Botox kisses — ODE Dermatology

Botox kisses

How injectables became an open secret

Botox kisses

As seen on The Sydney Morning Herald

By Julia Naughton •

Injecting Botox into your face was, in earlier days, reserved only for the mega-wealthy or famous. It was also something nobody spoke about.

Today, such an act has become commonplace whether you live in the inner city or an outer western suburb – the only difference being the “frozen look” is out – and so is the secrecy.

The Millennial clientele is skincare-literate: they know their vitamin A from their vitamin C, are religious with daily SPF, and have spent hundreds of dollars on other non-surgical facial treatments.

“Baby Botox”, or preventative Botox – which works to temporarily paralyse the facial muscles that cause wrinkles to form – is the obvious next step.

It’s a phenomenon Dr Shyamalar Gunatheesan, founding dermatologist at ODE Dermatology, has seen in the last three to five years. “In the same way people are becoming more knowledgeable about the importance of active ingredients in skincare, preventative Botox is an extension of this.”

A 2006 study examining the long-term effects of Botox on female identical twins found regular injections drastically reduced the appearance of facial wrinkles.

Researchers injected one twin in the forehead and glabella region two to three times a year for 13 years while her twin received Botox only twice (in the forehead and glabella region) over a 10-year period.

The findings revealed imprinted forehead and glabella lines were not evident in the regularly treated twin, while they were in the minimally treated twin.

By reducing those muscle contractions, she explains, the skin isn’t creasing as much and therefore those deeper wrinkles become less severe.

Although Gunatheesan says there is a place for anti-ageing injections – by a trained professional such as a doctor or dermatologist – should someone wish to soften etched lines and wrinkles, she has concerns over young people using them as the only measure to prevent wrinkles.

“There are so many other great devices and treatments you can have in your anti-ageing toolkit that actually work to build and strengthen the muscles in your face, which we know helps to improve the luminosity and plumpness of skin.”

She points to tools like laser treatments and light therapy that are shown to assist with collagen production.

“I genuinely worry about the effects of long-term Botox use, because the more you let your muscles atrophy, the weaker they get and we just don’t know what effects this has over a long period.”

Gunatheesan says proponents of Botox will tell you that if you start young, you’ll therefore need less Botox over time. But she argues that you need less because you’re actually not using the muscles. “The skin then looks loose, thin and translucent the more and more you do Botox over many years.”

“I genuinely worry about the effects of long-term Botox use, because the more you let your muscles atrophy, the weaker they get and we just don’t know what effects this has over a long period,” says Gunatheesan.

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