March 6, 2018

Preventative Skincare & “Botox”

Beauty Skincare

Up until a few years ago, I didn’t know much about preventative skincare.  Now, it’s literally one of my favorite things.  A decade ago, you couldn’t convince me to spend more than $20 on a product.  Now, my skin is the only thing I want to spend my money on.  So much so that I even keep a separate budget for it.

So what am I spending it on?  Besides day-to-day products, as well as monthly facials, I’ve started getting Botox.  Why?  There’s a few reasons, all I learned from my dermatologist.  I think Botox used to be a taboo topic, one associated with being vain or superficial.  But today, with having so much more knowledge about the subject, it’s becoming more and more commonly accepted for what it is –   preventative skincare – and, I can’t wait to dive in to this topic with you.

Of course, everyone is different, but this is just my personal experience with Botox.

+ Firstly, when it comes to Botox, it’s important to understand it’s a preventative skincare method.  It’s not something you wait to do, to try and erase your wrinkles, because once they’re there, they’re there.  I’ve heard so many women say, “I’m not going to start getting Botox until I’m in my 40’s.”  Of course, only get it if you need it, but it actually makes way more sense to get it when you’re younger, before those deep wrinkles form.

++ It doesn’t freeze your face.  Or, it shouldn’t at least.  While it does weaken your muscles, to stop your skin from further creasing and wrinkles, you shouldn’t feel or look frozen.  It’s likely that no one will ever notice a difference from just looking at you.  Not one friend or family member ever has noticed I’ve had Botox.

+++ I know I said it doesn’t erase wrinkles, but if they aren’t deep enough yet, it sort of can!  All three times that I’ve had Botox injections in my forehead my wrinkles pretty much disappear.  However, they do come back once the product fully wears off (which is typically 3-4 months later).  The immediate, visible results alone make it worth it for me!

++++ It doesn’t hurt, the needle is so small that you barely feel it and any pain you might feel is totally tolerable.  And I have a low threshold for pain.  I do always ask my doctor for numbing cream and I sit with it on for at least 30-45 minutes prior to receiving injections.


I’m very expressive and that, combined with really strong forehead muscles, has left me with three, deep lines across my forehead.  They were very much so there in my early twenties and, after a while, I became just plain sick of seeing them every time I looked in a mirror.  Once I learned how Botox worked, the sooner the better, I knew it was important for me to find a good doctor and see if Botox was what I needed.  Spoiler alert: It was. See my before and after photo here for yourself!

I’ve had Botox injections twice before, before trying XEOMIN this year.  I started when I was 27 and I’m now 30, so, essentially, I’ve been getting it about once a year.  I think every six to nine months is a good routine at this age to really slow down the aging process without overdoing it.  If you think about it, if you were to get injected every six months, you would be cutting the normal aging process in half overall.  You can’t beat that!

XEOMIN is just a newer brand of Botox, but it’s also a more pure form of Botox.  My doctor, Dr. Lina Naga (in Arlington, VA) recommended it and I’m loving the results.  Traditional Botox (the brand) contains proteins and XEOMIN doesn’t.  The idea behind this new form of Botox is that your body won’t be able to build up a tolerance of the product so you will always get the best possible results you can get.  Same results, same duration, just without preservatives.

I got the XEOMIN injections in my forehead, between my eyebrows, and in the outer corners of my eyes.  It’s not something that I plan to do for the rest of my life, eventually I’ll accept the aging process (I think – Ha ha!).  But, for now, also while my entire life is basically on camera, I’m obsessed.  I’m obsessed with the results, I’m obsessed with my doctor, it’s worth every penny!


Volbella!  No one can really tell, except me, and that’s how I wanted it.  🙂

Volbella (aka, lip injections) is something I’ve heard so much about and, honestly, I was just so curious to see what all of the fuss was about.  I’m just the type of person who will try anything once, within reason.

So I spoke with Dr. Naga about it and she agreed with me, that I was a good candidate for Volbella.  Plus, I just thought it would be fun.  Volbella actually comes in a smaller dosage, compared to other brands, and we still didn’t use all of it.  It turned out so natural looking and I am beyond obsessed with the results, maybe more than Botox.  Maybe… But here a few other things to note about Volbella and my results…

+ There was more pain than with Botox injections, even with numbing cream.  But it lasts up to a year, which is amazing!

++ Volbella is made up of Hyaluronic acid (HA), “a naturally occurring substance that delivers nutrients to the skin, helping the skin retain moisture and softness and adding volume.”

++ I only tried it because I was with a doctor who I know, trust, and has an excellent reputation when it comes to lip injections. Dr. Lina Naga did my Volbella injections and she actually was just awarded 2017 RealSelf Most Loved Injectors (As nominated by her patients!).

Besides just being curious, there were a few reasons that I could benefit from getting Volbella:

Firstly, I didn’t have a really defined lip line.  Some people do and some don’t as much, mine was very uneven.  Also, the corners of my top lip practically disappeared into my mouth, especially when I smiled.  And, I didn’t realize until afterwards, but by having more defined lips, my nose looks smaller and overall it balanced out my facial features in a more proportional way.  I only realized how disproportionate my lips were to my other facial features (nose, eyes, etc.) after seeing the before and after photos at the doctor’s office.

If you’re local to the D.C. area and thinking about trying out Botox or lip injections for the first time, or are looking for a new dermatologist in general, I’d highly recommend Dr. Naga.  Right when I met her I knew I was in good hands.  She’s realistic about skincare and what procedures are right for you, without trying to “sell” you on anything that isn’t.  And she’s offers all of the latest and greatest products and technologies to her clients, which I think is great.

I love being transparent with you guys and sharing every aspect of my life, botox and lip injections included!  I’m an open book.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject and, if you have any questions about either product, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  Nothing is off limits here!  Talk soon!

This post wasn’t sponsored, but I did receive a discount on these two procedures by Dr. Lina Naga and SkinDC.  As always, all opinions are my own.

I’ve heard that it is recommended to have Botox injections after 35. But if it makes you feel more comfortable under 35y. o why not. Can you add some photos before?

Can we also talk about that top tho? I neeeeeeeeed it.

Girlll the whole reason I started Botox too!!! I wake up with an angry bird face! And this def helps!! Xoxo

Would you be willing to share about the cost of these procedures?

Sure! Of course, every dermatologist’s prices are going to be different, but it’s generally around $350 per “area,” (such as your forehead). Hope this helps! xx Natalie

I’m 26 and have really been considering botox starting next year (christmas present?! haha!). Thanks for such a helpful post!

Kim .. sporty in Central Park!