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10th, October
Is it OK for women to pop their Botox cherry in their early 20s?

When is the right time to pop your Botox cherry?

IT’S THE point of conversation that’s crept in to every coffee date I’ve had this week. Scratch that — make it this month.

Furrows and frown lines, bags and birdsfeet — at 26, I’ve officially started to see the signs of ageing; and I’m not alone.

We really start seeing minor signs of ageing from the age of 25. We will start losing volume on lateral cheekbones, fine lines around the mouth and even crowfeet. These are gradual signs and I think young women are very switched on to these.

Subtle as they may be, the hollows hanging from my underlids, or the lines that linger above my brow are failing to fade — even after a good night’s rest. To be honest, I don’t ever see myself going under the knife, but the unwanted reminder of too much sun and not enough sleep got me thinking — is it time to jump on board the train to rejuvenation and get the jab?

Crowfeet are a common area of concern for many women trying to fight the signs of ageing.

Crowfeet are a common area of concern for many women trying to fight the signs of ageing.

Today, more than half of all Australians worry about looking old. The findings, which were unveiled by the CPCA, monitored Australians’ attitudes to non-invasive cosmetic medicine. They found that 52 per cent of respondents were concerned about the physical signs of ageing, with a focus on wrinkles and thinning hair.

Women have long been concerned about the visible effects of ageing. The impact of a more active, ageing population is also influencing acceptability and demand.

We are now discovering that more people who have undergone these procedures are open and willing to talk about their experiences, which has helped spread their popularity.

Our love affair of looking younger has boomed — and the target demographic indulging in the anti-ageing measure is getting younger.

Ashleigh is a 24-year-old office manager who had her first lip fill just 3 months ago.

“I had this procedure because I was very self conscious of how my lips looked. When I smiled I had no top lip which made me feel very uncomfortable,” she said

Despite receiving a mixed response about having the procedure, Ashleigh admits this won’t be her last bout of Botox.

Ashleigh’s lips before the fill. Picture: Supplied.

Ashleigh’s lips before the fill. 

And after the lip procedure. Picture: Supplied

And after the lip procedure. 

“I plan on getting it [lips] done again next month. I want to get around my eye area done as well, because I’m starting to notice slight crowfeet. I buy expensive creams and soak my face in different oils almost every night to prevent this, but it still is not working well enough,” she said.

Some would consider her decision as drastic considering her age, but in the eyes of an industry professional, this preventive ‘prod’ is the best step to longer lasting youth.

If you can see a fine line, five or 10 years down the track, that line will be much deeper [if not filled]. So you can prevent it from getting to that point if you do something early.

Botox earlier will result in less treatments over time. I wouldn’t be recommending that they freeze their face, I’m talking about light doses of Botox — so they still have expressions, but they’re preventing lines getting deeper by repeated movement in the facial muscle.

Kimberly*, a 25-year-old, has praised the use of fillers in her face, having jabs to her lips and chin on several occasions. But despite her satisfaction, she understands why there can be a certain stigma around younger women opting for Botox and fillers.

“It’s becoming commonplace that Botox is an effective and — as far as we know — safe way to prevent ageing. The problem is that it can be severely overdone by some younger women (and even men),” she said.

“When you know what to look for, you can spot an overfilled lip and too-tight Botox forehead a mile away. It makes young women look like older women trying to look young again.”

Consultations are key when deciding if a non-invasive procedure is right for you. Picture: iStock.

Consultations are key when deciding if a non-invasive procedure is right for you. 

With the good, often come the bad. One of the biggest concerns of delving in to the world of injectables is the long term effects. How much do we know about what’s being pumped in to our skin? What if a nerve is hit? What if your face becomes frozen?

At 29, Emma* bought in to Botox as a ‘preventive precaution’ because a friend had raved about the results. After her first procedure, Emma’s look was exactly the freshen up she was after. But as soon as she received ‘top-ups,’ that’s when the flaws started to occur.

“After a few times of doing this [top-ups], I ended up with a frozen look, I could not move my eyebrows at all and I had a pained look in my eyes when I smiled,” she said.

“The worst thing was that my eyebrows dropped down, which made my eyelids really droopy. It’s taken more than a year for the side effects to die down.”

Botox has been studied for over 20 years, with almost 30 million procedures completed worldwide. Most of the popular fillers today are made of a natural sugar, which is why the filler that’s injected in to the skin is broken down over a period of time. Despite the success stories, people need to keep in mind that it is a cosmetic procedure that shouldn’t be considered lightly.

Cosmetic injectables have become more common place, people should not forget that they are still medical procedures that require supervision from a qualified medical practitioner, an experienced Doctor in Australia, Australian Board Accredited AHPRA (Medical Board) is that specialities in cosmetics and anti-ageing is best.

* Some names have been changed to conceal identities.