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"Here in the PNW we are definitely going for a natural look" -  Jaime Pedeferri/Owner of Eastside Eye Candy. (Image: I-STOCK) 

A Beginner's Guide to Botox

I've always been turned off by the idea of Botox. The needles, the 'poison' injected into your face - and the general vanity. I have friends that have been getting it done since they were in their mid-20's, and to be honest I always thought that was a bit ridiculous.

I prided myself that I wanted to 'age with grace' and embrace the lines on my face, because they tell my story.

But now that I'm in my mid-30's, I'm getting a little tired of that pride.

Instead of taking the word of celebrities with endless budget, and premiere doctors at their disposal, I wanted to get some facts and figures before even entertaining the option. Jaime Pedeferri is the owner of Eastside Eye Candy, and began her career at Harborview Medical Center in the plastic surgery and burn unit. After four years making a difference in the lives of those with severe injuries and complex surgery cases, Dr. Pedeferri took the biggest step - and opened Eastside Eye Candy in December 2011.

My first, and biggest question for her was this whole idea of prevention. I feel the the GO-TO refrain when I ask people why they get injections, is "It's preventative!"

Turns out, it's true.

"Prevention is key and the population is learning to start (Botox) when they start seeing lines at rest," said Dr. Pederferri. "We can reverse these shallow lines and continue to prevent them from returning. With consistent use the muscles start requiring less and less for the same result so it definitely pays off."

She said there is no set age of when you should start considering the treatment.

"It varies drastically, clients are anywhere from 18-45," she said. "It’s based on genetics, how strong the muscles are, skin texture and health, sun damage - the list goes on and on".

I think you know where this is going, at least for me personally. I tried it! After talking to Dr. Pederferri I totally drank the Koolaid, I'll be the first to admit it.

And I'm never going back. I paid $275 for my first session (praying my husband isn't reading this), and it was worth it. It didn't hurt, just felt like a pinch in the skin. And while I noticed a difference, it was small - thank GOODNESS. I wasn't ready to look like I had a frozen face.

"Here in the PNW we are definitely going for a natural look," said Pedeferri.

Botox starts to work very quickly but the cosmetic effect takes time. The full effect can come on gradually over two weeks, it's not an instant. You can't just get it once and call it a day, to see long-lasting results and prevent those nasty wrinkles you'll need to keep going back. Eventually the hope is that you only need to go in twice a year and that's a bonus because it ain't cheap.

Now is it safe? According to Botox Cosmetics, there can be some serious negative side effects but I've been told that this is extremely rare. Either way, you should really do all the research you can before you get it - and ask your primary care doctor if any medications or prior conditions you have might affect the process. For a complete roundup of Botox safety information visit, Botoxcosmetics.com.

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