It’s fifteen years since Botox became and FDA-approved cosmetic treatment. We celebrate one of the most effective and safe anti-ageing treatments we know.
Since it gained approval for cosmetic use fifteen years ago, Botox has become one of the most popular anti-age treatments in the world. It is fantastically effective at reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and it comes with a proven safety record too.
In fact, Botox wasn’t new when it gained approval for cosmetic use: it has been used for medical purposes since the 1970s and is used to treat a range of conditions from cerebral palsy to urinary incontinence, migraines, teeth grinding and excess sweating.
Fifteen years on and Botox is still the same product: what has changed is our attitude to it, and the look we can expect to achieve.
Initially, it was associated with a ‘hard boiled egg’ look and frozen expression, at a time when many women regarded cosmetic treatments as something to be kept secret (which often resulted in much ‘has she or hasn’t she?’ gossip!).
Nowadays as treatments have become more common we are far more open about what we have done while, ironically, the results tend to be far more subtle thanks to the trend for a more natural look and highly skilled cosmetic doctors.
How Botox Works
Botox is injected directly into the problem area of the skin, where it prevents the nerves from releasing the neurotransmitter needed to contract muscles in the area. The muscles are effectively paralysed, which causes them to relax and thus reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (it is exceptionally effective at doing this, but won’t address slack skin, loss of volume or skin texture so it is often used in conjunction with injectible fillers and resurfacing treatments).
It takes up to 72 hours to take full effect, and the result can last up to six months (though four months is average).
I had Botox for the first time several years ago: as a beauty editor, I was keen to try out a treatment that I was often asked to write about.
I knew a journalist who had done the same thing and ended up with an immobile eyebrow for a couple of months (yes, Botox injections can go wrong!) – so for my treatment, I was careful to seek out a cosmetic doctor renown for her skill and a light touch.
My treatment was around my eyes and on my forehead and I really liked the result – my face looked smooth but it still moved! I looked less tired, more rested – and line-free! One advantage I hadn’t anticipated was the need to wear less makeup as result. It saved time each day and, in that sense, was very much a win in the ‘low maintenance’ stakes.
Botox vs anti-wrinkle creams?
So how does Botox compare to the anti-wrinkle skin creams I have tried? Honestly, there is absolutely no comparison when it comes to results: if you want to get rid of lines and wrinkles, Botox is your way to go.