What do an 8 year old in the US and a 15 year old in the UK both have in common?
Apparently, being injected with Botoxin by their well-meaning mothers…
The 8 year old having facial aesthetic treatment may or may not have been a publicity stunt, and there was also some serious back peddling by the mother of the 15 year old to suggest treatment was for an (as yet unconfirmed) medical condition. However, since introducing anti-wrinkle treatments at ProDenta, we have noticed the average age of a patient requesting Botox is getting younger. The majority of under-30s enquiring about these types of facial aesthetics come in for two main reasons:
- Their friends have had it done, or
- They have a strong desire to prevent the development of deep creases.
With whitening regulations coming into force in October 2012 – making it illegal to offer tooth whitening on anyone under the age of 18 – could it be time to set similar standards for cosmetic Botoxin treatments?
Let’s break this down. Age 15 is below the age of consent, so clearly, it’s too young – but is 18 reasonable? What about 21? Katie “Jordan” Price confesses to starting her Botoxin treatments at age 25. Could there be untold benefits from starting young?
Our chief practitioner, Dr. Shubhra Lallu, advises those in their early to mid-twenties to focus on daily skin health, rather than opting for Botox right away. Applying SPF cream daily comes highly recommended, as well as minimising UV exposure – whether it’s from a sunny holiday in Madrid, or a sun bed on St. John’s Hill! Like UV, smoking also damages the collagen fibres, which is basically the scaffolding that supports the skin. Keep hydrated – drinking 8 glasses of water a day isn’t just an old wives’ tale, it really helps to keep your skin supple and healthy. Finally, use good quality creams. Shubhra highly recommends a night cream with retinol, and the NeoStrata Aminofil two stage cream, as it has volumising properties. A gentle glycolic skin peel would also be beneficial to remove dead cells and refresh your skin’s surface.
The late twenties and early thirties are when we tend to see our patients for their first treatments. By your late twenties, you might start to notice small creases when the skin is static, and more pronounced wrinkles when the face is expressive. Anti-wrinkle injections at the site of these wrinkles would work well at this stage to stop the overuse of the muscles, and further development of deep lines. However, patients in this age group may wish to consider slightly lighter doses of Botoxin to retain some natural movement – in fact, it’s not uncommon to only see them twice a year.
Moving forward a decade, however, changes things. You may wish to consider a slightly more frequent series of Botox treatments in your 40s, upping the amount to 3 or 4 times a year. A deeper peel could also be considered, such as a non-toxic TCA. This is designed to reduce age spots, improve skin texture, and to reduce fine lines, but you do need to be prepared for about three days of post-operative redness.
Practically speaking, there is an ideal upper limit, too. The UK government has approved the use of Botox on patients between the ages of 18-65 years – however, it can be used “off label” for any age. That being said, in your golden years, you may find that the skin is too lax for Botoxin to have any real benefit – so you may consider more invasive work at this stage.
Bear in mind that genetics also have a part to play. You might be lucky and naturally produce barrels of collagen for life, or experience different wrinkles, fine lines, or crows’ feet to other people. This is perfectly normal, and our number one piece of advice to stay looking your freshest is to develop an effective daily skincare routine at a young age to prevent needing more invasive damage control later in life.