Courtesy Lindsay Tigar
Though it’s been a good decade since I had a school photo taken, I’ll still never forget my senior class portraits. For most every American, they’re a rite of passage of sorts, earning the coveted spot on the mantle and going down in history as the last image of your youth, before you trotted off to college, the world, or a little of both. Like most 17-year-olds, I was excited about mine, picked out a few wardrobe changes and practiced my make-up strategy for a week before the big day.
But when I got those proofs back? I cried.
And no, not because they were terrible (they were fine) and not because I thought I looked bad (I truly didn’t) but because in my eyes, I saw one thing and one thing only: a forehead wrinkle. From that day on until a year ago, I’ve seen that darn wrinkle in every. last. photo. I’ve ever taken. And while my best friends and my family swore up and down and sideways they didn’t notice it, to me, it was the forefront of selfies and group shots, making me super self-conscious and unattractive.
So when my mom switched careers at the age of 50, trading her bookkeeping skill set to become an esthetician, I found myself asking her about how I could make myself look younger, even though I was only 27. She raised an eyebrow to me (as moms do) and I rose one back, pointing at my forehead wrinkle and confessing my decade-long hatred for it. I figured she’d say some words of wisdom to reassure me I was beautiful no matter what, but to my surprise, she said, “Well, if you don’t like something, fix it.”
And thus begin my exploration into injectables.
Botox Can Be Preventive
While, in all honesty, I was super hesitant about beginning Botox or Xeomin treatments before I hit my fourth decade, my mom explained that getting a small injections at an earlier age could prevent me from needing more as I age. Because injections help to gradually paralyze the muscle that creates the wrinkle, consistent treatments over time mean you need less and less to produce the same result. My hope with beginning my routine at age 27 is that by the time I’m 37, I won’t need to go as often or have to take extreme measures to maintain youth.
Courtesy Lindsay Tigar
It’s An Odd Experience
The first time my mom took me to “her guy” (aka her dermatologist), I begged him not to make me look like I belonged on the pages of a celeb magazine. I was anxious about receiving too much of the treatment and that I’d lose all expression in my face. He reassured me that he wouldn’t use much—mainly because at my age, I didn’t need it—and that I’d see results near-immediately. He was right. Within a few hours of my first injection, my head started to feel tighter and by the next day, I noticed the appearance of the line diminish. Two weeks later, it was in full effect and that pesky line I always noticed in photos was all-but gone. [Note that the makers of Botox say most users can expect to see initial results in 72 hours.] Injections wear off every three months, with most derms recommending that you come back once a season for a touch-up. I’ve kept to that schedule and because of that, I haven’t had to have more than the first amount that I received, nine units, to be exact. (To put that into perspective, my mom at age 56, gets almost 20.) After your treatment, you can’t lie down or exercise for four hours, just in case the injection wonders to another area of your face, where it’s not needed. And though the tightness is uncomfortable for a good week, once it eases, you hardly notice it’s there.
It’s More Fun in Numbers
While my mom and I live nearly 1,000 miles apart, I try to time my visits home to coincide with our injectable treatments. Though it’s not a painful experience, it can be more fun to make a beauty day out of the experience, grabbing a glass of vino post-shot since you can’t take a nap or hit up a yoga class. Recently when my mom visited me in New York, we stopped by Dr. Jeremy Brauer‘s office for Xeomin injections, which is similar to Botox, but contains one less protein, making it a more subtle adjustment that takes a tad longer to kick in, but still produces the same result. After our treatment, we went shopping and popped some bubbly, as my mom gushed over my “New York” life. While it might not seem like the traditional mother/daughter experience, for two gals who can have fun doing anything and everything, it’s my idea of a perfect afternoon with my favorite esthetician, mother and friend.