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The problem with the botox deniers

By Georgia Seago
3rd March 2022

Botox deniers are the famous people, the celebs, who have clearly had a great deal of help with their looks but if you see them asked about it in an interview or on a talk show they’ll say, “I tried Botox once and it made me look weird, so I’ve not done it again”.  They then go on to say how the secret to their youthful looks is the fact they eat a special diet or do deep breathing or yoga or there’s an amazing cream they’ve discovered. Or, in Jennifer Lopez’s case, it’s all down to olive oil and being kind, as she told journalists last year.

As nice as it would be if this were the case, it simply isn’t. The changes that occur in our faces as we age happen to everyone: to me, you, your friends, your colleagues and your relatives. They are also happening to all the actors, celebs and public figures who look surprisingly good for their years. Did those people just win the genetic lottery? Perhaps. But genes will only get you so far. They won’t help prevent collagen breakdown, fat loss and bone resorption, which are all natural parts of the ageing process.

So, how do all the beautiful, preternaturally younger-looking older people look that way? Yes, they also benefit from having great stylists and make-up artist as well as flattering lighting on the screen and in photo shoots, but that won’t account for their remarkably smooth foreheads when sitting in front of a journalist being interviewed.

For most of them, however much they deny it, they have had a little help. Sometimes that help is a bit over enthusiastic and too obvious, but increasingly cosmetic doctors are getting so good at what they do that their work is hard to spot. I go to a lot of aesthetic conferences, and I like to go up to doctors and say: “So, Dr So-and-So, I gather you’re doing a lot less Botox these days?”. They usually look at me perplexed and say, “What do you mean?”. They’re expecting some form of joke or trick, and I’ll say “The thing is, all these people are always saying that they tried it once but wouldn’t do it again. They talk of a ‘Botox backlash’, saying everybody’s giving up on it. You guys must be going out of work?”.

But of course, they’re not going out of work – Botox is booming. Usually when I ask this question they roar with laughter and say, “You know this is my number-one procedure? It’s just that we’re doing such a good job that no-one can tell, and the famous faces can lie and get away with it!”. Some practitioners even tell me that famous patients ask specifically for other anti-wrinkle injections which have different brand names to Botox, but which do the same job. Because then, if they are asked whether they have Botox, they can (almost truthfully) say, “No.”

Gwyneth Paltrow is a perfect case in point. In 2013, she vowed to never have Botox again because it made her look “crazy”. You may then think it strange that she was unveiled as the face of an anti-wrinkle injectable 7 years later. But because the product in question goes by a different name, Gwyneth technically isn’t going back on her word. Instead, she’s using the exact same product as Botox under a different name, albeit with a few modifications that make it “uniquely purified”, as goes the toxin’s promotional copy. That the product is “purer” than its competitors is a marketing approach rather than scientific fact, but it makes the toxin a better fit for Gwyneth’s wellness-conscious audience nonetheless.

Have they, or haven’t they?

The problem I have with the Botox deniers is that it’s downright deceitful and really unhelpful for the vast majority of people who despair of the toll that life is taking on their ageing faces. This disingenuity makes normal people who look up to these idols and think, “Well, maybe if I try a vegan diet or daily meditation, or buy that special cream, my looks will improve, too.”

And it’s not just famous faces who lie about having work done, other ‘normal’ people lie about it too. If you think someone has had Botox but they are claiming they haven’t, ask yourself if they look unusually good for their age. Is their range of expression a bit more limited than you might expect? Do their eyebrows barely move, no matter what they are talking about? Are they uncommonly wrinkle-free? Do they look scarcely a month older than they did five or 10 years ago? If the answers are “Yes”, then I think you know what this is telling you. And if you put them in a line-up with their school contemporaries, would they blend right in or stick out a mile?

I love watching well-known people on TV chat shows, particularly when they are sat next to someone who has clearly had nothing done, and comparing and contrasting their faces (all in the name of research of course). Untouched faces have a natural range of movement. Their eyebrows can lift right up and wrinkle the forehead or come together creating the 11 tramlines between them; their eyes can be scrunched up or open wide and smiles can crease up the whole face and light up the eyes. It’s a really useful reality check.

Of course, it is possible that these impossibly-attractive, eternally-youthful people are just that lucky in the looks department. But these days, it is also very likely that they have had a bit of help from an aesthetic practitioner, too. So, if you hear them saying they’ve tried Botox once, but renounced it forever… take it with a pinch of salt.

If you’re interested in tweakments and would like to find practitioners near you who I’d trust with my own face, click here.

 

 

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