Increasing numbers of people happily admit to using facial cosmetic treatments. Others are asking – what does it feel like to freeze your forehead, does anyone notice, and can it really change how you feel about yourself?
Although BOTOX was first approved in the US in 1989 for the treatment of eye muscle disorders, it was frowned upon initially. Directors would complain that actors ‘couldn’t properly emote.’
By 2000, aesthetic treatments were widely available to the general population, which allowed dentists to administer them after a daylong course.
By 2021, an estimated 900,000 injections were carried out annually in Britain, and were viewed with two-fold suspicion, for reasons being that they were considered self-indulgent vanity, and also that they looked very unnatural (particularly if used repeatedly over time).
Whenever a star appeared shiny in a photo, she was considered a Botox tragedy, even though she might just have been sweating at that particular moment.
Over time, treatments have become more refined, prices have stabilized, and attitudes have improved.
The more recent trend now is for “baby Botox,” (also known as subtle injections), along with old-timers finally coming around to the idea of Botox, so it’s no wonder the market is booming: Botox – along with dermal fillers – now account for 9 out of 10 cosmetic procedures.
Chloe Mac Donnell, the Guardian’s deputy fashion and lifestyle editor, breaks this down into 3 main groups:
- Women in their mid-40s to mid-50s who are catching up with the advances that made Botox more subtle and less celebratory in the first place.
- Women in their 30s who are “a lot more open in general”, and also a lot more into luxury, hi-tech treatments (retinol, LED face masks, injectables, non-injectables, micro-needling, etc).
- Women in their 20s who get Botox done with the intention of preventing age, fuelled partially by the Love Island vibe, which is both honest about its social implications and fake in its aesthetics.
Can Botox really prevent future wrinkles, though?
The most common 3 areas for Botox are the frown lines, the forehead creases, and the crows’ feet.
Adebibe points out that not all the results will always be visible: “The small group of muscles responsible for bringing the eyebrows down when you frown are relieved of their duties, which causes the inside of the eyebrows to slightly elevate, so you don’t necessarily get rid of the frown lines, but instead you just look fresher, as if you’ve had a really good night’s sleep.”
“The way it works is that it’s injected into certain muscle groups and it stays in that area for just 3 days. During that time, it disrupts the receptor where the nerve comes to speak to the muscle. You will find it harder and harder to make that expression, but in 2 weeks, you’ll have your full response. I highly recommend getting this done by a doctor because it’s so plausible,” she added.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego released a study this year showing anxiety levels between 20% and 70% lower in people who have had Botox (within the 3 months it’s effective for).
The dataset was over 40,000, and the proposition itself is credible—if the face you see in the mirror is agreeable and not dissatisfied, it could plausibly make you less self-critical (and in minutes).
Dr. Michael Reilly, a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Medstar Georgetown University hospital, posited a more physiological effect:
“When you can’t furrow your brow or show the emotions of concern or fear or panic, there is likely a calming effect on the nerve pathways that feed back to your brain that then allows you to actually not feel that emotion quite as much.”
This disrupts the common narrative around beauty procedures — that they prey on people’s insecurities while simultaneously increasing the grooming standards that made them feel insecure in the first place.
In 2019, the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners instructed its members to check before they administered Botox to any patients who weren’t seeking it for reasons of poor mental health.
The more pressing question is this: does Botox do anything for those who are under 35?
Adebibe explains that, “All Botox does is prevent the degradation of your natural collagen because you’re relaxing the muscles that are constantly pulling on the skin. Each time the muscle pulls on the skin, the elasticity decreases; it’s crunching down on the collagen over and over, and that’s degrading your collagen. Wrinkles are just symptoms of depleted collagen and not the cause.”
Today, the new celebrity trend is just to get Botox everywhere you can: in your hands, in your knees – there are so many aging areas, that almost everywhere is acceptable these days.
Are you jumping on the same bandwagon and also considering Botox or plastic surgery for yourself? Before making any decisions, you should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss all of your available options.
When it comes to plastic surgery, you want to make sure you’re in good hands; That’s why it’s so important to choose an experienced plastic surgery specialist who will give you the results you’re looking for.
At Westside Face, we’re known for our reputation of delivering quality care and successful results to our happy patients across California. Our skilled plastic surgeons will work with you to determine the best approach for your needs, while still achieving the optimal aesthetic results you desire (and deserve!).