You’ve heard me correctly. My forehead wrinkles have been banished for just $208. In fact, I only paid $140 for botox treatment. This was after deducting some loyalty points accumulated since my first visit to Cutis Medical Laser Clinics two years ago.
This time round, only 13 units of botox were used to erase my forehead wrinkles, which included the glabella (the two vertical lines you see between your eyebrows) and horizontal crease lines. Seriously, how many clinics are able to do that with 13 units?
Note: I did it in Dec 2014 when botox was reduced from $18 to $16 per unit for the whole month of December.
How to select a Clinic for Botox Treatment?
Just choose one that offers the lowest per unit cost? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
If you do a quick research online, you’ll see many doctors recommending 40 to 50 units to erase the forehead wrinkles. Therefore, even if a clinic quotes a low per unit cost, it is important that you find out how many units the doctor needs to work the magic.
Some other clinics may charge by area. Forehead itself consists of two areas – 1) Glabella (frown lines) and 2) Horizontal Forehead Lines. In total, they are likely to cost at least $600.
I’m not sure how Dr. Sylvia Ramirez did it. It’s just amazing how she can deliver the results I was seeking by using just a quarter of the industry average. Come to think about it, what if I was given 50 instead of 13 units? Would I have paid more for a frozen and unnatural look?
Understandably, some people such as older candidates may genuinely require 50 units. Do just take note that if you are middle-aged like me, you may be able to get great results at under-50 unit.
Since this isn’t the first time I’m getting my botox fix, let me extract a few paragraphs from an earlier review I’ve written:
“Dr. Ramirez prefers a safer and more conservative approach, i.e. to under- than over-correct. She also prefers a natural look. Hence, in the case of botox, rest assured that you will not get a frozen look.
When I first had botox for glabella and forehead lines, I was hesitant in getting it done at Cutis Medical Laser Clinics as it charged a higher rate of about $18/unit than some other clinics. However, in the end, I realized I’m paying less because Dr Ramirez is conservative and gives you what you need and nothing more than that. As such, I do not normally spend anything beyond $280 per visit.
The result, as I’ve said, is extremely natural and lasts for about 3 to 4 months. I highly recommend this clinic for botox treatment.”
Disclaimer: Depending on your profile, the number of units you need may differ from what I had.
Why I Needed Botox?
When I started botox treatment about two years ago, it wasn’t because I was bothered by my forehead lines. I didn’t have much then anyway.
What started me on botox was my overactive right above-brow muscle. It gave me constant aching and headache, and not forgetting uneven brow levels.
To put across an analogy, think about how tiring your bicep would feel if you have to lift weight 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. My right above-brow muscle just couldn’t relax at all. It was always ‘working out’, as long as I was awake.
I visited Cutis Medical Laser Clinics to ask if there was a possibility of getting this fixed with aesthetic medicine. She was surprised to learn of my ‘condition’ and we agreed to give it a try. So this was what started me on my journey with botox. When I started, I only needed 5 units of botox. Come to think of it, it was nice of her to spend so much time treating me when the fee was at less than a hundred bucks.
As time went by and as I continued to age, I started asking for more! I wanted my newly-formed static wrinkles to be dealt with too.
If you do not know, botox is good in preventing static wrinkles which are mostly formed as a result of dynamic wrinkles. For instance, if I frown a lot, I get the “11” lines between my brows. That’s dynamic because it can only be seen when I’m moving my facial muscles. Soon, this dynamic wrinkle will develop into static wrinkle, i.e. wrinkle you see even when you are not animating/frowning.
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The photo above shows a faint static “11” wrinkles that was starting to form even when I wasn’t frowning. That’s because I’d stopped my botox treatment for about 9 months, and of course also due to aging lah.
The BOTOX Treatment. What to Expect?
The photo below shows how I looked like immediately after the injection. The redness was a result of icing. After a few minutes, it was not that red and I didn’t need any coverage. Felt totally at ease shopping along orchard road.
Painful? You have an option to use numbing cream. I normally don’t because the pain is quite bearable (maybe 2/10) and I thought it’s quite a hassle using numbing cream.
Cutis Medical Laser Clinics gave me a piece of paper containing a list of post-botox instructions which I’ve summarized below:
- Do not massage areas that were injected 3-4 hours following treatment
- Exercise the treated area, e.g. frown more, raise forehead more
- Do not exercise strenuously for 24 hours
- Do not lie flat for 3-4 hours post-treatment
- 3-5 days to see results. 2 weeks to seek complete results
Before-After Photos of Botox Treatment
Let’s examine the before-after photos.
No specific facial expression at all in the photos below. I was just looking straight. By Day 10, the static wrinkles were gone.
Glabella Lines (The 11 lines)
The needle marks can be seen on Day 2, the day I wasn’t wearing any makeup. On day 4, the glabella lines can hardly be seen even when I was frowning hard. By Day 10, my “11” lines have been completely ironed out.
Horizontal Forehead Lines
From the ‘Before’ photo, you can probably tell how active my right above-brow muscle was. It caused my brows level to differ so much I looked totally asymmetrical.
By Day 10, my forehead lines were less obvious and my brow levels were more aligned, though still not perfect. It is common for areas to be touched-up post-treatment. But, I was just too lazy to bother.
If you notice, I still have some faint expression lines. It’s not smooth like a canvas. And that’s what I meant by having a natural and non-frozen look.
Botox – An Effective and Affordable Treatment
Aesthetic treatments are generally considered quite expensive. When done by a great doctor, botox can be the exception. In my opinion, botox is the most effective and value-for-money treatment around. There is zero downtime and the results can be visible within days. Now, how good is that? Rating: 4.5/5
Editor Note (Nov 2019): When this post was first published, I was still in my 30s. Now that, I’m in my early 40s, I’ve increased my botox units from 13 to 30. This increase is partly due to an additional area that I’m treating (around the eyes) – view eye botox review.
Here’re the number of botox units I needed as I continue to age. :)
- Mid-30s: 13 units (Glabella & Forehead)
- Late-30s: 21 units (Add eye area)
- Early 40s: 30 units (3 areas)
(This post was first published in Jan 2015 and updated in Nov 2019.)
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