Notebooks out and pens at the ready, it’s time to learn more about Hollywood’s favourite open secret: Botox. Botox is renowned for paralysing parts of the face and leaving you looking serene and wrinkle free. But what is actually happening?

Sciencey stuff

Botox is a trade name for botulinum toxin A (which sounds way scarier than just botox).

There is a bacterium known as Clostridium botulinum that you catch with food poisoning, and botulinum toxin A is one of the neurotoxins produced. There are sevens types of botulinum toxins, types A through G, and basically they attach themselves to nerve endings in the body.

From a more serious dose, botulism can cause paralysis and even death the acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter in charge of triggering muscle contractions and allowing you to move, can’t be released. For example, if someone injected it into your heart like in Pulp Fiction, your heart would not be able to pump anymore and you wouldn’t be in a good state. Likewise, deaths that have occurred from botulism is from the respiratory muscles becoming paralysed.

Botox is used to treat all kinds of things in the body, especially those that involve involuntary or overactive muscle spasms. This includes post-stroke spasticity, post-spinal cord injuries, spasms, jaw and oesophagus clenching, and even improper eye alignment. Sufferers from migraines and even chronic sweaters may also find relief in Botox.

So why are people injecting it into their faces cosmetically? Simply put, if it can’t move it can’t wrinkle. Many doctors and cosmetologists recommend getting Botox in your younger years as a way to prevent over expressionism and avoid wrinkles (don’t forget your SPF daily!)

Getting jabbed

So you’ve used your BloomMe app to book in a cheeky botox appointment and completed all patch tests and selfies to compare the before and after. My goodness, you are organised!

The best thing you can do is to avoid any aspirin or ibuprofen before your appointment (it can create a small injection site bruise). If you are a smoker, be aware that you may also get a small bruise. Be sure to let your technician know any existing medical conditions, whether you think they are relevant or not it is better to be safe than sorry.

Make sure you clean your face of any makeup or sweat (almost impossible in Hong Kong summer).

Most people will find that a botox appointment is 90% discussing the process and then 5% of the actual treatment followed by a 5% chit chat at the front desk. Your technician will offer you a topical anaesthetic to numb the area being treated, followed by an ice pack to cool the area and then a precise jab from the Botox fairies.

Generally speaking, you can continue about your day directly after the treatment (shopping, brunching, riding the escalators to Conduit road and back, etc.) Try to avoid rubbing the area directly after the treatment, and as always ask questions if you aren’t feeling too great.

What can it do for me?

After getting jabbed by a licensed technician, the effects of botox aren’t visible for a while (the old movie gag of people leaving the salon paralysed immediately are a myth!) and it will last anywhere up to 3 months. There were rumours floating around on the interwebz that you couldn’t lie down for four hours after your appointment or get on a plane. Good news is that you can do either or both (lie down on a plane).

You may have some slight swelling or tenderness around the injection point, and if you have any other concerns make sure to discuss them with your wonderful salon staff.


Time to get jabbed? Look no further than the vast choices available on the BloomMe app. Just remember to take before and after photos so you can see how fabulous those botox technicians can make you!

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Notebooks out and pens at the ready, it’s time to learn more about Hollywood’s favourite open secret: Botox. Botox is renowned for paralysing parts of the face and leaving you looking serene and wrinkle free. But what is actually happening? Sciencey stuff Botox is a trade name for botulinum toxin A (which sounds way scarier…