It wasn’t that long ago that people couldn’t even say the word Botox out loud, and it was synonymous with rich Beverly Hills housewives. However, now people even have their Botox treatments during their lunch hour. Additionally, it’s not just mature women that are regularly getting injectables. More and younger women are doing the same. Instead of hoping to alleviate the appearance of wrinkles, these women are hoping to prevent wrinkles before they form.
What is preventative Botox?
I don’t have any wrinkles. However, when I frown or when someone says something incredibly confusing and stupid, lines appear on my face for a brief moment before disappearing completely. The aim of preventative Botox is to address these disappearing lines.
“A lot of people think that they’ll put Botox in their forehead and lines will never develop there, but that’s not it.” Sarmela Sunder, MD, a Los Angeles-based double-board-certified plastic surgeon, told WellandGood,
“If the lines aren’t there, you don’t need Botox, but if lines show up when you make a face and show up for a few seconds or minutes afterwards, that’s where you’re going to start developing permanent creases in the skin architecture, so you want to start doing Botox at that point to prevent those lines from laying down.”
How early is too early?
While the use of Botox is approved and available for patients over the age of 18, it’s advisable that you only start with preventative Botox treatments after the age of 25 because chances are that you won’t have enough lines to worry about before then.
So, does it work?
Unfortunately, I can’t answer this and there’s no real way to tell if preventative Botox will have a significant impact when you’re older. That said, isn’t prevention always better than cure?
Are there any drawbacks?
There’s a reason why your average 25-year-old isn’t regularly getting Botox, and that’s because the process is expensive. Also, if injected poorly, Botox can cause bruising, facial asymmetry, and drooping.
Additionally, and on a more ironic note, botox can actually make you look older.
“The other potential problem can be the recruitment of surrounding muscles giving rise to new lines such as bunny lines or under eyelid wrinkling,” said Dr. Shyamalar Gunatheesan, an Australian dermatologist, to Marie Claire.
So, how else can we prevent wrinkles?
“I would recommend starting with a tertiary complex vitamin A or retinoid at night instead, in conjunction with vitamin B3, vitamin C, and sunscreen in the day. Invest in evidence-based skincare instead,” says Dr. Gunatheesan.
Additionally, if you really want to get treatments, you can get into the habit of getting regular chemical peels, and incorporating microneedling into said treatments.
We live in an image-obsessed society. As such, it can be easy for younger people to fall under the pressures of looking perfect. It’s one thing if you want to do preventative Botox for yourself, but don’t let social media force you into doing expensive treatments,
“I would really advise young women to just be critical about the messages they’re getting about what they should look like and what sort of things they should do to make them look a certain way,” said Dana Berkowitz, a sociologist and author of Botox Nation: Changing the Face of America, to the Washington Post.