DDermatologists often say thatbotox— or any injectable neuromodulator that smoothes lines, for that matter — is as much an art as it is a science. And just as there is no "right" approach to smoothing out wrinkles, there is no "right" age to start using injectables. However, depending on the decade in which you decide to have your first treatment, your experience may vary slightly. That's why we talked to dermatologists to help you understand what to expect at each age.
"Botox [(and similar injectables such as Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau)] works by preventing dynamic wrinkles by temporarily weakening the underlying muscle," saysDendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, previously saidgood + good. Dynamic wrinkles are those caused by underlying muscle movements that occur when you make facial expressions. Over time, they are etched into the skin and turn into a static line that is visible even when the face is at rest. "With Botox treatment, muscle contraction is weakened and superimposed dynamic wrinkles are reduced. And with early, effective treatment, it can not only reduce dynamic lines with movement, but also smooth or eliminate static lines,” she says.
But how early is italsoearly may be the question on your mind. "A very common question is, 'What's the right age to start?'" says Carolyn Treasure, MD, co-founder ofPeach,an injectable study in New York City. "People wonder if they should have started earlier or if they're starting too late, but there's no one-size-fits-all age." The question of "when," she says, really depends on the stage of the wrinkles and how deep they are. they are engraved on your face. "It's really when you have dynamic lines that are just starting to develop or are developing into static lines."
Experts in this article
Having said that, the development of these wrinkleshe doescorrelates, at least to some extent, with your age due to the changes your skin undergoes as you age. The skin's natural production of collagen and elastin declines around the age of 30, and factors such as sun exposure and lifestyle habits such as smoking, diet and stress levels can all play a role. With that in mind, keep reading to learn what you can—and can't—expect from Botox each decade.
In your 20s
In the 20s, Botox is mostly used for preventive purposes. At this point, wrinkles are considered "stage one," meaning they appear when you make an angry face or frown and remain for a short period of time before disappearing completely. "There is some misunderstanding about what 'preventive Botox' is," saysSarmela Sunder, MD, a double board-certified plastic surgeon based in Los Angeles. "A lot of people think they'll put Botox on their forehead and wrinkles will never appear there, but they're not. If the lines aren't there, you don't need Botox, but if lines appear on it the moment you make a face and show up for a few seconds or minutes afterwards is when you start to develop permanent wrinkles in your skin's architecture, so you'll start doing Botox at that point to prevent those lines in to settle in.
Typically, these dynamic wrinkles first appear on the forehead, between the eyebrows and around the eyes. "Preventive Botox prevents these lines from being etched and smooths out the wrinkles that already exist," he says.Sheila Farhang, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Avant Dermatology in Arizona. “People who start early and do a little bit don't need much later because they don't have the muscles they need to freeze, or they can stretch them longer between treatments because the wrinkles aren't as visible. But if you don't already have any of these motion-induced wrinkles, any good dermatologist will turn you away because you're not at the point where he can actually do anything yet. "I have 20-year-olds looking for Botox, and I have to tell them it's not right for them right now," says Dr. Farhang.
In your 30s
According to Dr. Treasure arrives in most patients in their 20s and 30s. This is the time when the natural production of collagen and elastin begins to slow down and your dynamic wrinkles begin to progress towards static or "stage two" lines. While dynamic phase 1 wrinkles only appear when your face is in motion, these static phase 2 wrinkles are always present, even when your face is at rest. "It's usually around age 30 that people start to see wrinkles," says Dr. She explains that the amount of Botox you get tends to (coincidentally) match your age. "Someone in their 20s or 30s usually gets 25 to 35 units, or what we call 'Baby Botox,' and we increase from there," she says.
It is important to note that the amount of Botox you receive also depends on the muscle strength in a given area. So someone can get more units if they have a stronger brow and still have a subtle effect (leave that part to your dermatologist who knows best). But in general, the number of units you get helps determine how long you'll see the effects of the injectable. "The greater the number of units, the longer the product will last," says Dr. Healthy. “The fewer wrinkles you have, the fewer units you apply and therefore it doesn't last as long. However, because the lines are not as deep, you may not notice them as soon as Botox starts working. as you would with advanced-stage wrinkles."
In your 40s
If a wrinkle sticks to your skin, to the point where makeup starts to stick to it, it's considered "stage three." At this point, says Dr. Healthier, Botox is used more as a treatment than prevention and can help smooth out lines that already exist but cannot completely eliminate them. "For someone who has stage three lines, you'll start to see the lines more quickly as the Botox wears off, even though the Botox is still there," says Dr. "It becomes more obvious why the lines are deeper, so when they go back to 50 percent, they are more visible than they would be if they weren't so deep to begin with."
In the 50s and above
When your wrinkles progress to "stage four," which is characterized by deeply etched lines, "there's a limit to what Botox can do," says Dr. go deeper, but once it's etched deep, it won't really reverse the lines that have already formed in any significant way,” she says. If you really want to get rid of lines, complement Botox with a secondary treatment such as laser, microneedling or intense peeling. "The Botox will still be helpful because... it will prevent [the lines] from getting deeper, but you'll have to have another treatment to make sure they actually go away," says Dr.
One thing to keep in mind is that starting Botox early can be a double-edged sword. First, it can prevent wrinkles from forming on your face, meaning that when the effect wears off, you won't be able to see them as clearly as if you never had Botox. But on the other hand? “If you make onemuchof Botox, your body can get used to it and it might not work as well,” says Dr. Farhang. "And you might need more, or sometimes we use other neurotoxins like Dysport or Xeomin [to give better results]."
While it's never "too late" for Botox, your lines may reach a point where other treatments may be beneficial. "If you have etched lines or notice that lines are really starting to form, you really have to be careful because at some point Botox is not going to help," says Dr. All that said, when - andwith-the decision to treat your wrinkles with injections is entirely up to you. And now you are armed with the knowledge to make that choice in the most informed way possible.
Tag:skin care tips