Botox can eradicate existing signs of facial aging, but should you be getting them in your twenties? Avignon Clinic founder and CEO Christopher Cachuela and dermatologist Dr. Nancy Gabiota weigh in.
Since its approval for cosmetic use, Botox has been a part of popular culture. It has persisted for more than a decade, popping up in everything from a Samantha Jones quip (“Honey, you know me, I don’t really believe in marriage; now Botox, on the other hand, that works every time”) to a recent Instagram Story filter.
Many of Hollywood’s most famous faces also admit to getting these facial injections. The likes of Cameron Diaz, Cindy Crawford, Vanessa Williams, and Courtney Cox have candidly shared their experiences with Botox in press interviews.
It would make sense why actors get procedures like this done. From a practical point-of-view it can land them younger roles, and ultimately last longer in the industry—although we understand that very notion can be problematic.
But if you don’t make a living in front of cameras, is it worth it? Is it really safe? And can it prevent wrinkles?
The FDA approved Botox injections for cosmetic use in 2002. Since then, it rose to fame in the early aughts with its ability to “freeze time” by eliminating wrinkles. In 2017, Allergan Botox sales added up to $3.69 million, and its sales are projected to reach $4.57 million in the next three years.
We spoke with Avignon Clinic founder and CEO Christopher Cachuela as well as dermatologist Dr. Nancy Gabiota to get their expert opinion.
When to consider
Many might be a bit trigger happy when it comes to get these injections. But experts say they can be done only as early as dynamic lines or wrinkles begin to appear as you make facial expressions. And both Cachuela and Gabiota say that there is no standard age when that could occur and for when to get a neurotoxin injection.
Botox or neurotoxin is a sterilized toxin. It works by temporarily blocking nerve receptors in muscles. In effect, fine lines and wrinkles cannot form from moving your face or from sun exposure. While there’s “no standard age” one can get the treatment, you might want to consider it only when you see prominent wrinkles.
The aestheticians point out that it differs from person to person since factors like genetics, sun exposure, and lifestyle can affect the tendency of our skin to form wrinkles. If the patient then has dynamic wrinkles in their twenties, then the injections are advisable.
They add that the clinic is “definitely” seeing younger patients come in for neurotoxin injections. More male clients are coming in as well, which they say is a sign that the public feels less restricted to getting these treatments.
Other than preventing fine lines, doctors can use Botox to treat medical conditions. The non-surgical procedure can treat excessive sweating, muscle spasms, and even an overactive bladder. According to the experts, some dermatologists use neurotoxin injections to prevent acne breakouts “because of its ability to slow oil production.”
However, for other aesthetic purposes like eradicating dark circles under your eyes, Botox is not a recommended treatment. The injections cannot lighten the skin, but they would effectively make your lower eyelids fuller and plumper.
With the mainstream recognition of Botox being amplified by popular reality TV shows like Botched, people may have the wrong idea of the procedure. Its efficacy and results can be satisfactory as long as it’s done correctly. Cachuela and Dr. Gabiota share that their patients worry about looking “frozen” during consultations, get even deeper wrinkles and that the treatment is dangerous.
But Botox is still temporary, and the minuscule doses they use are not harmful to humans. Upon injection, neurotoxin will last for only four to six months.
Some patients, the aestheticians say, mistakenly think that their wrinkles have gotten worse, but they may have just forgotten how they looked like before the neurotoxin treatment. When done by the right hands, these treatments can give clients a natural and refreshed look.
The reasons why people turn to cosmetic procedures vary. Perhaps some are influenced by the celebrities they idolize, or some want to preserve their fine line-free faces.
Nevertheless, if you’re considering getting a treatment like Botox, safety is always an essential factor. It goes without saying that you should only let reputable doctors and centers work on you. And, of course, consider factors such as the current state of your physical, mental, and emotional health.
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