Most people are familiar with Botox as a cosmetic treatment to smooth out wrinkles.  This sought-after ‘wonder jab’ boasts numerous celebrity fans and has been used in cosmetics for over 15! Botox is normally administered by a qualified doctor or nurse injector and we’ve interviewed one of the UK’s leading injectors, Dr Mansoor Ahmed, to find out a little more about the world’s most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment…

Here are some facts that may surprise you…


  1. Botox – where it all started

Botox (Botulinim toxin) was first developed in 1978 in San Francisco and was originally designed to treat eye spasms.  Since then, the applications for Botox has grown and grown. It has been used to treat everything from migraines, facial tics and foot pain, to bladder spasms and even cerebral palsy. Did you know, the NHS currently offers Botox for the treatment of chronic migraines?

The first documented use of Botox in cosmetics was in 1989 by a plastic surgeon in California to correct forehead asymmetry. But how exactly does it work?

“Botox is a natural purified protein used to relax muscles, with the active ingredient derived from bacteria in sterile lab conditions,” says Dr Ahmed. “It relaxes facial muscles that cause dynamic lines when you smile or frown, which smooths out lines and prevents new ones forming.”


  1. Your face won’t freeze!

Not so long ago, the trend was to paralyse every muscle that moved, but that’s no longer the case. It’s all about the natural effect. Injecting is a fine art, the appropriate concentration of Botox is also paramount to achieving the desired amount of muscle relaxation to avoid a completely frozen look.

“You want to simply soften the motion and allow the brow to elevate just a little to soften out the crow’s feet. You really have to know where to place [the Botox],” says Dr Ahmed “You’re trying to relax the depressor muscles (those that pull the face down) so as to allow the elevator muscles to have more pull.”

It’s important to choose an experienced injector who knows what they are doing. For example, too much lift to the brow and you end up with the Jack Nicholson look!


  1. It’s all about the whole face contour

Most people think Botox is only used for the upper face (the lines around the eyes and forehead and between brows) and that fillers are used for the lower face. Although this is often the case, Botox can have a dramatic effect when strategically used on areas of the lower face.

“Before big occasions such as Christmas parties, I’m always busy with injecting appointments for the neck area,” reveals Dr Ahmed. “In your late thirties and forties, you start to see bands on the neck even when you’re not clenching. These bands pull the jawline and the gullet down so you lose that nice jaw definition.”

But the amount injected needs to be minuscule: “Botox in the neck really slows down ageing, but if you overdo it, it can accelerate it,” adds Dr Ahmed.


  1. Botox – don’t sweat it!

Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) is a real problem and an embarrassing one too! Botox has been used to help this condition. A Botox injection into the problem area (underarms, palms of the hands or soles of the feet), can prevent the release of a chemical that signals the sweat glands to activate. Often requested before an important event such as a wedding day or milestone interview when a sweat patch is just not a good look!

Results can last up to a year!


  1. Botox – A recipe for Happiness?

A study by the University of Wisconsin (published in the US journal Psychological Science) has found that because Botox doesn’t allow you to physically frown when unhappy, this reduces the intensity of feeling sad. Without Botox, your brain would normally signal your forehead to frown, but as the loop now gets disrupted, the intensity and your ability to comprehend the sad feeling also lessens.


Dr Ahmed concludes, “This research shows that Botox (when administered correctly and by an experienced injector) could be more than just a remedy for your wrinkles.  Whether you feel better due your improved looks (look good/feel good philosophy) or because of changes in your neurology, the fact that it can boost your mood is an important feature.”


Laser or IPL? Which one is best?

The question that still burns!

Even after 20 years of performing hair removal using light based technology, I still get asked time and time again by both clients and fellow aesthetic therapists.

There are two camps of people. IPL is best camp and Laser is the only way camp.

To answer the question of ‘which is best’ is neither quick or easy, so I will simplify the pros and cons of each.

First, a brief explanation of the two types of light is needed.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). This technology is basically a very powerful lightbulb. IPL delivers a broad spectrum of light, Eg. It delivers a range of different colours. IPL produces a bright flash of light that you can see. It has much more heating effect in the surface of the skin.

LASER (Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation)

Hair removal lasers all produce only Infrared type of light. Infrared is invisible type of light, and is just one part of the light spectrum. The laser beam is straight and concise which means all the energy is concentrated into a small beam and is more precise. Laser energy penetrates a bit deeper into the skin and causes less heating on the skin surface than IPL.

laser-hair-technologySo, Which is best Laser or IPL?

This depends on two main factors.

  1. The quality and the power the machine is able to deliver.
  2. The skin and hair type that needs treating

QUALITY AND POWER: Because lasers are precision engineering, they generally only work if they are well made. Of course some lasers are better quality than others, but even the lower quality laser machines will work to a reasonable standard.

IPL, however, is very different. There are a lot of poor quality IPL machines being used in clinics and salons. They contain lightbulbs with poor energy output.

Low quality IPL machines also have less ability to control the energy output. They are made more simply so the operator needs less training and very little thought is needed to adjust treatment settings.

This is maybe why I get many clients who say they had lots of IPL treatment and it didn’t work.

However, a well made good quality IPL will have high energy output and the ability to adjust the treatment settings. This means good training is needed so the operator can tailor best parameters for your skin and hair type.

A good quality IPL can be as good as a laser to achieve hair removal results.


This makes IPL more risky when treating tanned skin or very dark skin types.

Treatment Exceptions

The exceptions are when it comes to treating three types of skin:

  1. Recently Tanned Skin.
  2. African and Caribbean skin types.
  3. Lighter Hair Types (Caucasian, white people).

In the first two skin types, the NdYAG type laser is the safest choice of laser. NdYAG laser has the least heating effect in the surface of the skin because it is less absorbed by pigmentation, so the risk of a surface skin burn is greatly reduced.

As opposed to IPL that has much greater heating effect at the skin surface. This makes IPL more risky when treating tanned skin or very dark skin types.

In the third skin type: Light skin types that have medium to light brown, or dark blond hair. This lighter type of hair does not get hot very easily and does not absorb light very well.

IPL has a better heating effect in these lighter hair types. I have found much better results on lighter hair types when using a good quality IPL than with an NdYAG laser.

To find out more visit our Laser and IPL treatment page or book a free consultation call:

Telephone: 0330 223 1009

Text: 07909 516577