According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 7.4 million people in the U.S. receive Botox treatments in a single year. With injectables on the rise and more conversations happening around “preventative Botox”, it begs the question: Can you get Botox too soon?
Are There A Risks With Premature Botox Injection?
"There is no risk to getting Botox too early, it's just a waste of money," said Cori Agarwal, MD, a plastic surgeon at the University of Utah Health, "We don't know of any downside of starting too early, but also, no benefit."
When Is The Right Time For Botox?
Dr. Agarwal says that people do not need to start Botox until their skin starts to lose elasticity. One way to recognize a loss in elasticity is to notice if lines from facial reactions remain after you've stopped making that reaction, which typically occurs in your thirties.
"My advice to patients is to start to treat lines when they begin to stick around. When you smile or frown, lines may develop during the expression. They generally go away when the face is relaxed. However, when lines start to stick around at rest, that's when you can consider getting initial Botox treatments,” says Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City.
“In some people, this may be in the mid-twenties, while in others after 30. I've found that there has been a shift in the age of women asking for Botox now, compared to even five years ago. Now more than ever, I have patients coming in asking for Botox in preparation of their thirtieth birthday. A few years ago, it was extremely rare for any woman in her twenties to be considering this option," continues Zeichner.
Potential Risks Associated With Botox Overuse
Another thing to keep in mind is that Botox only lasts 3-6 months. If used too regularly and before loss of elasticity you do run the risk of having Botox potentially age you.
How? With Botox overuse, it causes your muscles to weaken and flatten making the skin look loose. You’re also more likely to begin recruiting other muscles to do the job of raising your eyebrows which could increase the amount of wrinkles you have.
The bottom line: Start using Botox treatments conservatively when your skin shows signs of aging, spend time finding the right injection doctor for your needs, and always consult with a healthcare provider.