Crow’s feet, frown lines and wrinkles are a natural part of aging, but they leave many people feeling self-conscious and desperate for a way to get back to their youthful appearance.
Some learn to love their wrinkles, while others go under the knife or turn to Botox injections to boost confidence and improve the visible signs of aging.
More popular than ever, younger and younger women are opting for cosmetic injections in an attempt to stop lines and wrinkles from forming before they actually start. But does “preventive botox” really work?
Botox injections: When the muscles stop moving, wrinkles stop forming
We spoke to Alice Henshaw, nurse and owner of Harley Street Injectables, to understand everything you need to know before undergoing an anti-aging treatment, from avoiding the ‘frozen’ look, who you can trust with your face and how long it will last. lasts
What does botox do?
“Botox is the trade name for a drug known as botulinum toxin type A,” Alice tells MailOnline.
The formulation is injected into the face at various points to relax muscles and reduce wrinkles, thereby hiding the effects of aging.
“This injectable can temporarily reduce wrinkles, fine lines and refresh your appearance. Additionally, it is FDA and MHRA approved for its safe use in cosmetics and medicine.
“Botox injections are used to temporarily stop a muscle from moving. This toxin is produced by the microbe that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning.”
“Botox has now become synonymous with beauty and well-being. It is commonly served around the world and has gained popularity among people of all ages.”
Why is botox so popular?
“There has been a major shift in how women in their 20s are now using anti-wrinkle products as a preventative measure,” explains Alice.
“And while the reasons are probably as multifaceted as this generation itself, many would agree on one thing: The impact of social media cannot be underestimated.
“For women in their twenties, there is no more popular way to reduce wrinkles than Botox.”
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons also cites a “Zoom Boom” where people realize they are seeing, analyzing and criticizing their appearance on screens during the coronavirus pandemic.
He adds, “According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, cosmetic injection treatments like Botox have increased by 28 percent since 2010 among 20- to 29-year-olds.”
How young is too young?
Alice says that “people often don’t realize that botox is prevention, not treatment.”
He adds: “As we age, the movement of the muscles beneath the surface of the skin becomes less dynamic and more static – fine lines and wrinkles become more and more present, and not just during movement.
In short, Botox works best for smoothing fine lines, especially those caused by muscle movement when you smile or squint; however, it cannot fill in or smooth deeper lines.
“Most women need to start anti-wrinkle injections in their twenties. This prevents ‘dynamic wrinkles’ or mimic wrinkles from turning into ‘static’ wrinkles.’
Botox injections are not designed to erase facial expressions, but instead soften the lines of excessive facial expression
How much will it cost?
Botox is not cheap. Alice explains that “the standard three areas at the top of the face, which is the forehead frown and crow’s feet” can cost up to £450 per session.
“Brand name Botox is much more expensive than other toxins like Dysport, Xeomin or Azzalure, which is where you will see price discrepancies between clinics.”
He advises: ‘Always ask about the packaging to make sure you’re getting the brand you’re paying for.’
Is there any downtime or aftercare?
Alice recommends the following measures so that anti-wrinkle injections can work optimally in the target muscles:
“No rubbing or massaging the injection area for 6 hours after treatment, including facials. No strenuous exercise for 24 hours after treatment. Stay upright for 6 hours – no lying on your front.
“No makeup on the treated area the same day and use gentle skin care products the night after the injections.”
Botox results do not appear immediately. In fact, Alice says that “the full results of the treatment will then be seen in two weeks”.
How long does botox last?
A Botox brand typically lasts three to four months. But from July this year, a new anti-wrinkle brand called Alluzience will be available in the UK that can last up to 10 months.
Harley Street Injectables will be one of the first clinics in the UK to offer Alluzience.
“This is a breakthrough for the beauty industry,” says Alice. “Unlike other botulinum toxins on the market, Alluzience does not require reconstitution before use, allowing for greater accuracy for clinicians and greater client satisfaction.
“It also lasts much longer than Botox and doesn’t need to be applied as often as Botox. This is an important milestone for both patients and healthcare professionals.
Alice herself points out that the new anti-wrinkle brand won’t be for everyone.
“A lot of my clients who are actors or models need to have more expression for movies or photo shoots, so they prefer the shorter term results that Botox achieves,” she says.
“However, many of my clients would prefer longer-term results, so Alluzience will be the perfect alternative for them.”
Nurse Alice Henshaw recommends doing your research before going under the needle
Does botox wear off faster if I’m very expressive?
Botox temporarily paralyzes muscles and smooths out wrinkles for several months before another dose is needed, but Alice warns that it can wear out faster in the muscle you use most.
“Frowning lines can appear faster because it’s a much stronger muscle on the face of ten and you can use it more often,” she says. “Mature skin with declining collagen may experience faster wear off of Botox. That’s because collagen is a key component of your skin that keeps you looking youthful and prevents the appearance of lines and wrinkles.’
Answer? Alice recommends staying consistent with your treatment to prolong its effects.
Alice adds: “For example, botox for migraines has helped many patients who reported that their headaches improved with repeated treatments.”
How can I avoid a Botox “frozen” face?
“My motto is always fresh, not frozen!” says Alice. “We can do a natural dose to keep you moving.
“This is known as ‘baby botox’ or micro-tox, which we do to treat wrinkles for a more natural result, which is a smaller amount of toxin – at the same strength – which can produce subtle results for a fresh facial appearance, something that in the last few became more and more popular over the years.”
Do botox injections hurt?
Alice tells MailOnline that patients say it “barely hurts” and most people find the results are worth any discomfort.
Are botox injections safe for your face?
Alice stresses the importance of doing your research and understanding what is being injected into your face before going under the needle.
“There was some misunderstanding about the safety of botulinum toxin when the treatment was first started,” he says.
“Potentially serious life-threatening symptoms would require 3,000 units given to one person, whereas normally you would only give 30-50 units per treatment. Botox used in the right hands is safe and has full FDA approval.
“A treatment is only as effective or successful as the skill of the person administering it. Always have botox applied by a doctor, whether it’s a nurse practitioner, a dentist or a doctor.”