Botox is widely accepted nowadays as a fact of modern life.
It seems that just about every celebrity you have ever heard of and quite a few you haven’t gets botox injections as their anti aging treatment of choice.
Criticism of botox has – until now – focused on the fact that it can result in a rather dead looking face.
The famous toxin is almost too good at freezing your lines and wrinkles with the result that you can end up totally expressionless.
Prolonged use of botox has been shown to cause paralysis of some facial muscles over time and there have been fears of unknown side effects.
For many women – especially celebrities in the public eye like Kylie Minogue – the issue has been just how long you go on having a toxin injected into your facial muscles. At what age do you stop using anti aging products like botox and fillers?
Kylie and her sister Danni Minogue have both recently declared that enough is enough – they don’t want any more botox. They prefer to let their faces show expression and warmth and if that means a few lines and wrinkles – so be it!
Maybe this is the beginning of a just detectable botox backlash. When any product – an anti aging product or any other – gets to mass market saturation levels perhaps it is only a matter of time before we all start to see the downsides.
Dr David Becker writing in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology earlier this summer may be ahead of the trend. According to his research – prolonged use of botox may actually give you new wrinkles in places you wouldn’t have had them otherwise.
“After receiving Botox, a patient may unconsciously attempt to recreate the facial expressions in the area where treatment has paralysed their facial muscles. This can have the effect of actually creating new wrinkles.” Dr David Becker Professor of Dermatology Weill Cornell Medical College, New York
The most common tell-tale wrinkles caused by botox injections are called “bunny lines” which form across the bridge of the nose when you try to frown. Getting rid of frown lines is one of the most popular requests for botox. Ironic that the procedure you pay for to get rid of them should result in strange little bunny lines appearing either side of the nose.
Apparently it’s the effort of frowning when all your facial muscles aren’t working properly – you overcompensate, pull up your nose and over time you get bunny lines.
Dr Becker has been warning that botox use could cause wrinkles since 2003 but his voice hasn’t been heard. Not until the experience of long term botox users started to demonstrate that what he was saying was true.
Many other cosmetic surgeons report similar issues – one of the most commonly occuring is the “Cruella de Ville eyebrow” where one or both eyebrows are arched in an expression of permanent surprise. According to supporters of botox as an anti aging treatment – this is all down to lack of skill in using the world’s favorite injectable.
Unkind celebrity watchers are already pretty good at spotting bunny lines as proof of long term botox use – although they can arise naturally it isn’t very common. Nicole Kidman, Rene Zellweger and Kim Catrall all have the same giveaway little lines.
The answer according to some is to have more botox injected into the bridge of the nose to stop the bunny lines appearing. I think we can all see the problem here. If you can’t frown and you can’t wrinkle your nose because your muscles are frozen – where will all that repressed movement pop up next?
Botox has been in use since the early 1980’s as a facial treatment – with issues like this arising it could be that it may have peaked and that other more effective anti aging products will gradually take over.