Gone are the days when beginning anti-aging treatment before a woman’s 30th birthday simply meant reaching for the latest collagen-boosting night cream or retinol-infused serum. In increasing numbers, 20- to 30-something-year-olds are turning to preventative injections to get a head start on freezing fine lines and crow’s feet in their tracks before they appear in the first place. It appears that injectibles like Botox, which was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic use in 2002, might be a way to beat wrinkles to the punch.
The average age range for Botox injections remains between 40 to 59, but with a steady rise in younger patients opting for the procedure, it raises the question: Is preventative Botox actually effective?
Dr. Vartan Mardirossian, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, says about a quarter of his patients are in their 20s and 30s, with a sizable chunk of that percentage seeking Botox injections. “I recommend that [my younger patients] come back twice every year, because they really don’t have a lot of wrinkles going on,” he says.
Experts say that preserving the skin’s collagen early on will help delay collagen’s breakdown, thus delaying the aging process. “If you think of your skin like a piece of paper, then muscle movement is like folding or crinkling it,” says board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Dana Goldberg.