Men and women all over the UK have become big fans of Botox over the last decade or so, with most people opting for the anti-ageing treatment once they start to see crows feet and frown lines appearing on their faces.
Although it was first introduced in Britain in 1994, it was only used for medical purposes for several years before making it on to the mainstream cosmetic market in the early 2000s. However, once it was more well-known, middle-aged Brits soon became huge fans of the non-invasive cosmetic procedure that could turn back time and make them appear years younger.
Celebrities were huge endorsements for the injections, with the likes of Courtney Cox, Madonna, Katie Price, Simon Cowell, and Kylie Minogue all having undergone the procedure in the past.
However, over the years, the trend has subtly shifted from those in their 40s, 50s and 60s getting Botox to slow down the ageing process to those as young as 20 signing up for the treatment as an attempt to prevent wrinkles ever kicking in.
Indeed, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 100,000 Botox procedures were carried out on people between the ages of 20 and 29 in the States in 2014 – an increase of six per cent from the previous year.
Similarly, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that 64 per cent of surgeons reported a rise in people under 30 receiving aesthetic treatments.
So, the question remains: what is the right age to get Botox?
More and more people are opting for Botox as a preventive measure, and several specialists support this, saying small doses of the injection will help freeze facial muscles so wrinkles cannot form.
Los Angeles facial plastic surgeon Sheila Nazarian was quoted by Glamour magazine as saying: “Potentially, if you start early, you will atrophy the facial muscles and weaken them so that you don’t have to get Botox as often when you are older.”
However, as regular Botox users will know, the effects are not long-lasting. The muscles only remain frozen for a few months’ at a time, and you have to receive further treatment when the effects begin to wear off, and the wrinkles will resurface.
Therefore, if this is the case, young people are not likely to receive any permanent benefits from receiving Botox if they don’t have wrinkles already.
Writing for the National Post, Dana Berkowitz, associate professor of sociology at Louisiana State University, said: “To start young, then, means to enlist a lifetime of treatment.”
What’s more, young people who begin the procedure before they need to can become obsessed with having regular treatments for the rest of their life and it can make them anxious or neurotic about their appearance, even if they have nothing to worry about yet.
Indeed, Dr Nazarian said: “You cannot stop using [Botox] if you want to prevent wrinkles.”
Therefore, the best time to start using Botox is when wrinkles show signs of appearing on your face and this begins to bother you. The anti-aging procedure can smooth out lines and make you look younger – but only if ‘younger’ is a look you need to achieve.
Find out more about Botox foundation courses here.