Photo: Jonathan Skow
Q: When should I start using Botox?
A: When should you start using Botox? Who says you should? I hate that word used in conjunction with any beauty procedure; the way I see it, the greatest thing about the many new treatments available is that they are options. I'm not saying that the choices are necessarily easy to make: When people all around you start losing their forehead lines and you still have them, it can be a challenge. I know this for a fact. But if you want Botox to be part of your arsenal, the best time to start is when the lines in your face are as yet either unformed or minimally visible, says Doris J. Day, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Medical Center and author of Forget the Facelift. Once wrinkles are deep, Botox can help soften them, but it won't eliminate them, says Day. And you'll have to keep using it, two to three times a year, at about $550 per shot. Day gives her Botox patients instructions about how to minimize the kinds of facial movements that cause wrinkles so that her patients need fewer injections over time. (She suggests that after a shot of Botox, they notice the feeling of resistance when they try to furrow their brow, for example, and practice trying not to make that expression.)
Bottom line: Forget "should." But if you choose Botox, you'll get the maximum benefit if you start before you're deeply wrinkled.