On her never-ending quest for a glowing complexion GTG’s Beauty Director, SJ tried a new Botox facial that doesn’t freeze the face but reduces pore size and shine. Here’s how she got on

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When I got an email asking if I would like to try a new treatment by aesthetic doctor, Dr Antoni Calmon called the Botox Mist Facial, I was instantly intrigued. I love Botox and face mists so assume this is going to somehow fuse the two together. I book myself into his clinic in Marylebone (he travels between London and Paris to treat patients) immediately. It is, in fact, a treatment focusing on reducing pore size, lessening shine and oil production on the skin and is therefore ideal for anyone with combination skin (like me), oily skin or for anyone with acne.

What is the Botox Mist facial?

While it is named a ‘mist’ facial, nothing is misted onto the skin. A needle is involved and the skin gets injected quite a few times, so if you are needle-phobic this is not the treatment for you.

Yes,  Botox is injected into the skin, but it doesn’t go deep enough to freeze facial muscles. So if you’re looking for your face to stop moving, this is also not the treatment for you.

Don't expect any spa-facial vibes. This treatment sits between a medical-grade facial and an injectable tweakment. Calmon describes it as “a treatment to boost skin quality.”

Calmon devised the treatment in light of medical studies about the benefits of Botox beyond freezing facial muscles. “Botox has so many fields of expertise and works on so many different things such as helping reduce sweating, it can be injected into the trap muscles around the neck to make it look more elongated and even in the calf muscles. But I had read a study about people who had a lot of Botox applied to their forehead who were finding that it was migrating to the skin surface and tightening the pores and improving the quality of their skin. I wanted to isolate that process so that we could get the effect on the skin without the muscle freezing. And by microdosing it superficially into the dermis it does just that. The Botox works with the muscle fibres in the pores and reduces the production of sweat and acne and tightens them making the skin look more unified.”

How does it work?

Left: micro-fine needle, middle: with numbing cream, right: during the treatment

Calmon injects a diluted Botox solution into the dermis and pores using a micro-fine needle. He has gone through a few iterations to find the perfect ratio of Botox in the solution to make a difference to the skin without having any effect on the facial muscles. And has found the sweet spot to be 20 per cent Botox combined with saline and skin-boosting vitamins such as Zinc (also known to help tighten pores), hydrating hyaluronic acid and brightening vitamin C.

This Botox-vitamin combo is then injected mainly around the t-zone but it is tailored to the individual. I have quite a few enlarged pores on my cheeks and chin and less on my forehead so I have more injections in those zones.

In terms of how it is administered, Calmon speedily (the treatment took about ten minutes in total) injects the diluted Botox solution into the dermis, the very top layer of the skin. I had numbing cream applied all over my face beforehand, which takes longer to kick in than the needlework does - about 15 minutes. I lost count of the number of injections after 40. Thanks to the numbing cream it was painless although the injections into my nose did make my eyes water slightly but it was over within seconds.

Because the solution is injected so close to the skin’s surface you are temporarily left with little bubbles on the skin that disappear after about 20 minutes - don't worry, you don’t go home looking like a piece of Lego. Although I wouldn’t make any big plans for straight after as your skin may look a bit red, as mine did. It took a few hours for the redness to subside and I had a teeny tiny freckle-sized bruise on one cheek that disappeared after a few days.

You also shouldn’t get really hot for three days after the treatment. So no saunas or intense workouts to prevent the solution from leaving the skin too quickly but unlike a ‘regular’ Botox treatment you can lie down straight after if that’s what you’re planning on doing.

Calmon says the results are obvious after three days and last about four months.

Who should have the Botox Mist facial?

This is definitely one for oily skin types that are looking to reduce shine and the size of pores but still want full facial expression and movement. It can be done alongside other treatments such as regular Botox for muscle freezing as well as mesotherapy.

The Botox Mist Facial: our verdict

I am the most aggravating type of person. I am time-poor, so lengthy treatments are a no-no yet, like the rest of the world, I want results almost instantly. This treatment ticks all of those boxes.

The fact the whole thing was done and dusted in less than 30 minutes is a big plus for me. And while I didn’t look great straight away, arguably the opposite, the fact that I knew things were happening to my skin pleased me greatly. Three days later I could see that my pores had shrunk and my skin looked great. It’s hard for me to quantify by how much my pores have shrunk, but what I can tell you is that I have always had to make sure my foundation is buffed in perfectly as it can easily settle in my pores making them look even more obvious and post-treatment I haven't had to think about that at all.

I don’t suffer from acne but Calmon tells me that he’s seen great results on those that do because of it reducing sebum production and tightening up pores which I can well believe from what I’ve experienced.

Because of my skin type, I can easily slip into looking quite oily and a bit greasy rather than the glow that I’m desperately seeking. This treatment has brought my oil levels down so that I now don’t need to do a midday powder application and I believe keeps me on the right side of looking luminous not like a sweaty mess.

How much does it cost?

The Botox Mist Facial with Dr Antoni Calmon costs £450. Which is approximately the same price as a ‘regular’ Botox treatment would cost depending on the number of areas treated.

SJ had the Botox Mist facial at Dr Antoni Calmon's London clinic: 25-27 George Street, London, W1U 3QA . 020 7486 4168