Botox has been hailed as the anti-ageing miracle drug due to its effectiveness in reducing the appearance of wrinkles. But not everyone wants to wait for their wrinkles to come around before doing anything about it. So it's not surprising that one of the questions we are frequently asked: Is there anything extra I can do (over and above my regular at-home skincare routine) to keep the wrinkles and fine line at bay? And one option we recommended they consider is Preventive Botox.
What is Preventative Botox?
The growth in the number of people interested in starting Botox at a younger age has given rise to a beauty trend known as Preventative Botox.
For over 20 years, doctors have been using Botox to fight the existing wrinkles on their patients' faces.
But the current generation is more invested in their skincare and are committed to staying blemish and wrinkle-free for as long as possible. And don't forget the impact of social media and beauty influencers.
Therefore getting Botox to prevent wrinkle formation in the first place has slowly become an extension of many skincare goals.
Understanding how Preventive Botox works
When you frown, smile or furrow your brow, your facial muscles contract and "crease the skin over and over," forming dynamic wrinkles.
These dynamic wrinkles fade as quickly as they appear—once the expression passes and your face goes blank, you will no longer see them.
Common dynamic wrinkles include:
- Frown Lines (between the eyebrows)
- Forehead wrinkles
- Crow's Feet
- Smile lines
But as your skin ages and loses elasticity, these dynamic wrinkles can't effectively bounce back from folding and slowly become permanent lines. This means they remain on the face even after your facial muscles relax.
This is typically a source of frustration for many people and can make someone in their 20s and 30s look older than their age. So it just makes sense that softening the facial muscles movement can help you look more youthful at any age.
Preventative Botox aims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles before they become permanent.
Injecting small amounts of botulinum toxin into targeted muscles blocks the signals from the nerves, telling the muscles to contract. This temporarily weakens and relaxes them.
When done correctly, you should be able to prevent those lines and wrinkles from appearing as much while retaining natural facial movement where the injection was administered.
When to Start Botox: How Young is too Young?
While 5-10 years ago, the youngest patients getting Botox were in their late 30s onwards, now we are seeing a lot of clients (especially women) coming to our clinic are around their late twenties or early thirties.
But the general rule of thumb is that a person shouldn't get preventative Botox until after their puberty ends and they turn at least 18. It's unlikely that you'll have a lot of lines or wrinkles to worry about in your teens to mid-20s, so any earlier than that is probably unnecessary.
At this stage of your life, you probably have adequate elastin and collagen which are responsible for smooth, supple, and wrinkle-free skin. However, the skin produces less elastin and collagen as it ages, and that is why we develop wrinkles as we grow older.
Is Prevevantive Botox Safe?
While there isn't much research on the long-term effects of Botox, countless people have been getting Botox treatment for years without any significant side effects.
Claims such as the prolonged use of Botox could cause muscles to weaken over time can often be easily linked to "poor administration".
There is such a thing as overdoing it. Excessive use of Botox can contribute to the progressive weakening and atrophy of the injected muscles and may even cause new wrinkles.
But if you always get your injections from an experienced and qualified medical professional, you have very little to worry about.
Am I a Good Candidate for Preventative Botox?
A well-trained aesthetics doctor can usually tell if and where you might need preventative Botox just by looking at your face. For example, someone who regularly purses her lips and furrows her brow out of habit might start to see lines settle around her mouth and forehead in her 20s.
Injecting Botox in the right places will lower the odds that they'll develop permanent wrinkles in those spots.
It's important to note that not all dynamic wrinkles are a result of constant facial expressions. Many other factors affect the development of wrinkles, including excessive sun exposure or smoking.
These two, especially, can cause skin damage and lead to premature wrinkles.
For such kinds of wrinkles, Preventative Botox can't help you. You need to do your part to protect your skin from sun exposure, i.e. use sunscreen, eat healthily, and avoid smoking to prevent these types of wrinkles.
Preventive Botox is not a One Size Fits All
Generally speaking, the time frames recommended between treatments are between three and six months. But this will vary from person to person, but you may want to schedule touch-up appointments every 3-4 months or so.
Also, everyone frown or squints differently meaning some facial muscle is more active than others. This is why we always emphasise that every Botox treatment is a hyper customised procedure that must be tailored for each individual's unique needs.
Working with an aesthetics doctor who's highly skilled in facial anatomy and can accurately assess your muscle movement and baseline skin canvas is the best way to ensure you achieve the desired results.
Botox isn't Limited to Cosmetic Treatments Only
Botox is extremely versatile, with new uses become discovered each year. In fact, did you know that Allergan, the owner of BOTOX® (the most popular cosmetic botox brand), has over 800 patents for different uses of botox!
You can learn more about these alternative Botox Treatments below
- All You Need to Know About Treating Chronic Migraines with Botox
- 7 Possible Triggers of Hyperhidrosis: Plus a Solution for Excessive Underarm Sweating
- Debunking Top 6 Myths About Bruxism
What to Expect from Your Treatment
There's not much you need to do to prepare for a Botox treatment. All the same, make sure to ask your doctor about any other herbal supplements or medications you are taking before you come in for your appointment.
Preventative Botox is a quick procedure that requires no downtime. Did you know that Botox "is usually [less painful] than people imagine!
Many clients who come to our clinic describe the sensation as "tiny pinches which go away right after the injection."
It's normal to experience a bit of bruising at the injection site, which in most cases disappears within a few days of the treatment.
Redness and bumps can also occur in the hours immediately following the procedure, but they are usually minimal and should clear up as well.
You do not want to massage the treated area for at least 24 hours. The last thing you want is spreading the Botox around into other areas you don't want it to be in.
In the days after your treatment, you'll notice that your muscles are tighter, and the fine lines that use to appear become less prominent.
Since results aren't permanent, you'll probably need to continue treatments to keep wrinkles from showing up, the same way you would with any kind of Botox treatment.
Final Thoughts on Preventative Botox
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of what preventative Botox is, how it works and when it's a good idea.
If you want to learn more or find out if you're a good candidate for Preventative Botox, get in touch today to schedule a consultation.