They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For some millennials, this could mean starting Botox early to keep wrinkles from forming in the first place, says Capizzi MD‘s Marketing Director Olivia Capizzi.
It’s called preventative Botox, and patients can start getting it long before they ever see a line. Expression lines in the forehead and around the eyes are the main complaint of patients seeking Botox. “When you start getting injections early, the Botox freezes the muscles so you can’t make wrinkle-causing expressions in the first place,” Olivia said.
Although the average age of Botox’s current consumer is 46, parent company Allergan is now marketing to a younger demographic — a generation far less squeamish about injectables and plastic surgery than any before it.
According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (AFPRS), the past five years have seen a 22-percent increase among 22-37 year olds seeking Botox injections (the millennial age group is typically defined as persons aged 23 to 38 in 2019).
Social media can claim part of the credit for this uptick. Millennials are the first generation broadcasting their face to thousands of followers with every post. A recent AFPRS study reports 42 percent of its member offices seeing patients who want cosmetic procedures to look better in photos they post online.
And while many (most? all? )generations have worried about how to fix wrinkles and other age-related problems once they happen, millennials are unique in their desire to get ahead of the aging process by any means necessary. That means gone is the taboo of “getting work done,” according to Forbes.
Since Botox is more minimally invasive than cosmetic procedures of days gone by, patients generally don’t have to worry about recovery time or excessive pain — another big draw for millennials who aren’t able to miss work for cosmetic procedures.
“It’s a super tiny needle,” Olivia promises. “And if you come over to our Botox Bar on your lunch break and go right back to work, no one will know.”
Starting early boils down to dollars and sense as well, Olivia says. Patients pay for Botox per unit and it requires more units to get rid of an existing wrinkle than to prevent new ones from forming. Olivia says “reactionary” Botox for an existing wrinkle may require double or triple the amount of units versus preventative Botox. Also if you’re older when you start, you may need to come back for treatments every three months, while a younger person may only need one or two treatments per year.
If you’re ready for Botox, when should you start?
Olivia says it depends on the person and their lifestyle (i.e. do they wear sunscreen or work outdoors?) but she recommends Botox newbies to be 24 to 27 years old for their first treatment. However, she said she also sees many patients starting as young as 22.
Am I going to look strange or “frozen”?
You’ll need to make sure you pick a reputable injector to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Capizzi MD’s main goal is subtle, natural results that will have your friends into wondering whether you’ve had work done at all. Olivia said each appointment includes a mini-consultation with injection specialists who will talk to patients about their lifestyle and problem areas, and help form a plan of treatment that will keep them looking natural but youthful.
What if I’m not ready yet? Do I have other options?
Capizzi offers a variety of retinol products that are a great first step at preventing wrinkles, such as ZO Skin Health’s antioxidant serum. Olivia suggests coming in for a consult to find out what products and procedures are right for you.