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Woman holding botox needle

 

A recent report on the Marketplace podcast described a dramatic rise of young people (late twenties into mid-thirties) using Botox as a preventive measure (Botox up 28%, dermal fillers up 32% among the age group 20-29 over the last decade).

 

“We wanted to start young enough that people may never notice that we got anything done,” said one young proponent of the needle. 

 

The interview subjects described a pattern of monthly usage with no end in sight, despite the costs. Many had budgeted more than $1500 annually for the procedure. “Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s just like the electric bill, a car payment or rent.”

 

Cue: abrupt needle scratch on your favorite song.

 

If you are under 30 and using or considering using injectables, there are a few things you should know. Using Botox might stave off visible wrinkles for the time being, but it’s doing nothing to prevent aging at a cellular level. And in fact, in the long run, may be damaging to the underlying structure of your skin, especially when started too early.

 

Two to four Botox injections per year mean a constant immobilization of muscles. What happens when you don’t work out for a year? You lose muscle tone and get flabby. The same happens in your facial muscles. The skin covering those muscles can also become looser and thinner. Worse, the surrounding muscles will try to pick up the slack creating wrinkles in places you’d likely never have seen them, like along the sides of your nose.

 

Dr. Harold Lancer, skin caretaker to the stars (Kim Kardashian, Victoria Beckham, and Beyoné are among his clients) told Glamour UK that the muscle atrophy or loss of muscle mass from long-term use of Botox “can cause indentation in the temple and indentation in the forehead furrow line, which creates a shelf-like droop of wasted muscle.” What’s more, the repeated injections cause trauma to the skin that can lead to scarring, he noted.

 

And then there’s “filler fatigue,” a thing that happens when you put increasingly more filler under your skin, and it begins stretch and weigh skin down. It’s a bit like overfilling the pockets in your sweats. Eventually, they don’t go back into shape.

 

New York-based cosmetic facial plastic surgeon Michelle Yagoda told HuffPost, “each time you put more filler in, the pocket expands more, and it becomes a bigger pocket, so it needs more and more filler to keep it expanded.” When you stop using fillers, you can be left with saggy cheeks and droopy lips.

 

As we age, the subcutaneous fat pads in the face shift and decrease. At the same time, collagen production is declining. This is when we start to see hollow spaces and sagging skin. Fillers were designed to restore volume in these areas. Using them too early and stretching the skin will increase the laxity in later years.

 

One Beverly Hills doctor referred to Botox and fillers in younger patients as the “gateway drug to surgery.”

 

We’ve always said it’s easier to prevent skin issues than to reverse them. But clearly, there’s a big difference between a temporary cosmetic lift and a long-term plan. Your twenties are the right time to start thinking about preventing the signs of aging, but the best way to do that is through lifestyle and proper skin care.

 

Limiting sun exposure, eating a low-sugar diet full of Omega-3 fatty acid- and antioxidant-rich foods, and using skin care products that protect collagen, accelerate cell turnover, and neutralize free radicals are the way to prevent wrinkles.

 

"If you're going to spend money,” says New York plastic surgeon Arthur Perry, “spend it on sunscreen, not Botox.”

 

In addition to your daily sunscreen, use a retinol (vitamin A) serum to keep collagen production up (it will also help keep your skin clear!). Pair it with Spin Trap Antioxidant Serum for a photoprotective, brightening boost. And most definitely use an eye cream.

 

To get plump lips without the needle, try Maxi Lip semi-permanent plumping balm. You’ll get an immediate volume and definition boost, and lips will remain fuller with regular use.

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