When people think of wrinkles, often, the next thing they think of is Botox. This is because of incredible branding by the makers of Botox. But, for clients who are just starting to notice fine lines, is Botox really the best treatment for the prevention of wrinkles? And, how would Botox prevent wrinkles if it could? Skin professionals need to not fall into the marketing hype and remember the root cause of the skin condition and the science behind the products and treatments used.
There are two different types of wrinkles: static and dynamic. Static are those that are there with no movement, like on the cheeks, neck, or décolletage, and are attributed to normal aging, genetics, and environmental factors like sun exposure. Dynamic wrinkles are those with movement, such as frown lines and crow’s feet, intensified by facial expression. Both static and dynamic wrinkles occur initially with the breakdown or decreased production of collagen and elastin.
The first step to reducing wrinkles is to get to the root cause and increase the health and function of collagen. Botox does not do this. Botox is a muscle relaxer. It does not increase collagen production. It does not heal the skin to make it thicker, healthier, more glowing, or radiant. What Botox does do is paralyze the muscles underneath the skin, giving the skin a break from constant movement and expressions. This break allows the skin time to rejuvenate and heal itself. It is like a 90- to 120-day vacation for the skin. Which, in vacation time, is a good amount of time for some serious rejuvenation. What may appear as fewer wrinkles due to this healing period will ultimately be a constant battle and endless cycle of Botox, unless the skin is fortified with treatments or products that enhance collagen production along the way. And, because of Botox’s mechanism of action, it only works on dynamic wrinkles, not the ones at rest. Most clients are going to have both dynamic and static wrinkles, so why not treat both simultaneously?
Having a client that comes in requesting Botox to prevent wrinkles is the perfect opportunity to educate them on why their wrinkles are there and how to really prevent them long-term. Remember, healthy skin is the goal. Just as staying fit requires exercise to increase strength, keeping skin firm requires treatments and products that fortify collagen and elastin. Incorporating vitamin C, retinol, peptides, growth factors, and antioxidants into clients’ routines will help long-term and enhance the benefits they receive from the vacation Botox is giving their skin.