Preventative Botox: Does it work?

Yes, it’s true. Having Botox in your 20s, before your cute expression lines harden into permanent wrinkles, means those ‘imprinted lines’, the ones that you can still see when the face is at rest, just won’t show up 10 years later. Logically, it stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if you poleaxe the muscles that make you frown, those frown lines won’t form, and it has been clinically proven, too, by a study that followed two identical twin sisters for 13 years and found that the twin who had toxin two or three times a year in her forehead and between her eyebrows really didn’t have any visible imprinted lines in those areas by her mid-thirties, but her twin did, whereas the lines on other areas of their faces (eg, the nose-to-mouth lines) were much the same.

Alice pointing to her forehead

I wish it wasn’t true. Not because I’m a grumpy old thing who didn’t start Botox until she was 40, but because it demonises wrinkles as something shameful to be avoided at all costs when of course they’re a normal consequence of the expressions we use to communicate with each other — which is kind of fundamental to everyday social interaction.

So, are there pitfalls? If you have too much Botox, enough that your eyebrows shoot skyward or collapse down onto your eyes or start to drift sideways towards your ears. you just look weird and blank, which isn’t a great look at any age. And muscles that are continuously whacked with Botox will weaken and atrophy, but you might not mind that, especially if you have chunky jaw muscles from grinding your teeth. Toxin in the masseter, the chewing muscles, stops you from putting so much pressure on your teeth, and a less bulky muscle will make your jaw slimmer, too.

Also, apart from the continued expense, there’s the fact that it’s rare, but not unheard of, to become resistant to Botox over time. It seems to happen more to people who have larger and more regular doses, and it seems to happen when your body generates antibodies to the proteins that are part of the toxin’s structure.

How to get it right? Have cautious, conservative treatment, just enough to soften your expressions without wiping them out, and don’t have it too often.  There’s no law that says you have to have the stuff continuously. The Botox police won’t come and get you if you stop.

To learn more about wrinkle-relaxing injections, click here.