A Slimmer Jaw with DR RACHEL HO
ON ROUTE TO A SHARPER FACE with jaw botox
“If you could, what’s one thing you’d change about your appearance?”
Well, I’ll go first. Since young, I’ve been blessed with an oval face, with a prominent jawline that I had always been happy about. It’s only until the recent years, that I realised the slim face I’ve taken for granted, is not always here to stay. If you’ve read my previous post on the laser treatments I’ve done with La Clinic, you’ll know that I was on a TCM oral medication which I suspected had steroids in it. And after months of consumption, my face has started to balloon (or more commonly known as the moon face effect). I began to feel self conscious about how chubby my face has became, and even embarked on a journey to lose weight as an attempt to reduce the fats on my face. Over months, my face has significantly deswelled, but I’ve lost the facial definition I used to have.
In one of my monthly laser sessions with Dr Rachel Ho, I casually voiced out my concerns and desire of wanting a more defined jaw and a v-shaped face. I’ve always thought it was fats that attributed to my then chubby-looking face. But Dr Rachel Ho explained that it might be due to my bulky masseter muscles. She began to assess my jaw by placing her hands on the both sides and asking me to clench. If you feel a bulk of muscle tensing up when you try doing that, it’s most probably the jaw muscles that resulted in your squarish-looking face. Dr Rachel Ho concluded that and suggested a jaw reduction treatment using Botox to help me achieve that slimmer-looking jaw.
For course, just as anyone else, I had my reservations and have tried to stay away from invasive treatments like such. But it was my lack of understanding that resulted in the fear and made me shy away from them. So, I decided to do my own research and read up about Botox before taking that leap of faith. Now, I’m sure we’ve all heard about scary Botox stories especially with the very recent incident happening in Singapore. How safe is Botox, exactly? Can it lead to death? I’m no professional here so let’s leave that to Dr Rachel Ho, who’s addressed that in her recent blog post here.
Another misconception is how they'd make your face looks expressionless/unnatural. As for the masseter muscles, that rarely happens. Because it is such a big muscle group, the amount of Botox injected wouldn’t have such a significant effect as to affect your chewing/make your face stiff in any way. If you have any concerns, the best way is to communicate with your aesthetic doctor. Most people don’t take this into consideration, but I feel that choosing an aesthetic doctor who shares the same principle and has a definition of beauty that aligns with yours is the first and most important step. Dr Rachel Ho has always strived for a more natural-looking face and aimed to improve our appearances instead of altering it entirely, which is what I truly appreciate. Hence, knowing that you’re in good hands of the right aesthetic doctor will instantly make you feel at ease, especially when it comes to achieving the results you’re hoping for using procedures you’ve never personally tried before.
I must say that, after that session with Dr Rachel Ho, I was so tempted to try out the treatment. Before all that, it’s essential that you familiarise yourself with the underlying usage of Botox, side effects/down time (if any) so you can plan ahead. The next thing to do would be to talk to your loved ones, and make sure that they are supportive of your decision. My mum was supportive, as she too, has a bit of understanding of Botox and what it does. But my boyfriend, on the other hand, was a tough nut to crack. He was skeptical initially, but eventually gave in when I convinced him that it will be safe and it’s something I really wanted to do.
Anyway, I’ve been contemplating about it for the longest time. But one fine morning, I woke up with a very sore jaw. It was then I realised I’ve been clenching my jaw unconsciously even in my sleep, as well as in the day. That was the wake up call I needed and I immediately schedule an appointment for the injection. My first treatment was done in early December, with another follow-up session (about one/two month(s) later) to see if there’s any top up required.
What Botox does
Botulinum toxin (or more commonly known as Botox - one of the brands of Botulinum toxin) is a muscle relaxer. They work by binding to nerve endings and effectively blocks out signals sent to our muscles for contraction. Such interference with signal transduction between the nerve endings and muscles prevents the muscles from contracting and relaxes them. Besides its usage in dermatology to treat conditions like wrinkles and bruxism, Botox has been used in a wide variety of medical specialties.
Now, let’s look at some before & after and see if you can notice any differences?
Before & After (side view)
The Before was taken in Nov’18 before the injection. And the After is taken in Feb’19, about two months after the injection where the results were most prominent.
If you can’t tell the difference from the image above, the RED dashed line is traced from the Before shot while the WHITE dotted line is traced from the After shot after overlapping the two images.
As seen in the Before shot, the side of the jaw was more squarish due to a bulkier masseter mussle. In the After image, the jawline has significantly smoothen to give an illusion of a softened face definition and smaller face shape.
Jaw Reduction with Botox
Botox jaw reduction refers to the injection of the drug into the masseter muscles, which lies at the sides of our jaw, and is responsible for chewing and clenching. When these muscles are constantly contracting/tensed, they become bulky, making our face looks broad and squarish. Botox, upon injection, helps to relax the jaw muscles. Over time, with less use of the masseter muscles, the sides of the jaw will shrink to give a sharper, slimmer face shape. This is because, as these facial muscles starts to relax, they eventually lose their bulk and mass.
And here are more before & after pictures:
Before & after (side view)
This is what I meant by overlapping and tracing the jawline to show you the differences, over one year.
The before was taken exactly a year ago, while the after was taken just a week ago. Even after almost six months from my injection, the effect of the Botox is still lasting and is even more obvious than the previous before & after shown.
The entire injection process took less than 10 minutes. You’d be surprised by how quick and painless it is - you don’t even need numbing cream! Instead, an ice pack will be applied to numb the sides of the jaw. I have a naturally high tolerance for pain, so I didn’t feel anything during the injection. But to be fair, it felt like an ant bite and the pain level is probably 1/10? Best thing about the treatment is that there’s absolutely no down time, and you can immediately resume your daily life. I didn’t experience any bruising post-injection and they are pretty uncommon. Note: avoid rubbing your face around the injection area so as to prevent the drug from spreading elsewhere.
If you think the contrast for the side view was just okay, here’s a front view that’ll shock you for sure hahaha.
Before & After (front view)
I mean, even without the tracing lines, you’d surely be able to see a stark difference in the before and after. The first one taken in Nov’18 and the second taken in mid Mar’19.
I’m really happy with the results as my face is obviously less chubby now, but I haven’t lost any weight. For a result this obvious, and a procedure that’s painless, would I go for jaw Botox injection again? In a heartbeat.
I can safely say that I’m more confident when taking pictures now as I no longer have to worry about unflattering angles. Having a sharper face also makes me look less like a kid and people can finally start to treat me seriously now (oops, just kidding.)
The results will gradually start to show over the course of a month. One thing for sure though, is that I can feel my muscle relax - I’m no longer using the muscles at the side as much. I no longer wake up to a sore jaw or find myself clenching my jaws unknowingly. That is amazing. My results were most significant after a month. Even my boyfriend who see me for the first time a few weeks after my treatment complimented me. The effects of Botox on my jaw has obviously made my face slimmer. While it might not seem like much, you’d be surprised by how the vibes you give out changes with just a slight change in your appearance. It’s also given me a confidence boost and I now feel more comfortable smiling in pictures, without having to worry if my face will look too chubby.
Once again, a huge shout out to Dr Rachel Ho for making the whole process so comfortable, addressing my concerns and following up with my post-injection progress. I couldn’t recommend her enough. If you wish to know more about Botox and its alternatives, head over to Dr Rachel’s post here. If you want to know how to achieve a slimmer-looking face using Botox, then read this.