Ten to fifteen years ago, the use of Botox and facial fillers were rarely discussed. Those who opted to have noninvasive facial treatments were usually over the age of thirty-five to forty and were looking to soften up their appearance in a subtle way. Most patients received their treatments privately and discreetly, hoping others would attribute their sudden glow up to a good night’s sleep or great genes.
Nowadays, Botox and fillers are terms that are thrown around in casual conversations among both people over 35 and those as young as 18. Receiving facial treatments carries little to no stigma and is actually increasingly being recommended as a way for young people to freeze their youthful features for as long as possible. But what is the legitimacy behind the concept of preventative Botox and fillers? Is it worth it to start injectables before wrinkles even appear, and will it really help prevent future signs of aging? Below we go over the concept of preventable Botox and fillers and way out the pros and cons.
What is Botox, and What does it do?
Botox is a brand name of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Once injected under the skin and into facial muscles, Botox blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. This means that the muscles injected cannot contract. The result is overall facial relaxation and reduced, softened wrinkles. Botox can be used in virtually any part of the face, but is primarily used on forehead lines, on the fine lines around the eyes, and frown lines at the nasolabial crease. Once a person starts to develop wrinkles and facial lines when the face is relaxed, Botox can be very beneficial in smoothing out the skin and creating a more youthful appearance.
What are Fillers, and What do they do?
Injectable filler is a soft tissue substance that is injected into the skin to help fill in facial wrinkles and restore a smoother, more youthful appearance. Most of the visible signs of aging are traced back to volume loss. By strategically choosing areas to fill up over time, you can slow the onset of aging signs.
If you are considering getting facial fillers, you should make yourself familiar with the different filler options available. There are many different types of facial fillers on the market that can be chosen depending on your unique needs and your budget. Some fillers are made from materials found naturally in the human body, while others are made from synthetic materials. Some of the most common filler options are listed below:
1. Hyaluronic acid – Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that is already found in your skin that helps keep skin plump and hydrated. These types of fillers are typically soft and gel-like. The results are temporary, lasting six to 12 months or longer before the body gradually and naturally absorbs the particles. Some FDA approved HA fillers include Juvéderm products, Restylane products and Belotero Balance.
2. Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) – Calcium hydroxylapatite is also a naturally occurring substance found primarily in bones. The consistency of a CaHA filler is thicker than that of a hyaluronic acid filler and usually last longer as well, about 12 months for most patients. Calcium hydroxylapatite is also reported to help stimulate natural collagen production, and it is typically used for deeper lines and wrinkles. FDA approved CaHA fillers include Radiesse.
3. Poly-L-lactic Acid – Poly-L-lactic acid is a biodegradable synthetic substance that is safe for the body. The main function of poly-L-lactic acid products is to smooth fine lines is by helping your skin rebuild natural collagen. The filler gel itself dissipates a few days after treatment. Poly-L-lactic acid results can last more than two years. FDA approved Poly-L-lactic acid fillers include Sculptra Aesthetic.
4. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) – Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is a synthetic, biocompatible substance that contains collagen. In dermal fillers, PMMA takes the form of a tiny ball under the skin that remains there indefinitely to provide continued support. FDA approved PMMA fillers include Bellafill.
What is Considered Preventative use of Botox and Fillers, and Does it Work?
Preventative use of Botox and fillers is when you opt to have treatments done before noticeable lines and wrinkles appear on your face. This is usually done for patients in their late teens or twenties. The idea is that relaxing the muscles or filling in areas where there are no noticeable signs of aging will slow down the aging process and teach the muscles to relax. These treatments need to be continued over time to maintain ideal results.
So do preventative treatments of Botox and fillers really work to reduce signs of aging? The overall consensus is yes, but there’s no need to start too early. If you begin to notice faint lines showing when your face is relaxed, then it’s probably not a bad idea to start on preventative treatments. However, if you have yet to show signs of aging when your face is relaxed, then there’s really no need to start on treatments yet. A good facial routine (cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen) should be fine until those lines do start to appear.
Starting Botox too early can actually have the adverse effect of weakening facial muscles, which could cause them to droop later on in life. Your doctor or aesthetician can help you determine when it is right for you to get started on Botox and facial fillers.
Botox and fillers are an effective and proven way to smooth out facial lines and give yourself a more youthful appearance. Starting these treatments early can be an effective way to slow down the aging process, but they don’t need to be started if you don’t already see faint signs on aging on your face. Until then, practice good skincare and remember to always wear sunscreen!