As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Marguerite Germain has long worked with the most popular cosmetic treatment in the world—BOTOX®—at her Charleston, South Carolina, practice. She sees both women and men interested in the wrinkle-smoothing injectable, with patients coming from a wide range of backgrounds, professions, and even ages.
While wrinkles are associated with older demographics, that does not mean younger people do not deal with them—or at least should not think about them.
Recent data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reveals that BOTOX® is not only the choice for people in their 60s, 50s, or even 40s, but is increasingly appealing to even younger generations, too.
The numbers in the study include all Botulinum toxin type-A injectables, of which BOTOX® is the most popular and commonly used. The data also includes information only provided by surgeons who are members of the ASPS, so the numbers should be even higher considering the non-member surgeons and vast number of dermatologists, like Dr. Germain, who offer BOTOX® at their practices around the country.
That said, the figures provide a rough idea of what’s happening with cosmetic trends in the United States, and they show that muscle-relaxing injections to smooth our forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet rose by 2 percent among the 30-to-39 crowd from 2016 to 2017. They also went up 1 percent in the 20-to-29-year-old demographic.
Those percentages may sound small, but consider that the two age brackets mentioned represent more than 1.4 million patients receiving injections of BOTOX® and similar medications in 2017.
Botulinum toxin type-A also rose 1 percent in the 13-to-19-year-old category and 2 percent in the 40-to-54-year-old category, though the bump in the older crowd is perhaps a bit more expected.
Why the increase in popularity among younger people? The answer is likely complex, with many industry and pop culture commenters theorizing that celebrity saturation and a constantly available stream of selfies on social media are the catalysts. Seeing flawlessly smooth skin and wanting the same is not limited to people closer to retirement than starting their first career.
Note that this upward swing is not new. Since 2010, Botulinum toxin type-A injections have risen 28 percent among 20-to-29-year-olds—and again, remember that these numbers leave out entire swaths of medical professionals who are also performing the treatment.
A likely reason for the increased interest is a growing focus on preventive treatments as opposed to corrective ones. Rather than seeking to smooth out wrinkles that have formed over decades of furrowing brows and squinting eyes, young people are looking to address the problem of visible signs of aging before it starts.
By regularly relaxing forehead and other facial muscles just as wrinkles are beginning to show in areas where they commonly develop, younger patients keep these wrinkles from deepening into lines and folds. Muscles can essentially be trained to require less of the injectable in future treatments, but this is where choosing an experienced and trusted provider becomes especially imperative. It is important to take a long-term view of facial aesthetics, not just planning ahead for the next three or six months, but for years. A board-certified dermatologist can develop a customized treatment plan, coupled with an at-home regimen, to keep the entire face looking harmoniously youthful and balanced.
With balance in mind, it should be noted that BOTOX® is not the only cosmetic treatment on the rise among young people. Soft-tissue fillers, injected to fill out creases and hollows, rose 2 percent from 2016 to 2017 among 20-to-29-year-olds. Much of that growth is due to increasing popularity in hyaluronic acid-based injectables, such as Juvederm®, as well as fat transfer, which involves removing fat cells from one area of the body, refining them, and injecting them elsewhere where volume is needed.