Botox Before and After: Watch Our Editor Get Injected

Here at Well+Good, we’re big believers that beauty—at its core—is about doing what makes you feel good. Whether that means decorating your eyelids with Euphoria-inspired rhinestones, wearing your hair in a different style each day, investing in a 15-step routine, or saying “eff it” to all of the above, we take a firm stance that it’s all totally up to you. And this” you do you” objective extends to injectables.

I know that this is polarizing: aging skin is natural, and it’s certainly better than the alternative (we have an entire podcast episode dedicated to hashing out exactly this argument). But for me, personally, “feeling good” meant starting a twice- yearly Botox regimen when the wrinkles in my forehead started to bother me every time I looked in the mirror.

As any derm will tell you, anti-aging topicals can help to fend off wrinkles, but the most effective way to make them truly truly disappear is with an injectable neurotoxin, like Botox. “Botox works by preventing dynamic wrinkles by temporarily weakening the underlying muscle,” Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon in New York City, previously told Well+Good. Dynamic wrinkles are those caused by the movement of the underlying muscle, and, over time, these turn into a static line even at rest. “With Botox treatment, the muscle contraction is weakened and the overlying dynamic wrinkle is lessened. And with early and effective treatment, it can not only reduce the dynamic lines with movement but soften or eliminate static lines as well,” she says.

While we would never tell you that Botox is a must-have in your beauty routine (again, that’s totally up to you), if it is something you’re interested in, we want to give you all the information you need to make the right and responsible choice . Which is why for the latest episode of Zoë Tries It All, I took a trip to Peachy, a “wrinkle prevention” studio in New York City, to answer your most pressing questions on the topic and show you exactly what to expect from an appointment.

“Our whole goal is to maintain your natural appearance while softening your wrinkles,” says Megan Dinsmore, Peachy’s medical director. Considering injectables are increasingly becoming a part of people’s standard skin-care practices, this method is in line with the “preventative” measures that many people are looking for from their injectables. “Botox is most effective when used as a preventative tool, so you can soften those wrinkles while still being able to maintain your natural appearance, still being able to move the face and express, and that’s really the whole goal here.”

For a firsthand look at what the process is actually like, press play on the video above (warning if you’re squeamish: there are a lot of needles involved). And if Botox isn’t for you? Retinoids and sunscreen are a great alternative choice. Because (say it with me now!), the choice is totally up to you.

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