Growing old gracefully? Are you thinking about botox?

Dr Hayley Cousins, Fareham Face Doctor. “Dr Hayley studied medicine at the University of Leicester before undertaking 5 years of hospital based medical training. 3 of these years were spent training within the British Army. Following this she specialised in General Practice and now splits her time between being a GP and an aesthetics practitioner.”



Anyone else wake up with their face wielded to the pillow and eye bags down to their chins? Remember the day when wrinkles were something your Mum had….then you suddenly realised you are a Mum. Maybe wrinkles come with the job??

They say it takes years of thinking about Botox (or botulinum toxin as we should really be calling it) before people pluck the courage up to have it done. I know I’m surrounded by this industry but I always wonder why. We spend hours being plucked, waxed and squeezed. It’s all about feeling good about yourself and that’s what aesthetics is all about- it’s just an extension onto your current regime.

And it really does work; it’s an evidence based, safe and effective treatment. And you know all those creams you spend a fortune on hoping they might do the job, sadly research shows they don’t do anything to manage wrinkles or prevent ageing. You might as well save those pennies.

So is it safe to be injecting toxins into your face? Good question. It is, of course, one of the most poisonous substances known to man but fortunately it goes through a refining and dilution process and it’s been used since the 1960s for medical procedures like excessive sweating and bladder problems. In fact it was during treatment for squint that they noticed the wrinkles around the treated areas disappeared and from there the Botox aesthetics industry started.

Anyone not great with pain? Or the thought of needles makes you want to pass out? The pain levels from Botox are about the level of acupuncture (and much less painful than waxing). The needles are tiny and injections only take seconds. You’ll need between 4 and 6 injections for each area treated. Most clients leave my clinic with no outward sign they’ve had anything done although the odd client might get a tiny bruise. And that’s it- you’re all ironed out for 3 months (at which point sadly the effect wears off and those pesky wrinkles start creeping back). And the days of the frozen unnatural foreheads of the 1990s are gone. Toxins and techniques have progressed to give you a natural looking wrinkle free look.

Over a million Botox treatments were carried out in 2010 in the UK and if you’re like me you look around a room wondering who’s had it done. And the thing is people you know are having it done- you know that school mum who just looks a bit fresher than you at the morning drop off. It’s like that guilty secret no one wants to share. But maybe it’s time for you too to be in on that secret. It might even hide the fact you’ve been up half the night making your child’s world book day outfit (mental note; do not leave it as late as last year).

It just remains to say research who you choose to trust your face with. A medically qualified doctor or nurse with appropriate training and insurance is a minimum. Sadly the lack of regulation in the industry means anyone can start injecting with no qualification and high complications rates (I’m sure we’ve all seen those lips photos…). So make sure you ask the questions and you feel comfortable with your practitioner.

My mantra is choose what bothers you – if you see something that bothers you in the mirror every time you look then why don’t you do something about it. If you love your lines and see them as a story of your life then Botox probably isn’t the one for you.

Dr Hayley, Fareham Face Doctor



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