If you’re a few decades old, as many of the Prime Women tend to be, odds are you remember Droopy Dog, with his saggy eyes, making him look sad all the time. Maybe that’s how your eyebrows look now. They’re a dead giveaway of your age, like saggy skin on your neck. But you don’t have to let droopy eyebrows get YOU down. There are options to get those brows back up where they belong.
More and more women are turning to an alternative: Botox for the brows.
Does that send your brow up in skepticism? Well, we’ll give you the details and help you decide whether it’s worth it.
Botox is minimally invasive and helps smooth out the skin and reduce the appearance of lines wherever you choose, eyebrows included. Medical experts refer to the sagging skin above the brow as “brow ptosis.” It may leave you looking tired and sad, or even angry, but definitely older. A brow lift can adjust that, leaving you with a younger, more refreshed appearance. You could also target the area between your eyebrows or “furrow” lines, which seem to increase with age.
How is it done?
Botox is injected into the problem area, in this case, around the eyebrows. Botox contains a protein called botulinum toxin type A. That blocks your nerves from talking to the muscles in your face. With the nerves blocked, the muscles relax, and the skin on top appears smoother and wrinkles less visible. Those muscles are pulled upwards, essentially making your eyes appear more open. The goal is to end up with a more alert and rested look. Botox can also be used for wrinkles around your eyes, crow’s feet, forehead, and smile, but in this case, the eyebrows are the target. Your clinician may use a numbing cream on the area before starting injections. How many shots you’ll need will depend on the tissue in your face and your cosmetic goals. It typically takes about 15 minutes for each session.
For those of you who like it a little more technical or clinical, essentially, the injections target the muscles surrounding your eyelids, specifically the orbicularis oculi (say that three times fast!) and the corrugator muscles. The orbicularis oculi go around your eyes, and their job is to contract or depress the brow. The corrugator muscles are located between your eyes, about where your eyebrow begins.
Your clinician will know exactly where to inject the Botox for maximum results for you personally. That includes just above or below your eyebrows, between the eyes, and near the temple. This is why you want to make sure the person giving you injections is skilled and experienced. Their expertise will play a major role in the amount of pain you might feel and your outcome. The pain should feel similar to when you get your eyebrows plucked, and most of us are quite accustomed to that by now.
What does recovery look like?
A SURGICAL brow lift would require a lengthy recovery period, but that’s not the case with Botox for the brow. With Botox, you can drive yourself home or back to work after your session without needing to miss a beat. That said, you shouldn’t head straight to a workout, sit in a sauna or lie out in the sun right away. Give your body a few hours, and you’ll be able to start moving your face and stretching the muscles.
Definitely don’t massage your face, but you can do some eyebrow lifts, frowns, or yawns to get things moving again. You may see some redness or soreness around the injections, but that should disappear after a few hours and should appear smaller than little mosquito bites.
How long before I see improvement, and how long will it last?
It varies, but most people see results in three to seven days, with the full effect showing up in about two weeks. Expect those results to last three to four months, so you may want to consider this more of a routine maintenance issue than a ‘one and done’ protocol. Not only will it help around the eyebrows, but the brow lift may also prevent new wrinkles from forming around the eyes and the forehead area where the Botox has been injected. It can help keep existing wrinkles from becoming more prominent and may help eliminate the appearance of wrinkles altogether. It leaves an overall effect that’s subtle to most others but significant to the patient who has watched the eyebrows sink through the years.
How much will it cost?
The expense depends on how much Botox you’ll need, and that varies by the patient. However, a typical Botox eyebrow lift procedure requires 30 to 50 units. Assuming it’s $12 a unit, the total price will average $300-$600. And remember, the procedure will likely be repeated in a few months, so keep that in mind when considering the total price.
Any words of caution?
You should not have Botox injections if you’re taking medication that thins the blood. The same applies if you’re on certain supplements or herbal remedies. And in the days and weeks before the procedure, you’re asked to back off the alcohol since that can also interfere. Most clinicians also ask that you not tweeze or wax the area before Botox since that might make the area sensitive. As with any medical procedure, talk with your doctor to make sure this treatment is right for you. The bottom line: Only you can decide.