Does Preventative Botox Actually Work?

Botox is the brand name of a cosmetic procedure designed to minimize the appearance of facial creases and wrinkles (via WebMD). Botox injections are not permanent, given that they work by temporarily freezing and relaxing the muscles for three to 12 months, depending on the type of treatment, per Medical News Today. While many adults wait until they're older and have noticeable wrinkles on their faces to get Botox, others use it as a preventative measure. But does this actually work?

According to experts at SELF, the number of Botox patients in their 20s and 30s has increased dramatically within the last few years. "While five years ago the youngest patients getting Botox were in their late 30s, now we are seeing a lot of women coming in around the time of their 30th birthday to start treating," Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, told the outlet. According to Zeichner, preventative Botox can certainly help people who have lines appear on their face when they purse their lips, furrow their brows, or make other common facial movements.

Too much preventative Botox can age you

Preventative Botox should be used sparingly, however. Since people in their 20s and 30s tend to have youthful and more elastic skin, the amount of Botox required to help prevent the appearance of lines and wrinkles is fairly minimal. In fact, targeted micro injections are typically the best course of action for younger patients, according to experts at Vogue. Not to mention, too much Botox can weaken the muscles in your face over time, making you appear older than you actually are.

"If you do too much Botox on your forehead for many, many years, the muscles will get weaker and flatter," Dr. Patricia Wexler, of Wexler Dermatology in Manhattan, told Vogue. This can make your skin look loose and force your face to use other, less weak muscles as compensation to make common facial expressions. "If one stops using their forehead muscles, they may start squinting using their nose and have wrinkles along the side of their nose," Wexler added. This could require even more Botox. That's why it's important to find a dermatologist who will use Botox sparingly on patients with lines and wrinkles just starting to form.