Confession. I am 53 and I have never had Botox or fillers. You can probably see that looking at my photo.
At this age, I have certainly thought about it. I see the signs of age everywhere on my face now. But you know what? I won’t do it.
Why? Maybe because I’m worried I won’t be able to stop once I start. I am worried people will look at me and realize something is, well, different. I am also aware that it would be odd for the co-founder of an all-natural skincare company — one committed to making plant-powered and toxin-free products for people with sensitive and allergenic skin — to artificially enhance how I look. That’s just me, however, and I would never criticize someone else for following a different route. Even Goop, one of the most prominent clean beauty brands, is now peddling “clean” injectables on its site. Yes, it seems EVERYBODY is doing it.
But there is one thing that does concern me about the injectables industry: The now-recommended age to start getting botox and fillers is between 30 and 35!
When and why did people in their 30s begin to think they needed injectables? I look back at photos of myself and others at that age and just can’t see why injectables are necessary. It doesn't help that dermatological offices and drug companies peddle the myth that Botox, when administered early, “prevents” wrinkles later in life.
While a crease-free forehead, no frown lines and plump lips can be attractive, there are serious pitfalls — ones that may not be apparent for years to come.
First, injectables (Botox or fillers) create an urgency to get more injectables. Once you start, it is REALLY hard to stop. Since a facelift can cost upwards of $6K, it’s easy to see why people choose to start with injectables. They cost a relatively inexpensive $300-$400 every six months. But if you start when you’re in your 30s and keep going, by the time you are 40 you will have paid for a facelift and then some.
Second, getting injectables can change your face, literally. Botox is made to disable your muscles wherever it is injected. That means those muscles stop working. They start to flatten out due to under use. Other muscles have to work harder to over compensate. For example, if you are used to squinting with your eye brow area, you will (post-botox) now squint using other face muscles, creating a whole new set of wrinkles and ushering in flattened muscles where the injections have been performed. In other words, your face will start to wear differently, get thinner, and it may not look natural. There are concerns with fillers at a too young age as well. They are great to help skin texture and fullness ... however, get too much of a filler injected and you are likely to look like you are aging faster, not slower. You will end up looking like an older person trying to look younger.
If you must get injectables, please do your homework and take a conservative approach. Go to a trusted dermatologist and not your local nail salon or massage therapist. There are way too many risks involved if you let someone who is under-qualified administer injectables. Ask a lot of questions. Look at others in the office who have had injectables, and make sure that’s what you want your forehead or lips to look like. Because they will.
The other thing I will mention is a personal observation. With injectables, everyone starts to look alike. They have the same raised, perfectly awake, arched eyebrows. The same restrained forehead. The same fuller-than-nature intended lips. One thing I love about the people in my life is the individuality they inherently own through natural imperfections. I think it’s endearing and special.
I’m also a firm believer in this: If you take good care of your skin — using all-natural products and keeping your skin’s barrier healthy — you can really minimize the need for the costly and hardcore anti-aging help.
Here's Starling's recommendations for naturally plump and happy skin:
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