In July last year, after seven years of research and deliberating, I finally got Botox. More specifically, I got Botox in Bali at Cocoon Medical Spa. I was thrilled. ZERO regrets (only that I hadn’t done it sooner).
My curiosity with Botox started seven years ago after a well-meaning friend suggested, pointing at my forehead, that I “should get that line seen to”. I replied with a snort and said “What, nip down and get Botox at lunch?” My friend shrugged and said “yeah, I do!” She wasn’t kidding. Every quarter, in her lunch break, she got her forehead lines sorted.
Even though my rather deep forehead crease hadn’t really bother me up till then, from that moment, I zeroed in on it every time I looked in the mirror or reviewed photos of myself. It turns out that several of my friends get botox – but it was all secret squirrels. I’ve deduced Botox is something a lot of people get on the regular: But don’t talk about. Since I’ve been open about getting it, several friends fessed up and said they get it too. So, knowing people around me had had it done (and they looked fantastic) further piqued my interest. I must confess, I now go about town objectively checking out foreheads.
When I knew we were going to Bali on holiday, thought I’d look into Botox, simply as I’d heard so many stories about folk holiday to Thailand or Bali and getting dental work and/or or cosmetic procedures. The motivation is that the service and quality of results is touted to be top notch and, critically, it’s often a fraction of the price in NZ. So, on this basis, I looked into Botox in Bali.
After, literally, hours of research, I settled in on Cocoon Medial Spa in Bali, just outside of Kuta. Cocoon Medical spa position themselves as a cosmetic and anti-aging skin clinic. Over email I made inquiries and then made an appointment online (which was super easy). I also emailed in with a few questions: Suffice to say communication was quick and professional and the online appointment process straightforward and simple. I asked a lot of questions and I wanted to learn more. At the end of the day, I am putting this in my face. The consultation on the day was free, so I figured if I had any reservations I could run for a cocktail on the beach and chalk the whole experience up to good research.
My initial thinking was I’d get botox on my forehead and look into some fillers for around my eyes. My overall goal was to lessen the appearance of my forehead wrinkles. This was my trouble area, the part of my face I didn’t like. Increasingly my son was asking me “what’s the matter Mum”. It seemed I’d developed a good case of Resting Bitch Face (or resting frowny face).
We were ushered down a hall to a waiting room, there were magazines, adverts and we were bought some hot ginger tea while we waited. We had a bit of a chuckle at an advertisement at the Clinic for Designer Vagina. There is, clearly, a variety of packages on offer here!
My consult was with Dr Josie Ong. She was warm, friendly and professional. Dr Josie asked a series of questions about what I wanted to achieve and she took some before photos on her iPad (these were heinous – I looked like a Shar Pei dog!)
We discussed options for Botox on my forehead and I asked about options for the fine lines around my eyes. I loved Dr Josie’s honesty. She shared that she didn’t feel she could achieve what I wanted around my eye area (fine lines) so I decided to just to proceed with Botox on my forehead. Dr Josie did a great job of managing my expectations, her recommendation was, as I was a Botox first timer, to go ‘light’: If I wanted a forehead that would be unmovable, then she would do that, however, that wasn’t her recommendation. I agreed completely with this: I didn’t want to be frozen. I have an expressive face, for the most part I wanted to maintain my facial expressions – just lose my tremendous RBF.
I ended up having 22 units of Botox on my forehead (you pay per unit). The total cost was NZ$198. Dr Josie and a Nurse were there for the treatment, I was covered in a blanket and made really comfortable: There professionalism was extraordinary.
The executive summary was, the whole experience was so low key, a complete non-event, I’m now wondering why I waited so long for something that bothered me so much.
I didn’t end up getting Botox after it wore off. How long did it last? By mid October, four months later, all benefits of Botox had disappeared. I’m (finally) writing this blog post in mid May and I’ve had Botox again, locally this time at the Caci clinic – I’m, once again, thrilled with the results.
Here’s a pic immediately after the procedure.
Here is me pulling the same face (eyebrows raised): Left is pre-procedure. Right is a week later.
I’ve done a bit of a brain dump below in terms of FAQs about my experience.
What was the pain factor?
In hospital they use a pain scale of 10, with one being a the low end, 10 being you are in agony. For me the pain was a one. The worst one felt like a small bee sting which was above my left eyebrow, that was a 1.5. This said – I have been through childbirth, had an abscessed pilonidal sinus, chopped off the small end of my little toe clowning around on an escalator wearing jandals, impacted and abscessed wisdom teeth, took off a large chunk of skin on the left side of my bike during a bike accident, and had a breast reduction. So, by perspective… This was a breeze. The nurse assisting Dr Josie removed my makeup on my forehead (she left my ‘brows on’ – boom!) numbed my forehead with an ice pack, then wiped me down with an alcohol wipe. Then Dr Josie went in with a needle.
How big was the needle?
Alex said it was quite a big bugger. I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to know.
What part of my forehead did I have done?
All of it. Including ‘the elevenses’ between my brows.
How many injections?
I’ve relied on Alex’s recollection of this – she thinks I had 8 injections… Maybe 10. I had 22 units of Botox in total (you pay per unit).
How much did it cost?
At the time of the exchange rate, I paid $198 for the entire procedure At Cocoon Medical Spa the consult is free, even if you elect not to proceed. You pay the equivalent of NZ$8.70 per unit of Botox. In NZ we pay, I believe, around NZ$18-22 per unit. Note, the same treatment at Caci Rotorua is… $525. Quite a difference. Back to Bali: I paid by credit card.
How long did the procedure take?
We talked for twenty minutes. The actual procedure took 8 mins. We were in and out in 45 minutes, which included filling out some paperwork (on an iPad!) and relaxing with a cup of tea as we arrived early! So if you are thinking about getting Botox done in your lunch break… You could!
Was I nervous?
No. I was excited and keen to find out about it. My biggest emotion was simple curiosity. I tend not to over-agonise about relatively big things. I text my husband when I was in India and said “let’s get a dog” (which we did). My husband and I decided to move from Napier to Rotorua over eggs Benedict one morning. Decisions like what dining room table to buy, on the other hand, keep me awake at night and render me into a complete state of indecision.
How long does Botox last?
I was told it lasts 3-6 months. In reality, mine lasted four months.
How long does the Botox take to come into effect?
1-2 weeks. That said, straight after the procedure we hailed a cab and went to Kuta to Sephora, at which point Alex said she could swear my forehead looked plumper. I actually noticed a difference after two days. By day 5 I was rapt with the results. We arrived home in NZ a week after the procedure. We’d left our son here with family. When we picked our son up of the bus, he pulled back from the hug and said “Mum! Did you get Botox?” Those that know you well will notice!
How did I feel ow did I feel straight after the procedure?
Five hours after the procedure my forehead felt slightly heavy. There was no pain whatsoever. I was told to expect some bruising, swelling or redness the next day – but that didn’t happen (if it had, I’d have covered it with makeup). Note, the second time I had this done (at Caci) I completely forgot I had it done, there was no heaviness at all.
What can you and can’t you do after Botox?
There was a list of after-care instructions, long story short, there was nothing major or life impacting. I went shopping, out for lunch, wandered around in 32 degree climes and then went back to our AirBNB and lazed by the pool (with a hat, and in the shade). I avoided alcohol for 24 hours.
How do I rate Cocoon Medical Spa?
I want to point out that there is nothing sponsored about this blog post: They didn’t know I have a blog, I booked with my non blog email! I went in as a ‘regular’ client: Because I am JoJo Regular. I didn’t even know if I was going to blog about the experience! Anyway, I give Cocoon Medical Spa top marks. I was thrilled with the procedure. Dr Josie was wonderful: Welcoming, friendly, switched-on, spoke excellent English (I was in Indonesia after all, so it’s worth mentioning) and was qualified.
We are headed back to Bali in August 2019. I’ll be paying Cocoon Medical Spa a visit!
Happy happy days. Laters resting bitch face.