Georgia Seago, 29
I had my first toxins treatment this year, at 29. Will I do it again? Absolutely. I love what it did to my face. It made me a look fresher, a little smoother and softly lifted. The effects were subtle and probably undetectable to anyone else because I didn’t have any wrinkles to begin with. I imagine this is precisely why Alice will argue I didn’t need toxins at all, and I get it – why treat something that doesn’t need treating? Why worry about something that hasn’t materialised? But that’s just it – my lines and wrinkles haven’t happened yet, but they will. So while I’m young and am lucky to have great skin and regularly get told I don’t look my age, I want to take advantage and invest in my face’s future.
We know that preventative toxin is a ‘thing’ and is backed up by clinical evidence, so to me, it’s not dissimilar from how I use skincare – I use ingredients that are future-proofing my skin from showing signs of ageing. My peptide eye gel, vitamin C serum, AHA exfoliant and retinol night cream are all working hard to keep my skin texture smooth and hydrated, my sun damage hidden, my first fine lines soft, and my skin tone bright. It makes sense to enhance that effort with a little toxin here and there.
In fact, I initially had toxins to see if it would lift the hooding in my right eyelid (which it did, a bit), but the bigger revelation was how it pepped up my face overall. We want to look good to feel good, right? I felt good! And having toxins didn’t make me obsess about my face more or set me into a spiral of panic over ageing, I promise. I love the bunny lines that appear when I crinkle my nose. I love that I only have one dimple when I smile. I love the little fine lines that have appeared around my eyes as a tribute to every time I’ve laughed and cried. It’s for these reasons that I don’t want loads of injectable work. I’m not interested in having my lips filled, my nose tinkered with, my eyes elongated, or my jawline super-sharpened. I don’t want to change my face; I just want to look like the best version of me for a good while yet. So, I don’t think I’m too young for injectables, but I do think I’m too young for heavy injectables – and there’s a big difference.
Alice Hart-Davis, 59
I know toxins is increasingly popular among 20-somethings. I know they’ve cottoned on to the fact – proven by a study of twins many years ago, that having toxin treatments pre-emptively, before your frown lines have had a chance to settle into place, stops those lines becoming ingrained, so you look much smoother-of-brow in your 30s. I know it’s much more widely available and socially acceptable than it was 20 years ago. I know it won’t do them any harm – botulinum toxin A has been used so extensive and studied so widely over the past 50 years that is is much better understood than newer treatments used in aesthetics. I know young women could argue that it’s simply future-proofing their options, the facial equivalent of freezing their eggs.
But I still wish 20-somethings would hold off. Here’s why. It’s not just because I’m old and grumpy (though I know I sound it). It’s more because fretting about expression lines and wrinkles before you’ve even got any seems to me to be demonising those lines as something to be avoided at all costs. We use our faces the whole time to communicate, and express our feelings. I may be a fan of toxin myself, but even I’m not in favour of obliterating expression lines to the point that it becomes hard to emote, even if you have an unusually mobile, expressive face.
Then there’s the cost to factor in. Regular sessions of wrinkle-relaxing injections two or three times a year will make quite a dent in your beauty budget. I’d argue that the key things to be spending money on instead would be a good quality antioxidant serum and sunscreen, and complicated complexion-boosting treatments like the HydraFacial or SkinStorm, which deep-cleanse the skin, jam it full of nourishing serums and chase away acne bacteria.
And I know from personal experience that even if you don’t have toxin until you’re 40 it’s still perfectly possible to clear away the lines on your forehead. So hold off, ok? At least until you start to see lines while your face is relaxed and at rest.
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