Mwah xxx

    1. It depends on how many units they have to inject into you and some docs charge a bit more or less per unit but generally you can expect to pay around R650 to R800 for just the eye area and it lasts about 3 to 4 months. I usually get my eyes done about three times a year; every four months. This is why there are times when I’ve got wrinkles (when I’m about four months in) and times when I don’t ;-P

      1. Does it hurt? And does it burn? Have heard the solution stings a bit? AMAZING results tho! OMW!! Not gonna waste any more cash on any other beauty products from now on – botox all the way! LOL

      2. I didn’t feel the injections at all – the needle used is teeny tiny – and have never had the solution feel burny in my face.

        Ja, if you’re buying eye cream you’re crazy x

  2. Looks amazing and your skin in general looks so smooth in these super close-up shots. So jelly! What in your opinion is the best option for pigmentation caused by the pill etc.

    1. Thanks Abby!

      Pigmentation is tricky and won’t stop forming until you stop taking the pill. I’ve got the same issue just beneath my eyes and have been successfully treating it with a Proactive hydroquinone product that’s freely available in the states.

      You can get hydroquinone cream here in SA via a prescription from your dermatologist (it’s a bullshit rumour that it’s ‘banned’) but I’d first see a derm or medical aesthetician with the intention of listening to what they have to say. You might find they suggest you rather try a laser treatment.

      1. Thanks so much!

        I definitely don’t plan on stopping the pill any time soon but when I am super pale and sans self tan then the pigmentation bugs me. Will have a lookie at hydroquinone.

      1. Dr Pillay travels to JHB and sees patients there at the Camelot Spa Moloko Hotel about every second month. Phone the Wembly Medispa in Cape Town for his schedule and to set up appointment.

  3. As a skincare professional who’s been in the industry for 15 years, I really enjoyed reading your post. Informative, accurate and to the point. I work with women all day every day and get asked pretty much the same questions. I recommend excellent skincare products everyday at home, but sometimes you just need a little bit of extra help from other procedures. Going to post this on my business page for clients and people to read. Hope this doc is giving you a discount for promoting him! 😉

    1. Thanks Sarah, appreciate your comments. Yes, Dr P zapped for free in exchange for the post but I’ve seen him before on my own dime. He’s very good.

  4. Thank you Leigh for all your great suggestions. You mentioned that one could get the hydroquinone cream from the dermatologist? Can you let me know the name of dermatologist that you got your creams from? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Amanda! I got mine in the US where it’s available freely over the counter. Any good dermatologist here would be able to give you a script for a hydroquinone cream but best you see them first. They may want to prescribe something else, like a laser treatment, which is amazing.

  5. I want to hve btw my eyes done as well as laugh lines around my mouth. How much will that cost & when the period is over, do u look worse (ive been told). Pls give a contact number for dr p to make appointment

    1. Hi Theresa! The cost will depend on how many units you need and only the doc can assess that. You can use botox to relax the wrinkles up top but the lines around your mouth will require filler. There’s a link to Wembley Clinic’s site in my post and you’ll find their number there. It’s rubbish that you’d look worse than before when it wears off. Good luck!

  6. Hiya Leigh.
    Thanks for all your posts and this one in particular.
    Any updates on recommended doctors for Botox, and possibly fillers?
    I’ve been out the country a while and am bringing my wonderful partner (will be 41 years old) to see Cape Town and she’s keen on her first Botox. Would love a good recommendation so I can organise it while she’s in town. Thanks!

    1. Hi Adam! Apologies for the slow reply. I’ve gotten back from holiday and the backlog is crazy ;-P I’ve seen loads of brilliant Botox docs. Dr. Pillay is one of them and so is Mignon Laub at Just Skin. I’ve also seen most of the doctors at Skin Renewal and they’re all amazing. If I were you I’d just call the branch of the latter that’s close to you (skinrenewal.co.za) and make an appointment to see whoever is available at a time that suits. You really can’t go wrong with their docs (they’re all overseen by Dr. Maureen Allem, the founding doc who’s a complete wizard and obsessive perfectionist) so you’ll be in very good hands x x x

  7. Hi there, coming to Cape Town in May. Had Botox in Spain in November by an amazing doctor who just did the minimum amount & it looks amazing. So I’m looking for a doctor in Cape Town who isn’t going to go over the top with too much Botox or fillers. So you would say he is the best in Cape Town?

    1. Hi Julie! It’s super easy to find a good Botox doc in Cape Town. I’ve been to several who work at Skin Renewal (a chain with branches all over Cape Town) and find they’re all brilliant. If you’re putting filler in your lips it requires a bit more artistry so you need to go to someone good. Dr Pillay is fabulous, so is Mignon Laub at Just Skin in Green Point and Dr Sattar from Skin Renewal in Claremont is fab too. My advise though is to book your appointment before you come because they have waiting lists to get in. Especially Pillay and Laub. They’re that good! I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  8. Hi Leigh, Im 60yrs and have been using Clarins products the past 20yrs resulting in a good skin admired by many, however your reviews are enticing and am determined to get a ‘lift’ here and there with Dr K. I will be visiting the venue soon and thereafter make an app.
    Excellent article and reviews – love it ☺♥☺

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s