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At What Age Should I Start Preventive Botox?

A common question I get asked by millennials (ages 20-30) is, “Should I get preventive Botox?”. And I suppose some would argue, my automatic response will be, “of course you should”, because Botox and other neurotoxin treatments (Dysport and Xeomin) are a bread and butter staple of my practice. Now I won’t deny that neurotoxins are important to my business, but let me assure you, my reasons for recommending preventive treatment are driven by logic, science and experience, rather than economics.

Here’s what we know: Lines (wrinkles) will appear anywhere on the body where there is chronic, repetitive folding of the skin from underlying muscle contractions. If you add illness, UV exposure, smoking or medication to the mix, those lines will show up sooner. In fact, I’ve seen 25-year-old patients in my practice with deeper wrinkles from suntanning, than you’ll see in my 56-year-old face.

So, the quick answer is this: Proactively treating problem areas with products that relax the muscle will remove that chronic, repetitive folding and delay the onset of lines and wrinkles. And there’s science to support it! I was able to find one twin study published in 2006 that clearly showed the twin who received Botox had fewer wrinkles than the twin who did not.

I realized I haven’t completely answered the question “At what age should I get preventative botox?”; the simple answer is, whatever age you start noticing lines that are deeper than you like with facial animation”. This differs for everyone and can be as young as mid to late 20’s!

That said, while I’m a supporter of younger men and women having treatment sooner, I make it very clear that Botox alone isn’t enough. Equally important for skin to look young, plump and healthy is the consistent use of medical grade skin care products, especially retinols, and the avoidance of UV exposure, tanning in the sun, smoking, drugs and alcohol. Radio frequency treatments, which help the skin to manufacture new, healthy collagen, are a great adjunct, and can be started as early as your budget allows. The more collagen in your skin, the fewer the wrinkles, and the less need for Botox and dermal fillers down the road.

So, while some baby-boomers may roll their eyes at this discussion, for those of you who are contemplating getting Botox for wrinkle prevention, I say do it! … and don’t forget the other factors that are just as important for the overall health and the beauty of your skin.

~ Dr Josie

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595 Elm Place, Suite 208
Highland Park, IL 60035