Botox is a common go-to for people trying to combat the effects of aging. The injections are made of Botulinum toxins that can cause muscle paralysis when injected into skeletal muscles. In simpler terms, these toxins have the ability to reduce or stop a muscle's ability to move, which decreases skin wrinkling.
Botox is most commonly used to reduce wrinkling caused by animation like frowning, smiling, squinting, and is a great anti-aging solution for many people. However, what about in people who aren't seeing the effects of aging, like those in their teens or 20s? Could Botox benefit them? Or are there any risks in getting Botox too soon?
"There is no risk to getting Botox too early, it's just a waste of money," said Cori Agarwal, MD, a plastic surgeon at University of Utah Health, "We don't know of any downside of starting too early, but also, no benefit."
Agarwal says that people do not need to start Botox until their skin starts to lose elasticity. One way to recognize a loss in elasticity is to notice if lines from facial reactions remain after you've stopped making that reaction, which typically occurs in your thirties.
Dr. Agarwal breaks down the pros and cons of Botox:
- Wrinkle prevention
- Eliminate existing wrinkles
- Smooth out facial expressions
- Tolerance—Requires more Botox as you get older to see the same effect
- Short-lasting—One treatment lasts three months so patients are encouraged to get Botox 3-4 times a year for consistent results
- Droopy eye—If Botox is injected above the eyebrows or between the eyes, there is a low risk it can leak over the eye and cause a temporary droopy eye
- Temporary bruising
Dr. Agarwal says Botox is a great solution to consider for both men and women. She counsels that whether to prevent aging, eliminate wrinkles, or create a friendlier countenance, it's probably wise to wait until your thirties.