Photo: The Image Bank
Just having turned 26, I find myself staring in the mirror for longer periods of time. (Sidenote: Never buy a mirror with 3X magnification. No good will come from it!) The creases around my mouth are considerably deeper than they were a couple of years ago, which has me wondering if I'm too young for Botox. I've seen the crazy pageant moms on TV who want to fix the non-existent flaws on their 8-year-olds faces, and I'm disgusted, so am I doing the same thing by turning to injections in my 20s? How young is too young?
I called up Dr. Nancy Silverberg, a dermatologist in Newport Beach, to hear what I was hoping would be advice against Botox. That advice never came. Instead, Dr. Silverberg told me most offices don't have a specific cutoff age that's considered "too young" and that many teenagers come in with their parents for nose jobs and other cosmetic surgeries.
In fact, the doctor told me Botox is a great preventative tactic. When your muscle is paralyzed, you are no longer able to make the facial movement that caused you to get that wrinkle in the first place. She mentioned that she's seen 23-year-olds that could benefit from an injection or two, because wrinkles aren't likely to go away on their own. Instead, they can worsen to the point of not being treatable.
I was even advised on a new alternative to the all-too-familiar Botox. It seems LAVIV is the newest trend in wrinkle removal. The FDA-approved technology uses your own skin cells to help fill in those nagging parenthesis lines that end up around the mouth. It is also hoped that LAVIV will become approved for scar removal.
So if Dr. Nancy is OK with 20-year-olds getting cosmetic injections, then where exactly is her line when it comes to going "too far"?
Photo: Jason LeVaris/FilmMagic
She told me she's noticed in the past 10 years or so that women are overdoing the cosmetic enhancements, especially when it comes to the lips. Because lips lose volume as we age, women yearn for more fullness, but Dr. Silverberg says the goal is to go back to your original lip size, so that friends don't notice. Instead, women are plumping their mouths up to twice their original size. When I bring up Taylor Armstrong from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as someone who takes it too far, Dr. Nancy laughs, "She's a great example!"
While I'm somewhat open to a cosmetic treatment, I think I'll give good old fashioned beauty products a try first. I have a hard time sticking to a good skincare routine, so perhaps that's where I'll start. Perhaps it's time to buckle down and start an Olay Regenerist regimen. It's worth the time and effort to not have needles go into my skin.