To Botox Or Not, That’s The Question

Think back 40 years: most men didn’t use face cream, sunscreen or quite possibly, deodorant. And you can bet your sweet-bottom-dollar they didn’t smooth wrinkles into oblivion with an injection or two of Botox. “It was a big secret if you even got your hair coloured,” affirms Dr. Nowell Solish, M.D., a Cosmetic Dermatologist and founder of his eponymous clinic in Toronto.

Granted, the cosmetic injectable has only become an age-delaying tool for the past 13 years. It is however, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the fastest-growing non-surgical procedure for men, ages 20 to 29. “It’s even a word in the dictionary,” says Dr. Solish.

The only question that remains is: should you or shouldn’t you use it?

What’s Botox?

In case you’ve been stuck in the desert without WIFI or in the oil patch in remote Northern Alberta and don’t know what we’re talking about, Botox is botulinum bacterium, a purified protein. And when it’s injected into the small muscles of your face, it can freeze your fine lines and wrinkles into submission. 

Why Inject?

“If you’re a 50-something competing against 20-something guys on the trading room floor, you want to look younger,” explains Dr. Solish, whose male clients range from lawyers to hockey players. “It also helps so that you don’t look tired, upset or even angry. You look relaxed, like you’re in a better mood. Your face looks more youthful and rested.”

Where To Use It?

Frown lines on the forehead and between the eyebrows, and crow’s feet around the eye area are the most common spots, says Dr. Solish. Injected properly, Botox will relax the facial muscles, reducing how much you squint and frown. It also prevents existing wrinkles and lines from deepening. “But you don’t want everything to go away,” cautions Dr. Solish. “On my male clients, I don’t inject everything. I don’t want them to look ‘done’ or feminized.”

The Timeframe?

A whopping 10 minutes. And there’s no down time, lumps or bumps or even red needle dots to give you away. “I have a high-powered lawyer who comes in on his coffee break,” says Solish. “No one at the office can tell.”

The Pain Factor

“It’s nothing compared to getting a needle in the mouth at the dentist,” says Dr. Solish, who, as a self-proclaimed wimp says he doesn’t find the procedure painful at all. Adverse side effects are extremely uncommon, as well—only one to two per cent of people, most commonly those with thin skin, experience bruising and/or swelling. As for unicorn bumps, they’re more urban legend than reality. But with dime-a-dozen practitioners popping up in hair salons and at home parties, you need to be careful. “Make sure you go to an experienced doctor,” warns Dr. Solish.

Repeat Policy

Twice a year is typically the magic number. “After the first injection, you’ll probably need to come back in four months,” says Dr. Solish. “But then, it should be about every six months. The longer you use Botox the more your muscles get used to it.”

The Cost

On average: $300 to $600 a session, depending on how much Botox is required. “Men need more than women so it will cost a bit more because their muscles are bigger and stronger,” says Dr. Solish.

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