Whether you’re just starting to notice the very first sign of a wrinkle or are hoping to avoid them altogether, you may be wondering whether opting for Botox now will help prevent wrinkles in the future. For decades, botulinum toxin injections have been used to soften and smooth early signs of ageing in our mid-to-late 30s, 40s and 50s when time starts to catch up with even the healthiest of complexions. But recently, people even younger than this have been requesting the treatment in the hope of preventing the lines from forming at all. But how effective is Botox when used this way? And is it worth the investment? Read on for everything you need to know.

Does Botox prevent wrinkles?

To some extent, Botox can prevent wrinkles. Botox works by temporarily relaxing face-creasing muscles, which stops the lines from forming, keeping the skin smooth and line-free. But other factors of ageing need to be considered too. Collagen breakdown and volume loss will also affect how you form wrinkles, and this can’t be prevented using Botox. For example, as we lose volume in our midface, it can cause radiation of the lines down over our cheeks and into our lower face. So, Botox can undoubtedly help to prevent wrinkles in the upper face (forehead and frown lines), but when it comes to maintaining a healthy, youthful appearance overall, we need to be supporting our skin with collagen stimulation treatments like RF microneedling and Profhilo, as well as fillers to restore the fat and bone that we lose as we age.

When is a good time to start preventative Botox?

It is a very personal decision whether someone wants to go ahead or wait until lines are more developed. But the best time for treatment is before dynamic lines (lines or wrinkles in the skin that appear with muscle movement) become static (lines that are present at rest). The age at which this happens varies from person to person and depends on factors like genetics and sun exposure, but typically it’s at some point in your early thirties. It’s best to catch a line when it’s still in the early stages of developing, because once it becomes a deep line, Botox may soften it but likely won’t remove it altogether.

What happens if you stop treatment?

The clinical effects of Botox disappear within 3 to 6 months. That means you’ll need regular top-up treatments to stay wrinkle-free. Otherwise, creases will eventually return to baseline – they won’t come back worse than before, but they will come back.

Can it make you look older?

In my opinion, if you start having Botox injections before you really need them, they can make you look older. If you have Botox just because you think you should be having it preventatively, before you’ve even really aged at all, I think it can give you a mask-like appearance that makes you look ageless rather than better. So, you may not look old, but you also won’t look fresh or youthful. So the key is to find an injector who will assess the skin, muscle, bone, and movement in your face, and make appropriate treatment recommendations and be honest when something isn’t right for you.