Maybe you’re vehemently against cosmetic procedures. Maybe you’re all for them but have yet to give one a go. Whatever the case, you’re bloody here and that means you have some queries when it comes to arguably the most popular cosmetic procedure of all – Botox.

First myth-buster. You might think it’s rare for someone your age (I’m going to assume you land somewhere between 20 and 35) to have hit the Botox already. Wrong. In fact there’s a solid chance at least a few people in the room around you right now have gone under the needle.

See, there’s this very archaic view (fuelled no doubt by daytime TV soap stars) that Botox gives you frozen-face, and therefore looks ridiculously obvious. But reality is the treatment has come a long way. It’s less obvious, less invasive and actually pretty common. We asked Natalie Abouchar, Registered Nurse and founder of top Sydney clinic Privee to debunk a few more myths for us.

IT’S MULTIPLE INJECTIONS, NOT ONE GIANT ONE

Film and TV have given us this idea that Botox is one long needle into the forehead, but it’s actually several short bursts across the area you’re treating.

“The procedure is very quick. Injections take a few minutes,” says Natalie.

For example, if you’re getting your frown line done between your brows, your practitioner will ask you to frown so they can assess the area the wrinkle forms, then do a small injection. They will then ask you to frown again, and put another injection in a different area. These are small, relatively painless, and take a few seconds each.

YOU WON’T GET FROZEN-FACE IF YOU GO TO THE RIGHT PERSON

You really don’t have to worry about being expressionless – unless you don’t do your research.

“Frozen face is caused from using too high a dose. A good practitioner will listen to your needs and then be able to select the appropriate dose based on what look you want to achieve,” explains Natalie.

What does a good practitioner look like, you ask?

“Ask the right questions. Do they perform the injections regularly? Do they have qualifications in Australia either as a Registered Nurse, Physician or Dentist,” says Natalie. “Look at how they look, if the injector looks overdone and that’s not the look you want, then maybe choose someone who is more aligned with your taste.”

Also, if you’re concerned about losing expression, choose just one area to focus on for your first session. For example, if you get a frown line and some forehead lines, only get the frown line treated the first go. You’ll get used to the “look” and feel of Botox and then can continue from there if you want.

IT’S NOT PERMANENT

One thing loads of people get confused about is how long Botox lasts. It’s absolutely not permanent, and you don’t have to keep going once you go one time.

“The most common misconception is that once you start, you have to keep doing it or your face will collapse,” explains Natalie. “This is completely untrue. If anything, anti-wrinkle injections are a preventative treatment to keep wrinkles at bay and if the person chooses to stop then eventually it will just go back to how it was in the first place.”

Botox in the forehead usually lasts around 3-4 months at peak levels, and then gradually wears off over 6 months. Visually, you’ll just notice your frown becoming more noticeable over time, until the treatment completely wears off.

“You can stop treatments at any time, and if anything the skin will be improved even after stopping treatment,” says Natalie.

IT’S NOT REALLY THAT PAINFUL

Look it’s not a laugh-a-minute good time, but if you’re scared of needles in general – this is not like a NEEDLE needle.

“The pain is minimal, very similar to acupuncture needles,” explains Natalie.

Some people notice different areas of their forehead hurt more than others – usually where there is less tissue, say higher on the forehead as opposed to between the eyebrows. But overall it’s a minimal level of pain.

None of this means you should race out and fill your face with Botox, though. As Natalie explains, it’s important to find a practitioner who has the right credentials and understands the look you’re after.

And even though it’s a less permanent procedure than the mythology around it makes it out to be, it’s still – as with anything – worth a think about before committing.

Image: Keeping Up With The Kardashians