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Botox injections can be a frightening subject to approach, but they are a common cosmetic procedure performed all over the world.

It is so common that a new trend has emerged on TikTok, with girls as young as 20 years old seeking these treatments!

The concept behind this trend is “preventative Botox,” and these young ladies are already planning on “looking 20 when they’re 40.”

But when should we start using Botox? Thanks to an informative video by Dr Maxfield and Dr Shah on the Doctorly YouTube channel, we have our answers.

What is Botox?

What Age Botox 1 - what is botox - Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Photo source: Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Botox, also known as botulinum toxin, is a neuromodulator. They reduce the appearance of fine lines by inhibiting the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which allows your muscles to contract.

Although there are many injections on the market, such as Dysport and Xeomin, they are commonly referred to as Botox.

To understand how Botox works, we must first distinguish between dynamic and static wrinkles.

Everyone of any age has dynamic wrinkles, which are lines that appear when you move your face, such as when you smile or laugh.

However, as we age, those dynamic wrinkles become etched into the skin and transform into static wrinkles, which are lines that appear when your face is still.

What about “preventative Botox”?

What Age Botox 2 - preventative botox - Malin K. on Unsplash

Photo source: Malin K. on Unsplash

The goal of Botox and all neuromodulators is to stop dynamic wrinkles and therefore stop the formation of static wrinkles.” – Dr Shah

While “preventative Botox” is a buzzword, Dr Shah says that all Botox is preventative because it is not intended to reverse wrinkles but rather to prevent them.

That is not to say that people with wrinkles cannot benefit from Botox, as it can reduce the appearance of fine lines and prevent new ones from forming.

Maybe those young 20-somethings on TikTok are onto something after all, which leads us to the next question…

What age to start using Botox?

What Age Botox 3 - what age - XFrame

Photo source: XFrame

It’s the same concept of sunscreen, right? Your goal with sunscreen is largely preventative. You can have benefits if you use it after you have all the sun damage but by far, you’re going to get the most bang for your buck if you start it ahead of time.” – Dr Maxfield

Because the goal of Botox is to prevent wrinkles, we must investigate the factors that contribute to wrinkle formation.

Unfortunately, wrinkles are a natural part of ageing and are caused by a number of uncontrollable factors.

Some factors may include:

  • Having a lighter skin tone
  • Pollutants and smoking
  • Exposure to UV light
  • Sun damage
  • Repeated facial expressions
  • Genetics like stronger facial muscles

However, most people begin to develop wrinkles naturally in their late twenties, early thirties, or mid-thirties.

Before you opt for Botox, however, you must know how to differentiate between fine lines and wrinkles. Dr Maxfield says shallow, subtle lines that make the skin look textured are completely different from dynamic wrinkles.

If you have thick, deep-set, dynamic lines, then Botox is the one you should invest in. Otherwise, a topical fine line-smoothing cream can help with shallow lines.

Doctors actually prefer Botox to other wrinkle-fighting treatments such as lasers and thread lifting. It is not only the most cost-effective over time, but it also has the lowest risk and fewest side effects.

They even admitted to having used Botox themselves, so this is something they’ve definitely tried and tested.

But if you don’t see any troubling dynamic wrinkles, you probably have nothing to worry about. It’s up to you to decide if Botox is a necessary step. If you’re still unsure, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.

Featured image: XFrame