What is the Right Age to Start Getting Botox?
The camera phone celebrates its 21 birthday this year! Which means that there is now a generation of women who have never lived in a world without cell phone pics. And most women in their twenties and thirties have been in hundreds – if not thousands – of selfies and social media posts. As a result, every tiny line or other sign of aging that appears on a woman’s face is now under intense scrutiny.
It’s no surprise then that the world’s most popular and widely administered aesthetic treatment is Botox cosmetic injections. Botox not only gets rid of forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet by paralyzing facial muscles, it also helps prevent new lines from forming!
So many of our patients often ask us: “What is the ‘right age’ to get your first Botox injection?” In this article renowned Detroit area plastic surgeon Dr. Ali and our skilled nurse injectors take a look some of the factors that can help answer this question.
Botox and Skin Type
When it comes to administering any medical treatment, each patient is unique. And Botox injections are no exception. So, while environmental factors (UV sun exposure, tanning, smoking, poor diet) have a greater effect on wrinkles as we age, heredity is the most influential factor when it comes to the age of onset of wrinkles and lines.
For example, the oily skin that you hated in high school is actually a blessing as you get older. Skin oil is, in fact, the best natural defense against aging. People with genetically oily skin often don’t age ‘on time’ – and may still look like they’re in their early 20s when they are in their thirties!
Similarly, darker skin tones have more protection from the “photo-aging” caused by the sun’s UV rays than lighter skinned individuals.
Darker skin has larger pockets in the skin cells known as melanosomes, that contain the sticky pigment melanin. Pale, white skin produces almost no melanin, and Asian skin produces a yellowish melanin called phaeomelanin. Black skin produces the thickest melanin of all – known as eumelanin. This pigment is packed so tightly that it absorbs and scatters more sunlight, giving the person more protection from the UV rays that cause “photo-aging”.
So, the age at which you will start to develop wrinkles is in many ways simply governed by your DNA, including your degree of oiliness and pigmentation.
Botox and Wrinkle Prevention
“Corrective Botox” treats significant lines or wrinkles, softening the “memory” in the skin that builds up because of the strong muscle movement beneath it. But, if there aren’t visible lines while the face is at rest yet, “preventative Botox” can target the stronger muscle movements that will cause the lines to develop in the future, so that wrinkles don’t end up forming at all.
Type 1 wrinkles refer to the normal expression lines that even small children get. They appear when a muscle is contracted, and they disappear as soon the muscle is relaxed. Because skin retains its elasticity well into the twenties, and often beyond, it is rarely necessary to consider preventive Botox in one’s twenties.
Type 2 wrinkles occur when the lines take a bit longer to disappear – but still go away when the face is at rest. And finally, Type 3 wrinkling is when the wrinkles and lines are visible, even when the face is at rest.
When a patient starts to see wrinkles moving from Type 1 to Type 2, it is usually a good time to start preventive Botox – to stop the lines from becoming Type 3. This usually (but not always) happens sometime in one’s thirties as the skin starts to lose elasticity, and gravity begins to move the facial tissues downward.
So, as a general rule, preventive Botox is not really necessary until one is in their thirties. And, for those patients who are blessed with “good genes” and who maintain a healthy lifestyle, wear sunscreen, and take care of their skin, the onset of wrinkles may be even later.
Preferential Botox Treatments
Preferential Botox treatments refer to uses of Botox to achieve specific aesthetic preferences, rather than to prevent or reduce wrinkles. Examples of these Botox uses include the Botox brow lift, a Botox “lip flip” to treat a gummy smile, superficial injections to reduce pores and create “glass skin”, and/or a Botox masseter treatment to slim the face.
Since these Botox treatments are not used to correct wrinkles, the age at which these may be started can typically be younger than the age at which preventive Botox is indicated.
Botox | Detroit Area
Remember, every patient’s skin is unique, so there’s no one-size-fits-all age for starting Botox!
Dr. Ali is a renowned, board certified, Detroit-area plastic surgeon who has helped thousands of women and men eliminate and prevent wrinkles with Botox. He will thoroughly evaluate your skin and give you an honest and informed opinion as to when Botox injections would be right for you.
Top Botox Specialist | Detroit Area: 248.335.7200