What Is Preventative Botox?
An expert injector explains.
It may seem like everyone and their mom is lining up to schedule an appointment for Botox and that’s because everyone and their mom *is* lining up to schedule an appointment for Botox, especially after basking in the summer sun these past several months. In fact, nearly 6.2 million treatments were performed in 2019 and, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, about 20 percent of these procedures were performed on people ages 20-39.
But is “preventative” Botox really necessary for a millennial generation that gets to bask in the youthful glow of smooth, unwrinkled skin? The short answer is “probably yes,” at least according to the folks at NYC’s uber-popular medical spa, JECT, which specializes in the popular cosmetic.
We chatted with Dafna Gershoony, PA-C, an “expert injector” on the team to get her professional take on whether Botox is worth it for a younger clientele. Here’s what she had to say:
Beautytap: What does Botox do?
Dafna Gershoony, PA-C: Wrinkle reducers like Botox are an effective, temporary treatment for visibly minimizing facial lines. Wrinkle reducers directly act on motor neurons to reduce muscle activity. There are multiple brands of injectable wrinkle reducers on the market, but they all share a common hero ingredient: botulinum toxin. These treatments are [also] FDA-approved.
Beautytap: Why do you recommend preventative Botox?
DG: Preventative treatments are becoming more common because they work. Wrinkle reducers reduce the movement in the muscles in the face, which softens the lines and prevents them from getting deeper. At JECT, we recommend starting wrinkle reducer treatments before the lines are visible at rest.
Beautytap: When is a good time to get preventative Botox?
DG: Prevention is powerful! Because wrinkles are due to the repetitive movement of the skin, by getting wrinkle reducer injections like Botox earlier, you can keep them from happening in the first place, rather than attempting to fix them after they’ve developed. Slowing down the use of these muscles early will prevent the deep lines from developing.
Think of it as a marathon—small treatments and maintenance over time will result in much more natural long-term results. Whether you’re 25 or 35—because everyone’s skin is different—the best time to start treatment [as previously mentioned] is before lines appear at rest.
Beautytap: Is it true that once you start Botox, you shouldn’t stop? Is it a myth that wrinkles will get worse after taking extended breaks?
DG: No. Botox gets naturally metabolized by our bodies and once it’s completely worn off, there are no long-term ramifications if stopped. However, most people don’t want to stop treatment because they love the results!
Beautytap: How long does a Botox treatment last?
DG: Typically, Botox lasts 3-6 months. Many people have the misconception that Botox lasts 3-6 months and one day it just disappears. It is more of a curve—at its strongest two weeks post-treatment—and slowly wears off over the next 3-6 months. We study this timeline, especially with our brides or clients that have a big event coming up, to make sure we’re treating [them] at the optimal time so results are perfect on the day of the event.
Beautytap: What shouldn’t you do before and after a Botox session?
DG: Before your treatment, don’t take any blood thinners such as Advil, Aspirin, or Motrin. These can increase your risk of bruising. Do not, however, stop any prescription medications without talking to your doctor first. Alcohol consumption can also thin the blood, making it more likely for you to bruise, so pass on the booze.
After your treatment, don’t exercise for 24 hours or take the aforementioned medications for risk of bruising. Also, don’t drink alcohol directly after treatments [for the same reason].
Whether you’re making up for lost time or preventing more time-intensive future treatments, one thing’s for certain: Botox isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s effective and when performed properly by a reputable, experienced injector, can provide smoother skin for many years to come.