Wrinkle-reducing wonder drug or freaky facial poison? Two top derms debate the phenomenally popular Botox.
Photo Credit: Paul Bradburg/Getty ImagesIt's hard to believe that in the five years since Botox was first FDA-approved for cosmetic use, we've grown indifferent to the expressionless A-listers and me-but-better moms we see every day. A cultural force, Botox has forever changed the way we age.
Still, the debate over its safety and effectiveness continues. On one side, Dr. Fredric Brandt, a New York- and Miami-based dermatologist reportedly administers more Botox than any doctor in the world - and doesn't skimp on himself, either. On the other, best-selling author and research derm Dr. Nicholas V. Perricone takes a staunchly anti-Botox stance. He argues that an anti-inflammatory diet plus nutritional supplements can better fight the aging process.
DR. FREDRIC BRANDT: "Botox isn't just about eliminating lines, but rebalancing the face by lifting certain areas nonsurgically. It offers really dramatic results with almost no downtime. It's not poison, it's medicine."
DR. NICHOLAS V. PERRICONE: "Botox is a neurotoxin that paralyzes the muscle. After people use it, they start losing volume in their face, and that accelerates the appearance of aging."
FB: "I do Botox on myself, of course, every three-and-a-half to four months, and I use my skincare products every day. I've done laser treatments and very light chemical peels, and I also use Restylane because, as you reach a certain age" - he's 58 - you need to add volume to your face."
NP: "I've never administered or used Botox. I [believe in edible and topical] antioxidants and anti-inflammatories for the skin," like omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and nuts. Perricone, 59, credits his youthful glow to using his products and eating salmon up to six times a week - no face-lift required.
Botox Gone Bad:
FB: "It matters how and where, precisely, you inject it." Depending on the administering doctor's skill, you'll see the occasional "Dr. Spock" eyebrows - and in the worst cases, crooked mouths or droopy brows with heavy eyelids.Photo Credit: Digital Vision/Getty Images
NP: "Someone who's been on Botox for a while is going to look like a wrinkle-free older person" - i.e., they're expressionless, and their facial features are flattened.
FB: "We do have to tell a few people to come in less frequently because they don't really need it, and if they do it too often, they could become resistant. But with the new lower-protein formulations, resistance is rare - I've seen maybe four cases of it in my whole career."
NP: "I was just talking with a woman who lives on Botox and looks older than her years by a decade. I said, 'Why don't you go off this stuff' and she said, 'If I do, it's all gonna drop.' I said, 'Let it drop, start using topical antioxidants, and do some electrical stimulation to firm up those facial muscles.' She's considering it. I have about a 50 percent success rate talking people out of Botox."
Keep Reading the Debate Here
What do you think? Are you pro botox or against it? Is there a "botox" look?
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