Lifestyle

I got preventative Botox at 21

Wrinkles aren’t something you’d really associate with a 21-year-old, but I’ve been conscious of them for years.

Since around the age of 16, I noticed I had pretty deep forehead lines, at least for my age, and was always so aware of them.

On every night out, in every picture, I felt like they were so obvious and I’d constantly be thinking about what I looked like.

I’m aware that forehead lines are natural and that everyone gets them, but mine were so much worse in comparison to all my friends, I couldn’t help feeling like Gordon Ramsey next to them!

It’s not helped by the line-free looks of every reality star or the smooth, filtered faces posted on beauty bloggers’ Instagram accounts.

Reality stars are well-known for having cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery, and subtle facial procedures such as Botox, minimal lip fillers and jawline fillers are a lot more common than you would think.

I’ve never had anyone comment on my frown lines in the past unless I’ve brought it up myself, however, they would then acknowledge that I had some.

I’d seriously thought about getting Botox done for around a year before I actually took the plunge. I was really scared it would hurt, or that I’d get addicted, but as time went on and I looked more and more into the treatment, I just warmed to the idea, so I booked it.

The majority of people in my life, from friends to siblings and especially my parents, have tried to sway me away from getting any treatments done, but ultimately they know they can’t stop me.

I have a complicated medical history, which has meant I’ve spent the majority of my childhood and some of my adult life in the hospital having operations, dealing with and fixing conditions I was born with.

A lot of my surgeries, while they have fixed many problems, have left me with horrible scars over my body, which I hate.

The way I see it, if I have to put my body through the hell of recovery and massive operations to only be left feeling ugly, why shouldn’t I have some minor procedures that will actually make me feel a lot better and more confident in myself?

Of course, I’m over the moon with the fact I now don’t have any lines and I’m not cringing over pictures of myself, but the reasons I had Botox were far more than the short-term solution.

Preventative Botox is a term that’s been flying around for quite some time, and there’s been a huge boom of 20-somethings getting it done to prevent wrinkles and the need for Botox in later life.

Dr. Esho of The Esho Clinic, a reality TV star in the UK, told The Sun: “I’ve noticed a huge rise in the last five years of 18- to 25-year-olds seeking Botox and fillers.”

“The millennial mindset is focused on looking their best and now more than ever being aware of the effects of aging.”

To me, getting this minor treatment done to my face isn’t a huge thing, it’s actually not that out of the ordinary.

By getting the treatment done when you’re younger, some surgeons claim, you are preventing wrinkles and the deepening of any lines, so the sooner you start, the sooner the face muscles weaken, decreasing the need for Botox in later life.

Esho continued: “There is a focus now to prevent the progression of dynamic from becoming established as static lines by using Botox to prevent contraction of facial muscles.”

However, some doctors don’t believe that younger clients should be considering Botox.

Dr. Aarti Denning told The Sun: “From 18 to 25, while Botox is legal, I don’t believe that it is ethical.”

“Physically, the full facial structure doesn’t finish forming until the age of 21 and so early Botox can have a profound effect on the way a patient looks forever. ”

It should also be noted that Botox is derived from botulism, the deadliest toxin on the planet. Even though the drug is, for the most part, safe, there have been reports of adverse side effects, including blurred vision, ptosis (drooping eyelids), slurred speech and progressive muscle weakness.

My Botox treatment cost $185 with a well-regarded surgeon and the whole procedure lasted around 10 minutes.

The actual injection of the needle didn’t hurt a bit, it was mildly uncomfortable for a few seconds but it definitely hasn’t put me off getting it done again.

Botox was injected at around 10 points across my forehead, and the process involved me raising my eyebrows in between every short injection so that the doctor knew where exactly she needed to inject based on my lines.

I was advised to not wear makeup for a few days after the procedure to ensure that my skin stayed as clear as possible, and for me to not lie down flat on my back for a few hours after getting it done, so the Botox didn’t distribute to the wrong parts of my face.

I provided ID at the reception to prove I was over 18, but my young age didn’t raise any concern with the practitioner. When I asked if it was popular among young girls my age, she told me that she had a lot of students come to visit her.

It took about a week and a half for the full effect to show, but I could see a difference as soon as the next day.

Is this the new normal? Maybe so. A few of my friends have also had Botox or other similar kinds of cosmetic procedures done, such as lip fillers.

The majority of those who haven’t have definitely shown an interest and wouldn’t rule it out in the near future. For them, a huge barrier is the cost.

A few years ago, the beauty standards for women were completely different from what they are now.

We look at the thousands of Instagram models who are out there, we all aspire to look like them, deep down knowing that that airbrushed standard of perfection is unattainable without a shopping cart full of cosmetic procedures.

Is this a good thing? Probably not, no.

But should we be able to make that decision for ourselves and amend the things we don’t feel comfortable with if we’re able to afford it and are of a sound mind to do so? Most definitely.

I’m due for a top-up soon and I will continue to get it done as long as I’m able to afford doing so. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted either, it’s not as though I can’t imagine life without it, I just simply saw something that I wanted to change and so I went and did it, and I’m much happier as a result of it.