These days, beauty tools, procedures, and gadgets seem to get more outrageous and extreme. From high-tech devices to apps that connect to your phone, it feels a little like we’re living in the future. And then, there’s Botox, the now-fairly common treatment where synthetic proteins are injected under the skin, often to prevent the aging effect of wrinkles. The reputation for Botox is that it’s for older people who want to smooth out existing creases. Now more than ever, though, younger people are requesting it— but is it a good idea? If you’re considering Botox for cosmetic reasons and you’re under 30, there are a few things you should know beforehand.
What It Is – Botox is a drug derived from the toxin of a bacteria that’s responsible for the foodborne illness, botulism. That might sound a little scary, but it’s FDA approved for treating lines and wrinkles in adults, and can only be administered by licensed physicians (and nurses, depending on the state) such as dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and ear-nose-and-throat doctors.
How It Works – Small units are injected under the skin, and paralyze muscles and nerves in a certain area. Like other injectables, this feels like someone’s pinching your skin for a second or two.
How It’s Used – Botox is commonly used to temporarily smooth crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles, and other creases, but it’s also used for medical purposes like extreme sweating, certain neurological disorders, and migraines.
The Procedure – As a cosmetic anti-aging treatment, Botox isn’t permanent, so you’ll have to return to the doctor if you want to maintain consistency. The process takes about half and hour, with results in 3-5 days. And even though results are temporary, if you’re under 30, it’s likely you don’t have too many wrinkles, so you’d probably only have to return to the doc two or three times per year.
The Cost – The amount you pay for Botox depends on your doctor and on how many units you receive. One unit costs about $15, but most procedures take about 20 units. So you’re looking at somewhere between $300 and $800 for each treatment. If you go a few times a year, it’ll run you at least $1000.
Why People Under 30 Use It - Younger people who get Botox treatments are usually thinking less about the wrinkles they have now, and more about the ones that might appear a few years down the road. It’s often considered a preventative measure for any early-developing lines around the eyes, the corners of your mouth, and your lower cheek area. And since Botox technically paralyzes the area it’s injected into, it prevents the muscles from being active. So if you’ve furrowed your brows for so long that you’ve created forehead wrinkles, Botox will actually disable your muscles from scrunching up (which might also prevent further wrinkles). The idea is that you disable the use of muscles that cause the lines with Botox.
Who Needs Botox? – Technically, no one needs Botox. If you’re someone who’s not concerned with lines and creases, this procedure probably isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you’re someone who will go to all lengths to stop flaws and signs of aging, Botox is a quick and accessible treatment.
Ultimately, there are a lot of factors to think about when it comes to getting Botox under the age of 30: cost, frequency of appointments, the condition of your skin, and how far you want to take your skin’s preventative maintenance.
Would you get Botox before 30? Or do you have a trusty alternate to preventing wrinkles?