A while back I was offered a treatment at my beloved Skin & Body Renewal so I rocked up expecting to zap my crow’s-feet with Botox. (I’ve been hitting up the needle for every six months or so since I was 27 and I love the results. That, along with retinol and a high SPF are the reasons people are often surprised to learn I’m turning 35.)
Anyway, Dr. Maureen Allem was going to handle my face and this is a woman I trust implicitly. Aside from being the founder of the Skin & Body chain, she’s also one of SA’s most experienced and respected aestheticians. She’s one of few people where I can roll into her office, throw myself down on the bed and say ‘I feel sooo haggard and tired! Just do whatever you want!’
As a result, when she suggested we try something a li’l different and shape my jaw using Botox (hello there, Kylie Jenner!) I was very happy to let her have at it. I’ve been a ‘clencher’ for as long as I can remember, something I do without even realising, especially when I write (which is often all day long) and it’s resulted in a pretty pronounced, rather square-looking jaw that sometimes comes off as ’rounded’ if I’m photographed straight on as the muscles around my jaw’s hinge stand out and pull my face structure outwards, if that makes sense. Maureen reckoned a splash of ‘tox would paralyse those pumped up, over worked muscles so they’d shrivel up and give me a slimmer-looking, more oval-shaped face.
Now, upon explaining that to friends, many of them had the same freaked out reaction – ‘OMG! How are you going to eat?!’ ‘Will you be able to talk?!’ ‘OMG! OMG! OMG!’ To this, I say ‘RELAX, chicas!’ Your jaw has loads of muscles in it and if some end up going on a li’l vacay there are lots of others to pick up the slack. Also, Maureen’s a blerrie expert, okay? This isn’t her first rodeo. In fact, she’s so good with a needle she didn’t even have to use an anaesthetic on me. A few li’l pricks and boom, I was all done so I could head off for dinner a mooi boy who was none the wiser.
Also, the thing about Botox is that it doesn’t work straight away. You have to wait a few days (for me it’s usually five) for it to kick in. When this started happening I experienced a little bit of jaw stiffness due to muscles that weren’t used to helping me talk and devour Big Route’s bolognaise pizza (the BEST you’ll ever taste!) had to get down to business but it was a ‘sensation’ as opposed to pain. There was literally nothing painful about the procedure at all.
As far as a results time lines goes – if you’re using Botox to klap lines around your eyes or on your forehead these will diminish from the moment it kicks in at that five to seven days post-treatment mark. A muscle, however, takes a while to atrophy (shrink) so it was only about a month later that my sleeker-looking jaw started to emerge and the results were/are awesome. Like, AWESOME!
The difference it’s made is VERY visible to the point that my au naturale lovin’ cousin (who usually gets preachy and ridic when I do anything to my face, be it lash extensions or a peel) as well as my mom and a few besties totally noticed and all gave it a big two thumbs up. (As in, ‘Wow! This is something you should really do again!’) As for the rest of the world, my slimmer-looking face had loads of people asking me if I’d lost weight when I hadn’t. In fact, I’d gained a tad thanks to a li’l too much festive season merriment!
So ja, in short, if you’re considering facial contouring via Botox know I give it a massive thumbs up. Results will vary as some people have a larger jaw due to what the bone is shaped liked but for most folks its defined their muscles. Also, while this is a relatively simple procedure that most aestheticians could pull off, I can only personally endorse Dr. Maureen Allem, the Botox wizard. So much so that I’ll be going back at some point, credit card in hand, to do it again and again and again.
In regards to costs, this will vary from person to person depending on how many units of Botox are used. I had 15 in one muscle and 20 in another and, if you’re working on an average of R70 per unit, you’re looking at around R2 450, roughly the price of a new ghd V styler, and your results should last for a good six to nine months.
To make an appointment with Skin and Body Renewal (I think all their aestheticians offer jaw-defining, but I’ll double-check), visit their site to find a branch in your area. Also, feel free to chat to me in the comments section. I’ll answer all the q’s I can and will pass on any I can’t to Dr. Allem.