When is Too Young for ‘Baby Botox’ and Fillers?

For people who grew up in the 90s and 2000s, plastic surgery of any kind was still an era of “stealth.” Despite the huge pressure to never age, admitting to receiving any kind of health improvement is still taboo.

But it’s different in the 2020s, the era of TikTok.

Nowadays, celebrities and influencers are more open about their anti-aging treatments. On the one hand, this provides much-appreciated transparency and explains why so many famous people seem to be ages different from the rest of us. But greater awareness of the procedure has also normalized it, causing many viewers to wonder, “Do I need to have this procedure too?” And it affects people at a younger age. (Ever heard of “baby Botox”?)

So, are these treatments and procedures suitable for everyone? Given that so many followers of beauty-focused social media accounts are under the age of 25, could these young users be influenced to seek detrimental anti-aging treatments in the long term?

We asked four dermatologists whether they think their young patients should consider baby Botox and other trendy anti-aging procedures.

There is one procedure that dermatologists say MAY be suitable for those of you in your 20s

“’Baby Botox’ refers to the targeted use of neuromodulators (such as Botox)… at lower doses than traditional doses,” says Dr. Ahuva Cices, cosmetic dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “This allows for smoother, creamier results.”

Essentially, these smaller amounts of neurotoxin reduce the “frozen” appearance caused by the muscle-paralyzing effects of Botox.

“When patients first get Botox, it’s very common for them to say, ‘Don’t give me too much. I still want to be able to show my expressions, smile and emotions,’” ​​said Dr. Teo Soleymani, dual board certified dermatologist based in California.

With lower doses of baby Botox, patients can enjoy the best of both worlds.

“Instead of 30 to 40 units for a muscle group, 10 to 20 units are used,” says Dr. Elaine Kung, board-certified dermatologist, assistant professor of dermatology at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Hospital, and founder of Future Bright. Dermatology. “Baby Botox prevents lines from deepening while preserving facial expressions in younger people.”

However, these lower doses of Botox may not be suitable for all patients. If you already have prominent lines, even a full dose of Botox will only do so much.

“We found that (Botox) didn’t do much to address (deep) wrinkles that had already formed,” Soleymani said. “What we found was (Botox) was much better at paralyzing the muscles that form dynamic lines, or lines that appear with movement.”

That’s why many dermatologists recommend that patients interested in Botox start treatment as early as their 20s or 30s – whenever they first notice wrinkles and lines starting to form as their face rests.

Called "Dear Botox" uses neurotoxin injections at lower doses than traditional Botox treatments.

Vesnaandjic via Getty Images

So-called “baby Botox” uses neurotoxin injections at lower doses than traditional Botox treatments.

“The best way to deal with wrinkles is to treat them early before they appear permanently, or prevent them from developing at all,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, New York-based board-certified dermatologist and Icahn professor. Medical School.

But if you haven’t seen the first signs of wrinkles, dermatologists advise against baby Botox. “If a patient doesn’t have any lines, then I don’t recommend doing Botox,” Zeichner says.

It is difficult for medical professionals to determine which muscles need to receive Botox if there are no lines to indicate where long-term wrinkles may develop. It’s also important to remember that the facial structure you had in your teens and early 20s may not be the same as your facial structure later in life.

“If your facial muscles and anatomy are still developing, namely in adolescence, then in my opinion (Botox) is premature,” said Soleymani.

The procedure recommended by dermatologists says you should NOT enter your teens or 20s

“There is a trend among young patients who follow various aesthetic and beauty accounts on TikTok and Instagram to request more invasive and advanced treatments,” said Cices. But the dermatologists we spoke to cautioned against performing these procedures at a young age.


Most of us realize, to some extent, that many beauty standards are cyclical—the pencil-thin brows of the 90s and 2000s gave way to thick brows in the mid-2010s before laminated brows took their place as the current brow trend. .

The fact that many hyaluronic fillers are supposed to dissolve naturally, or can be dissolved with hyaluronidase injections, gives many people peace of mind that fillers will be a “reversible” procedure once the full lip trend is “out.”

However, Soleymani points out that although these fillers can be reabsorbed and dissolved to some extent, filler residue can remain at the injection site.

“There are a lot of people I’ve operated on and I’ve taken filler out of their cheeks, their face or their lips, and they haven’t had any injections for five, six, seven years,” Soleymani said.

He also notes that getting fillers too early and too often has the potential to change the structure of our facial features as we inject more frequently, as evidenced by the famous “duck lip.”

“Over time, the weight of the filler stays on the lips, and then lengthening occurs and duck billing occurs,” said Soleymani. “Trying to fix it is much harder than not doing it too early.”

Operations such as buccal fat removal, mini facelift, and brow lift

It could be said that current beauty trends tend to be more “mature”, with dramatic, angular and “flattering” looks. And many people undergo procedures such as cat and fox eye surgery, mini brow and facial lifts, and buccal fat removal to achieve this aesthetic.

However, younger patients should be careful with this surgery – especially buccal fat removal – because their faces are not yet fully developed.

“Adolescence is a rollercoaster of hormonal and physical changes, which often brings weight fluctuations. “These fluctuations can dramatically affect the size and position of the buccal fat pad, making surgical intervention premature and unpredictable,” Kung said. “Think of it like trying to fit a suit before you’ve finished growing – you’ll probably end up with an ill-fitting look later on.”

It may be tempting to think, “I can fix that problem later with more surgery.” However, it is important to remember that surgery has limitations. Every time you have surgery, you risk further complications and the development of scar tissue.

“Every time you manipulate something, you leave a long-term, permanent imprint in its place,” Soleymani said. “Obviously, there is only so much skin that can be sewn and cut.”

So if you’re young and there’s something you’re insecure about, or something you want to change, sometimes the best thing you can do is wait.

“Generally, the rule of thumb is that anything you want to do that might change the appearance or structure of your face or skin, you should do it when your body reaches a more static time in your life, when you’re not constantly evolving. or (change),” said Soleymani.

Social media, your dermatologist, and you

With the rise of social media and various filters that make our favorite influencers look perfect 24/7, as well as the increasing amount of time we spend staring at our faces on video calls, our beauty standards have become warped.

“I had fewer patients in their early 20s asking for fillers three years ago than I do now. “Many of them complain about their appearance on Zoom or video conferences,” said Soleymani. “They have more time to spend in front of Zoom, with virtual meetings, virtual work settings, and more time to just laze around, resulting in more attention being paid to their appearance.”

Before rushing into surgery, it’s a good idea to evaluate your relationship with social media and Zoom. (Rest assured, no one looks good on Zoom.)

And if you decide to go ahead with any treatment or procedure, remember that what works for your friend or favorite influencer may not work for you.

“It is important to realize that each patient is unique and can benefit from a personalized approach before receiving any aesthetic treatment,” Cices said. “When patients come in for a cosmetic consultation, we discuss treatment goals and evaluate what can be done to achieve long-term results.”

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