My Masseter Reduction Experience: 3.5 Week Review

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I recently had some “anti-wrinkle injections” done in my masseter muscles at Sydney Cosmetic Clinic in order to reduce their size. This is a really popular procedure in Korea where they’re obsessed with creating a “V-line” face with a soft jaw and a pointy chin. It’s becoming more popular in Western countries too.

Now I don’t have wrinkles in my jaw muscles, and I think you can easily guess what I got injected into my jaw, but since I was invited to get the procedure done, I’m covered by the TGA guidelines which forbid me from mentioning “active ingredients in such products and abbreviations of either the trade or ingredient names”. I’ve discussed how these procedures work in the past, but I thought I’d better explain why I’m not using the word in this particular post because it certainly seems weird.

With that out of the way, here’s my experience!

Why did I get this done?

Mostly curiosity, with a bit of vanity.

I’m a fan of “beauty at any age” and I don’t want the overly fake plastic surgery Barbie look. But I’m self-aware enough to realise that I’m genetically blessed to have reasonably attractive features and am lucky enough to be in a situation where my self-esteem is decent. Because of that, I don’t judge people who get cosmetic procedures, and I can imagine that my feelings towards getting them might change in the future.

(I guess the reason I’m putting all these metacognitive ramblings here is because I find it very weird that lots of beauty bloggers and vloggers get cosmetic procedures done and but few mention them – for fear of judgement, I assume. It’s especially weird when they put their face out there and expect people not to notice…)

I’ve inherited a rather square jaw shape from my mum. Additionally, my body likes to put on muscle (thanks dad!) and I like to eat, plus I grind my teeth a little in my sleep which has caused my masseter muscles to get a bit…swole. My mouth is also on the narrow side. This means that overall my jaw looks more square than average. While I’ve grown to accept this, it’s still one of the first places I contour, and I wouldn’t mind slimming it down a bit.

These injections paralyse muscles, which is why they’re used to freeze “wrinkles in motion”. They can also be used to stop the masseter muscles from activating as much, so they wither down over time. The effects aren’t as radical as for V-line surgery where they shave down and move around bits of your jawbone, but it’s a lot less painful, less expensive and far far safer – and for some people, these injections can make a huge difference, depending on your anatomy.

The nighttime jaw clenching has also meant that I often wake up with a sore jaw. These injections are also sometimes used to treat this, so I figured this treatment could conveniently help on that front too!

The Injections

My masseter reduction injections were performed by Dr George Mayson at the Sydney Cosmetic Clinic, situated in the CBD about 5 minutes from Town Hall station, opposite Hyde Park. Dr Mayson was the first person to start performing these cosmetic injections in Australia back in 1994, and was trained first-hand by Dr Jean Carruthers who pioneered the treatment, so I knew I was in good hands.

I get nervous about needles and injections, so I was feeling pretty jittery in the waiting room. But the receptionist made sure I felt comfortable and answered all my panicky questions cheerfully (“Does it hurt? No really, does it hurt? Are you sure?”). She reassured me that it would be less painful than a vaccine, which I really doubted at the time. I filled in some forms and read a very detailed information booklet on the active ingredients while I waited.

I was led into one of the rooms, where Dr Mayson examined me and marked out my masseter muscles with a pencil. He described what the expected results would be based on my face shape, and talked me through the details of the process.

I received 25 units in each side – the exact amount you get varies depending on what your anatomy is like, and on which brand is used. There were about 16 injections in total, which sounds like a lot but it was over very quickly thanks to the tiny volume of each injection! Each side took around 10 seconds.

My Masseter Reduction Experience

And the receptionist was right – it did hurt less than a vaccine! All I felt was a mild stinging which went away after a few minutes, with none of the tender feeling I usually get after a vaccine. Vaccines use thicker needles (23-25 gauge for vaccines vs the 32 gauge insulin needles commonly used for these cosmetic injections), and a lot more liquid is injected into one spot very slowly (I swear I end up telling the injector my entire life story while the vaccine needle’s in my arm). Since the masseter is a pretty big muscle as well, it’s meant to hurt less than the forehead where the injector can accidentally hit the bone, although this happens very rarely, especially with an experienced injector. The anticipation was way worse than actual procedure!

Immediately After the Injections

Afterwards, you’re not meant to rub the injected areas for four hours to avoid spreading the ingredient and weakening nearby muscles. There’s a risk of bruising and swelling for a day or so afterwards, but all I had were tiny injection marks that people at work didn’t notice. Here’s what my cheek looked like 6 hours later (some of the red dots are actually old pimple marks).

My Masseter Reduction Experience

The Results

It takes a few days for the injections to set in, and the visible effects increase over the first couple of weeks and reach a maximum after 2 to 9 weeks, depending on who you ask. Typically masseter reduction takes a bit longer than other treatments for visible effects, since not only do the muscles need to be paralysed, they also need time to atrophy.

Going to sleep the first night felt a bit weird, though I think it was mostly the fact I was more conscious of my jaw than usual. The next few mornings though, my jaw felt especially weird – from a notable lack of stiffness! Clearly, the injections do work very quickly for jaw grinding (although the issues will return after they wear off in 3-9 months time).

Interestingly, I found that after a long chewy jerky eating session a week later (I am a disgusting eatbeast), muscles near the front of my face started aching – probably because they were being used more now to compensate for the loss of strength of the masseter muscles. Don’t enter any extreme chewing competitions after these treatments.

As for the jaw slimming – here are some before and after shots at 3.5 weeks. It turns out that it’s a lot more difficult to take photos from the exact same angle! I’ve tried my darnedest to dig up some good examples though, so hopefully you get an idea of the effects they had on me so far. It’s subtle, but definitely noticeable! I’ve especially noticed the difference when posing for selfies – my usual angle no longer looks the same!

Unflattering bathroom selfies with the contrast amped up to show the effects more clearly. The first photo is the day of the injection, the second is three weeks later. You can see how my face shape has gotten softer around the jawline.

My Masseter Reduction Experience
Here are some nicer selfies where I happened to be in similar poses, before and after the procedure. The after photos were taken after a dance performance when I was really feeling my makeup…again, the corner of the jawline is where the biggest difference is (I’m craning my neck a bit less in the after photo too).

My Masseter Reduction Experience My Masseter Reduction Experience
And I can achieve the same snatched face shape without duckface.

My Masseter Reduction ExperienceMy Masseter Reduction Experience

It’ll be interesting to see if any more changes occur in a few more weeks!

Verdict

Would I get this done again? I’m not sure – while I’m impressed that such a quick, virtually painless procedure is able to change the shape of my face, my original jaw shape and the pain from grinding doesn’t bother me enough to justify the price. If my masseters grow to the point where they really annoyed me it would be worth it – in the worst case scenario where it only lasts 3 months, this treatment typically works out to be $4-14 a day in Australia (less after the first treatment, as the muscles won’t need as much product once they’ve been reduced). Again, we’ll see if there are more noticeable differences before I give my final verdict!

What do you think of masseter reduction injections? Share your thoughts below!

This procedure was provided for review, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

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31 thoughts on “My Masseter Reduction Experience: 3.5 Week Review”

  1. Interesting!! To me your results are subtle, I don’t know if I would have noticed if you hadn’t used specific comparison pictures.
    I am interested in how this affects your teeth grinding. I clench my jaw at night and my night guard only helps with the grinding, but not the clenching. I still get terrible soreness, although the night guard has decreased the wear on my teeth. I wonder if this is something that is done in Canada?

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  2. Can’t really comment functionally (compulsive and painful bruxing and clenching is not something I experience, and I imagine the cost could readily be justified by someone if the injections did work and they had the lifetime budget to afford it), and the aesthetic result is really up to the individual. My eye likes your face any old way — erm, your skin is fantastic, obviously, and I covet it — but I do prefer the fuller, square, ‘swole’ look from the ‘before’ photographs. The first set of photographs (day of, and three weeks later) does seem to show a difference. Will be interesting to hear about any visible and physical changes down the line.

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  3. Interesting, but not for me. Not that I mind cosmetic procedures, I haven’t had any so far, but that may change in the future, simply because my masseter is not an area of issue for me.
    The diffence is there, but subtle, just like I would want it from a treatment like this.

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  4. Hey Michelle,

    You look lovely in both, but I personally prefer your ‘before’ pics. It just looks more ‘You’! But kudos for having the courage to try out something new like this!! Oh and in the very first pic (before) what blush and lipstick are you wearing? Love that!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. The differences seem subtle to me also. I preferred the look of your jawline in the before pictures. I would be tempted to do it if I had the money because I grind my teeth. I’ve had to get four crowns over the past 15 years. Now I wear a mouthguard which seems to work at protecting my teeth. It would be nice to sleep without it however.

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      • Oh, I’m sorry! I’ve had good results with the temporary mouth guards. I buy them on Amazon, Plackers Grind No More Dental Night Protector. You’re supposed to use them one night only, but I can get a week or so use out of them. I have found them to be the most comfortable.

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  6. Beauty is so subjective. I always thought a defined jaw was more attractive, hence I prefer your before photos. (think Angelina Jolie, Olivia Wilde, and so many gorgeous examples!) Anyway, that’s my own opinion ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. I have wanted to do this soooo badly. I grind my teeth so hard I’ve cracked several fillings, and my masseters stick out enough to make my face look more broad then I would like. I wish it wasn’t so expensive though. It’s a lot to bite in to at once (pun intended). At the rate of USD$12/unit in my doctor’s office, it’s more than the usually more expensive filler!

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  8. I’m still waiting to see a neurologist to get said injections for my tension headaches and TMJ… The fact that you mentioned the compensation other jaw muscles make in chewing are kinda giving me worries now.

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    • I’ve only actually noticed it once so far after eating some really chewy jerky that I was determined to get through, so I doubt it’s a common issue!

      Reply
  9. This is so great. I was literally told two weeks ago from my dentist that I have bruxism which explains my constant headaches and bitten cheeks as well as sensitive molars. I grind and clench and have noticed over the years how my face has lost its v shape. I thought it was due to age but according to my dentist it’s the massetter muscle that is huge from my excessive tension and grinding. He highly recommended Botox to fix the problem and I’ve been thinking about it since and now I’ve made my decision based on your review

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  10. You are courageous! I have no issues with anyone having cosmetic procedures, after all, it’s their face/body! I am too fearful of the side effects (that’s not to say someday I won’t change my mind) – that I’d be the one in however many to have a bad reaction to a product or a procedure. You look great in both the before and after – I have a slight preference before because I happen to prefer a more defined jawline (seeing as mine is slacking naturally with age).

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  11. I’m super intrigued by this as I also tend to clench/grind my teeth at night, and I feel like we have a similar face shape. Thanks for sharing before and afters! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  12. I think it is so great that you share this and be so honest about it. And I don’t like the current trend of edgy face shapes and contouring them even more, I prefer soft ๐Ÿ˜€ So I think it suits you very well.

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  13. This is a topic I’ve never really heard about, but I think it’s interesting. The effect isn’t all that visible (at least I can’t tell) but it does sound quite interesting :o.

    I’m sure we have such a procedure here, but the prices are just out of the roof.

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  14. Certainly an interesting post! I can see the difference. It’s small, but it’s there. I love your sentiments haha, I giggled a few times (‘eatbeast’).
    I am also a teeth grinder, it’s not good.
    I admit that at first I balked at you getting this done, you have such lovely features. But alas, as you’ve alluded to, the reason people hide their cosmetic treatments is the fear of the dreaded backlash. Who am I to judge anyone, I lightly contour my face every day LOL. However, I guess I already have the thin chin going for me, with my heart shape haha. Though I will say that it’s sad that a particular face shape is preferred. I find all face shapes so beautiful in their own right. Though I’m sure no lady wants to have a manly chin haha. (You don’t. And putting on muscles is awesome, it keeps you fit and slim hehe). <3

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  15. Hey Michelle! Thank you so much for the informative post! I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind telling me if you ever re-did the procedure? I ended up doing it about 3 months ago and I’m not really in love with the skinner version of my jaw. I can feel the muscle working harder now but I still look emaciated! How long was it before you went back to looking the same as before?

    And for the record, you looked great before and after!

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      • Hi Michelle,

        I just had this done and I am instantly afraid I was too haste. i am concerned that my sharp jawline will never return, even after the botox ha worn away.

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    • Hi Iris,
      Has your jaw now gone back to normal? I also had this done about two months ago and hate the results, waiting for my face to go back to how it was before and am hoping it wonโ€™t be too long!

      Reply
  16. ” But Iโ€™m self-aware enough to realise that Iโ€™m genetically blessed to have reasonably attractive features”

    You are extremely ugly. Try fixing your teeth for starters.

    Reply

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