One of the most common questions I receive at my practice is “when should I start getting BOTOX?” A few years ago, getting BOTOX injections was something women typically didn’t think about until their 40s or 50s, and they kept it hush-hush. Today, it is not uncommon to see women getting it as a 25th birthday present and talking about it openly.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to temporarily improve the look of moderate to severe forehead lines, crow’s feet lines, and frown lines between the eyebrows in adults. BOTOX lasts roughly 3-4 months depending on your body. BOTOX can help reduce the “11’s” that form between your eyebrows and it can relax a furrowed brow by freezing the muscles that you use. If BOTOX is done correctly, it’s subtle enough to relax wrinkles without impeding facial movement.
What is preventative BOTOX?
Preventative BOTOX is the term that has been marketed to people in their 20s and 30s, as a way to encourage them to get the procedure done to prevent wrinkles and fine lines from forming in the first place. While there is some merit to this concept (many lines and wrinkles are created from repeated muscle movement), it won’t prevent your skin from aging. Fortunately, there are a lot of options for twenty- and thirty-somethings to help keep their skin in a healthy, youthful state as they age. And the earlier you start taking care of your skin, the better off it will fare as you age.
My take on BOTOX is that it is beneficial – just look at some before and afters here. My take on “preventative BOTOX” is a little different. Done by the right practitioner, with a very conservative approach, it can help stave off some of those fine lines across your forehead and around your eyes. But it shouldn’t be the first (or only) anti-aging treatment you seek out in your 20s and 30s.
What can I do to treat my skin right?
Avoid the Sun – Sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats and doing whatever you can to keep the sun off of your face, neck, AND chest is essential when dealing with your skin. While many of us love that summer glow, it’s anything but healthy for your skin. With advances in self-tanners, you can easily achieve a realistic sun-kissed look and keep your face moisturized all while avoiding the damaging rays of the sun (your number one culprit in the skin aging process). Even one bad sunburn contributes to premature skin aging and greatly increases your chances of skin cancer.
Invest in Quality Skincare – Get in the habit of developing a good skin care routine in your younger years (and if you haven’t yet, it’s never too late to start).
- Thoroughly cleanse your face every night to remove all traces of makeup and environmental toxins from the day (no excuses!). A great trick here is to keep high-quality cleansing wipes in your bedside table for those late nights when you fall into bed and are just too exhausted to get back up to wash your face.
- Nighttime is a great opportunity to help repair the sins of the day with a high-quality serum and deep moisturizer.
- Gently cleanse your skin in the morning (we love micellar water for this) before jumping into your “purify & protect” layers of Vitamin C serum and sunblock (chemical-free).
Watch What you Eat (AND Drink) – Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and then hydrate some more. Skin is a living organ and how we eat and drink has a huge impact on the health and appearance of our skin today and as we age. Stay away from salty and sugary snacks, try to stick with fruits and vegetables (minimal meat) and you’ll be doing your skin a favor from the outside in. Avocados, walnuts and even dark chocolate (yes, you read that right) are great options for healthy skin.
What used to be hush, hush or feared as “frozen face” is accepted as a regular part of many women’s anti-aging regimen. BOTOX is talked about openly by celebrities, athletes, soccer moms (and dads) and young professionals alike. The stigma behind it is disappearing and rightfully so! BOTOX can work wonders in the right circumstances, and when injected by a qualified provider. As with any anti-aging or skincare procedure, do your homework on your provider, know and communicate what results you are hoping to achieve, and work together to create a treatment plan that is customized to your needs. And always ensure you are getting a consultation with no strings attached and no pressure to receive a procedure.