Just Turned 30?? Time for Botox!

There’s a trend sweeping the Millennial generation.  It’s called “pre-juvenation”.  Essentially, increasingly younger patients (in droves!) are opting to pursue cosmetic treatments once reserved for the more, well, mature crowd.  Given the Instagram mentality of this younger demographic, this really shouldn’t be surprising.

Younger women are no strangers to some of the more benign “spa” procedures like facials, waxing and dermaplaning.  Laser hair removal also enjoys its share of younger aficionados.  More recently, lip fillers and microblading have been all the rage among younger med spa clientele.  But now, with the oldest of the Millenials knocking on the door of 40, many are noticing their first wrinkle and turning to Botox to do something about it.

“I used to turn away 20-something patients.  I’d tell them to come back and see us in ten or twelve years,” says Dr. M. Bath of Bella Cosmedica custom aesthetics near Columbus, Ohio.  “After giving it a little more thought, I realized what they were thinking,” he says.  “They’re wanting to prevent wrinkles, not necessarily treat them like the majority of our regular patients.”  Bath says his practice has experienced a growth in the number of younger patients seeking preventative treatment with products like Botox.

Botox is the best-known and best-selling of several similar products marketed in the United States as a wrinkle-reducer.  Other “neuromodulators”, as they’re known, include Dysport and Xeomin.   At least two other potential competitors are nipping at the Big B’s heels as they prepare to enter the lucrative U.S. aesthetics market.  These products work by temporarily interfering with communication between muscles and the nerves which tell them to move.  It’s repetitive movement of facial muscles (like those which pull the eyebrows into a scowl) which create lines and wrinkles.  By preventing those movements, we’re preventing formation of the lines.  That’s the goal of the younger user.  Older patients with deeper lines still enjoy a softening effect with Botox treatment, even thought the lines may already be well-established.  Results typically last about 3 to 4 months before re-treatment is necessary.  Side effects are usually minimal and may consist of tiny injection site bruises or a slight headache afterward.

Botox is also used to treat medical conditions such as crossed eyes, uncontrolled blinking, migraines, muscle stiffness and/or spasms and certain movement disorders.

According to Forbes.com and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the five year period from 2013 to 2018 saw an astonishing 87% increase in injectable neurmodulator use among the 19 to 34 age group.  Multiple online sources also report an uptick in younger users.  Reward programs like Allergan’s Brilliant Distinctions encourage regular treatment and make “pre-juvenation” more affordable for those who may have not yet hit their peak earning years.   “We also see younger patients signing up for Care Credit which allows them to make monthly payments,” says Bath.  “They’re  figuring out ways to work treatment into their budget, just like getting their nails, eyebrows and hair done.”

Bath says he doesn’t see the trend slowing in the near future.  The only option he predicts could potentially overtake Botox (which is administered via injection) would be a topical version in cream or serum form.  “Patients love the result they get from (Botox),” he says, “ but they’re not particularly fond of the needles!”