Botox is a non-invasive prescription cosmetic injection that is used to treat dynamic fine lines and wrinkles. The results are dramatic and last up to six months. But, when's the right time to start using Botox? It really depends on what your goals are.
Yes, preventative Botox is a thing
If you're in your mid-to-late twenties or early-to-mid thirties, then you might want to consider getting preventative Botox. Most dermatologists agree that you should start undergoing regular Botox treatments when lines resulting from facial expressions begin to show at rest. In some people, this may be in the mid-twenties, while in others after age 30.
As a general rule of thumb, the earlier you start Botox, the better since it is best used as a preventative measure to avoid getting fine lines and wrinkles. Botox works by relaxing the muscles that cause dynamic wrinkles, such as smile or laugh lines. Once the muscles are relaxed, so is the overlying skin, so you don't get wrinkles.
If you're lucky enough that your skin is still in pretty good shape by the time you're in your early-to-mid thirties, then you shouldn't delay Botox injections past age 35. But the age at which you should start using preventative Botox depends on the level of sun damage, the amount of muscle movement, and genetics.
What about regular Botox?
If your goal isn't to prevent fine lines and wrinkles from forming in the first place, then most people get Botox injections between age 35 and 45. Skin color and lifestyle has a lot to do with it, too. Generally, Caucasian women achieve the best results when they start Botox between 35 and 40. For darker skin tones, the ideal time to begin Botox is higher -- more like between age 40 and 45. However, if someone has a lot of sun damage or their lifestyle is harder on the skin, then they may need to start Botox earlier. Chronological age isn't as relevant when deciding on Botox. It's more important to look at the dynamic wrinkles themselves.
Bottom line: there's no actual "right time" to start Botox
The right time to start Botox all depends on individual factors, including sun exposure, lifestyle, genetics, and skin tone. It's also dependent on your personal goals, whether that's to prevent wrinkles from forming in the first place or to treat existing frown and smile lines. One thing to keep in mind is that it is more challenging to treat wrinkles with just Botox as they get more and more etched into the face.