preventative botox

Despite what this picture would lead you to believe, getting good preventative Botox in your 20’s (or early 30’s) requires more than just wearing some shimmery eye-shadow and flase eyelashes. We talked to dermatologist Stephen Bracci about why more people are getting Botox younger and how to have it done well.

TheGloss: Are you seeing more people doing Botox for preventative reasons?

Stephen Bracci: Yes.

TheGloss: Why? Why are they doing that?

Dr. Bracci: With any kind of cosmetic procedure, as people become more aware of it, they decide this is what they want to do. Botox is very much like teeth whitening. 20 years ago very few people did that, but then, as it became more widely available and more people knew about it, it became much more popular.

TG: What are some of the benefits of getting Botox in your 20’s?

DB: For most people in their 20’s the decision to get Botox would either be because they wanted to enhance their appearance – to relax muscles in their forehead and so they can arch their eyebrows, if they like that look – or because they want to keep their skin looking the way it does. The second thing is just the issue of prevention, because the earlier you start getting Botox the less wrinkling you’ll get later in life. The older you get, the more you’re doing it just to treat those wrinkles, the younger you are, the more you’re doing to prevent them from occuring.

TG: You mention the arched brow thing, which is interesting, because the thing that scares me the most about Botox is that I’ll end up with those Dr. Spock brows that arch up weirdly at the sides.

DB: That McDonald’s arch can happen! Fortunately, that’s easily correctable. That usually means you haven’t got enough Botox in the outer portion of your brows. It’s very easy to add there to prevent a Spock-like look. However, If you do the opposite and inject too much in that area you can get droopy brows, and no one likes that. The Spock brow can be easily corrected, which is why dermatologists tend to err on that side.

TG: What if you get droopy brows or something else goes wrong? What else could go wrong?

DB: The main thing is bruising. Typically that goes away very quickly. The only other thing I’ve seen is the droopy eyelid. Generally that goes away with a few weeks. Remember that none of these effects are permanent.

TG: Can there be any negative long term effects if you start too early? I’ve heard rumors that it will permanently weaken your forehead muscles in a way that could be damaging, or could cause you to get more wrinkles.

DB: There are always counter arguments, but I’ve never seen them to be true. I’ve treated people for nearly a decade,  and if anything I think you see a diminishment in wrinkles, not an increase.

TG: If you are starting earlier, should you start with a smaller dose? Do younger people need less Botox than older ones?

DB: If you’re doing Botox for preventative reasons it’s more individual dependent. Though you’d probably require the same amount of medicine. Botox works by blocking muscle movement. To relax someone’s muscle takes the same amount at 20 or 50. Dosages would not change with age, it would just be more dependent on what worked best for each individual.

TG: How can you insure that it’s done well?

DB: The major advice I have is that everyone has individual likes and dislikes. Try Botox in one small area first, and if you like it, you can try it again. And don’t worry too much. You’re not making any long term decisions. In the rare cases where there’s a side effect it’s not long term. So if you don’t like it, it’s not going to be forever.