When Botox was first approved for cosmetic use in 2002 it was sold as a way for those with ingrained wrinkles to look younger again. A decade later, some aesthetic specialists are pitching Botox as the means for the young to avoid getting worn-in wrinkles altogether. People in their twenties are now rapidly becoming consumers of “preventative” Botox, a treatment system designed to keep fine lines and deep folds from forming by keeping wrinkle-creating muscles permanently lax. While some cosmetic experts see it as the future of wrinkle reduction, others are concerned about advocating treatment for skin conditions that haven’t yet manifested.
Injectable wrinkle-reducers like Botox are designed to paralyze specific muscles linked to wrinkle-forming facial expressions. A quick jab to the glabellar muscles between the eyebrows relaxes tense frown lines, and an injection to the orbicular muscle will vanish crows feet. For many years, cosmetic doctors made the decision of where to inject based on the wrinkles present, but some dermatologists are now asking why people should wait for wrinkles to show up at all before starting muscle-taming facial treatments.
Dr. Debra Jaliman, dermatologist and the author of the book Skin Rules, is one of the biggest proponents of early skin treatments such as Botox to avoid wrinkle-settling later on. "If you know you're somebody who's going in the direction of cosmetics and you know that you're going to care about lines, then I say it's better to do it earlier than to wait and do it once these lines have etched into the skin," Jailman told ABC News in a recent interview. Part and parcel with this argument is the idea that a little Botox now may prevent having to pay for a costlier cosmetic treatment, such as facelift surgery, further down the road.
The idea of earlier Botox-ing is catching on with young adults, further enforced by younger celebrities like the 31-year-old Kim Kardashian, who openly uses dermal injectables. According statistics published by the American Society for Plastic Surgeons, the number of people in their twenties getting Botox injections has risen by at least 10% per year from 2009-2011, and there’s no sign that the trend is slowing.
While the logic of early Botox does have some merit, many see the preventative route as a long and expensive one. Collagen, the protein that gives skin much of its youthful lift, begins steadily decreasing in production during most people’s mid-twenties, with most of the wrinkle-causing collagen deficiencies appearing around age forty. For a treatment that works around three to six months at a time, the costs whole decades of Botox use may add up.
Dr. Arthur Perry, a New Jersey plastic surgeon and author of Straight Talk About Cosmetic Surgery, estimates that the choice to start Botox treatments in your twenties could cost over $30,000 dollars by the age forty. "The concept of trying to prevent future wrinkles is nutty," Perry told ABC News on the matter. "You don’t want to use a drug unless you need the drug, and Botox is a drug."
The practicality of preventative Botox gets further complicated when you consider the fact that some people develop a resistance to the serum over time, in a phenomenon doctors have yet to understand. But, as always in the cosmetic realm, alternatives abound. People who have loss their success with Botox can switch to similar Dysport or Xeomin, and collagen restoration treatments like the Thermage treatment can produce facelift-like results with only radio wave energy.
However and whenever you choose to use Botox, make sure you have a detailed discussion with a doctor about the risks and benefits of extended use. If you’re interested in a free consultation with an experienced Botox doctor, contact us! Botox Forum can schedule you an appointment at a cosmetic clinic in your area today!