Until scientists figure out how to stop aging altogether, the business of looking younger will thrive. In recent years, anti-aging serums and wrinkle creams have been swapped for cheek fillers, lip enhancements and, of course, Botox. But while efforts to look younger may have once been relegated to women of a certain age, now 20-somethings are seeking Botox procedures.
Dr. John Fezza, a cosmetic facial surgeon at the Center for Sight and a lecturer for Allergan, the company that manufactures Botox, says in a typical work week, he sees 30 to 40 patients. And of those, he estimates that 15 percent are under 30.
This percentage is in line with the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, which reports that Botox treatments between 19- and 34-year-olds rose 41 percent between 2011 and 2015. For the record, the FDA approves Botox for anyone over the age of 18.
As skin ages, it loses its elasticity. When the muscles underneath the skin can no longer bounce back, they contract, causing wrinkles. Although many use Botox as a catch-all term, it’s like referring to all cleaning wipes as Clorox. Botox is one of several neurotoxins that act as muscle relaxants, temporarily disabling the skin from forming wrinkles.
“Most of my patients will combine it with a filler, in their lips and their cheeks,” Fezza says. “They want to do this in a way that is quick and effective. It gives us the time to turn back the clock in an office visit that is relatively quick, painless with very little downtime.”
Fezza administers the procedure in less than an hour, with results lasting anywhere from three to four months. With the rise of social media, and the pressure to look perfect, more and more people want a quick fix to enhance their physical appearance, no filter needed.
One of those patients is Mary Devlin. Although Devlin is 28 now, she was 23 the first time she had Botox.
Devlin says she had considered Botox for a long time because one of her eyebrows is slightly raised. About five years ago, she began working as an assistant at Center for Sight and met other women at Fezza’s practice who regularly got Botox injections.
“I talked to the girls who worked for him,” Devlin says. “I was really nervous, and he made me feel comfortable.”
Devlin received 50 units (or injections), administered to her nose, forehead and around her eyes. She’s left Center for Sight, but still continues the treatments a few times a year.
Overall, Devlin says the procedure is worth it. “It made me feel great,” she says. “I was happy with how I felt afterwards.”
And she’s not uncomfortable talking about it. Apps like Twitter and Instagram have created a platform where more people are willing to discuss what goes into their appearance.
“More people know about it, and even celebrities will talk about it,” Devlin says. “Beforehand, you might have gotten Botox and not told anybody.”
Three facial treatments on the rise.
For patients interested in getting shockworthy results, try microcurrent facelifts. Short electric shocks to the skin during these facelifts mimic the same signals from the brain that tell the muscles under the skin to move. As muscles flex, they get stronger, deterring the formation of wrinkles as skin gets weak. ZEN Blossom Organic Skincare, 2914 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota
Laser treatments to the skin are like a dermatological do-over. A high-energy beam of laser light smooths over wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. It will, quite literally, zap skin back into place. University Park Dermatology & Medical Spa, 8451 Shade Ave., Suite 205, Sarasota
If a normal facial just won’t do, then consider having a facial with the help of blood drawn from its host. Platelet-rich plasma is then isolated from the blood, and reintroduced to the pores of the face with tiny microneedles in order to activate stem cells under the skin. The Laser Lounge Spa Sarasota, 5802 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 103, Sarasota