Dr Ellen Selkon, from Clinic 42 in Auckland, has been working in appearance medicine for seven years. Here, she answers the key questions about this popular procedure.
How does botox work?
This is the number-one cosmetic procedure in the world today. It’s a purified toxin that is injected into the wrinkle-causing muscles.
It takes about a week for the effect to be noticeable. Once the muscles are relaxed they can’t be contracted, so lines are smoothed and new ones are prevented from forming.
How do you treat each new client?
I ask them what feature they like about themselves and I never change that. Then we’ll look at what’s bothering them and how we can improve it.
We would never do it all at once, so there’s no dramatic change, just little bits over time.
How old are most women you treat?
Generally our clients are 40 to 60 years old. If you come in when those first signs of ageing start taking place, you don’t have to do a lot of maintenance to slow it down.
What’s the most common area?
The frown area between the brows, as people feel it makes them look grumpy.
Can it go wrong?
It’s not risk free. There’s the odd occasion when you get an eyebrow drop,
for example, but it’s very rare, and wears off in about three to four weeks. The most common side effect is a little bruising after the treatment.
Does it hurt?
Numbing cream and ice are used on the injection site, so there’s a brief sting, rather than pain. The actual injecting only takes five to 10 minutes, so really you can do it in your lunch hour.
Is skincare still important?
You can do anything you like with Botox, but if you don’t look after the quality of the skin, you’re not going to get great results. Studies have shown the most important feature in making a woman look beautiful is good skin.
How has the process altered?
The idea is to slow ageing, not stop it. Women’s attitudes are changing towards crow’s feet and forehead lines, for instance. Once, they wanted them away completely – now, it’s a matter of making them more subtle.
What’s wrong with hollywood?
I think they’re just using too much. They’re looking for no movement at all, whereas what we want to do is soften lines and retain movement. A telltale sign a star has been indulging in too much Botox is that smooth, shiny face. Other things age – your hair, your teeth, your skin texture – so it doesn’t work.
What does it cost?
If you’re just having a little bit, then it would cost $350 to $500 every four months, and that will keep you looking great.
About Nicky Pellegrino
Nicky Pellegrino has been a journalist for over 20 years, both here and in the UK, and is a former editor of New Zealand Woman's Weekly. These days, as well as working on the magazine's beauty pages, she writes popular novels like Recipe For LIfe, The Italian Wedding and The Villa Girls. For more about Nicky check out her website www.nickypellegrino.commore of this author