Botox is the commonly known brand name for botulinum toxin. This protein is derived from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum and works by blocking the signals from nerves to muscles upon injection, therefore causing them to relax.
This treatment is increasingly being used by the younger generation, with a view to reduce lines and prevent lines developing. However, when we look at the evidence available, we need to be asking the question: is it worth it at a younger age?
There are certainly many pros which enhance the appeal. The process is quick, there is usually only minor discomfort, and no anesthesia is required. It really could be seen as a realistic answer to an age old problem: the wrinkle.
Let us then examine the wrinkle a bit further for it is here that the treatment may be misunderstood. What many people fail to realize is that there are several types of wrinkles and Botox does not work on all of them. Wrinkles caused by sun damage, gravity and as part of the general aging process (skin dehydration and loss of elasticity) will not respond to the treatment. The only wrinkles that do are the ‘dynamic wrinkles,’ those caused by frequent changes in expressions leading to regular small contractions of the muscles). Botox also, it must be remembered, will not work on wrinkles that have not yet appeared and this is where the market lies in the young consumer-with those who are using it to prevent wrinkles occurring in the first place.
“Baby Botox” is used to help impede the formation of these ‘dynamic wrinkles,’ and while it is effective at this, it will not entirely prevent the formation of other natural lines. For optimal anti-aging effects, it is best to combine this approach with a proven face care regime, a healthy diet, and good hydration.
For those people that are suitable, the benefits have been seen to last. The initial result usually takes 7-14 days to be noticed, and there are activity restrictions in this time, such as limiting the intake of alcohol. However, the results should then last up to 3 months. There is some research to suggest that regular use has a cumulative effect and that regular users may require less frequent applications over time.
So, is it worth it in your 20s and 30s? Sure, if you are concerned with avoiding wrinkles as long as you can. If you do decide to go ahead, research well and, as with any medical procedure, approach a reputable doctor. Otherwise, enjoy your wrinkle free youthfulness and spend your money elsewhere.