Over the past 10 years, Botox has evolved from being the cosmetic procedure of choice for the rich-and-famous to the most popular non-invasive way of looking young for us “regular” folks. In recent years, Botox has become an increasingly common injectable for millennials – adults aged 18-35 – as a preventive anti-aging measure.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that women (and men) in their early 20’s are trying to achieve a certain level of perfection in their looks. Thanks to social media and the internet, it’s not the Joneses that young adults are fixated on keeping up with now. What is surprising, however, is that they are opting for Botox before signs of aging even appear on their flawless faces.
Although no extensive studies have been undertaken to prove that Botox has anti-aging benefits if started at a young age, these injections do relax muscles and prevent the contractions that form wrinkles. Over time, they may help soften lines that would have been deep-set.
Looking your best as you age, feeling good about yourself and taking steps to maintain healthy (and healthy-looking) skin are all goals I would be the last to dismiss as foolish or vain. Using Botox as a preventive measure for aging is a personal choice but should not replace the tried-and-true measures of wearing sunscreen daily, making healthy diet choices and not smoking.
Before going down the Botox path, keep in mind a few caveats:
- The cost of regular Botox injections adds up. Each session can run anywhere between $200 and $1000.
- The effects are temporary and regular touch-ups are needed every 3-4 months.
- Botox is not without its risks, such as facial paralysis, skin rash, headaches, droopy eyelids and bruising.
- Procedures should be done only by experienced medical professionals who are specially trained, such as dermatologists and plastic surgeons. An “MD” after the name doesn’t always mean the doctor is qualified or experienced with Botox injections.
- Counterfeit Botox is readily available but should be avoided as it is likely not approved by governmental regulating bodies such as the FDA or Health Canada.
- Botox doesn’t stop the aging process: once you discontinue treatment, you will notice that your features will continue to age. It doesn’t, however, make the wrinkles worse although perception may make you feel as though they are more noticeable.