In the room with Dr. Anolik.

Until a couple of years ago, I had never really considered Botox. I figured the deepening furrow between my eyebrows had become a permanent fixture and that I’d always look slightly angry in photos (or very angry, depending on the day). 

I would never want to erase it, but the depth of that furrow has always bothered me a little. I had experimented with Frownies, those adhesive applications that you put between your brows overnight, which produce results that last for about twenty minutes after you remove them. It wasn’t until I started working as a patient concierge for New York’s top cosmetic dermatologist when I started thinking of Botox differently.

My issue with Botox had been that people who had Botox looked like they had Botox. They looked weird, even though their mirrors, their friends and their ‘yes’ people told them otherwise. After spending every day in an office with a medical and aesthetic expert who actually knows what he’s doing, my perception shifted considerably. I learned that people whose Botox looks obvious have either had too much Botox or had it done badly (or both). So my boss and friend, Dr. Robert Anolik, and I started talking about it.

Dr. Anolik works with many media and entertainment figures whose faces are part of their currency, and he’s keenly aware that any obvious changes in these faces would be noticed immediately. His objective is to merely “freshen” a patient’s appearance with a natural looking aesthetic, never to alter it. If anyone looked “done,” he’d consider it a fail. Or as I like to say: Fresh, never frozen.

I never want to look altered or different. I’ve earned the face I have, and I don’t want to change it. The goal with Botox was to just soften and relax the severity of some lines, particularly my deep frown, without losing movement or compromising character. So we went ahead with it. 

I decided to forego the topical anesthetic numbing cream that some patients get before treatment. Botox needles are so small that the injections really just feel like a pinch. And as one of his regular patients said to me when I first met her, “It’s a privilege to get to do this. Every pinch is a gift.” So I powered through it. 

Here’s how it went:

Botox takes about five days or so to fully kick in, and the effect lasts about three or four months. I have to say I’m very happy with the result. The deep furrow in between my brows is noticeably softer, and my face is still very much me. I still have plenty of movement and all the character in my forehead remains intact. Fresh, not frozen.

The results. “Fresh, never frozen.”

A candid word about cost…

Botox (or any cosmetic procedure performed by a board-certified expert) does not really fall into the affordable category. It’s expensive. The cost of Botox at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York where Dr. Anolik practices is $25 per unit. In the treatment I received in the video, Dr. Anolik used 80 units of Botox. If you do the math, you know that would cost $2,000 for an elective procedure that insurance does not cover. This is a luxury – a perk I’m only able to afford because I work there. 

The importance of board-certified…

The only person I would ever trust with my face is a board-certified dermatologist. Never an assistant. Never a nurse. Never a trained aesthetician. And certainly never one of those “Botox parties.” (Yes, they happen.) These are medical procedures. I want an expert who can provide expert care and an expert who can handle an unforeseen outcome with any follow-up by that same expert. That means a board-certified dermatologist ONLY. To find out if your dermatologist or other doctor is board-certified, visit www.certificationmatters.org.

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5 Comments

  1. But Angry George is the Sexiest George! Just make sure you keep some of that inner feisty in good supply, dear.

    Great point about employing a certified derm in such matters. IG is full of “med spas” promising “cheaper” access to treatment, but I’d never recommend them. This is still a medical procedure, and anyone who isn’t a doctor can’t diagnose you for the possibility that some of the facial issues you seek to correct could be health-related. Only a derm will be able to minister to that and other procedures that might meet your needs better. Don’t self-diagnose!

    It’s also fair to say you’ll get good results because you eat well, sleep well and treat your skin respectfully. You provided Dr Anolik a nice canvas, George! Xo

  2. As a male in your age group
    I found two health benefits.
    One it reduced headaches.
    The other I sleep better – the tension I would take to bed in my forehead is gone.
    So yes you look younger from it…but the health benefits are why I go back for more.

  3. Thelma Louise Jennings

    George,

    Oh honey, you look so handsome, and fresh, after a few pricks!

    Absolutely love it. What a fabulous dermatologist.

    Sorry if I missed this. How long does it last?

    And what happens to people who’ve had it for years and then stop?

    Thanks for keeping us grounded, informed and laughing.

    Bunches of love!

    TL

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