Will ‘Baby Botox’ Prevent Future Wrinkles?
Sure, I have heard about preventative or baby Botox before, but only recently did I find out a beautiful woman I know, in her early twenties, was having treatments. And so were her friends.
This really struck me, as I thought most users were over 35yrs experiencing early signs of ageing such as crow's feet, forehead wrinkles, and fine lines.
So I asked around and it seems in recent years, preventive or baby Botox has become one of those ‘social media fuelled’ trends among ‘wrinkle conscious’ women, in their mid-20s to mid-30s.
Now before I go on, I wish to make clear, we do not judge people’s choices at SCOUT. Just as with ‘greenwashing’ the point for us is that beauty treatments and skincare be based on evidence and professional advice so that hype does not provide false (and expensive) hope.
I guess the research question is: Does preventative Botox give a better outcome than a traditional skincare regime which includes sun protection, after considering safety, cost, potential side effects and all the hassle.
What is Botox
Put simply, Botox is a neuromodulator scientifically known as botulinum toxin, which blocks certain nerve signals to muscles.
It is injected and the effect lasts between 3 and 6 months.
The most common use of these injections is to temporarily relax the facial muscles that cause wrinkles in the forehead and around the eyes.
Is Botox safe?
Most dermatologists agree that Botox is a safe and reliable treatment.
Millions of procedures are performed each year, with almost no reports of serious side effects.
But long-term use has been little studied, and the evidence is overwhelmingly anecdotal and clinical.
What’s more, there are no large scale clinical or observational studies of preventative Botox.
My takeaway is that if you are interested, see a dermatologist you trust.
What is Baby Botox or Preventative Botox
It seems having Botox to postpone the signs of ageing and to prevent wrinkle formation has just become an augmentation to a normal non-invasive skincare regime.
The basic idea is that when you smile, frown or strain your brow, your facial muscles move, and contract over and over which progressively creases the skin. The injections will reduce the movement of facial muscles to lessen the development and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles before they become permanent and require correction in the distant future.
I am not 100% sure why but I am a bit torn about this concept to the extent that it may tone down your facial expressions. I have not been able to find any decent information on this effect. While I assume it is not a big issue given the popularity of Botox, I would encourage asking your dermatologist straight out. I just cannot get my mind around the idea of not being able to scrunch a paralysed area of my face hard to prevent wrinkles.
In any case, it is often stressed that the wrinkles are postponed, not prevented. Even if you start Botox young, you’re still going to have emotions. As you age the reduction in collagen and loss of elasticity is inevitable and your face will eventually wrinkle.
Should I have Preventative or Baby Botox?
There are a number of points to consider.
- The internet is full of informed opinions from Dermatologists who recommend or caution against preventative Botox.
I have been surprised that unfortunately there is not much quality research on the longer-term impact of preventative Botox.
ABC Radio Melbourne quotes Dr Naveen Somia, past president of the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, who says ‘Despite the growing popularity of "baby botox", there is no scientific evidence that it works to prevent wrinkles’. "It's an anecdotal opinion," he said.
- I have also read ’experts’ caution about complications if Botox isn’t injected properly, which may lead to bruising, facial asymmetry, and drooping. Botox can also drift into an unintended muscle and cause the corner of the mouth to droop. However, given the advances in application and practice many doctors advise this risk is quite low.
It is also possible that prolonged use and administration by a less skilled practitioner may cause muscles to weaken over time and give skin a thinner and looser appearance.
- No question, it’s a big financial commitment. Like traditional injections, a preventive approach requires continued replenishment forever. It’s not a one-off treatment as this will only result in a transient improvement and as it is preventative, you may not even notice any improvement.
- On the flip side, I have not come across any downside to stopping treatment.
A final few thoughts
Is preventative Botox or baby botox better than a lifelong traditional skincare approach with sun protection.
While an increasingly popular regime, it seems dermatologists are divided on the scientific evidence.
I believe modern innovations such as peels and aesthetic treatments have a place and it is really up to the individual.
And your trusted dermatologist!