Botox for wrinkle prevention: sense or nonsense?

August 2, 2011

People don’t want to be over 30 these days, or even look 30.
People don’t want to be over 30 these days, or even look 30.

So, if you get Botox injections in your early 20s, can you prevent future wrinkles? This is a question plaguing many 20-year-olds. Take 29-year-old cupcake manufacturer, Tiffany Rose Goodyear. She started getting Botox injections at age 24 to smooth forehead wrinkles. At 29, she still uses Botox, reasoning that wrinkle treatments now will spare her from plastic surgery down the road.

In “Straight Talk About Cosmetic Surgery,” plastic surgeon Arthur Perry says, “The concept of trying to prevent future wrinkles is nutty. You don’t want to use a drug unless you need the drug, and Botox is a drug.” Perry notes that although wrinkles appear on some in their mid-20s, they most commonly surface when people are in their 40s and 50s. If you start wrinkle prevention injections in your 20s, you can spend about $30,000 on Botox before you’re in your 40s. Further, there is no definitive evidence that Botox can stop wrinkles from forming.

Other plastic surgeons disagree with Perry, stating that it’s possible that Botox could prevent further wrinkling. They reason that since regular Botox treatments make the muscle-relaxing effect last longer, muscles may atrophy after lack of use. Also, the wrinkles that return may not be as severe.

Okay, there are no simple answers. What is clear, however, is that younger people are getting Botox. MSNBC reports that recently there’s been a great increase in use among 20-somethings. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 370,597 people between the ages of 19 and 34 got Botox injections in 2010, which is 15.2% of the total population——a lot of Botox for very few wrinkles.

Here’s why they’re doing it: According to Debbie Then, a California-based psychologist, “People don’t even want to be over 30 these days, and nobody wants to look 30.” Social media is a culprit; the first thing someone learns about you is what you look like. Further, if your friends start doing Botox, the pressure grows.

If you choose to wait until wrinkles appear before you get Botox, don’t smile when you look in the mirror. A smile will produce wrinkles, even in a 6-year-old. Meanwhile, fight wrinkle formation with sunscreen, a good diet and no smoking. 


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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