The once taboo treatment of injectables is now commonplace, with salons offering Botox right next door to bakeries selling sourdough bread at your local shopping center. Quick, almost painless, and increasingly affordable, it’s now the go-to procedure for fighting the signs of aging. While effective, it’s certainly not something everyone is on board with. And when it comes to a straight shot to the face, you’re either in one of two camps: sign me up or no thanks, sir.

While I’m open minded and cool with the occasional touch-up, it’s definitely not something I seek out as my number one solution at 27 years old. Enter Magen Darel of Verdem, a facialist offering up injectable-level facials – all without the needles.

While the likes of Gold and Diamond Facials were on the menu (the former being the same one used by Victoria’s Secret models) it was the Venofye Viper Lift Snake Venom Facial that I was game enough to go for.

But I had questions before I let someone rub venom all over my face. Why were the facial’s results better than Botox? Was he using actual venom? What were the different venoms doing to my skin? There was only one way to find out.

According to Magen, Botox targets only one area, while the facial works to reduce fine lines on the entire face. The bee and snake venom, a mix of real and synthetic venoms, penetrate the skin to hydrate and “freeze” it naturally. The next hour or so was spent cleansing, applying various products including a heated bio face mask and a royal jelly eye cream, cleansing again, and finishing with a serum and SPF. I walked away with my skin plump and literally glowing.