Let’s face it, as we age, laughing, crying and frowning will all take their toll on our faces as our skin loses its volume and elasticity, causing wrinkles to form over time. This is further exacerbated by a stressful lifestyle, causing more fine lines and dark eye circles. Increasingly, there has been a beauty trend towards non-surgical approach and less invasive procedures with minimal downtime.
For a long time, I was not confident in taking selfies of myself and would often avoid taking photographs whenever possible because of my square jaw line. I would try to explore different camera angles or use my hair to cover part of my face if I really need to take a photograph.
I first heard that Botox can be used to sharpen the jaw line when I was doing laser and IPL (Intense Pulse Light) to remove my stubborn pigmentation at an aesthetic clinic. Friends had also been telling me that I would sometimes knit my eyebrows involuntarily whenever I was in deep thoughts.
I learned that Botox treatment can be used to relax specific facial muscle that causes wrinkles by administrating into the muscles directly to create a rejuvenated appearance. Botox can also help to remove the frown lines between my eye brows that make me look unapproachable even when I am not. Once the muscles are relaxed, the lines would gradually smoothed out and new frown lines are prevented from forming to produce natural and subtle results.
Being a highly respected pioneer in the aesthetics industry with 15 years of practice experience, Dr Benjamin Yim is a well sought-after speaker at many aesthetic conferences around Asia and is the Honorary Secretary of the Society of Aesthetic Medicine, Singapore. Dr Yim’s specialty is in botulinum toxin and fillers injectables and he is also an appointed medical trainer for Botox administration (Allergan) and Juvederm (Allergan) skin filler administration, so I know I am in a very safe pair of hands! Dr Yim also finds time to contribute back to the society by volunteering at the Singapore Prison Service to help remove the tattoos of the inmates and giving them a second chance in life.
Dr Yim said, “The best part of my job is making patients feel beautiful and happy, bringing smiles to their faces and giving them a lift to their well-being.”
What struck me deeply from my consultation with Dr Yim was that Botox and fillers would not alter a person’s looks drastically, as it would only enhance the natural features. I would still look like me. I would like to emphasize that these aesthetic procedures will not give you features that you do not have in the first place, as anything more you would need to go for a surgery.
It would not be realistic expecting to look 20 years younger or look like a Korean celebrity. The effects of Botox and skin fillers are also temporary and reversible unlike surgeries, which are irreversible and carry a higher risk.
The overall aesthetic effect of Botox and fillers is only to refine, rejuvenate and enhance our natural beauty, to make us look and feel good with ourselves.
Being my first time in doing such aesthetics procedures, I do have a lot of questions running through my mind. Here are some basic questions I have research on or have asked Dr Yim which you may find it useful.
Botox is a purified protein made from a neurotoxin (botulinum toxin) produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
How does Botox works?
Botox works by temporarily paralyzing muscles directly, causing lines and wrinkles to smoothed or even disappear altogether by varying the Botox dose. It blocks the neurotransmission that causes muscle contraction which helps to reduce facial lines and prevent new lines from forming.
Is Botox safe?
The safety of Botox has been well established with more over 20 years of clinical use and has proven to be remarkably safe. It has been used to treat millions of patients worldwide including children with cerebral palsy. In 2002, it was approved by the US FDA for the treatment of facial lines.
Does Botox gives you an unnatural, frozen look?
When administered under the expertise of an experienced aesthetic doctor, this can easily be avoided.
After Botox is discontinued, will I be worse off than before?
After discontinuing the Botox treatment and the effects had worn off, the treated muscles would gradually resume its normal activity. However, Dr Yim has informed me that by having Botox treatment done every 3 months over a 1-year period, the effects can be better sustained as the muscle has been “trained” to relax.
How do I feel after the Botox and fillers treatment and what are the things to take note of?
After the Botox treatment, Dr Yim advised me NOT to lie flat for the next 6 hours and NOT to touch/massage the affected areas or apply cream to my face for the next 24 hours to prevent the Botox from moving around. I can however wash my face gently with water. Other than the area between my eye brows which felt sore intermittently as it is a sensitive area, my jaw line felt normal. I can even chew on steak after the procedure and do not feel any pain. The soreness between my eye brows also subsided the next day.
What are the side effects of fillers and Botox?
For Botox, temporary bruising is the most common side effect. Headaches can also occur but it should resolve in 24-48 hours. A small percentage of patients may develop eyelid drooping.
How long can fillers and Botox last?
Typically, the Botox can last around 4 months.
How much are the charges?
Depending on individual’s requirements and areas that you want to enhance, Botox treatments ranges from $400 and above.
My Customised Treatment Plan
Dr Yim suggested drawing attention to the centre of my face by enhancing the nose bridge and slightly lengthening the chin, thereby improving my forward projection and achieving a more defined jaw line.
The nurse then helped to cleanse my face and apply numbing cream on the targeted areas before taking photographs of my side and front view for comparison purposes.
These were the areas that were targeted for Botox treatment:
- Botox to the sides of the face to reduce the size of the masseter (chewing) muscle and slim the jaw line. I just learned that the more you chew, bite and grind your teeth, your masseter muscle can become enlarged just like how you trained up your biceps.
- Botox at the area between my eye brows to relax the muscles and smooths the frown lines.
The Final Results
After the Botox, I could see my right jaw line slim down the very next day and was so thrilled, even though Dr Yim said that the results would be most optimal after 2 weeks! However, my left jaw took a longer time (about 1.5 week) to see any noticeable results. Dr Yim informed me that in the few weeks to come, my jaw line will still undergo more transformation and sharpen gradually as the masseter muscle relaxed.
The area above my eye brows appeared to be more lifted. Frequent frowning will pull down the muscles but Botox helps to reverse that effect by lifting up that muscle.
I am extremely happy with the results and friends have been telling me that they thought I have slimmed down a lot and this has given me an extra boost in confidence! I am grateful to Dr Yim who is extremely meticulous and has a sharp eye for details and beauty to help me achieve a holistic and targeted beauty solution.
With the enhanced and fresher looking me, I now looked like my younger sister! 🙂
I will be sharing my experience with fillers (done 2 weeks after the Botox treatment) in Part II of the post.
Here is a photograph of myself with Dr Benjamin Yim and Joselyn taken exactly 2 weeks later at the clinic 15th anniversary event. I think my jaw line looked more defined here 2 weeks after the Botox treatment, don’t you think so? 🙂
Dr Benjamin Yim Aesthetic & Laser Centre
583 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6737 9181
No monetary compensation was received for this post and all views expressed are based on my personal experience.