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What is Preventative Botox? (And Why Everyone Is Doing It)

If you’ve ever wondered why your fellow late-20-somethings have ageless skin just as you’re starting to see signs of aging, here’s some breaking news for you: there’s a skincare secret you don’t know. They’re nipping wrinkles in the bud by getting preventative botox.

But what is it all about? We spoke to Dr. Michele Anzilotti, M.D, the Co-Medical Director at New York City’s Tribeca MedSpa and SkinLab, to get all the details on ‘baby botox.’

What is preventative botox?

Commonly referred to as “baby botox,” preventative botox is an aesthetic procedure that helps keep skin smooth and youthful when you begin to see signs of aging.

“Preventative botox is done at the beginning of wrinkle formation before the lines become etched,” says Dr. Anzilotti. “By definition, it does reverse the beginning of wrinkles.”

“The ideal preventative botox patient is someone in their late 20s to early 30s who is just beginning to see lines on the forehead, glabella, or between the brows, and crow’s feet when at rest.”

The downtime is almost non-existent. As a rule of thumb, don’t bend over or lay down for the first few hours after the procedure, and don’t work out the day after you get it – otherwise, you’re good to go. Additionally, the worst side effects you might experience are a little bruising or some soreness.

“Botox lasts 3-4 months, at which time the patient returns for another dose,” Dr. Anzilotti says. “This is the same for preventative Botox. The cost depends on a combination of factors, like age and desired outcome. Preventative or ‘baby’ botox can start around $225 per treatment.”

Is it safe?

One of the reasons that botox, or botulinum toxin, is so popular is because of how simple and safe it is.

It is a kind of injectable called a “neurotoxin” that paralyzes muscles in the face. We know, it sounds a little scary. But don’t believe the hype – it’s not that bad. Botox is perfectly safe, as it’s localized and has no serious long-term side effects. It’s FDA-approved to treat wrinkles, and the National Capital Poison Center says that it contains less of the toxin than is necessary to make someone sick.

“The biggest myth is that once you start treatment, you can’t stop, and if you do stop, the wrinkles will become more pronounced than before,” says Dr. Anzilotti. “This is just not true. If you do choose to stop preventative botox treatments, the wrinkles will return over time. But stopping treatment does not make them worse.”

That being said, as safe as it can be, there are some groups that should stay away from preventative botox.

“Demographics who should refrain from any botox would be pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, those with neuromuscular diseases such as myasthenia gravis or myopathies, those with severe allergies such as anaphylaxis, and those who form keloids.”

Preventing preventative botox

While preventative botox is an easy, simple, and affordable procedure, you might still be a little shy about trying it. If you’re not sold on this procedure, don’t worry – Dr. Anzilotti says that there are still things you can do to save your skin.

“Healthy skin is the best preventative to aging. SPF, topical Vitamin C, and topical retinol are three key things to use in your skincare routine to help prevent aging.” 

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