Anti-Aging Procedures: My Experience of Botox & Juvederm

Botox and juvederm, anyone?

I’ve yet to tell my mother – any the hubby is royally POd at me – about the recent ‘work’ I had done. I didn’t go under the knife, but I underwent some cosmetic procedures to add fullness to my face.

I know what you’re thinking: this broad is having a mid-life crisis. Perhaps I am… but I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Let me explain.

I’ve recently lost 20 lbs., and, at the age of 38, let’s just say the weight loss looked great everywhere but on my face. The saggy, tired look – regardless of my good health and restful sleeps – became more and more obvious.

“You look so tired,” I’d hear all the time.

Hmmmm, maybe this isn’t about REM sleep, and I actually need to check out some anti-aging options.

Since I still consider myself young at heart, it’s hard to admit that I am, in fact, getting older. So I’ve been avoiding research on any/all anti-aging procedures.

I’ve always felt that this is a multi-million dollar industry, adding to the unhealthy obsession on women’s appearances. Lose your wrinkles; look younger; lose weight. Can’t we all just age gracefully and accept what Mother Nature throws our way?

Well, that’s what I thought…until I got old!

My laugh lines are deep and my eyes have that dark sullen look. I am aware this is mostly genetics…but why not explore my options?

Nowadays there are a multitude of non-surgical cosmetic procedures, from microdermabrasions, to chemical peels, to Botox, to thermage, to nonablative laser treatments, to Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), to cosmetic fillers like juvederm, and so on.

For myself, I’m not so concerned about the wrinkles forming around my eyes. In fact, I think my crow’s feet add a certain warmth to my smile. And I did NOT want the Joan Rivers makeover!

My anti-aging procedures:

When I sat down with Dr. Shehla Ebrahim at Afterglow in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada, I laid out my concerns.

Is it safe? Will I look ‘frozen’ or weird? How long with the results last? What is the price?

After hearing that my concerns are more than valid, and that many women my age come to her also after a weight loss, I definitely felt less crazy. We explored my options, and I decided on a soft lift, where she worked on the hallowing under my eyes and the laugh lines around my mouth. The doctor explained that this will add more volume to my face, soften the laugh lines, and add more ‘plump’ to my cheeks.

And she also worked on the ‘elevens’ on my forehead. These squint lines right above my nose were somewhat deep, and a few units of Botox was all I needed.

Botox injections usually take three to seven days to reach their full effect. The result is smoother skin in the treated area, and the injections must be repeated every four to six months.

There’s no doubt about it, the Botox looked quite lovely! The only downside is that I became a bit obsessive on checking the results in the mirror.

Cosmetic fillers like juvederm are substances that help smooth facial wrinkles and folds by bulking up the tissue underneath. The results last up to 18 months.

I have to say that I am now officially obsessed with juvederm! My eyes look less hallow, I have more fullness to my cheeks, and my laugh lines have been softened. I am more than happy with the results, and, much to my husband’s dismay, I will be saving for my next procedure.

The results of these anti-aging cosmetic injections are exactly what I was hoping for. My main concern is the cost, but I guess this gives me something to save for. Let’s put it this way – while my husband dropped close to 10k on a mountain bike (did someone say mid-life crisis), I guess it’s a small price to pay for my increased confidence and overall self-esteem.

Check out the video of my procedure below:

As you can see, the injections didn’t really hurt. After awhile, the area started to feel irritated. But after giving birth naturally (yes, sans drugs), these injections seemed like a walk in the park compared to that kind of pain!

Thinking of a cosmetic procedure for yourself?

These, and other anti-aging procedures, are not without risks. There’s the possibility of an allergic reaction to topical anesthetics or injectable fillers. But these procedures are considered less risky than cosmetic surgery. To assess your personal risks and benefits, talk to your dermatologist.

More about Afterglow Medical Aesthetics & Skin Care:

The team at Afterglow Medical Aesthetics & Skin Care believe strongly in corporate social responsibility. Their special role as health professionals enables them to give back to their communities and the world at large.

In 2002, Dr. Ebrahim travelled to Tibet to provide free medical services to the nomads of the eastern regions. In 2006, she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for BC Children’s Hospital.

In 2010 Dr. Ebrahim climbed to Mount Everest Base Camp with a mission to promote and support community-based education, especially for girls, in remote, under-serviced and war stricken areas of Northern Pakistan. She believes that the best hope for a peaceful and prosperous world lies in the education of all the world’s children.


Dr. Ebrahim latest community engagement brought her to the base-camp of K2 in Pakistan in an effort to support two initiatives: Opportunity International, a non-profit organization that assists people in Third World countries with micro-financing; and a private fund that assists in building schools for girls in Pakistan.


In 2012 Afterglow entered into a partnership with Opportunity International, providing small business loans and more in the developing world.

I would go back to Dr. Ebrahim in a heartbeat. She was warm, welcoming and a total professional. Stating that 99 percent of her clientelle do not tell their husbands about their procedures, I knew I was not being judged and in good hands with her.

Did you have a cosmetic procedure? What was your experience like?

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