When it comes to cosmetic procedures, the commonly held belief is to wait until you have signs of aging before beginning treatment. However, it is far more effective to start treating the skin early to prevent fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, and loss of elasticity and volume. We encourage people to stay out of the sun, quit smoking, and adopt an age management skin care program by the age of 25 because it is easier to prevent premature aging than to correct it. There is even evidence to support the use of Botox early on to prevent or delay the development of fine lines and wrinkles caused by muscular contraction.
The Sooner the Better?
Until recently, the average age range of Botox recipients has been 40-59 years old. However, we are definitely seeing a trend where younger people in their mid to late 20’s are opting to have Botox. While some of these younger patients are doing the treatment to correct fine lines and wrinkles, some are opting to take a more pro-active approach to aging and get Botox for preventative purposes.
In 2006, a 13 year study of female identical twins set out to prove that long-term treatment with Botox can prevent the development of facial lines. The study began when the twins were 25 years old. One twin (Twin A) began receiving Botox injections 2-3 times per year for 13 years in the forehead and glabellar region (between eyebrows) and 2 treatments during the last 2 years of the study in her crow’s feet; the other (Twin B) only received Botox injections in the forehead and glabellar region 1 time in year 6 of the study and again in year 10. The comparison of these twins shows that Twin B has clearly visible forehead and glabellar lines while Twin A does not. The crow’s feet are also markedly less on Twin A when looking at the photos. The study was able to conclude that Botox prevents the development of lines caused by muscular contraction by inhibiting the patient’s ability to contract the target muscle, “retraining” the targeted facial muscles, and by facilitating the production of new collagen and skin cells by allowing the muscles to relax. (Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2006 Nov-Dec;8(6):426-31.)
So When Should I Start?
We believe people should begin an age management program in their 20s. This includes adopting a healthy diet and fitness routine, practicing safe sun precautions, not smoking, and incorporating quality skin care products and treatments into their daily regimen. When fine lines and wrinkles start to become a concern, it is reasonable to consider treatments like Botox to prevent signs of aging. We strongly recommend meeting with one of our medical aestheticians or our aesthetic nurse specialist to discuss options and develop the best treatment plan for each individual’s concerns.