Why you should start Botox in your 20's
Botox injections have become more and more common and accessible. Whereas this treatment was once seen as something to go for later in life when you have established wrinkles things have now changed. With the introduction of "Babytox" and people starting treatments in their 20's they are often met with the question "You're still young why do you need Botox?!?"
So when is the ideal time to start Botox Treatments? Is there such a thing as starting too young?
What causes wrinkles?
Wrinkles are caused by many factors including UV light, diet, and lifestyle factors. They are also caused by repetitive forms of facial expression. When we make certain expressions - for example raising our eyebrows or frowning, the muscles responsible for these movements contract. This contraction causes the skin over the top of them to fold - causing what we see as wrinkles. As our expression relaxes, so do the muscles and the skin on top then smoothes over to its natural appearance and the wrinkles are gone.
These wrinkles that are caused by our muscles contracting during facial expressions are called Dynamic Wrinkles - they only appear during facial expressions and disappear once our face is relaxed.
Over time, as years go by of us frowning and smiling, the folding of the skin starts to form indentations. Slowly, in the areas where the skin wrinkles - faint lines form and are present even when the face is relaxed. As time progresses these lines get deeper. These wrinkles are called Static Wrinkles -they are wrinkles that are present even when the face is in a relaxed state.
What does Botox do?
It's important to understand the mechanism of Botox to decide when the right time to start treatment is.
Contrary to popular belief Botox does NOT remove wrinkles.
Botox is a tradename for Botulinum Toxin this is injected in small doses to temporarily paralyze muscles. By freezing the muscles this prevents the skin on top of the muscles from moving and folding during facial expressions. If the skin does not move- no folding will occur so no wrinkles will form in the area.
Dynamic vs Static Wrinkles
So to recap Dynamic Wrinkles are wrinkles caused by facial expression and disappear when the face is relaxed. Static Wrinkles are present even when the face is relaxed.
Botox works best for Dynamic Wrinkles. By freezing the muscles, the skin does not get a chance to fold and therefore no wrinkles are formed.
The most important thing to note is that when you have Static Wrinkles - so wrinkles that are present when your face is at rest. Botox will not be able to remove these entirely- it will only soften them. The reason being that these are now indented into the skin- they are not dependant on the muscles underneath moving. So even when the muscles are frozen and the skin is relaxed due to Botox - they will still be visible.
So when is the best time to start?
For Botox to work efficiently and to prevent you from having visible wrinkles at rest- you must start Botox treatment whilst your wrinkles are still in the Dynamic stage and have not turned Static.
The way to check this is simple. Raise your eyebrows or frown. Watch how the skin wrinkles and folds. If the folding and wrinkling of the skin is very prominent, this means you have strong muscle activity. You may need to start Botox at an early age, as your risk of getting deep wrinkles is a lot higher. However, if the wrinkling doesn't happen or is very mild, your chances of getting wrinkles in this area are a lot lower
Now relax. How does the skin look? If your skin is completely smooth- you may be able to hold out and wait to start Botox. If when you relax you can see the start of faint lines left on the skin this is the perfect time to start Botox. If left the wrinkles will deepen and Botox may later be inefficient. If you already have deep lines at rest - then Botox may help soften these lines over time but it is unlikely to completely remove them.
So there is no set age for when to start Botox, it depends on how strong your muscles are in the area of concern, and when you start noticing lines appearing at rest. For some, this may be in their 20s for others in their 30s.
The photo below gives you an idea of how faint lines can appear. This would be the ideal time to start Botox Injections.
But if you delay and wait till you have deep visible wrinkles you're unlikely to get the optimal results of Botox.
This photo below shows results of Botox when it's started at the ideal time. See how the skin appears smoother and the faint lines have disappeared.
My wrinkles are deep, is it too late for me?
Botox can still be used to help soften your wrinkles, but expectations will need to be managed as it's unlikely they will completely remove them.
Other options you have to remove deep wrinkles are fillers, and surgery.
If your unsure of which treatment is right for you, or if your ready to start Botox its best to book in with an assessment with an Aesthetic Doctor who will be able to give you tailored advice.