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To Botox or not to Botox? It’s a question that younger and younger women are asking themselves each year, as the phrase “preventative Botox” started making its way into the lexicon. So just exactly what is preventative Botox? Basically, it's getting injections to prevent future wrinkles rather than to erase the ones you already have. 

I was late to the Botox game. I only started to indulge when I hit 40 on the advice of my dermatologist, Dr. Leigh Ellen Eubanks of Suzanne Bruce and Associates. I love Dr. Eubanks, and when someone is putting needles in your face, it’s important to love them. She did a great job of explaining to me that I could use Botox not just to lessen the forehead wrinkles I have (furrowing my brow is my No. 1 facial expression) but also to keep new ones from growing deeper. I've now added Botox to my regular skincare routine via steadily increasing baby steps—with Botox, less is more, so its better not to overdo it.

These days women are injecting small amounts of Botox as early as their 20s to help lessen the long-term effects of heavy facial expressions and the general signs of aging. But if you aren’t taking care of your skin, Botox at any age won’t help. So should you do it? Here's some skin considerations you should be taking in your 20s and 30s and a few tips on how to decide when to go under the needle.

20s

First off let’s hope you are doing all the other things right in your 20s. By that I mean you better have a good skincare regimen in place that includes a serious sunscreen factor as well as a proper diet and regular exercise. It's also a good idea to always remove makeup before bed and start seeing a dermatologist regularly, not just when you have a problem.

So, once you've mastered all of this, how do you know when to add Botox into the mix? This is where a good relationship with your dermatologist can really come into play. A good derm will never suggest a treatment that you don’t need and will talk you out of things you only think you need. They will go over your facial expressions and facial characteristics with you to help determine if you have a very actively expressive face and if preventative Botox is right for you.  Listen to them! A good doctor can help you to actually re-train your facial expressions with small amounts of Botox to help lower the odds of developing deeper, more permanent wrinkles over time.

30s

Even if you didn’t indulge in your 20s, by your 30s Botox is probably on your radar. In addition to keeping to the skin-healthy routine above, your skincare should also incorporate AHAs, antioxidants and retinol. Besides being an all-around awesome decade of your life, your 30s are a great time to start thinking about Botox as a preventative measure.

While it’s not for everyone, if you are starting to notice deeply set lines, especially on the forehead or around the edges of your eyes (crow’s feet), Botox can not only help soften the finer lines, but also keep them from needing more attention in your 40s. 

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